WWDC 2016 – All Software – All the Time


Yesterday’s WWDC keynote was all about software.  Hardware wasn’t talked about, except in the context that certain hardware ran certain operating systems. I tend to take lots of notes during the keynote, and then read a bunch of blogs to fill in the blanks.  I also downloaded the keynote and will look at it again.  But here’s a quick run through of my notes, in the order to the keynote.  Tim kicked it off and talked about they now have four major operating systems.

First up watchOS3, this was a major refinement of how the Watch will work.  Hopefully all these features will work as well as described.  I’ve installed the developer beta last night, and will see how polished these features are. (Realized, that I cannot discuss things that are not publically discussed, so I will be learning but not sharing much of the beta over the summer.  I do this every summer and there are always bad times.)

  • Background updates, in memory for favorite apps – 7 times faster launching.  This is huge!  I had submitted a watch app in the past, and it got rejected due to performance.  We shall see if a recompile on XCode 8 fixes this.  I am hopeful.
  • Dock will be the side button.. so you can put your favorite apps.  I think of this like freeing up the side button from the your friends list. It will be interesting to see what apps make it to this dock on my watch,
  • Control center swipe up from the bottom – Getting the watch to behave this same was iOS, this is nice.  (Now realistically it looked very similar to the first pane of the old glances.)
  • Messages.. tap to reply.. and scribble – right on the watch, and it does text recognition and translates it.  I am not a big user of Messages (on any platform), but perhaps this will make it better.  I really do like the text recognition aspect for typing out a longer message.  What was really impressive in the demo was they showed it recognizing the Chinese character set.
  • Mini-mouse coming to watch face.. with matching colors to the bands.  This is a bit of a yawner for me.  I’ve not used the Mickey so why would I use Minnie-Mouse.  
  • Activity rings, watch band…. to see progress of workouts.  I may have to try this one for the weekends.  During the week I love having my calendar on my wrist.
  • Simple face – numerals.  Really a bunch of new watch faces, surprised they didn’t open up watch faces to developers.  Maybe next time.
  • Swipe to switch to the watch face you’d like. (edge to edge swipe).  This is a nice feature.. Switch between work hours, to evening, to weekend – easily.
  • Reminders and timers are now swipe-able.. and have updates.  Basically, a lot of options to drive ease of use and fewer taps to get to things.
  • SOS for the watch.. hold the Button until it pops up. will also notify your contacts after the 911 call is done. And then will show your medical ID. It knows the emergency number to call based on Geolocation information.  This feature will be huge for people.  I think this focus on safety and health is a key benefit of Apple’s wearable.
  • Added competition to WatchOS for activity sharing in the Rings. I know a lot of people will like this… For me it’s a bit of a Meh…
  • Added new features for wheelchair users.  Another really great update.  I can’t wait to see how this one plays out in the real world.
  • New app called Breathe – to quiet mind, relax body, and deal with stress.  I will be using this one a lot … 
  • Apple Pay within Apps on the watch.  Expanding their ecosystem for Apple Pay, this will come up again.
  • Sprite kit and scene kit support, etc. Yeah!  Real games coming to the watch – I hope.

tvOS – This was presented by Eddie Cue and he was really struggling on this talk.  He screwed up multiple times, and even showed the magic of how they do their presentations.

  • Over 1300 video channels now… and 6,000 native apps… including Sling (coming today). watch 4 games at once its Fox Sports Go….  Basically tvOS is doing well.
  • Remote App, now available on the iPhone…. (about damn time) including siri remote and touch for navigation, and accelerometer to play games, text with the keyboard
  • SIRI for TV – New features… And it seems this will make it even more fun to yell at your TV!
  • Search Movies by Topics – and searches 650,000 movies and tv shows…and now it searches Youtube too.  Live Tune-in – “Watch ESPN 2” takes you right the channel and hits play.
  • Have a “fix” for Authentication problem, with SINGLE SIGN-ON!!! You sign in once on your apple tV, and it is also coming to iOS.
  • Dark mode… This is good for me, if you are watching a movie with the lights off and you swap to  another show, light mode could blind you!!
  • Automatically downloads Apps to Apple TV when you get it on your iPhone.  So now you I will get the apps for those other apps you get.  Nice convince.
  • DEVELOPERs section. This is a start of Apple opening up their platforms. 
  1. Replaykit – live broad cast game play
  2. Photokit – full access to iCloud photo library
  3.  Homekit – apps to control devices

Next up OS X with Craig.  Or as it is called now macOS… He began with the announcement that the name is changing. It will still have a special name and it is called “macOS Sierra”.  I like this name, as I used to swim for the Sierra Nevada Sharks growing up in California.  Focus on continuity and iCloud as ways of improving macOS.  To me this aligns with the parity discussions.

