Three Thoughts on WWDC 2021

So I finally watched the keynote and the State Of The Union1, and came away with three main thoughts:

FaceTime enhancements sort of bring it into parity with Zoom and Teams for “civilians”, and the ML-powered background blurring and noise suppression are extremely welcome, but all I could think of while I watched the demos was “I guess using WebEx all day was great motivation to get this done”.

Cloud is probably the first thing that justifies the $99 developer fee (even if it appears to be on its way to become a paid service). But the testing features alone seem worth it, although the collaboration features feel a lot like reinventing the GitHub wheel2 and I don’t really get how it would play out in a real corporate environment (because all the “grown up” CI/CD stuff will let you test server back-ends as well, and that is what matters these days).

iPadOS 15 is very, very, very disappointing. I wasn’t expecting Apple to suddenly have a change of heart and make the a full blown “conventional” productivity device, but I was expecting a fair bit more to back the recent M1 upgrades than just UX affordances for multi-tasking and… widgets3.

If I were any less persistent, by this time I’d have reneged on the as my main personal computer, because it’s been a long, hard slog, and there is just no way it can get past the roughly 80% mark it’s been at for nearly a decade.

  1. Which, incidentally, is such a quintessential American name that I almost flinched when I decoded the acronym. 2020 left some scars, it seems. ↩︎

  2. But the fact that they did it completely in-house says a lot about Apple. ↩︎

  3. On the subject of Springboard enhancements, I’m amazed that we still can’t manage application icons properly (still just the one grid spacing, and folders remain comically small, square and only show 4x4 icons at a time). ↩︎