What an event that was, am I right? It’s not every day that we witness the grand unveiling of a brand new platform and hardware device. This year’s Worldwide Developers Conference will become known as a changing tide moment. Whatever advancements we’ll see in the future, near and far, June 5, 2023, was the day that a lot changed.
Back in April, I wrote a post called An iOS 17 Wish List. In it, I wrote about several iOS (and by extension, iPadOS and even macOS) features that I hoped to see unveiled at this year’s WWDC. I think it was a fair list, not too excessive. These were hopeful solutions to some longstanding pain points in the platforms that I’ve had, some for several years now.
I’m not an Apple developer, so they’re more closely related to consumer gripes rather than complex software and development issues. I sure as heck don’t know much about SwiftUI or Xcode, so I’ve got nothing of value to contribute there.
But I do have a list to go through. Some of the wishes I made might pop up as the beta cycle continues throughout the summer, but I’m not going to hold my breath there. Check the links for further information and images of iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS Sonoma, and watchOS 10.
A standalone Passwords app
My first wish was a swing and a miss. Passwords in Safari have been relegated to the Settings app for too long. It’s past time for them to have their own app. Unfortunately, that time is not this year.
However, password and Passkey sharing will be a thing this year, so there was an unexpected bonus. I hope that this is Apple laying the groundwork for a safe and reliable password app in the future.
Natural language parsing for Lists in Reminders
Another miss! I’ve been enjoying using Reminders since switching over from Things, but the inability to type a chosen list for a reminder as I’m making it is the only issue I currently have with an otherwise great app. It demands too many taps from me. I’ve solved this issue with a shortcut, but that shouldn’t be necessary.
Maybe next year.
Cross-linking in Notes
Success! This new feature wasn’t mentioned during the keynote address, but it did show up on the iOS 17 Preview site. I was beginning to wonder if Apple would ever include this feature that’s been around in other apps for years now.
Much like the improved Reminders app from a few years ago, this feature gets me one step closer to using Notes exclusively. Now if it could only support Markdown.
Active Home Screen widgets
Another win! I’ve been wanting interactive widgets on my devices since they were first introduced, and now they’re here. Finally. I’m looking forward to checking off tasks, toggling my home lights, and controlling podcasts from my Home Screen. Opening apps will soon be a sucker’s game.
A second row of Lock Screen widgets
On the one hand, this isn’t happening on the iPhone this year. On the other hand, since the iPad is getting Lock Screen widgets, the expansive screen space of those devices allows for many widgets on that screen.
This is a bittersweet and moderate win. I still long for the glorious day when I can add that second row to my phone.
Smart Albums in Photos
At a time when we’ve got Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro on the iPad, the lack of smart albums in Photos (and Music, for that matter) hurts. It hurts real bad. I can’t imagine that this would be a complicated feature to include. Hell, it’s already available on the Mac.
Please Apple, I beg of you. This would make my life much better.
2023 will be a banner year for Apple.
Not only are their operating systems getting some understated yet superb updates, plus a revolutionary one for the Watch, but they’ve also completed their silicon transition and have introduced the astonishing (and absurdly but understandably priced) Vision Pro headset.
They’re right to be excited about the advent of spatial computing. If the Vision Pro feels like science fiction now, just imagine what it’ll feel like five or even ten years from now. I, for one, cannot wait for the inevitable Apple Glasses.
As for my wish list, I may not have gotten everything I hoped for, but what Apple did unveil will have a positive effect on my phone and computing life. I’m looking forward to when the new operating system updates will be released, likely in September. And the introduction of a new iPhone is sure to take the sting off of the wishes that didn’t happen.1
Perhaps a slightly larger screen on the iPhone 15 Pro Max could mean the addition of a second widget row? I’m crossing my fingers again! 🤞 ↩︎