Friday Morning News
One of Apple’s biggest focuses at WWDC this year was accessibility, from the introduction of a system-wide Voice Control accessibility feature in iOS 13 and macOS Catalina, mouse support on the iPad, and various accessibility improvements across the board across all software platforms. In TechCrunch’s interview with Apple Director of Global Accessibility Policy and Initiatives Sarah Herrlinger, it’s clear that accessibility at Apple is firing on all cylinders. Although mouse support on the iPad was a key focus for the team this year, recognising that there were a whole class of users who were unable to use their iPads without a mouse or joystick, it’s still important to recognise that it’s not supposed to be the primary input method, and will likely have limitations that touch does not.
This week’s AppStories podcast included special guest star Craig Federighi, Apple SVP of Software Engineering, along with host Federico Viticci. The pair discussed the impact of developer tools like Project Catalyst, SwiftUI, and the new iPadOS, particularly as they relate to the apps we use today and the kinds of apps and experiences they will enable in the future. There’s no transcript available, but MacRumors covered the main talking points.
There’s so many changes as part of iPadOS and iOS 13 that we’ll likely be discovering new and improved features all the way up until the public release sometime later this year. For now, MacStories has a overview with some of the major, and some of the smaller changes in Apple’s mobile platforms.
Meanwhile, Apple Maps is getting more than just smooth Street View, with Apple’s similar Look Around feature giving you ground-level imagery of streets, although it is currently only available in some US states, with the whole of the US expected to be finished by the end of the year, and other countries starting next year. But other changes to Apple’s Maps app include Collections for your favourite places, as well as minor changes to the overall maps interface that may have started in iOS 12.
Other minor features included in iOS 13 are a low data mode that helps apps reduce their network usage (no details on what, exactly, this does, or how it works), the ability to close Mobile Safari tabs when you haven’t looked at them in some period of time, the ability to take full-page screenshots in Mobile Safari, and more, as covered by MacRumors.
TechCrunch reports that iOS 13 will also block third-party apps from accessing the Notes field in Contacts. This is due to Apple recognising user behaviour of storing sensitive information in there, despite warnings not to, as ~Address Book~ sorry, Contacts data isn’t encrypted and is provided as-is to apps that ask for and receive permissions to access your contacts. This won’t affect most apps, but is yet another way that Apple is putting your privacy first.
The list of new iOS 13 features is over 65 items long, and it will take weeks before those with the developer or public betas get to know what’s new and changed. That’s not even counting all the existing features that might have changed in subtle ways. But we’ll have plenty of time to digest all the changes, so there’s no rush.
Anyone that has used Mobile Safari on the iPad has quickly realised that it’s not quite the same experience as it is on a desktop, nor is it the same as using an iPhone. The iPad web browsing experience has usually sat in this weird chasm between the two, but in iOS 13, that all changes. The Verge tested Safari on iPadOS, and found that it works much better now, at least with Google Docs. Tricky things like keyboard shortcuts, comments, cursor placement, and real-time collaborative editing just worked, proving that Apple has put some serious elbow grease to getting Safari on iPadOS to just work.
This year’s WWDC also included early-morning physical workouts for those attendees that were interested. This year’s workouts included HIIT, a 5K run one morning, and yoga sessions on another morning. Apple is wrapping up WWDC this year with the traditional WWDC Bash, which will be headlined by Weezer this year.
Apple’s San Francisco typeface now has a sister typeface in the form of New York, which some of you may recognise as being from the first generation Macintosh. This particular version of New York offers a more modern take on an old classic, and Apple says the serif typeface works well alongside the sans-serif San Francisco.