WWDC22: what’s exciting?

After two weeks, our creative team is back in the studio. The first thing we did was watch the WWDC22 keynote. Overall, it was not very exciting, because it feels like Apple didn’t do much for iPadOS and macOS this year. However, there were a few cool features we can’t wait to try out.

Please note, that these features will be available on iPadOS 16, even though Apple mostly demonstrated them on iOS 16.

Lock screen

The improvements to the lock screen in iOS 16 are quite exciting. Your photos now go in front of your time, versus behind, which is what we’ve had up until now. You can also now customise the font and colour to give your lock screen a personal touch. What’s more useful is that you can even add widgets to your lock screen, making it easier to access important information without having to unlock your device.

You can save several lock screens for different reasons and easily switch between them, which is more useful with Focus. Your notifications and Apple Music play controls now appear at the bottom of the screen. That way, they don’t cover your beautiful photos (very thoughtful).

This is Apple’s biggest update for this year, across all their devices. It’s well thought out, especially for those that heavily use their phones. But, it’s nothing to jump around for.

Messages

Editing messages is cool, and so is unsending them! Marking messages as unread is not so useful. Why not read messages when you’re ready to respond to them? Then you don’t have to mark it as unread.

Dictation

Thank you, Apple, for making it easier for us to switch from dictation to typing. Now we can enjoy using the feature more. The need to switch between dictation and the keyboard was the main reason I disliked using this feature and I can’t wait to try it in iOS 16.

M2 MacBooks

For the M2 MacBook Air, Apple brought back the MagSafe charging port. The confusion at Apple is annoying. Just make up your mind!

Passkeys

Passkeys are a very interesting concept, that we wish Apple had taken more time to demonstrate. We can’t help but wonder how this will differ from what LastPass does. The idea of a passwordless life is tempting, but, just how secure is it? Really?

Smaller updates

Before we get to our final verdict, there are a few small updates worth mentioning:

  • Hand-off for Facetime is a welcome feature. Is anyone else tired of cutting calls when you need to switch devices?
  • Find and replace in Apple Notes will be awesome
  • Desktop-class apps deserved a bit more time during the keynote. We’ll be trying that out in July when Apple releases the public beta.

Final thoughts

For the most part, it feels like Apple wants to have the same features on all its devices, for a universal user experience. That is actually a good thing, every device you pick up will feel familiar. However, it also means that there is not a lot to be excited about, because nothing is new or groundbreaking. Spotlight improvements we are getting in macOS Ventura have been on iOS/iPadOS for years. We’re happy about customising our toolbars for apps in iPadOS. That’s a feature they took from the macOS apps.

It seems Apple didn’t have any time to look at our wish list for Apple Notes’ iPadOS 16 updates. You can understand our disappointment.

Freeform, the new app just seems like a Nebo reap-off, where they created an infinite canvas for Apple Notes. Instead of adding it to an already existing app, they chose to create a completely different one for it.

As you can see from our very short list of features we’re excited about, there is plenty we don’t like about the updates announced during the WWDC22 keynote. However, our team thought it best to try these features first, before commenting on them. Be sure to stay tuned for when we start testing out the public beta of these operating systems.

Is Apple’s universal user interface part of a bigger plan? Or did they simply run out of ideas this year? Let us know what you think. For Apple Notes, we gave them plenty of ideas, for free. So perhaps, they have a bigger plan (seeing they ignored all of our ideas). Only time will tell.

Any thoughts? Do tell, do tell!