After watching the Keynote, I was thoroughly impressed. While there still isn’t a dark mode for iOS, I can imagine it coming soon. And there are a lot of cool things that were announced.
While watching the event, I took a note of the top 4 for each OS, excluding tvOS, because who cares?
So here they are:
- Siri Shortcuts
- Screen Time
- Automatic Workout Detection
- Walkie Talkie
- Interactive Notifications
- Dark Mode
- Dynamic Desktop
- Mac App Store
I plan on doing some writing about the new features, but in more of an opinionated way, rather than a simple informative guide. You’ll find these with the WWDC 18 tag.
With iOS 12’s imminent announcement, I thought I’d prepare myself for a new way of using my devices.
For months now, I’ve been trying to refine my use of my devices, apps, and services that I use. But I think a different approach is needed, and I hope that future OS updates will help me along the way.
The method I’ve been using for a while is quite a harsh one, where I disabled notifications, and everything associated with them, on nearly all applications. Along with getting rid of some apps/services that I don’t think provide any value.
But while I think this has been a step in the right direction, I don’t think it’s a particularly accurate way to achieve my goal of adapting my devices to my needs, and for it to provide me with the most value as possible.
That’s why I’ve now done a complete reversal and turned on all the notifications, and possible distractions on my iPhone. In the short term, I’m hoping this will let me find out where I don’t need to be spending my time and also see if there is any value to them. I mean, I know notifications can be valuable, but I want the right balance. And by turning them all off, I’m potentially missing out.
So tonight, I’ve already gone through a few apps to disable types of notifications, and in some cases, just deleted the app entirely. For example, I have an app for a restaurant I go to maybe once every two months, but they send at least one offer notification every single day.
What I’m majorly hoping for in the next iOS update, are pretty minor things. With the ability to group notifications having the highest priority. I can’t even bear thinking about the types of apps that would benefit from this, because it’s probably all of them. I also think there can be improvements made to the way notifications are visualised. Because even grouped, it’s still just a list.
Then there’s priority, not all bits of information are equally useful. And if they are, you might not need to know about it right now. Things like iMessages are more important than likes on an Instagram post, and work emails are certainly not relevant out of work hours, or maybe even a work location. So there’s a lot of work that can be done here, involving sorting, filtering, and queueing/snoozing.
If all of these issues are “resolved”, then I think the way devices are experience, and even used, will change quite a lot.
There’s also one more tool that would be able to help focus your device usage on a bigger scale, and that would be a way to monitor/visualise your usage, or habits, system-wide. Of course, you can kind of track this by using the battery analytics that tells you the time on screen for apps, but I want it better, and more in my face. Because more insight can only be better.
This is, of course, a long-term goal, and maybe more of a process. But I plan to write about my journey of focusing my usage of devices, and in general, refining my life to maximise value.
I have a few more ideas that I want to try soon, so you’ll find these here only blog as well.
Build beautiful, usable products using Material Components for iOS. – material.io
Or how about you follow the Human Interface Guidelines by Apple, which is what all iOS apps should be using.
Say you write an iOS app, and now you want to write the Mac version.
Assuming there’s a data model, maybe a database, some networking code, that kind of thing, then you can use that exact same code in your Mac app, quite likely without any changes whatsoever.
I agree with Brent here. I’ve never really understood the argument that AppKit is that difficult to understand, so that’s why people don’t port native apps over. Surely the underlying logic of the app is the hard part, and linking the functionality to the interface is the easier part?
I would say I’m more of an iOS developer, simply because I’ve spent more time on it. But I’ve also made a few Mac applications. Sure, a resizing window is a bit more complex than a relatively fixed screen size, and some the interface elements are names slightly differently.
It’s just different, for both sets of people. But not as difficult as it may seem.
I’ve been playing Alto’s Odyssey (the sequel of Alto’s Adventure) a lot recently, and it’s quickly become my go-to game no matter my situation.
I’ve read some reviews about the game already, and it appears that everyone on the internet has something good to say about it. I can only add to that.
The whole game is quite a mix, in that it’s very relaxing, while requiring your complete focus. And also having a potentially very long game time, while offering short term goals.
I find it very easy to be sucked into, and it’s a great game to take your mind away from other things. The achievements and Game Center leaderboards help my own competitiveness, and I really want to move up in the Best Score category. As of the time writing this, I’m ranked 11,157 with 65,065 points. But at the same time, I also enjoy playing it when I short bursts of free time, such as commuting to work, or just between other tasks.
Apart from the gameplay, the game is a really immersive environment. With ambient music, relaxing sounds, and super colourful settings. It’s enjoyable to just look at the thing.
Alto’s Odyssey on the App Store.
Ryan Christoffel wrote a great piece over at MacStories, about what he wants to see the iPad gain from the Mac:
I made the iPad Pro my primary computer when it first launched in late 2015. The transition pains from Mac to iPad were minimal, and the device has grown even more capable since that time thanks to improvements in iOS. My need for a Mac is now extremely rare.
