When Apple’s annual WWDC kicks-off on Monday, the tech giant’s large hold of software developers and partners will be looking for signals on how they will have to work in the coming months to be in sync with what Cupertino is planning. However, millions of Apple users around the world will also be keeping their ears to ground in anticipation of how their experience will change as Apple rolls out all the announcements made at the World Wide Developer Conference in the coming months.
While there are many reports on what to expect, and what to not expect, from San Jose on Monday, here is a personal list of what I would like to see as a user of Apple products.
Also read: Apple WWDC 2018 keynote LIVE UPDATES
Limiting screen time
As the father of a six-year-old who gets more than his fair share of technology, I have over the past few years been concerned about how to limit my child’s access to technology. But that is a tough ask, given that modern households have multiple screens they can fall back on if access to one is removed. I have tried everything from limiting access to all kinds of technology to talking him into enforcing some sort of self-control. Nothing has really worked in the long run, and we are in the stage now where screen time is offered as reward for something else.
This is where the reports around Apple’s plans to introduce a Digital Health software upgrade that gives parents more control on how and how long children use devices is something to look forward to. Since Google has already announced something similar, it is good to see technology companies take this aspect more seriously. And as Apple is more of an ecosystem choice, I would expect these controls to work across devices so that end of screen time on the iPhone does not mean the child can just switch over to an iPad. In fact, if done well, Digital Health could well become a selling point for Apple devices.
Also, adult users too would be wiser from data on how they actually use their phones and other devices. Data that shows the apps they spend time on could be insightful in many ways.
Plug-ins for third-party health devices
At WWDC in 2016, I got to see real time blood sugar monitors that were being developed to work in tandem with the Apple Watch. As a diabetic, I would love to see these add-on solutions become commercial as early as possible. For me, this is where tech should have more impact. If it can help us live better and stay healthy, then the emphasis has to be on such solutions.
The Apple Watch already does its bit by alerting about high heart-rate and prompting you to stand up once in a while or just take a deep breath. But at least some users are looking a deeper dive that will help them monitor their vitals better. As the one device that is almost always on you, the smart watch is the best placed to take smart health to the next level. I am hoping Apple will announce software features that make both the iPhone and Apple Watch better.
More security and control for users
Over the past few months we have talked way too much about security of devices and privacy of user data. I expect Apple to announce a few features in its operating systems that make them more secure and cut down on the vulnerabilities. However, it would be great to see features that bring more control to the users in terms of how apps collect their data and where it is shared. Ideally, GDPR-level control for users should become standard for all apps across Apple’s multiple operating systems.
A smoother software experience
The home button-less Apple iPhone X is in my books the most natural way to use a phone. The navigation flows so well that every time I switch phones I expect them to work the same way — with a swipe up or a swipe down. However, the edge-to-edge design ushered in by the phone seems to have gotten many developers in a bind.
Over the past few months, there have been quite a few third-party app experiences that haven’t really been up to the mark for me as an Apple user. With the new iOS 12, I’m hoping Apple fixes these for good, making the OS experience stable across apps.
Disclaimer: The author is in San Jose, California at the invite of Apple India