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WWDC 2018 Wish List

Last year I wrote about my predictions for WWDC 2017 and even though I was spectacularly wrong in many ways I wanted to continue the tradition this year. One little tweak I am going to make is that I am not going to focus on the rumor mills as much and instead highlight the things I wish Apple would do.

Similar to last year I'll bounce between the likely announcements to the batshit crazy ones.

Hardware

This is WWDC. There will be absolutely no mention of new iPhones or watches here. We may get some iPad refresh especially since ClassKit was just released with iOS 11.4 and Apple is all about getting iPads into the hands of every child.

I think this will be the event where we get in-depth information about the new Mac Pro. Similar to the iMac Pro last year, Apple will have some insanely produced video showcasing all the technology they want to cram into it and I also suspect it will have a release date of November-December this year but probably early 2019.

My hope is that alongside this announcement of the new Mac Pro we finally get Apple's own 5K displays. Apple's Thunderbolt Display was discontinued 2 years ago and I can't imagine that they are going to release headless Mac hardware without their own display.

We will definitely get some MacBook Pro refresh since it has been over a year since the last release and Apple can throw in the latest hardware to give it a little spec bump. I don't think we are going to see any major changes or additions like a new keyboard or v2 of the Touch Bar. I would put my money on the next big announcement would be when Apple releases a laptop running their own ARM processor and that is when we will see Touch Bar v2.

My absolutely batshit insane wish surrounds the Mac Mini. As an iOS developer who is responsible for my companies CI infrastructure I want more powerful cost-effective headless Mac hardware. The Mac Minis are still the best balance of performance and cost even though they were last updated three and a half years ago. Fingers crossed Apple finally updates the hardware inside of them but who knows, maybe with the Mac Pro update they'll have a new type of Mac Mini.

Oh also where the fuck is AirPower and our wirelessly chargeable AirPods?

iOS 12

This was a difficult thing to write about because I really don't know what I want from iOS. It basically does everything I want almost perfectly. Granted there are pieces of it that I don't heavily leverage like iCloud as a file sync between desktops but all of the apps built upon that kind of technology work seamlessly.

The only thing that really jumps out is the same thing I wished for last WWDC which is an improved version of Siri. While Siri was really neat when it was released it has fallen way behind Google Assistant and Alexa. I even stopped myself from buying a HomePod because I wanted a "smart speaker" and I knew that Siri would not be able to fulfill that function. All the scuttlebut says that Apple has realized this is a serious problem and are trying to fix it but in true Apple fashion we have no idea when that fix will come. It could be Monday or it could be WWDC 2020. They forced Siri out the door when she wasn't ready once and I can't imagine they are going to do it again.

Something else I wanted from last year's WWDC was multiple accounts and I still hope we will see it this year. Maybe it will be limited to the iPad to start but I really want this to come to iPhone and tvOS because as someone who has accounts for multiple countries I would love to be able to switch between them easier.

One thing I know we are going to see but I have absolutely no clue as to how ground breaking it will be is something about Metal and VR/AR. Apple came out strong last year with ARKit and you know they have not been resting on their laurels with this tech.

watchOS 5

This is very simple. I want two things from watchOS 5:

First, just better workout tracking / data and more custom suggestions and/or reminders. My Apple Watch is essentially a health device and I couldn't be happier with it. It knows so much about me that I want more curated recommendations as to how I should exercise.

Second, Podcasts on the watch. I have an Apple Watch series 3 with LTE and if I could listen to podcasts on it I would stop bringing my phone to the gym.

Developer Tools / Swift / SDK Improvements

I honestly don't know how they are going to surprise me this year but Apple always some something cooking with Xcode. My hope is that the Swift package manager and the new build system get pushed very heavily. They are optional tooling that you can leverage in Xcode 9 but I hope that Xcode 10 (maybe Xcode X :p) makes them the default way to integrate and build projects.

I would also love to see some improvements to their UI testing framework. It is quite rudimentary at the moment. Apple has the ability to be the leader in how proper UI testing can be done on their platforms and I really want to see them flex their muscles in this regard.

As for Swift it is really hard for there to be any surprise announcements at WWDC because Apple has been amazing at developing Swift out in the open. The ABI dashboard gives a solid snapshot of the state of their march towards ABI stability and while I don't have complete confidence it will happen with Swift 5 their transparency around the process is laudable. I'm bracing myself for another painful migration with the release of Swift 5 and Xcode 10 but hopefully this will be the final one.

tvOS

Apple has been buying up the rights for a ton of original video content that they will produce. I think that tvOS is going to get looked over at WWDC because this sort of thing is more consumer oriented and I would bet dollars to donuts that we will see this announced at the iPhone event in September.

Unfortunately it seems that Apple doesn't really have any plans for tvOS from a developer perspective but it has became an amazing vehicle for video and music content.

Instant Apps

I wasn't sure what section to put this under and it is such a pie in the sky, batshit crazy idea that I figured I should let it stand alone.

I absolutely hate web browsers and all the JavaScript bullshit that they entail but the friction of installing apps can be so high that I understand why someone would want to quickly go to a website. I envision a future where when you go to a website instead of rendering a HTML page you stream part of a native app to your phone. As you transition between screens more code can be streamed to the device and eventually the entire app is downloaded and users can seamlessly transition into using it without going to their browser.

Google has their Instant Apps but I think Apple is one of those companies that has the klout to push something this revolutionary forward.

macOS 10.14 will be called Rancho Cucamonga

I called it last year and I'm carrying it forward. The only better name could be Seattle.

#WWDC

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