Apple showcased multiple software releases during this year's Worldwide Developers Conference (2020) that were appreciated by Apple fans and tech enthusiasts. Recently, Apple's Senior Vice President, Craig Federighi, got on a podcast episode with the famous YouTuber MKBHD to respond to some of the fan's questions and queries.
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WWDC is an annual event hosted by Apple for software releases and was held virtually, for the first time ever, in 2020.
A major recent shift in the strategy adopted by the tech giant is to give the users what they want. Previously, Apple added features that the public didn't require. No one needed a touch screen on the 2008 iPhones, yet 12 years later, all smartphones have it.
Similar is the case with the mouse and removal of the headphone jack. Apple is famous for "creating a problem and selling its solution."
It was unheard of for a consumer phone to be that expensive. Competitors like Samsung and Huawei were offering much cheaper flagships at that time. Yet here we are in 2020, Apple sells phones as low as $399, while others have made themselves comfortable at the $1,000 price segment.
This shift in strategy shows that Apple is listening to its customers. They have finally started implementing features that users have been longing for years.
All welcome the introduction of Widgets, changeable default applications, etc. However, these are not perfect and raise a lot of questions, which Apple did graciously answer.
With iOS 14, iPhones can change their default browser to a third party application. Chrome is a popular option amongst all platforms, but not having it as a default on your phone was a let down for a few. Now that this is possible, people wonder if the same is possible for other applications.
Third-party software for services such as Maps is prevalent and having the convenience of using them is essential for many people. That's why Apple has been questioned why they haven't expanded this feature.
Craig Fedreghi explained that there are multiple privacy issues associated with non-native apps. Games or any other software may mislabel itself as browsers and redirect users to advertisements. As a result, user experience and privacy may be at risk. Fortunately, the possibility of other default applications was discussed and therefore, we are still hopeful that other apps will support the feature.
Virtual assistants are a massive part of mobiles and computers, helping to perform tasks just with your voice. An inconvenience with Siri is that it used to cover the entire screen. Apple addressed this issue by making the background visible when it's activated. Fans saw this as a missed opportunity, as allowing background interactivity would have improved the utility.
iPads can take advantage of this, especially by improving the multitasking feature, thereby closing the gap between iPad and laptops. It's said that users would have to swipe to remove Siri and according to Apple, people would have found this inconvenient, so they scratched the idea altogether. However, many believe that the inconvenience would be minor compared to the ease in usage that the feature would offer.
Big Sur OS
iOS 14 wasn't the only notable announcement at WWDC 2020. After more than a decade, Apple provided us with a significant macOS update.
macOS Version 11, or "Big Sur", is a complete redesign and renovation of the old system. Everything from the general theme to the app icons has seen a makeover. The presentation of everything is boxier, which is supposed to resemble natural curves.
This drastic change wasn't random, planning was according to the release of the new silicon-based processors for the Mac, with the redesign and CPU changes symbolizing a new chapter for the Macs. Its Apple's way of launching a new product but in the same form factor.
Despite all this, however, many people dislike the update. They're used to the old theme and want to stick with it, and some have even called it worse. The matter is, of course, subjective.
Nonetheless, we can confirm that the design isn't totally hideous. Craig responded to these criticisms by explaining that it's necessary to evolve constantly and assured that people would get used to it. Furthermore, the operating showcased was a beta version, and the final product may be slightly different.
It's true that people quickly get used to even the ugliest design. The best examples being the notch introduced with the iPhone X or the camera bump of the iPhone 11. Despite the hate these styles got, people got used to them, and now barely anyone talks about them. The same is the case with Big Sur.