Writing on Tablets Tech stuff from @yeltzland

WWDC 2018 Wishlist

Things if announced next week would make me very happy

Following on from this week’s Connected, I thought I’d do my own wish list/happy list for WWDC 2018.

Here are my top 5 hopes for next week’s announcements …

1. Siri improvements

Siri is currently so far behind Alexa and Google Assistant it’s a joke - not just on quality of results but because of the very restricted set of domains developers respond to.

I’d love it if a much more flexible way of returning results was introduced. In particular, let developers develop their own intents and grammars to parse Siri queries - just like Alexa and Google do - and not have to wait for Apple to support individual problem domains at their glacial pace.

Bonus happiness if Apple Watch apps could hook into the potentially very useful but currently very limited Siri watch face.

2. Cross platform development

I don’t really believe the rumours of ‘Project Marzipan’, but it would be fantastic if a cross-platform iOS/Mac development platform is announced.

I definitely think some of my iOS apps could potentially work well on the Mac, but I’m not really going to consider porting them unless it was very little work.

Partial happiness if support for pointing devices/mice/trackpads is announced for iOS. Would sure make using my iPad Pro as a work machine a bit easier, and probably a requirement for any cross-platform support going forward.

3. Updated Mac Mini

I used to have a Mac Mini, but it was increasingly underpowered as a development machine so I switched to a 2015 MacBook Pro a couple of years ago.

I can’t really justify splashing out on an iMac right now (or even more an iMac Pro at those prices!), but I’d love a reasonably priced desktop I could use as a development machine - especially one that was always on that I could remote into as necessary.

4. Better WatchKit or full UIKit on Apple Watch

Apple Watch hardware is becoming increasing more powerful, and now mobile connectivity is supported. It has the potential to be really useful for some use cases.

However right now it’s really painful to make any sort of rich interface on Watch with the very limited WatchKit frameworks.

Clearly Apple’s own apps use another more powerful framework - UIKit? - and it would be great if developers are allowed access to this too.

5. Real-time Watch complications

Another missed opportunity on the Watch is being able to update complications on the watch faces in real-time.

The strength of the watch is having time-relevant information presented when you need it. However watch face complications can only be updated on a very restricted schedule, which makes lots of great ideas for real time info right on the Watch almost impossible.

I understand why the underpowered original watches were restricted to occasional complication updates, but we really need move past these restrictions if we want to move the platform forward.

If this means leaving Series 0 Watch owners behind - and I’m one of them at the moment - so be it.

Summary

To be honest I’m not really expecting any of these five things to be announced. I’d be pretty happy if any of them are, very happy if 2 or more are, and if all 5 were it would be a miracle!

iOS WatchOS WWDC