  • Continuity – Secure p2p wireless protocols across devices, which allows communications to do things like:
  • AutoUnlock! – Leverages Watch because it is a secure device on our wrist. Using time of flight networking to ensure you a local to the device.  I’ve used an app called knock in the past, that was “ok” but this seems like it will make it very useful.
  • Universal Clipboard – “big reaction in this one” copy on iOS and Paste on MacOS. Very cool… Will be using this for sure.  (Check back in a year to see if I really do use it).
  • iCloud Drive – how many of your are using this?  I’ve been trying and it has been OK, but not great.  I think the updates they announced will radically improve the usablilty.
  • Desktop accessible “Everywhere” – so it will also be available on other macs.. and your iOS devices.  I would expect that enterprises wil turns this feature off.
  • Optimized storage – This is one feature that would be cool if it works, but has so many opportunities to go wrong.  The basic ideas is that it will move older files to the cloud, available on demand, and it will automatically delete files you don’t need (cache files, etc.).
  • Apple Pay on the Mac.  This is another great expansion of their ecosystem.  It will allow you to get to websites and pick Apple Pay, and then approve the payment with either your watch of iPhone. Available USA UK, Canada, Australia, China Singapore, coming to France and Switzerland.
  • Tabs will in all of your multi-windowed apps with no modifications required to support this.  I am not a big user of tabs, so not sure if I care.
  • Picture in Picture on the desktop for both fullscreen and desktop mode.  I really like using picture in picture on my iPad.  Glad to see this coming to the Mac.
  • One more thing – Siri for the MAC!!  Big cheer here. You can pin SIRI results in Notification Center, and then drag from the notification center output to keynote and other apps.  This will be convinient.

iOS X again with Craig.  A lot of updates to the way you interact with the iPhone.

  • Lock and home screen. Raise to Wake – shows the lock screen information without touching a button.
  • Functional notifications with 3-D touch on lock screen.  Now you can interact more with your lock screen.  I am wondering how many of these features will be removed on enterprise devices.
  • Control center is redesigned and swipe over for music.  Nice option to expand the usefulness of the control center.
  • Slide lock screen to the right… for camera access.S
  • Slide lock screen to the left … for widgets 
  • Simple add widgets from the 3d Touch of a third party app…   Overall the lock screen and home screens will become more functional.
  • SIRI the biggest news is opening it up to developers!!!!!!!  It will allow people to expand SIRI for certain domains.
  1. messaging
  2. ride booking
  3. photo search
  4. workouts
  5. payments
  6. VoIP calling
  • Quick Type – bringing SIRI knowledge base to keyboard, via LSTM -deep learning in longer context.  All deep learning is on the device only.  A common refrain across the iOS annoucement was Apple doubling down on your privacy.  Relevant location and contact info. based locally on the device.  And a feature for my Mom multi-lingual typing. So you can type between German and English (as an example) without changing keyboards.
  • Photos – Places updates that include Advanced Computer Vision – to provide local On device information identified on the device. With privacy protection (on your device).  So automatically group all your pictures of people. Also do scene and other analysis to group pictures and allow you to search.  Google does this too, but all on the cloud.  By doing this on the cloud, Google potentially leaks your personal information.  You can also build memories – to analyze across your library to cluster photos to build a memory (ON Device to protect your privacy – see the refrain here).All these features are also available on the Mac.
  • Maps – and this was handed off to Eddie Cue. All new design and more info in advance area including: suggestions, filter on places you may want to go, Navigation, more info, easier to control, and traffic on route, auto zoom in and out based on speed,waypoints on the way (like how far is the next bathroom),also available on CarPlay – turn by turn in the instrument cluster of your car.  Oh yeah, and open maps up to developers for creation of extensions, I.e. added book a ride app extension.
  • Music… Had singer up on the stage.. Who tried to hype the crowd.  Key points 15 million paid subscribers, and all new redesigned from the ground up (clarity and simplicity).  Added lyrics in the album view.
  • News…redesigned more focus on you and on trending, added subscriptions to News (I wonder if Air and Space Smithsonian app will be put in here) and added breaking news notifications on the lock screen.
  • Homekit new Apple app (pretty much expected) called Home – A new app to control all home kit devices which allows you to control every HomeKit device in your house, use Siri and add scenes for things like turn off everything, I am going to bed.  Also, to go back to the Control center thoughts, there will be a new page for the Home app.
  • Apple TV can be a secure point for remote access and automation via the TV, securely end to end encryption and geo fence your house.  This will be Apple’s hub for your HomeKit house.
  • Phone features are now being enabled for developers.  They added voice mail transcription, and API extension (which they demoed to identify spam calls), integration of VoIP API across apps, so you can always communicate with certain contacts with certain apps like Skype.  And for enterprise users CISCO integration so you can hand off between your iphone and your office phone.
  • Messages. This is the most frequently used app on iOS.. Rich links in messages,play video inline, can see in camera automatically. Emojis 3X bigger in transcript,predications as you type, and you can emoji-fy your messages. Added bubble effects… tap back like Slack … Handwritten messages for that personal touch…Digital Touch…Full screen actions in messages …  Music integration – in line … so many effects – this will get very annoying.  And once again opened up messages to developers (iMessage Apps).
  • Spiit view in Safari on iPad
  • Privacy features…end to end encryption by default in face time… all deep learning, etc. is on-device … no capture of data from searches on the internet … Something they called Differential privacy –  Apple uses this technique and hashing, subsampling, and noise injection to keep users private.. but get patterns, etc. to drive learning

