Vincent Ritter

WWDC 2020 Wish list - Consumer edition

WWDC is close and whilst it's a developer conference I thought it would be great to set out my wish list for the consumer side of things. So let's get started.

1. Apple Music

Apple Music is good... but it can be so much better. The last month or so I've been using Spotify to compare. Spotify gets many things right that Apple Music just doesn't, yet it would seem it should considering everything that is baked into the OS. Unfortunately Spotify has the limits of a third-party app so Apple Music, in ways, is superior (which is an unfair advantage).

Handoff support across devices

This is an old technology from Apple and it's called Handoff. Apple Music, when playing a song, does a great job showing up on your Watch when you play on your iPhone... but when you open up Apple Music on the Mac, it doesn't know anything about it. In fact, it doesn't even know what you last played.

The same is true on iOS, when you play a song, but then after some time you come back to Music it is as if you have never played a song before. So you have to pick your playlist, or whatever, and start from scratch.

When I play something on the HomePod, it does show up on the phone (sometimes), but you still have to actively activate it. It's the same on the Mac, it knows about it but I have to actively navigate to it. The HomePod should know who activated it so it default to showing on wherever you open the Music app.

The Apple Watch usually knows nothing about what is playing on the HomePod either, you need to actively find it. Works without a problem from iOS though...

So, I wish better support here. If you have ever used Spotify on multiple devices you know what I mean.

Default start screen

When you open up Music on iOS you're always booted to your "library" - let me change the default. I want the For You section as a default... I want to discover music.

macOS Music seems to remember where you were.

Quicker start to play time

When you open up Music on macOS... well... let me tell you... there is a lot of whitespace happening with some spinner. Nothing is happening for a very long time.

I use my laptop way more than my phone or iPad, so the lack of anything speedy is just terrible. The laptop is a beast, but everything just takes time.

Don't make me wait 20 - 40 seconds before I can play a song. I am a patient person, but technology is supposed to be fast.

Discover

Would be awesome to have slightly better music discovery especially with curated playlists and not just albums. I see one every now and then but that's it.

Also, don't suggest songs that I listened to 10 billion years ago. My music taste has changed... so recommend from my recent listening.

2. macOS loving

macOS is just plain slow. This has been covered in the past and it's true. Mail takes a long time to open, a finder window takes ages. Heck, even Safari takes a very long time just to open. Boot time is terrible.

Have they secretly been working on an ARM version for macOS version for years and neglected the Intel build? Maybe. I'd hope so considering what we have today.

Just call it macOS 11 already and be done with it.

macOS is still heaps better than Windows will ever dream to be, but I think Apple is taking the piss. Catalina is just plain crap compared to what it used to be like. Bring back Snow Leopard or Tiger even.

3. Better family sharing

Apple has been good with releasing things like TV+ and Arcade and baking in great family sharing with it. However I think they can do better still.

iPad Multi-user

Yes, I know, they gave some crap about how "education" has great multi user support... I'm not a teacher. I'm a consumer. I have a family and we don't all have separate iPads! We have one, and we all have different needs. You already can do multi user switching on macOS using a fingerprint... just do the same on the iPad already.

The phone certainly is more personal and I don't expect it there...

Photo library sharing

Google Photos does a great job allowing me to share my whole library with my wife. We usually ask if we can see the pictures... so I keep Google Photos running for exactly that. I don't want to intentionally share something with her, I just want it to show on her device with no interaction of mine. I take a picture, put the phone back, two weeks later my wife looks at the photo feed and there it is... with no asking.

In the event of death

Ooo, so this one is interesting. In fact, I have seen it used with Google where you can hand over your account, so data can be downloaded, to your partner or whomever... in the event you die. Apple is well placed to implement this. I'd love to see this because it puts my mind at ease knowing someone will have access to all the digital memories forged... and also to let other people know in my contacts.

Of course, I'm not planning on dying for another 100 years, but it would be nice to have something here.

4. Default apps

If I can set a default music App... I'll be using Spotify until Apple get their act together. Just give me a choice and don't lock me in. Android does this very well!

Also, on this topic, just let me delete everything I don't need from the Apple side of things. I know they're trying really hard to market their own software and services... but allow me to delete more! And perhaps have a toggle in Settings where I can turn off, and on, default Apple apps. Navigating the store, trying to remember, is terrible. In fact, the Store is a massive distraction.

5. Siri

I'd like to see Siri be more natural and be context aware of what I just said a few seconds ago. If possible it would be also nice to just talk to him/her more naturally instead of "Hey Siri" For. Every. Single. Command. I. Ask. Him. For.

"Hey Siri, play Ambient playlist shuffled"... does his thing... "Turn it up a bit Siri"... goes ahead and does his thing.

Or, "Siri, remind me to buy toiler paper"... Siri adds it. "Actually, I have enough so remove that Siri". Siri removes it.

Or let's get really boring and talk about the WEATHER... I don't know why this topic is so engrained in humans. "Hey Siri, will it rain today?"... He answers... "and what about tomorrow?"... Give me a context aware answer.

I believe Google Assistant does this very well, with my brief encounter of it. It listens just for a little while longer to keep the conversation going.

Anyway, probably still quite far aware for that.

Oh and I'd like to call Siri something else... or just dump the "Hey" part. I don't call my wife over and start with "Hey Wife". First name basis, usually "babes" haha.

6. Cross platform apps

Most vendors and platform owners already embrace this. Make cross platform apps! Don't be platform racist. Bring iMessage to Android and Windows. It's the service I'm after no matter what I might end up using. Same with other apps. After all, Apple does want to go into the "Services" category more.

Most apps are OK and do a great job - so you have nothing to worry about.

More more more

Ooof, so I have so much more I could get into. Very nitpicky stuff... for example allowing me to hide certain channels on the TV app (I can do it on macOS, so let me do it elsewhere). I went digital media only to escape the crap there is, so don't suggest stuff from the BBC or other stuff... I don't want it! Or treating the TV like a family device without having to switch profiles... who does that anyway???

I don't know but it feels like Apple is stretched thin in that spaceship of theirs. Software used to work so great and they were always ahead of the game, from what I remember. Yes, it's a double standard, but I see them lost in their way when it comes to software.

Anyway, I hope that the next version shows at least some love to the general quality of their software. Oh and for what it's worth, I think iOS and macOS just in general have very good polish compared to the competition. It's like night and day. But then there are paper cuts... and there are many!