These roundups are always daunting to write. There are so many things Apple introduces during their announcements that it can be difficult to remember it all, and that’s on a normal WWDC. This was not a normal WWDC. Normally, Apple spends more time discussing Apple’s day to day business, such as market share and sales. Instead, Tim stated they didn’t have enough time, that “Apple’s doing great,” and they jumped right into a two and a half hour long extravaganza of new items. This included iOS 11, macOS High Sierra (no, really, that’s the name), watchOS 4, a new 10.5″ iPad Pro with shrunken bezels, the fabled Siri speaker, the Home Pod, a new dedication to gaming on the Mac with VR support and external graphics, Airplay updates, Metal 2, an updated iMac, the introduction of the iMac Pro, Apple Pay and Siri updates, and so much more. It was potentially Apple’s most densely packed WWDC keynote ever, so let’s get started.
WWDC kicks off today, and Apple starts this off with their most exciting announcements. This includes iOS, macOS, and perhaps watchOS and tvOS updates. It could also mean revealing the new 10.5″ iPad Pro today, and perhaps even Apple’s Siri speaker, a direct competitor to the Amazon Echo and Google Home. The rest of the week includes hands-on seminars and classes to help developers learn new techniques to create software for Apple’s newest operating systems. Individual app developers and companies from all over the world convene there to get a jump start on their competition, or, to learn new techniques to bring back to their teams (I’m considerably jealous of the people at my company who get to go). Though we don’t get to go, we can watch the keynote speech live, and tune in to many of the seminars and classes throughout the week through our streaming devices. Apple’s website will feature streaming video, as well as their WWDC app for iOS and tvOS. I’ll be tuning in to as much as I can, but if you’re not an iOS or macOS developer, you’ll likely only be interested in the keynote speech today, which starts at 1PM, eastern time, 10am pacific. You can watch online, or from your Apple device through a WWDC app.
Can’t watch the stream? I’ll be keeping you up to date live from @leafncore.
WWDC starts on Monday, and Apple will reveal new versions of macOS and iOS. iOS is expected to undergo its first major user interface (UI) overhaul since iOS 7, released four years ago. Beyond that, leaks have been incredibly hard to come by, we just don’t know what’s coming up next. What could Apple be working on? The UI changes alone could be substantial, but perhaps Apple’s doing more, like upgrades to Siri, a dark mode, better third party integrations, or all of the above. What do you want to see next in iOS? To help you out, I’ve outlined a few ideas from my wish list below.
Silicon Valley has longstanding issues with misogyny. Women in tech have a harder time receiving compensation equal to that of their male colleagues, they’re promoted less frequently, and they hold fewer management positions. On top of that, their sexual harassment complaints are often ignored. Uber is an edge case, standing out with a particularly deplorable “bro culture” that demeans women and punishes those who complain about the frequent sexual harassment and misogyny they face. On a lesser scale, this behavior is prevalent throughout many industries, and especially found within the tech industry, where a “boys club” mentality has kept women from succeeding.
Google was revealed to be paying women less than men at the same levels back in 2015, and claimed they made changes that equaled pay between their employees. However, it seems as though they haven’t done enough to increase diversity at Google, and women are still being paid less than men. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) stepped in to investigate what they call “extreme” gender pay discrimination, as Google is a government contractor. Google has been fighting their latest inquiry, with increasingly invalid reasons.
Molds used to shape cases for future devices never come directly from Apple. Apple gives measurements to case manufacturers, and they make their cases to the precise specifications. Often, they’ll use molds like the ones pictured above for testing their cases out. With the detailed leaked schematics that have been floating around, one Weibo (Chinese Twitter, essentially) user leaked their molds for the iPhone 7s Plus, iPhone 8, and iPhone 7s. We can’t be certain that these are definitely based on the design for the iPhone 8, but if the leaks have been accurate, this leak shows, for the first time, the size comparison between Apple’s new device and their older designs.
These photos reveal yet another iPhone 8 mockup, this one in physical form, based on leaked schematics. We can see similar design elements across leaks now, and it’s starting to look like Apple has finalized their designs. There’s an edge to edge screen, stainless steel sides (which will likely be painted black to make the iPhone look like one seamless piece of glass), the vertical dual camera array, 2.5D curved glass on the front and back, and even that weird elongated screen lock button. There’s also no sign of a Touch ID sensor on the back of the device (see below), and of course, there’s no headphone jack present. However, there is one worrying design trend with a majority of these leaks, something that almost ruins the excitement for me: it still looks just like an iPhone 6 without a home button.
In 2013, Apple acquired a company called Primesense. The company was known for using cameras and software to create 3D representations of the world around us. Some of that technology can be seen on the back of the iPhone 7 Plus, which has a portrait mode, capable of discerning the difference between your subject and your background, and applying a large aperture effect thought only possible with much larger cameras. The end result is a blurred background with subjects that “pop,” a dramatic look that’s perfect for portraits. I’ve been using an iPhone app, Big Lens, for years to manually create the same effect. Rumors are surfacing that claim dual camera technology will also move to the front of our iPhones with the iPhone 8. Not only do they say this will make our selfies look fantastic, but it also means Apple could use the “depth perception” the two cameras create to generate 3D images of a user’s face for facial recognition, which could have a number of uses in iOS or macOS.