And finally Tim came back on Stage – Swift has been out for two years, they have over 100,000+ swift based apps on the App Store.  After they open sourced the language – it is now the number one language on GitHub.  The big annoucement wasi ntroducing an App for iPad called Swift Playgrounds! Learn code on the iPad – very cool for kids to master the basics of code… Includes coding keyboard on the iPad.

Overall love that Apple Double downed on the privacy and security aspect.  Should be a cool summer of code.

WWDC 2016 – All Software – All the Time

Yesterday’s WWDC keynote was all about software.  Hardware wasn’t talked about, except in the context that certain hardware ran certain operating systems. I tend to take lots of notes during the keynote, and then read a bunch of blogs to fill in the blanks.  I also downloaded the keynote and will look at it again.  But here’s a quick run through of my notes, in the order to the keynote.  Tim kicked it off and talked about they now have four major operating systems.

First up watchOS3, this was a major refinement of how the Watch will work.  Hopefully all these features will work as well as described.  I’ve installed the developer beta last night, and will see how polished these features are. (Realized, that I cannot discuss things that are not publically discussed, so I will be learning but not sharing much of the beta over the summer.  I do this every summer and there are always bad times.)

  • Background updates, in memory for favorite apps – 7 times faster launching.  This is huge!  I had submitted a watch app in the past, and it got rejected due to performance.  We shall see if a recompile on XCode 8 fixes this.  I am hopeful.
  • Dock will be the side button.. so you can put your favorite apps.  I think of this like freeing up the side button from the your friends list. It will be interesting to see what apps make it to this dock on my watch,
  • Control center swipe up from the bottom – Getting the watch to behave this same was iOS, this is nice.  (Now realistically it looked very similar to the first pane of the old glances.)
  • Messages.. tap to reply.. and scribble – right on the watch, and it does text recognition and translates it.  I am not a big user of Messages (on any platform), but perhaps this will make it better.  I really do like the text recognition aspect for typing out a longer message.  What was really impressive in the demo was they showed it recognizing the Chinese character set.
  • Mini-mouse coming to watch face.. with matching colors to the bands.  This is a bit of a yawner for me.  I’ve not used the Mickey so why would I use Minnie-Mouse.  
  • Activity rings, watch band…. to see progress of workouts.  I may have to try this one for the weekends.  During the week I love having my calendar on my wrist.
  • Simple face – numerals.  Really a bunch of new watch faces, surprised they didn’t open up watch faces to developers.  Maybe next time.
  • Swipe to switch to the watch face you’d like. (edge to edge swipe).  This is a nice feature.. Switch between work hours, to evening, to weekend – easily.
  • Reminders and timers are now swipe-able.. and have updates.  Basically, a lot of options to drive ease of use and fewer taps to get to things.
  • SOS for the watch.. hold the Button until it pops up. will also notify your contacts after the 911 call is done. And then will show your medical ID. It knows the emergency number to call based on Geolocation information.  This feature will be huge for people.  I think this focus on safety and health is a key benefit of Apple’s wearable.
  • Added competition to WatchOS for activity sharing in the Rings. I know a lot of people will like this… For me it’s a bit of a Meh…
  • Added new features for wheelchair users.  Another really great update.  I can’t wait to see how this one plays out in the real world.
  • New app called Breathe – to quiet mind, relax body, and deal with stress.  I will be using this one a lot … 
  • Apple Pay within Apps on the watch.  Expanding their ecosystem for Apple Pay, this will come up again.
  • Sprite kit and scene kit support, etc. Yeah!  Real games coming to the watch – I hope.

tvOS – This was presented by Eddie Cue and he was really struggling on this talk.  He screwed up multiple times, and even showed the magic of how they do their presentations.

