George Carlin

Today marks 10 years since legendary comedian George Carlin has died. Even though he has been gone for an entire decade, many of the thoughts and musings that he espoused still remain true and still entirely appropriate. Here are a few of my favorite bits throughout the years.

Modern Man

Euphemisms

Incomplete List of Impolite Words

Golf Courses

And as a bonus, his most famous skit:

Seven Dirty Words

As a special bonus, this one has some major parallels to today, even though it was recorded 30 years ago.

The world is worse off place without having him here. I often wonder what he would say about the current state of things in the world. Alas, we shall never know. Thanks for all the great comedy George.

WWDC Prediction Results

Last week I put out my predictions. Now that Apple has announced everything that they are going to announce for their operating systems. Here is how well I managed to predict what Apple would do.

Recap

Here is a recap of all of my predictions.

Possibility Recap
Change Likelihood
Siri being generally the same on all devices 50%
Messages in the Cloud released 80%
iCloud version of Messages 25%
AirPlay being released 80%
HomePod developer betas 10%
Dark Mode for all Operating Systems 60%
Messages on macOS having parity with iOS 35%
Workflow coming to macOS 40%
macOS Server significantly reduced 100%
macOS Server still including Certificate Management 85%
Profile Manager accessible from more devices 50%
Profile Manager app 10%
iTunes Refresh 10%
iTunes Wish List Synchronization. 15%
tvOS “low battery” thresholds being adjusted. 25%
watchOS audio in the background 50%
Custom Watch Faces 40%
More personalized fitness goals 70%
UIKit on watchOS 75%
ARKit 2.0 85%
Improved Messages reliability 80%
More Parental Controls 60%
Granular Parental Controls 40%

Siri being generally the same on all devices

This is happening with Siri Shortcuts.

Messages in the Cloud released

This did happen with iOS 11.4 before WWDC.

iCloud version of Messages

This did not happen at all.

AirPlay being released

AirPlay 2 was released in iOS 11.4 before WWDC.

HomePod developer betas

There is no HomePod developer beta.

Dark Mode for all Operating Systems

This is only half true. There is no iOS Dark Mode, but macOS 10.14 Mojave does have a system level Dark Mode.

Messages on macOS having parity with iOS

Again this is not the case. Messages on macOS is still the same.

Workflow coming to macOS

Yes, this did happen with Siri Shortcuts.

macOS Server significantly reduced

As of this writing, this is unclear because macOS Server for macOS Mojave has not been released.

macOS Server still including Certificate Management

As of this writing, this is unclear because macOS Server for macOS Mojave has not been released.

Profile Manager accessible from more devices

As of this writing, this is unclear because macOS Server for macOS Mojave has not been released.

Profile Manager app

There is no profile Manager app available.

iTunes Refresh

Does dark mode count? No it does not.

iTunes Wish List Synchronization.

Unfortunately, this did not happen. It could just be a bug with my account.

tvOS “low battery” thresholds being adjusted.

As far as I can tell, the “low batterY” message is still at 20%.

watchOS audio in the background

Yes, background audio is coming with watchOS 5.

Custom Watch Faces

Nope, there are no custom watch faces.

More personalized fitness goals

It does not appear that this is the case. There are now Yoga and Hiking fitness types.

UIKit on watchOS

There is no UIKit on watchOS.

ARKit 2.0

ARKit 2.0 is definitely coming.

Improved Messages reliability

This is probably not changing.

More Parental Controls

There are more parental controls, in particular with Screen Time.

Granular Parental Controls

Screen Time provides very granular parental controls for parents.

Recap

It does not appear that my predictions were very good this year. My hope for getting more correct over last year, is correct in the fact that I got 8 correct, but that is out of 23 predictions. This means that I only got 34.8% correct. The number may be updated once there is more information about macOS Server for macOS 10.14 Mojave.

Apple’s 2018 WWDC Keynote Announcements

The beginning of June starts with Apple providing a preview of what new features users can expect on their devices in the Fall. Apple updates all of their operating systems each year. There are a number of features coming to iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS. There are hundreds of changes and it is not feasible to cover them all in this post. Below are the biggest features for each operating system. Let us start with the biggest operating system, iOS.

iOS 12

iPhone Customers have expressed their discontent at how older iOS devices have performed when installing newer updates of iOS. With iOS 12 supporting the same devices as iOS 11, users of the iPhone 5s and the iPad Air 2 may be reluctant to install iOS 12 on their devices. However, this is one of Apple’s primary focus areas for the year.

In Apple’s tests, applications started 40% faster, the keyboard appeared 50% faster, and sliding to the left to take a photo was up to 70% faster. These improvements will mean that users do not have to wait for common actions to occur.

