WWDC Preview Part 4: Odds and Ends

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I covered the iPad, Apple Watch and AR Glasses earlier today. Now let’s cover a few of the more obvious items, as well as a few that are on my wishlist but are unknowns for tomorrow’s event.

The Obvious: Mac Pro

Apple promised pro users more support last year and so far, they have been good to their word. They delivered the high-octane iMac Pro which was a good first step. However, for all of that computer’s many strengths, it does not have the flexibility that many pros either prefer or require.

Part of Apple’s promise to pros was to eventually replace the limiting design of the current Mac Pro with something more modular. Something more like the Mac Pro of old. Well, according to several reports, tomorrow should be the day.

The question with the Mac Pro isn’t whether it is coming. It’s whether it will be what pros actually want or what Apple thinks they need. If it’s the latter, well, that’s what got Apple in trouble with the last Mac Pro. Hopefully they do the easy thing and just the people what they want.

Done Deal: Apple Card

I am definitely ready for the Apple Card. The app’s money management features are really appealing to me. I would love to have the same for all of my cards, but this seems like a good start to being even more financially responsible.

We know the Apple Card is coming this Summer. It seems obvious that Apple would go ahead and share more about it tomorrow. However, maybe the card itself comes a little sooner than expected. I have to wonder if will Apple go ahead and start taking submissions from developers during WWDC.

Definitely Maybe: Apple Tiles

Apple’s Find My iPhone is one of their most useful built-in apps and services. In fact, it bailed me out of a jam last year, helping me to literally find my iPhone after I misplaced it on a bench. And that’s not the only time it has been essential to tracking down a wayward device among our family members.

I would love the ability to make this feature more mobile and wider reaching. Using a tile, I could more accurately track my current WiFI iPad Pro. I know it’s technically compatible with Find My iPhone, but if it isn’t on a WiFi network, there is no way for it to ping back a new location if its being moved. If someone steals it and can’t get past the password screen, how will it access the Internet again? With that in mind, I’ll take a tile that can use a network made up of all Apple devices to find my lost one all day long. Tile the company had a nice idea, but Apple has the scale to really make it work.

Beyond the ability to use these rumored tiles with Apple devices, I would love to have one on my wallet. Maybe my work key ring, as well. I can definitely see the usefulness. Where I was never interested in Tile because they are a smaller company that lacks real scale, Apple doesn’t have that problem. Even more importantly, they have a built-in app that can combine all of my family’s devices and hopefully now, all of my family’s valuable items, as well.

Needed: A Universal Apple Subscription

Many Apple fans and bloggers, myself included, have been begging for a single Apple subscription to cover all of their services. If we could at least get some discounts and tiers it would help. Now that we have iCloud Drive, Apple Music and Apple News+ with Apple TV and Apple Arcade up on deck, there are a lot of Apple goodies to spend on. Add in an iPhone Upgrade Plan and you’ve got quite a bill when taken care of individually.

It only makes sense for Apple to make things a little easier on its most loyal users and fans. Considering that now is the perfect time between the release of some services and the imminent release of two more, if Apple doesn’t do this now, I’ll be the first to call them cheap and overly opportunistic.

The “Please Give Us These Features Apple” Grab Bag

There are plenty of features we need to flesh out our Apple devices, especially the iPad. First up, we don’t just need file management improvements. We need an overhaul that allows for full file management on external devices. Just build in the capability to mount storage devices and move files back and forth into the Files app. Done. No half steps, Apple. Go all the way here and plug this feature gap once and for all.

Similarly, it’s time for better universal keyboard management throughout iOS. There was also a rumor recently that mouse support would be coming to iOS 13 as an Accessibility feature. I get the desire for the slow roll out, but if Apple really wants the iPad to be taken seriously as a laptop replacement, certain people need these features for certain types of tasks.

Here’s another easy one for Apple from their newest service: Apple News+. I understand that Apple encourages publications to submit in the native Apple News Format, but allows them the option to submit content in simple PDF format. Unfortunately, that makes for a really disjointed experience for users. It would be smart on Apple’s part to find a way to incentivize publications to adopt the better format to make users happy.

One of the worst issues with News+ is search. While you can search for publications and articles by title, that’s the best you can get at the moment. There is no way to currently search the content of articles, which is a real problem for a service that costs $6.99 per month. Apple needs to figure out a way to make this content more discoverable, and yes, that includes the magazines that are delivered in PDF format. Right now would be the ideal time for Apple to take the wraps off better search, as this is one of the biggest complaints about the service.

I’m not even going to go into detail on this one. I just want to see something  on Siri. Something that shows Apple really is working on its long-suffering digital assistant. They have been amassing a lot of AI and machine learning talent and have been acquiring small companies right and left. I applaud the effort and appreciate that Apple has finally made this a priority. That said, it’s time for real results that users can benefit from.

I could go on, but it is 10 PM Eastern and I am on vacation this week, so this is it for tonight. Tomorrow is showtime and I am looking forward to new Apple goodies tomorrow.


James Rogers

I am a Christian husband and father of 3 living in the Southeastern US. I have worked as a programmer and project manager in the Commercial and Industrial Automation industry for over 19 years, so I am hands on with technology almost every day. However, my passion in technology is for mobile devices, specifically Apple's iOS and iPadOS hardware and software. My favorite is still the iPad.

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