In the event that you didn’t know, WWDC is Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference that they hold annually. It’s a conference where Apple takes the time to announce whats going on in their software world as they host workshops to teach the developers the ins and outs of their latest advancements in software.
After sitting through the video, it hit me that some of these features that are being highlighted by Apple actually shouldn’t be getting a big highlight. So it lead me to take the time out to discuss some of the most underwhelming updates that Apple focused on at WWDC 2016.
You’re breathing Wrong
“You can actually set smart notifications to remind you to breathe.”
Apple has an interesting history of telling people that they are doing something wrong. It started when Apple released an iPhone that, if you held it a certain way, would lose signal. All it took was literally a finger to get the job done (that might be what she said). It was a PR nightmare for Apple. So what did they do? They called a PR conference just to discuss the issue. Steve Jobs himself got on stage and said after noting that everyone was holding their phone wrongs, yet still gave out cases to remedy the problem.
Now, Apple thinks that it has a better solution for your breathing habits. As a result, Apple has made a breathing app called…Breathe. The breathing app allows users to have breathing sessions between one and five minutes long.
Now this app is decent. It didn’t deserve screen time at Apple’s WWDC event. All it did was help sell to me the underwhelming feeling that Apple is short on ideas.
tvOS can search YouTube!
This feature in itself is far from underwhelming. It’s a feature that makes going hands-free all the better. The feeling of being underwhelmed comes from the fact that this is a feature that has been implemented already and a good time ago. For all the hardcore Apple fanatics out there that don’t typically follow tech news that don’t relate to Apple, I understand why you’re so excited.
After all, it’s only right when Apple does it no matter how late they came to the game, right?
Siri Coming to the MacOS
Virtual assistance are becoming a huge part of everyone’s day-to-day life. People regularly transition from their phones, to their TVs and to their laptops. As a result, there’s been a growing importance on making the transition between products as seamless as possible.
With no sarcasm intended, Apple has done a good job at this with Continuity and I believe they are ahead of the game in that area in general. However, specifically, Apple is really late to the party when it comes to Siri coming to the Mac desktop machines.
Google now has been available in Chrome since 2014 and Cortana came to the desktop in 2015. So excuse me for being underwhelmed by Siri just now making its way to macOS. For being the first one of its kind, Siri is just late to everything these days.
Apple Maps Improvements
Here’s another item that I’d be very excited about if I didn’t pay attention to technology in general and only focused my meaningless life to Apple only news. Apple is finally allowing people to pan and zoom on the map during navigation.
What is this? 2012?
Google Maps (which I might add is available from the Apple App Store) has been able to do this for AT LEAST 4 years. When I heard Apple announce and focus on this feature, the first thing that came to my head was:
“wait…the Apple Map app can’t do that already?”
The craziest part about it is that, in a room full of tech journalist and developers, everyone actually clapped and cheered loudly. Though, Apple has been known for putting hype men in the crowds to make themselves seem cooler than they already are.
Guys, just use Google Maps.
Voice Mail Transcriptions
This is a feature that’s as old as Google Voice. Which means it’s been around since 2009 at least. It’s actually become a common core functionality if you use Google Hangouts, which comes installed on all of Google’s phones. It’s cool that Apple users are finally getting a way to see their voicemail without having to listen to them, but I’m just like “meh”. I’ve done this for years.
Don’t get me wrong, while im not an Apple fan at heart, I do like some of their products (I’m writing this on my Macbook running Windows 10). Apple did talk about a few cool and unique features that you won’t see the competition getting into. This article just focuses on some of the items where Apple can really use some improvement. Apple has to be really careful about what topics they bring up on stage since they typically only focus on their headliners and leave the smaller stuff to the off-camera show and workshops. So when Apple wants to talk in-depth about a breathing app, it can have a negative impact by underselling the entire conference.