There is a new Augmented Reality quick look file format called USDZ, which will allow developers to show quick look previews within applications like Messages, Safari, Mail, Files, and News. This means that you can use augmented reality within a webpage to see exactly how that custom designed product will look, within your own space.

Adobe is brining the USDZ file format to all of Creative Cloud, that will provide a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWIG) editor in Augmented reality.

Some of the other items within ARKit 2 will be:

  • Improved face tracking
  • Realistic rendering
  • 3D Object detection
  • Persistent experiences
  • Shared Experiences

Let us look at this last one, Shared Experiences. Shared Experiences allow you to have up to 4 people simultaneously interacting within the same app, all with their own personalized experience.

Photos and Camera

Photos and the camera are significantly important aspects to a lot of iOS users’ experiences. Apple is bringing some improvements to Photos. The biggest amongst these are when it comes to sharing photos.

With iOS 12, when you share a photo, or set of photos, with someone over iMessage, they will be receiving the full resolution of the photo. Similarly, when a photo set is shared with you, if you have any photos of the same event, you will be prompted to shared the photos that you have with the other person, so everyone can have the same set of photos for the event.

Animoji

Animoji are a big feature on the iPhone X. Apple is adding some more Animoji, including the Koala, Ghost, T-Rex, and Tiger. Animoji can now also detect your tongue so yes, you can use Animoji to stick out your tongue at others.

While Animoji are great, it is better to be able to create an animated example of yourself. With iOS 12 this is possible with a new feature called “Memoji”.

Memoji

Memoji takes the concept of an Animoji, but allows you to create your own custom Animoji for use with Animoji. You can customize your skin color, including adding freckles, hair color, and eye color. You can also add items like hats, sunglasses, earrings, and more.

Memoji will allow you to personalize your conversations even more than before. Besides messages, users also communicate via FaceTime, which has seen some big improvements as well.

FaceTime

FaceTime was introduced 8 years ago, in June of 2010. Since its release it has only seen minor changes. That is no longer the case.

Traditionally, when you use FaceTime can only be used between two individuals, With iOS 12 you can now use FaceTime in groups, up to 32 individuals. Having 32 people can make group chat a lot easier.

When you do have these FaceTime group calls, you can want to add some personality to them. You can do this by using your Memoji right within FaceTime, while you are chatting.

Siri Shortcuts

There are many times that a user wants to do something via Siri, but there is no capability within iOS to do so. There is a new feature called Siri Shortcuts that will allow you do just that. Siri Shortcuts allow any app to expose quick actions to Siri.

With Siri Shortcuts you will be able to name the shortcuts, and then use that phrase to activate the selected action. For instance, if you use the tile app to find something, like your keys, can you assign the phrase “lost my keys”, and with Siri Shortcuts the Tile app will automatically open directly to your keys so you that you can find your keys.

This is just an example and it will depend on application support.

Notifications

The last feature to note of is regarding Notifications. With Notifications under iOS 12, you will get grouping options. You will now be able to group notifications by application, automatically, or turn it off. This can be done on an app by app basis. You will also be able to group by topic or thread as well. With grouped notifications you can remove an entire group by swiping left, just like notifications under iOS 11.

You can also turn off individuals notifications or types of notifications by pressing and holding on an individual notification.

Siri will also be able to suggest notifications to turn off for applications that you have not used for a while. This will be very helpful to reduce the number of notifications that you receive. Let us turn to the last new feature of iOS, called Screen Time.

Screen Time

Screen time, in general, is a problem for today’s technology-based society. The jury is out as to whether or not spending so much time in front of a screen is problematic or not. In order to provide users with information that they need around how much time they are spending on their devices, there is a new feature called “Screen Time”.

With Screen Time you can see how much time each type of app category, application itself, and website are used. You can take any one of those categories, apps, or website and set a limits to what you want. These can be customized on a daily basis, or even on a

Besides individuals wanting to get their traffic usage information, the biggest section of user who want to enable limits is parents. A parent can set up the limitations for their child. This can be done from the parent’s device and automatically applied to a child’s device.

Screen Time will be a huge feature for everyone to keep an eye on overall usage.

That covers the big features of iOS, let us look at tvOS next.

tvOS 12

tvOS has only a few updates that most users will notice. The first of these is that Dolby Atmos audio is coming to tvOS 12. If you have a Dolby Atmos sound bar connected to your Apple TV, and the content that you are watching is Dolby Atmos enabled, it should work.

The second new feature is “Zero Sign-on”. Zero Sign-on is the idea that if you are using your cable company provider’s internet connection you can be automatically signed in to all of the applications that you can stream from, like HBO, ShowTime, and others. This will start with Charter Spectrum customers first, and will expand to other providers in the future.

The third feature revolves around the Aerial views on the Apple TV. With tvOS 12 you will be able to swipe between Aerial Screensavers. Along with this, you will be able to tap on the Siri remote and see the location of the screen saver.

