Short version: meh. Longer version below.
Let’s spit it out right away: I’m an Apple user and fan (still?). In our household we have 2 Macbook Pros (plus 1 from work), 2 Apple TVs, 2 iPhone 8plus’, 1 iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, 1 iPad Mini, 2 iPhone 6s (for backup). No, no Apple Watches so far, but I guess you got the idea: I’m definitely not an hater.
But once again, as for the last few Keynotes, I’ve been left quite disappointed, or at least not excited, at all.
Let’s take a look at what they announced for iOS and OSX (I’m not really interested in Apple Watch and Apple TV, to be honest).
Ok, this is nice. No one can ever complain about their device being faster. Apparently the new iOS 12 will still support the same devices ver. 11 did, so all the ones from 2013 and newer. I’m not sure how much we can really trust this statement, but let’s keep these questions for later.
My reaction: 🙂
FINALLY calls with multiple people at the same time are here! I mean, about time, amirite?!
Geez guys, what were you waiting for? Now you can call up to 32 people at the same time. Wait… 32? Is anyone ever gonna call 31 people in the same call? Ok, I’m not gonna complain for that, of course you’re not forced to get to that point if you don’t need to, but that seems a little extreme.
Effects, stickers, animoji, memoji (I’ll get there), fireworks, confetti, explosions, trumpets and party hats… no thanks. That’s Snapchat territory, let’s keep it there. Again, no one is forcing you to use such things, but I question why even spending time on developing these gimmicks. I don’t know, it’s quite baffling.
My reaction: 😐
Memoji, Animoji, Camera effects
Ok, I want to be honest: I hate those. But let me explain, I don’t hate those per se. I’ve been working on similar products for quite some time in the last couple of years (and it was fun). I hate Apple is doing that. I hate they are staying behind Google, that quite frankly has shown jawdropping things at the last I/O event, while they are working on these things that I’ve never seen anyone use. Things that many startups already did, that are “fun” for a couple of times and then you’ll never use again.
I don’t understand why they keep spending so much time, even during the Keynotes, for these silly features, while we have tons of apps covering these. What exactly are Apple’s priorities nowadays? Again, I can’t have a grasp on this.
My reaction: 😤
This is probably just a problem of mine. I’m still not 100% sold on AR, in general, as a technology. I like the idea, I like the potential, but I still have to see applications that really excite me. Especially on the gaming front.
About gaming, I can’t stand this combination of standing and holding the ipad with 2 hands, while moving around and looking into it and tapping on some kind of UI at the same time. Take the Lego demo during the Keynote, at some point there was a character with a little balloon or something on it, and they said that was some sort of quest you could undertake, and to do so you had to tap on the little balloon. In that moment I was trying to imagine me as the player, holding the ipad with 2 hands, then having to keep it with one hand while the other one was reaching the little balloon to tap it and all this action seemed so awkward in my head. I might be wrong, but I tried a few AR games and for most of those I found that the AR actually didn’t give me anything more than inconvenience I wouldn’t have if the game was just a regular game, where everything happened within the virtual space on screen.
On all of this AR thing, what I liked the most was the measuring app. And that’s nothing new.
My reaction: 😕
I like this. I’m often wondering and worrying about my screen time, and social apps usage and stuff like that. This tool basically provide stats about how many times per hour you pick up your iPhone, how much time you spend on each app or activity, etc, and you can set limits to it. You can decide that you allow yourself (or your kids! This is great for parents) 1 hour of Facebook every day, you set the limit and that’s it. Once you run out of time you get a screen telling you so (you can override this, if you’re the admin, of course) and that’s about it, move on, nothing to see here.
My reaction: 😃
More control over your notifications. You can group them, you can turn them off for each app directly from the lock screen etc.
My reaction: 🤩
Do not disturb
I’m not sure I’ll ever remember to turn this on, but if I’ll do I’m sure it’ll be useful. You can basically turn on the “do not disturb” mode and set it to automatically turning off based on time or location. Nice.
My reaction: 🙂
Photo sharing and photo search
These are pretty basic things that were missing. Sharing albums with other people and a smarter search, I like them, but well, they do not make me jump on my chair.
My reaction: 🙂
That’s the most disappointing part of the Keynote for me. Basically Siri can now do some of the things Google Assistant was able to do years ago, like suggesting stuff based on your routine. Ehm… guys, did you see Google Assistant MAKING PHONE CALLS for the user? And with Siri now you can record a custom voice command to trigger some apps.
I was hoping Siri was the big thing of this event. An advanced AI to keep up with Google, or trying to at least. Instead Siri was the biggest letdown of this Keynote, for me at least.
My reaction: 😩
iOS 12 in conclusion
It’s meh all the way. The things I’m happy about are more like fixes to current shortcomings rather than real improvements or new features. Nothing really is making me looking forward for this new release.
Visually there’s nothing new.
I love the place that gives the name to this new release of macOS, so maybe this is influencing me, but I was more excited about the new desktop OS than the mobile one.
Let me be upfront: also here, no jumps from the chair. But from a productivity point of view, I can see myself enjoying most of the new features.
Dynamic desktop and dark theme
The desktop changes depending on the time of the day and at night the whole system turns to dark mode, but you can actually use the dark mode all the time if you like it.
I don’t have a real preference between light or dark themes for software, but it’s nice to have the option, specially when working during the evening.
My reaction: 😄
You can finally organize your messy desktop stacking files depending on type, time, tag… That’s pretty neat. I’m just worrying this will make me even more lazy in cleaning up my desktop 😀
My reaction: 😃
Finder and Quickview
New view in Finder: gallery mode. I don’t see much difference from the current “cover flow” mode, to be honest. But I like the rest, like the quick action: markup, rotate, apply watermark, trim video, etc
As I was saying, there are a bunch of features that can be useful from a productivity point of view. Here some thing you can do in Quickview
My reaction: 😍
Taking screenshots is something we all do quite often (I do). Mojave introduces a bunch of new features that can turn to be really useful, specially the screen recording.
My reaction: 😍
I’m not sure I can really incorporate this in my workflow, but the more we get a seamless UX from iOS to macOS the better it is.
You can now snap photos or scan documents with your iphone and they directly appear in your documents on your mac.
My reaction: 🙂
News, stocks, home and voice memos
These are basically demos of the major announcement they ALMOST did: iOS apps on macOS. Why almost? Well, because after getting us excited about this idea, they said developers will be able to start converting their apps for macOS in 2019.
My reaction: 😕
macOS Mojave in conclusion
Also here nothing major, but all of these small improvements seemed to be made to improve the UX of people who use macOS for work every day, and I like it. Many annoying little tasks can become easier and faster.
To sum up the whole thing:
I liked all those UX improvements that can make our life as users easier. Organising notifications, turning them on and off faster, searching photos, sharing them, view files, crop, trim, rotate, organise files etc etc… This are all good things, BUT
BUT nothing crazy came out of this event in terms of revolutionary technology, innovation, nothing really on the AI front, nothing to be really hyped for this upcoming updates, in my opinion.
Will we ever go crazy again during a Keynote? Even the crowd there at the event seemed to be cheering more to please the people on stage, as a courtesy, than for spontaneous excitement.
What’s your opinion on this event and the things they presented?