Tech Demands Delivered: Widgets, Sleep Tracking and Custom Silicon1
Weekly Tech Updates

Tech Demands Delivered: Widgets, Sleep Tracking and Custom Silicon

There’s a number of things to talk about as usual, but a major part of this week’s update is WWDC.

Apple’s developer conference is happening and I’m pleased to see a number of changes we were waiting for.

The developer conference shows the latest updates in all the software for their products. iOS 14 is not just a beautiful mix of Android and Windows mobile, but better. Classic Apple. Steve Jobs’ “Great artists steal.” lives on.

iPadOS also gets a visual overhaul but that’s not even the main update. The main update is that a Scribble feature treats handwriting as text. Anywhere on the iPad. That means you can write with your hand anywhere and you will get the same controls as typed text would get: selecting, copying, pasting!

macOS is also quite pretty and is now macOS 11 Big Sur. It has a UI that definitely wants to be used with a touch screen rather than a trackpad. (Touch screen Macs would be beautiful and you can’t deny it.) There are a bunch of changes like the addition of a control center, notification center, and apparently the bringing back of the boot up chime.

In terms of the Mac, these are all tiny changes. The biggest change is their eventual move from Intel chips to Apple’s own silicon (to be named yet). You know how with an Android phone, one of the specs you have to check, even if the phone came out two months ago, is what processor it uses? And how none of those will last four years worth of OS updates? If you even get four years of OS updates. If you buy an iPhone that has just come out two months ago, you don’t have to worry about such things. (The oldest iPhone that is going to get the iOS 14 update is iPhone 6s that launched in 2015).

Imagine that compatibility, speed, robustness for your laptop!

Apple is going to use ARM architecture and from what we saw in the keynote it seems highly unlikely that they will have the same issue that Microsoft does with its Surface devices.

Apple is still trying to make Catalyst happen, while at the same time pushing Mac to look like an iPad. Oh, and iPhone apps and iPad apps will run natively on the Mac. Not at all complicated. Sure.

If you are a developer working on these platforms, as of this week, your life has just become more hectic and maybe slightly more complicated. But then again, these OSs are just about ready to be complicated.

Just one more thing about Apple news this week is that watchOS 7 will finally have sleep tracking, on top of recognizing dancing as a workout and so much more.

The keynote presentation of WWDC, in itself, put the Coronavirus pandemic at front and center in its execution. I would most certainly like to see Apple events carried out in this way with their excellent production team.

You can check all the features that are coming this fall on the Apple website, and even watch the developer sessions via the Developer app on iOS and macOS.

Note: I strongly suggest that you not download the developer beta on your main devices unless you are a developer.

Google announced a new change in how it stores web and app search data. For new accounts, the default is that all the data will be deleted after 18 months with no action from the user. That same default will not apply to old accounts but they will try to make the delete options more visible.

It is quite a drastic change to Google knowing everything all the time, and definitely a welcome one. After all, their ad business will hardly suffer with 18 months worth of data, and the ad business thrives on recent data rather than older data anyway.

Google keeps getting sweet on India and has announced that it is working to get loans to small businesses from their Google Pay app.

Slack, one of the most beloved and used workplace messaging tools, announced Connect, which will enable companies to talk to each other. This brings up the old question of whether Slack might kill email.

I am so ready for the death of internal communication emails.

In the midst of chaos, tech actively works for bettering today and the future and that’s why it anchors me and gives me hope day in day out. After all, whether one is a tech enthusiast or not, power user or not, everyone at some point, in some way, becomes a user. If you don’t use it for itself, you at least use it as a tool to get your job done, and therefore the changes that the industry makes, small or large, impact your day to day life.

So far, through the pandemic, tech has come through, software, hardware, or platforms on the internet, often better than leaders or citizens have.