  • Over 1300 video channels now… and 6,000 native apps… including Sling (coming today). watch 4 games at once its Fox Sports Go….  Basically tvOS is doing well.
  • Remote App, now available on the iPhone…. (about damn time) including siri remote and touch for navigation, and accelerometer to play games, text with the keyboard
  • SIRI for TV – New features… And it seems this will make it even more fun to yell at your TV!
  • Search Movies by Topics – and searches 650,000 movies and tv shows…and now it searches Youtube too.  Live Tune-in – “Watch ESPN 2” takes you right the channel and hits play.
  • Have a “fix” for Authentication problem, with SINGLE SIGN-ON!!! You sign in once on your apple tV, and it is also coming to iOS.
  • Dark mode… This is good for me, if you are watching a movie with the lights off and you swap to  another show, light mode could blind you!!
  • Automatically downloads Apps to Apple TV when you get it on your iPhone.  So now you I will get the apps for those other apps you get.  Nice convince.
  • DEVELOPERs section. This is a start of Apple opening up their platforms. 
  1. Replaykit – live broad cast game play
  2. Photokit – full access to iCloud photo library
  3.  Homekit – apps to control devices

Next up OS X with Craig.  Or as it is called now macOS… He began with the announcement that the name is changing. It will still have a special name and it is called “macOS Sierra”.  I like this name, as I used to swim for the Sierra Nevada Sharks growing up in California.  Focus on continuity and iCloud as ways of improving macOS.  To me this aligns with the parity discussions.

  • Continuity – Secure p2p wireless protocols across devices, which allows communications to do things like:
  • AutoUnlock! – Leverages Watch because it is a secure device on our wrist. Using time of flight networking to ensure you a local to the device.  I’ve used an app called knock in the past, that was “ok” but this seems like it will make it very useful.
  • Universal Clipboard – “big reaction in this one” copy on iOS and Paste on MacOS. Very cool… Will be using this for sure.  (Check back in a year to see if I really do use it).
  • iCloud Drive – how many of your are using this?  I’ve been trying and it has been OK, but not great.  I think the updates they announced will radically improve the usablilty.
  • Desktop accessible “Everywhere” – so it will also be available on other macs.. and your iOS devices.  I would expect that enterprises wil turns this feature off.
  • Optimized storage – This is one feature that would be cool if it works, but has so many opportunities to go wrong.  The basic ideas is that it will move older files to the cloud, available on demand, and it will automatically delete files you don’t need (cache files, etc.).
  • Apple Pay on the Mac.  This is another great expansion of their ecosystem.  It will allow you to get to websites and pick Apple Pay, and then approve the payment with either your watch of iPhone. Available USA UK, Canada, Australia, China Singapore, coming to France and Switzerland.
  • Tabs will in all of your multi-windowed apps with no modifications required to support this.  I am not a big user of tabs, so not sure if I care.
  • Picture in Picture on the desktop for both fullscreen and desktop mode.  I really like using picture in picture on my iPad.  Glad to see this coming to the Mac.
  • One more thing – Siri for the MAC!!  Big cheer here. You can pin SIRI results in Notification Center, and then drag from the notification center output to keynote and other apps.  This will be convinient.

iOS X again with Craig.  A lot of updates to the way you interact with the iPhone.

  • Lock and home screen. Raise to Wake – shows the lock screen information without touching a button.
  • Functional notifications with 3-D touch on lock screen.  Now you can interact more with your lock screen.  I am wondering how many of these features will be removed on enterprise devices.
  • Control center is redesigned and swipe over for music.  Nice option to expand the usefulness of the control center.
  • Slide lock screen to the right… for camera access.S
  • Slide lock screen to the left … for widgets 
  • Simple add widgets from the 3d Touch of a third party app…   Overall the lock screen and home screens will become more functional.
  • SIRI the biggest news is opening it up to developers!!!!!!!  It will allow people to expand SIRI for certain domains.

