Weekender #116: 2023 WWDC Predictions

  • Birb watch: there are still no signs of any new baby mynah birbs just yet. This week, it seemed like only Handsome mynah was flying into the nook in the neighbor’s roof to bring food up. Matey mynah would just fly off. I tried to listen for the sounds of baby mynah but have yet to hear any.

  • It was another crazy week at work for me, as it usually is during this time of year. I didn’t get much reading time in, so there won’t be any links this week. But since Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) kicks off tomorrow, I’m putting down my predictions as I always do.

My WWDC Predictions

  • Hardware
    Although WWDC isn’t usually an event with a lot of hardware releases, it’s not a rule that they won’t release any either. Here are some of my predictions for Apple hardware:

    • A new iPad with a screen larger than 12.9” and a 16” MacBook Air
    • Updated 24” iMac
    • New Mac Pro (finally)
    • Apple Silicon M3
    • VR/AR headset (duh)
  • Software

    • macOS: Just like last year, I hope that they focus on fixing bugs vs. adding new features, but I doubt that will happen. I can only hope that they address some of the issues and regressions with some of their apps, mainly the Mail app and Apple Music. I’m not holding my breath, but maybe we’ll see them spin out “passwords” from System Settings and make it a separate app. While they’re at it, they could also rethink the mess that System Settings app has become. I also hope they decide to create a coherent “Mac-like” look and feel for all of the areas in Ventura that feel like bolted-on iOS parts.

    • iOS: Overall, iOS 16 was great. Lock Screen widgets improved quickly once they were released. I hope widgets get the ability to update more often and have interaction. I’d also love to see a separate Passwords app with the ability to export any credentials.

    • iPadOS: In my opinion, iPadOS 16 was a letdown. Stage Manager was introduced, but it didn’t bring the multi-tasking experience that many wished for. I tried using it on my 11-inch iPad Pro (M1) with and without an external display. I tried to stick with it, but there were so many rough edges that I gave up. I feel like it made using the iPad worse, so I’m thankful that Apple gave us the option to disable it. If you like fighting with incoherent window positioning, then maybe Stage Manager is something you would like.

      • The iPad hardware continues to be much more powerful than the software. As each WWDC passes, it feels as if Apple has lost the drive to make the iPad the future of computing. It’s like they’ve gotten cold feet and have decided not to go all-in with iPadOS, but they can’t just abandon it. Instead, they inch along each year, dangling a new feature that power users have been craving with each iPadOS release but ultimately never committing to the promise that separating iPadOS from iOS should have provided. It’s been extremely frustrating to watch iPadOS stagnate year after year. Once the Mac moved to Apple Silicon, there really wasn’t a strong case for me to continue struggling to do power user stuff on an iPad when I could just use my Mac and have all of the benefits that the iPad has hardware-wise with no downsides. Aside from the tablet features, there is almost no advantage to using an iPad Pro with a magic keyboard case when an M2 MacBook Air exists. I do wonder if Tim Cook still uses his iPad for everything.
    • watchOS and tvOS: I’ll group these together as they’ll probably get the least attention. I can dream about custom watch faces, but I doubt Apple will ever allow it. I don’t really care about tvOS as long as it works.

Media consumption

  • It was a hard week, so I decided to take a break and enjoy a new movie, and I’m glad I did! Audra and I went to see Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse in a mostly empty theater and it was amazing! I didn’t think they’d be able to outdo the animation from 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but they did. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the entire thing was just perfect. Go see it!

  • When Norah Jones released …Little Broken Hearts in 2012, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Her previous album, The Fall, was a departure from her earlier recordings in a good way. Off the heels of contributing vocals to Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) and Daniele Luppi’s Rome (which was fantastic, btw), Jones’s further collaboration with Danger Mouse for …Little Broken Hearts took her into new sonic territory. Written immediately after a breakup, her writing is raw and real, while Burton’s instrumentation and production give the album its haunting vibe. It’s one of my favorite albums, so I was thrilled that the Deluxe Edition was released this week with bonus tracks, remixes, and a second “disc” of concert footage from her Austic City Limits performance. Listen on Apple Music.