Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Apple News

Apple's developer conference is this week and yesterday was their much anticipated Keynote. Unfortunately they announced no new hardware, so that was frustrating (I'm waiting for a next generation watch and laptop). They did announce lots of updates to all their software platforms. There are plenty of articles online so I don't need to repeat them, but I'll say a few things.

watchOS 3 seems to be a significant change to address many of the issues of a confusing UI and slowness. It's not clear what the battery life implications will be but I suspect the next watch hardware update will improve the battery life. Like with other hardware, they'll probably just make sure the longevity stays the same, power for all day usage and needing to recharge each night.

tvOS got a few updates but the big thing seems to be single signon, because activating each app via an onscreen keyboard seems to be such a pain.

OS X got renamed macOS and the update is about connecting to other apple devices better. You can automatically unlock your mac with your apple watch. There's a universal clipboard so you can cut and paste between devices. Apple Pay is enabled on the web and if you buy something on your mac in safari, you verify it by using TouchID on your iPhone. That's all stuff that's nice to have and will be slick if it all works smoothly. Siri also comes to the mac and got a lot of updates in things it knows about (files). As much as I love Quicksilver, I'm looking forward to trying Siri for many things like controling iTunes or looking things up. There also making some changes to files leveraging iCloud. Your desktop is shared among macs and iOS, that could be nice (and incentive to keep your desktop clean). More concerning is they'll have a way to automatically move unused files to iCloud to save space (and I guess do some cleanup). I assume this can be turned off.

One thing that surprised me was the applause for picture-in-picture video support not the mac, as if it hasn't had windows since the beginning. But the demo was cool, dragging a video out of a browser to it's own undecorated window.

iOS got more changes than the others. The lock screen and control center got updates to make them more useful, from what I understand this is to catchup to Android. Music, News and Maps got a redesign. Messages got a lot of new features, some of which look interesting (rich links) and others will make your conversations look more silly (more emojis, stickers, bubble effects). Siri is getting smarter and is being opened to third party apps (Messaging, VoIP, payments, ride booking, photo search, workouts). Photos is getting some AI smarts to recognize and group photos and apparently it's on the device to avoid privacy concerns.

In news after the keynote it seems macOS is finally getting a new modern file system APFS to replace HFS+.

Apple File System is a new, modern file system for iOS, OS X, tvOS and watchOS. It is optimized for Flash/SSD storage and features strong encryption, copy-on-write metadata, space sharing, cloning for files and directories, snapshots, fast directory sizing, atomic safe-save primitives, and improved file system fundamentals.

It will just be a preview in Sierra and probably released in the next version of things. Apparently it will just switch your system over to the new system, magically.

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