WWDC 2020: The Little Stuff You Might Have Missed
As always, Apple’s WWDC keynote was jam-packed with more jam than a packing plant full of jam. We all saw the big top line items: Macs switching to ARM, iOS apps running on the Mac, cats and dogs living together. But the sheer loudness of that news drowned a host of other little interesting tidbits that are significant in their own right. Here are just a few of the ones that caught my eye. Tap tap revolution #iOS14 Back Tap: Double or triple tap the back of your iPhone to perform some actions quickly 😯 pic.twitter.com/HIsvnHusKz — Ben Geskin (@BenGeskin) June 22, 2020 As a new Accessibility option, iOS 14 allows you to trigger actions by double- or triple-tapping the back of your phone. While this is definitely useful for people for whom the touch screen is unwieldy, it also has surprisingly big implications for all users, in that Apple hasn’t really allowed you to define systemwide actions before. Federico Viticci reports that you can even use this action to trigger a custom shortcut, which is kind of wild. Given how many Apple features have showed up as Accessibility options before becoming more robust features—hello, cursor support—it makes me wonder if this might be a harbinger of some more in-depth systemwide capabilities in a future version of iOS.1 App Store review process, reviewed Even after last week’s high profile clash between the developers of email app Hey and Apple’s App Store review process, there was skepticism from many quarters—including yours truly—that Apple would do anything to address the weaknesses in its relationship with developers. And while the company remained mum during its keynote, it did announce that it would be making a couple of high profile changes. First, developers can now not only challenge whether or not their app actually violates an App Store guideline, but they can also challenge the guideline itself.2 Of course, this means absolutely nothing until we see how the process actually works, but the possibility of overturning an App Store guideline is wild. This is like Apple creating a Supreme Court of App Review. (Though let’s not be too altruistic: I’m sure Apple hopes that it will short circuit the current process of going public, thus potentially saving them the bad PR of having people yelling about the issues on Twitter.) Second, Apple says it will no longer hold up bug fix updates because of App Store review guidelines. Frankly, this should have always been the case—not only was this a bad policy for developers, but it was actively user-hostile, forcing customers into two bad options: keep using apps with annoying or potentially serious bugs or stop using the app altogether, all because of bureaucratic guidelines. While these are moves in the right direction, I doubt they will be enough to stave off the government inquiries that are already underway, nor earn back all the goodwill that the company has burned with developers. The Force will not always be with you Apple effectively killed 3D Touch last year by replacing it with the haptic touch feature in the iPhone 11 line, but it looks like its old-friend/the-same-exact-feature-with-a-different-name Force Touch is not long for the world either. MacRumors reports that watchOS 7 is shifting developers away from using the Force Touch interaction, in favor of exposing those features in other ways. » Read More
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