My desire for a Mac, however, still exists in a few specific use cases. There are things the Mac has to offer that I wish my iPad could replicate.
Now that the modern iPad has many basics of computing covered, here are the things I think it needs to take iPad-as-PC to the next level.
My favourite proposition:
Wouldn’t it be great if an app like Workflow could become more Hazel-like, triggering workflows automatically in the background based on pre-set rules?
They’re great ideas, and I hope Apple adopt at least a few of them.
Read the full article.
As you may or may not know, I’ve been building my own iOS app for Manton Reece’s Micro.blog.
A short description of Micro.blog, if you aren’t already familiar:
A new social network and publishing platform for independent microblogs, created by Manton Reece.
Development is going well, and I’m nearly ready to announce the first beta version, but I thought I’d write about the current progress, and what you can expect to see in the first beta version. This development log will hopefully become a regular thing as I add more features to the app.
b0.1 – Read Only
The codename for this version is “Read Only”, and that stems from the fact that it will not have any ability to write posts. That is something I want to spend a lot of time getting right, and shouldn’t hold back a beta version from being released.
Right now, there are 5 main sections in the app:
The first four are pretty much the same, except they present different lists of posts. But they are what you’d imagine.
On each post in these lists, at the minute you see the name and username of the author, the posts content (of course), and the date. Each post also has a favourite/unfavourite button in the top-right corner. Swiping right to left on these cells, will show you the full conversation relevant to this post.
I currently also do some basic link detection in posts, and if there’s a @ mention with a link to their Micro.blog profile, it will navigate to their profile page. Anything else at the minute will launch inside a Safari View inside the app.
In the profile page, for yourself, or other users, you currently only see the name, username, photo, and also the number of people you are following. You cannot see how many followers you have in any case. Tapping the following will show a list of all of these users.
The app currently supports both methods of authentication, app token, and also by requesting an email that contains a link to open the app.
I started on a side menu as well, which at the minute simply shows the version number. But this will be expanded heavily in the future.
Of course one thing I need to add, is the ability to log out! It will be placed in the side menu.
I also want to expand the profile pages, by adding the bio, and also a link to their website. And also, features surrounding the user that I want to add, is the ability to tap on a users image to open their profile, and also the ability to follow and unfollow a user.
Finally, I need to make some icons for the overall app (most likely a quick draft for beta purposes), the different tabs, and also one for the menu.
Apple today, launched two more videos focussed on the iPad Pro to their YouTube channel.
With iPad Pro + iOS 11, you can use augmented reality to literally transform the world around you. Your next computer might not be a computer.
With iPad Pro + iOS 11, you can use Apple Pencil to create multimedia notes. Draw, type, or drag and drop your favorite photos from Files. Your next computer might not be a computer.
I’m really enjoying their latest series of iOS 11 videos. It’s not a simple, an iPad is better than a Mac argument. Instead, they tend to focus on a younger user that has no concept of ”a computer”, but treat an iPad as the device.
It’s starting to become even more apparent, that younger generations are the ones that are truly adapting to new technology. Mainly because they haven’t got the burden of really knowing what it was like before these new devices, such as the iPad Pro.
In a recent article by Mark Gurman over at Bloomberg, he wrote over 600 words on the supposed plan that Apple have, which would converge apps from iOS and macOS. Meaning that developers would be able to design just one app, and have it work on both platforms.
I personally dont think this is going to happen.
And if you read the whole piece, you’ll find that only 48 words out of the total 672 are relevant:
Apple currently plans to begin rolling out the change as part of next fall’s major iOS and macOS updates, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss an internal matter. The secret project, codenamed “Marzipan,” is one of the tentpole additions for next year’s Apple software road map.
I’ve been hearing Mark’s name for a few years, and people always seem to make him sound like a very top Apple reporter, which I guess is why he now writes for Bloomberg. But his latest rumours, have been a bit lower in quality in my opinion.
Read the “full” article on Bloomberg.
Downloading files from the web on iOS has always been a prickly issue, but Michael Rockwell, writer at Initial Charge, has come up with a rather simple solution:
One aspect of the iOS-first lifestyle that has been a bit of an issue, for many users, is dealing with files. Apple has done a lot to try and fix that with the Files app in iOS 11, but it isn’t fool-proof. One common pain-point for me has been trying to download MP3 files that exist behind a paywall. Luckily, a few must-have iOS apps are available to smooth out the rough edges.
I subscribe to Wrestling Observer to gain access to their premium podcast content — because I’m a nerd who likes pro wrestling. I prefer to listen to these shows in Overcast so I can use the app’s Smart Speed feature and play it back at about 1.2x, but Overcast doesn’t have support for password protected RSS feeds. I’m holding out hope that this will be added in the future, but until then, I’ve been using iCab Mobile to download the audio files, which I can then upload to Overcast’s servers with my Premium subscription. And of course, Workflow is there to facility the process.
Michael seems to always have nifty solutions to things on iOS, so it’s worth reading the full article, and maybe even subscribing to the blog in your RSS reader of choice.