Yesterday I posted a wishlist for Apple’s WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference) keynote yesterday. The wishlist was fairly small and a safe bet. Today, I just wanted to follow up on what I was hoping for. In the future I will be writing my thoughts on more features introduced. To say the least, they nailed it on new iPad features along with other general iOS improvements. I'm really excited for the public beta to be released later so I can begin trying them out.
- Better app switching - from what I can tell Apple introduced a redesigned and vastly improved app switcher for the iPad. Instead of just redesigning the side bar they introduced a whole new way of thinking about working with multiple apps.
- /New dock/ - the dock is very similar to the desktop version. You can put as many apps as you would like there and additionally, on the right it includes contextual apps that appear based on what you are working on. Apple already introduced something like this last year in the Spotlight search where it would predict what app you are searching for based on time of day, location, and what you were previously doing. Personally, I find this pretty accurate when I am trying to find an app. You can also pull the dock up from the bottom of the screen wherever you are at.
- /App switcher/ - the app switcher takes up the entire screen and sort of looks like Mission Control on the desktop. Additionally, as I stated above, you can pul the dock up from the bottom of the screen and then drag an app to either open a temporary window or dock it on the left or right. 9to5 Mac has a good video showing this feature.
- Make a modern Mail app - I may have missed something, but sadly, I did not see any vast improvements. I’m holding out hope though that it just didn’t make the keynote but there are still some good improvements.
- File Management - they did introduce a new app called Files. This is very similar to the Finder on the Mac but redesigned and thought through for the iPad. While Apple did have an app called iCloud Drive, it was really only for Apple’s cloud storage system, which quite frankly, is terrible compared to Dropbox and Google Drive. The new Files app integrates with other cloud storage solutions such as Google Drive and Dropbox. I am interested in seeing the integrated functionality with these third-party services. Will it include features such as sharing with others, copying a share link, enabling syncing to the iPad for specific files, or zipping/unzipping multiple files together? You can also drag and drop, select multiple files, and send to other apps. Some people think that a Finder like solution on the iPad is ridiculous but personally, I deal with multiple files on a daily basis. Whether it be for academic research or dealing with many files for work I am constantly searching, moving, sharing, and manipulating many files. Typically I would use a combination of apps to do this but I am hopeful that this will be a one-app solution.
- Photos for family and close friends - no improvements :(
- Continued improvement of portrait mode - since Portrait mode is a combination of software and hardware they can make improvements without introducing a new iPhone. I’m excited to see that they are improving low-light photos in Portrait mode as this seems to be one of the biggest weaknesses in my own experience.
Overall, I’m pretty excited about all the new features. Like I said, there are many more features to look forward too as well.