WWDC 2015 Wrap up and OS X 11 and iOS 9 Previews

WDDC came and went two months ago and I never did my follow up post because I was busy and lazy, but mostly lazy.

Right off the bat, Apple TV was a no show, but there are rumors it may show up next month. So we don’t need to discuss these items but I do hope that Apple includes the items on my wishlist for it.

OS X 10.11

el-cap

I liked the name Mojave, but Apple went with El Capitán. Very fitting since it is a big refinement update, so like the Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) update to Leopard (OS X 10.5) they went with El Capitán, the granite monolith in Yosemite National Park (Yosemite being the current code name of OS X 10.10).

Unfortunately Apple demoed OS X 10.11 (El Cap) without showcasing Siri on the Mac. They could still announce it as a surprise feature when the operating system comes out this fall, but that’s doubtful. So my biggest wish for OS X lives on for another year.

What Apple did demo in El Cap was a big overhaul with much needed improvements and refinements. Some of these improvements were mentioned, but not really worth me going into since smarter and more technical people have tackled these items.

There were some new features released, such as split view, allowing you to put two windows side by side easily (something Windows added back in Vista), an updated Mission Control, and they also gave Spotlight a much needed update. Apple also revamped Mail, Maps, Photos, and other apps. You can check out more on Apple’s site.

I’m currently running the public beta of El Cap and it’s pretty solid. I like the pinned tabs that they added to Safari (a feature I sorely missed from Chrome). However, I don’t like that every new Safari window that you open has those pinned tabs. This may just be the way that I work, but I have one main Safari window open all the time. When I’m working on something, or if I know I’m about to open a ton of new tabs for researching something, I’ll open a new browser window. Well right off the bat there are my pinned tabs cluttering up the view. I’ve submitted feedback to Apple on this. Hopefully others feel the same way and have submitted similar feedback.

Other than a few other bugs in the beta of El Cap that I’ve reported I’m incredibly happy with the operating system and can’t wait for the full release this fall. Even without the addition of Siri.

iOS 9

First off, I want to say I’m super impressed that iOS 9 will support so many old devices.

iOS 9 Supported Devices

I’m also annoyed because some of those iPhones and iPads are very old, and the technology in those devices are incredibly dated. The iPad 2 (which will never die) came out in the spring of 2011 and iPhone 4S came out in the fall of 2011. As far as technology goes, especially technology as small as these devices go, are very old. I have an iPad 3 and it’s incredibly slow while doing very basic things like switching the screen orientation or sliding to unlock. I find myself using it less and less because of this. Maybe the iOS 9 update will breathe some life into it, but I’m looking to upgrade to the newer model that Apple is sure to release later this year.

As for features in iOS 9, Apple didn’t disappoint and did a nice upgrade to Siri. They didn’t incorporate my “conversation mode” or having the “Hey Siri” listening function turned on all the time, but I have a feeling that may need more powerful technology that is most likely coming in the next year or two.

searchSiri got a major upgrade along with Spotlight (search). If you swipe all the way to the left you’ll get a new search screen with contacts to connect with often, apps you’ve used recently, and at the bottom, current news. The coolest part of this screen is the “Nearby” module that shows you a few categories of things to do around you. Since I took this screenshot at 7pm, it’s showing me restaurants and movies in the first two tabs because iOS 9 knows at this time during the week I’m likely going to be going out to dinner, or to the movies. During the morning it may be showing me coffee houses or breakfast places.

But what about your privacy? You don’t want Apple knowing where you’ve been. Well, neither do they. All that information is compiled on your device and never sent to Apple or other services.

Apple updated the Multitasking pane on iOS, and it’s something I use a lot. I’m also running the iOS 9 beta, so I can say I like the look of the updated iOS 9 multitasking pane, but I’m not loving the experience with it. Apps slide away too fast for my liking. Hopefully this is still being refined.

deep linking in apps

One of the things I love a lot, and it’s an incredibly geeky thing, is deep linking. What that is, is that if you click on a link from search, Messages, email, whatever, you’ll see a “Return to {previous app}” message in the top left of the screen, making it easy to get back to the previous app once you’re redirected to Safari, the App Store or whatever.

Apple beefed up a bunch of apps like Notes, Maps, Music (though technically that came out in iOS 8.4). The one I am most excited about is News. I used to be a huge fan of the app Flipboard, but over the years the developers have really stripped out what makes the app so good, and that’s content from good, reliable sources (however maybe it was the content creators that pulled their sites and content from the app). I used to be able to get news from respected online news sites, but now it’s all clickbait articles and the same listicles over and over again. The app is useless, and I deleted it. In the beta, News seems like it will be a great replacement.

Here are some of the publishers that will be on Apple News for the launch:

Apple News Publishers

The best parts about iOS 9 are the boring things that no one cares about because they aren’t sexy. iOS 9 is more secure, more stable. You’ll may not notice these when using your devices, but they are definitely there and a lot of these upgrades will help Apple roll out great stuff next year in iOS 10.

For a complete run down of everything iOS 9 check out this article on iMore.