There was a lot in the keynote and SOTU, and a lot more in the release notes once we all downloaded the betas. Here are just a few of my personal highlights and notes, written this morning over coffee. (Overall, I’m pretty impressed by the updates, and eager to dig in to the new stuff.)
- No new hardware. I stand here money in hand, Apple!
- TestFlight for Mac Apps… finally! (I can’t believe I forgot to put that on my wishlist.) I’ve never built proper beta-test support into TimeStory, so I’m eager to try it out.
- Shortcuts for Mac is here. (I did have this one in my wishlist!) As hoped, they directly addressed AppleScript and Automator as well. I have sessions to watch, and work to do. I’m pretty excited about this.
- Okay, that demo of Universal Control was just cool. I wonder if I have to do any specific work to allow dragging my data from one computer to another; my guess is no.
- Very impressed by the serious leveling up of FaceTime. We’ve been using FaceTime to watch the Marvel TV shows together with our kids, so I’m eager to try out the new video-sharing in particular.
- The new iPadOS multitasking UI looks great. I’d say 80% of my interactions with the current multitasking gestures are accidental, and 100% are frustrating. Visible and tappable buttons, and the slide-away access to the home screen, were both long overdue.
- Foundation now gets a new
AttributedStringstruct, corresponding to
NSAttributedString, and SwiftUI
Textsupports it. I had recently been frustrated by this, which was why it was the one and only SwiftUI comment on my wishlist!
- I’ve been following the Swift Concurrency evolution for some time now; none of it was a surprise, but I’m looking forward to the sessions and to see how it plays out in the APIs and sample code now that they’re released.
- Xcode 13 now has a “Vim mode”. This got me unreasonably excited. (I’m typing
this blog post in Vim right now.) But having tried the beta, well, it’s a
great start, but it’s missing core Vi behaviors.
.doesn’t work to repeat a command, for example; the reason, presumably, is that the editor just isn’t structured as command-based. This currently puts it in the uncanny valley of Vim emulation; good enough to get me into the flow, missing enough to kick me right back out again. I hope the Xcode team keeps iterating on this; what does work works well, and a fuller emulation would be amazing.
- MacOS Monterey is actually pretty big. But I don’t see anything that will require most Mac devs to work just to stay in place, unlike the last several years. The work will all be in adding new things again, which is nice.