            1. messaging, 

            2. ride booking, 

            3. photo search,

            4. workouts, 

            5. payments, 

            6. VoIP calling, 

  • Quick Type – bringing SIRI knowledge base to keyboard, via LSTM -deep learning in longer context.  All deep learning is on the device only.  A common refrain across the iOS annoucement was Apple doubling down on your privacy.  Relevant location and contact info. based locally on the device.  And a feature for my Mom multi-lingual typing. So you can type between German and English (as an example) without changing keyboards.
  • Photos – Places updates that include Advanced Computer Vision – to provide local On device information identified on the device. With privacy protection (on your device).  So automatically group all your pictures of people. Also do scene and other analysis to group pictures and allow you to search.  Google does this too, but all on the cloud.  By doing this on the cloud, Google potentially leaks your personal information.  You can also build memories – to analyze across your library to cluster photos to build a memory (ON Device to protect your privacy – see the refrain here).All these features are also available on the Mac.
  • Maps – and this was handed off to Eddie Cue. All new design and more info in advance area including: suggestions, filter on places you may want to go, Navigation, more info, easier to control, and traffic on route, auto zoom in and out based on speed,waypoints on the way (like how far is the next bathroom),also available on CarPlay – turn by turn in the instrument cluster of your car.  Oh yeah, and open maps up to developers for creation of extensions, I.e. added book a ride app extension.
  • Music… Had singer up on the stage.. Who tried to hype the crowd.  Key points 15 million paid subscribers, and all new redesigned from the ground up (clarity and simplicity).  Added lyrics in the album view.
  • News…redesigned more focus on you and on trending, added subscriptions to News (I wonder if Air and Space Smithsonian app will be put in here) and added breaking news notifications on the lock screen.
  • Homekit new Apple app (pretty much expected) called Home – A new app to control all home kit devices which allows you to control every HomeKit device in your house, use Siri and add scenes for things like turn off everything, I am going to bed.  Also, to go back to the Control center thoughts, there will be a new page for the Home app.
  • Apple TV can be a secure point for remote access and automation via the TV, securely end to end encryption and geo fence your house.  This will be Apple’s hub for your HomeKit house.
  • Phone features are now being enabled for developers.  They added voice mail transcription, and API extension (which they demoed to identify spam calls), integration of VoIP API across apps, so you can always communicate with certain contacts with certain apps like Skype.  And for enterprise users CISCO integration so you can hand off between your iphone and your office phone.
  • Messages. This is the most frequently used app on iOS.. Rich links in messages,play video inline, can see in camera automatically. Emojis 3X bigger in transcript,predications as you type, and you can emoji-fy your messages. Added bubble effects… tap back like Slack … Handwritten messages for that personal touch…Digital Touch…Full screen actions in messages …  Music integration – in line … so many effects – this will get very annoying.  And once again opened up messages to developers (iMessage Apps).
  • Spiit view in Safari on iPad
  • Privacy features…end to end encryption by default in face time… all deep learning, etc. is on-device … no capture of data from searches on the internet … Something they called Differential privacy –  Apple uses this technique and hashing, subsampling, and noise injection to keep users private.. but get patterns, etc. to drive learning

And finally Tim came back on Stage – Swift has been out for two years, they have over 100,000+ swift based apps on the App Store.  After they open sourced the language – it is now the number one language on GitHub.  The big annoucement wasi ntroducing an App for iPad called Swift Playgrounds! Learn code on the iPad – very cool for kids to master the basics of code… Includes coding keyboard on the iPad.

Overall love that Apple Double downed on the privacy and security aspect.  Should be a cool summer of code.

Backing out a Beta

I’ve always liked playing with Beta software.  As sometime developer, the feedback you get from crazy people like me who like testing things that aren’t quite done is invaluable towards making your software better.  Sometimes a beta can be problematic with some of the other software you are using, and that causes me to back it off.  My 2011 MacBook Pro is my development machine, and the machine I record and edit my podcast on, and I had forgotten to turn off beta updates for OS X, so recently 10.11.6 beta got installed on it.  As soon as this happened I started having problems with Audio, this has happened with every version of OS X for the last few years, and when it gets too problematic, I’ve been able to go to the AppStore and download the latest OS X GA code, run the installer, and get back to a working machine.

This week, I was getting ready to edit the podcast, and was still having the problem with audio, so I did my trick. This is when all hell broke lose. The backout procedure that I used failed, and I had a black screen of rebooting craziness.  The Mac was belly up, and I had to boot to recovery mode.  Going to recovery mode, usually means, just re-running the installer.  That failed… Same issue.  I had to backup the machine and dig back into my mind to how I could do this via the command line.  To do this, I connected a USB drive, and manually navigated the shell to get to the right device and then found the Ditto command!  This allowed for me to easily copy my home directory to the USB drive.

After this, I ended up erasing the drive via Disk Utility and doing a full “new” install.  I copied the data over, and then reinstalled a ton of apps.  In the end this took me almost two days of time.  The copying of the drive to the USB drive via the ditto command was slow…But it validated the copy so that was worth it.

Today’s lesson, don’t use beta’s on your production machine.  Did I learn this… We shall see.