Wednesday Night News
Following Apple’s big announcements on stage at the WWDC keynote earlier this week, they had a set of slightly smaller announcements in the form of this year’s Apple Design Award winners. Although half this winners this year were mobile games, the Apple Design Awards are for those apps that excel in the areas of visual design, technology, and innovation, with a full Apple hardware setup going to the winners as well as a featurette on the iOS App Store. That being said, the only winner that I’ve heard of is Pixelmator Photo.
This year’s episode of The Talk Show at WWDC saw Apple VP of iOS, iPhone, and iPad Product Marketing Greg Joswiak and Apple SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi join host John Gruber to talk about the major talking points of this year’s WWDC keynote. The trio covered the new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR, Project Catalyst, iOS 13, iPadOS, privacy, and accessibility. Joswiak also said that Apple WWDC keynotes start around the 3 hour mark, but have to be cut down to fit into two hours of content, which means a lot of stuff gets left out. The full video and audio is available here, otherwise 9to5Mac has a summary of everything that was discussed.
Cnet scored two interviews with Apple execs at WWDC. The first was with Craig Federighi, who discussed the iPadOS split from the regular version of iOS (which should now be called, now that I think about it, iPhoneOS as a nice little throwback to its pre-iOS days). Federighi said it was mostly in the name, with iPadOS not being an iPhone experience, nor a Mac experience, but becoming a distinct experience of its own, enough to warrant special attention instead of bi-yearly iPad updates which up until a few days ago, were the norm. Cnet’s second interview was with Apple VP of Software Technology Bud Tribble, who had nothing but privacy and security thoughts on his mind in the context of Apple’s new privacy-focused Sign In service and HomeKit security.
Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook’s recent interview with CBS covered much of the same big topics for Apple these days, including whether Apple should be scrutinised due to its size and position in the market. While Cook welcomed scrutiny and was very comfortable with the company’s position, he also discussed privacy, screen time, immigration, and tariffs as they impact Apple.
While Apple has now posted the WWDC 2019 keynote for everyone to watch, if you haven’t seen the whole thing and want to catch up on all the iOS 13 news, MacStories has you covered. Their iOS 13 overview gives us the run-down on everything that’s new and changed, although I do find it a tad ironic that most, if not all, their posts are sponsored by Things, when iOS 13 features a massive overhaul to reminders.
With the demise of iTunes in macOS 10.15 Catalina, Ars Technica covers some of the questions you have about things that you can do in iTunes right now. It looks like Apple’s new Music app will handle the music playback side of the iTunes equation, while Finder gets all the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch syncing that you’re used to (although I suspect this will not extend to apps, given the demise of the iOS App Store on the desktop). Apple will continue to tolerate iTunes for Windows, at least in the short-to-medium term, and the good news is, you can output 4K HDR content to your TV via the Apple TV app on your Mac. Even Dolby Atmos, if you have a 2018 Mac or later.
Apple’s Bug Reporter for reporting feedback is no longer, with Apple announcing its successor in the form of Feedback Assistant. Feedback Assistant has previously been available to those members of the public enrolled in Apple’s public beta program, but Apple is now extending that support to developers in the hope that it makes collecting bug reports and general feedback more streamlined than it was previously.
For developers, Apple is introducing something called a Real User Indicator that could tell them whether all the reviews they’re seeing on their apps are from bots or from real people, for example. It’s unclear how exactly Apple is generating this value, but presumably they have some internal heuristics that are run over accounts to get a value that represents whether Apple thinks the account is a bot or a real person.
Apple’s WWDC pop-up store has some exclusive WWDC neon-themed merch that I’m incredibly jealous of. Also new this year is a selection of Apple accessories, including AirPods, to allow developers to purchase accessories and dongles without leaving the convention centre to take a trip to the closest Apple Store.
Also killed off in macOS Catalina is Dashboard, which means you’ll need to find a new home for your widgets. Dashboard has had a great run since its introduction in OS X 10.4 Tiger, and while it’s disabled by default in macOS 10.14 Mojave, you can still enable it. That’s no longer possible in Catalina, so we’re pouring one out for that zoom-ing animation that you could slow down and trigger many, many times in a row if you pressed the right keyboard shortcut.
This will be relevant to exactly two of you, I’m sure, but MacOS Catalina uses zsh as the default shell, according to an Apple support article on making zsh the default shell on earlier versions of macOS. While zsh shares compatibility with many bash features, it also has some great features that make it worth looking at if you’re a command-line jockey. For those used to bash, it may be worth looking at some nice zsh setups to see how you can make the Z shell work for you.