The next feature is that you will be able to tune into live news and sports with the Apple TV. News and Sports are one of the key reasons that people still have traditional cable subscriptions, but that may change.

The last feature of tvOS is the ability to use third-party remotes instead of the Siri remote.

These are minor changes, but welcome ones for Apple TV users. It’s time to move on to watchOS.

watchOS 5

The Apple Watch has a primary focus, health. That has not changed with watchOS 5. The biggest changes for watchOS 5 still revolve around health. These include a new workout type, workout detection, and staying connected.

The new workout type is for Yoga. It is primarily focused on heart-rate. There are millions of people around the world who like to do Yoga and having it be a workout type will allow those individuals to get credit for their Yoga Workouts.

There are often times that you forget to start a workout and only realize it afterwards. This can be particular problematic if you have gone for a while and are not going to get credit. With watchOS 5, this may no longer be the case. watchOS 5 can automatically detect that you are in a workout and suggest you start one. When this occurs, you will receive credit for the time that it detected you were active. Similarly, if you forget to end a workout, watchOS will do the same thing.

Another watchOS feature that may help people stay in touch. There is a large segment of the population that used walkie talkies when they were kids. Apple has brought the same feature to watchOS 5. It is cleverly called “Walkie Talkie”. It does just what you would expect. You can send short audio messages to those who you designate as contacts. The recipient will have to accept an invitation, but after that you will be able to talk freely.

The last feature to highlight is that Siri Shortcuts can now be included in the Siri Watch Face, which include third-party applications are supported.

There are more features on watchOS, but let us move onto macOS.

macOS

Modern macOS was introduced 17 years ago. Since 2013 Apple has been using California place names. For the last four years they have been mountain related. This year though, it is going a bit dryer, with macOS 10.14 Mojave.

macOS 10.14 Mojave has a bunch of new features, with Finder, the Mac App Store, and the Desktop. Let us look at the Finder changes.

Finder Changes

The Finder has received a new view, called Gallery View. Gallery View will provide you with a preview strip at the bottom of the Finder window and a metadata information panel on the right. In this view, in the lower right corner is a new set of features, Quick Actions.

Quick Actions are just as they sound, actions that can be done quickly. These actions are context aware, meaning that you will see different actions for an image, versus a PDF, and other files. Developers can add quick actions if they wish using any combination of shell scripts or automator actions to perform actions all without needing to open an application.

Next, let us look at the Mac App Store.

Mac App Store

The Mac App Store has seen a complete redesign. This is similar to the one that iOS got last year under iOS 12. There is a new sidebar with seven different categories. These categories are:

  • Discover
  • Create
  • Work
  • Play
  • Develop
  • Categories
  • Updates

Each tab contains a variety of applications that match that specific category. The Discover tab will let you find new applications that you may not know about as well as provide editorials about applications. The discover tab also shows the Top Charts.

That covers the Mac App Store changes, now let us move to the new features within the Desktop.

Desktop Changes

The changes around the desktop include a large item, and a small one. The small change is actually around screenshots. Screenshots on macOS now functions a lot like that on iOS. You can take a screenshot and do instant mark-up on the screenshot. It will be great to have consistency between iOS and macOS.

Many users use their Desktop as a temporary holding place for files that they are working on. In order to be able to more easily organize the myriad of files on your Desktop, Apple has created “Stack View”. Stack View will allow you to see all of the files on your desktop within stacks. You can organize Kind of file, Date, or Tag. When you add a new item to the desktop, it will automatically be sorted.

The biggest change for the desktop is an all new Dark Mode. Dark Mode on macOS is a true Dark Mode. In previous versions you could have the menu bar and dock be dark but now with macOS Mojave, all aspects of the operating system can be Dark, including applications, provided the developer has added support for them.

If you use your Mac throughout the day, there is a Dynamic Desktop which will automatically adjust the screen throughout the day, from Light Mode to Dark Mode.

Closing Thoughts

There have been a large number of changes across iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS. iOS brings ARKit enhancements, new Animoji, the new Memoji feature, FaceTime group chat, Siri Shortcuts, the ability to group notifications, and the all new Screen Time all bring iOS forward and help people more quickly do things to get back to what they were doing.

tvOS has a few new features that include Dolby Atmos, Zero Sign-in, Live News and Sports, and the ability to swipe to switch Aerial views and their locations. These are minor, but well needed updates.

watchOS brings Siri Shortcuts, the Yoga workout, automatically starting and ending of workouts, and the new Walkie Talkie feature.

macOS includes a whole new Mac App Store, new Quick Actions in Finder, a new Gallery View for Finder. The Desktop gets Dynamic Desktop, a whole new Dark Mode, and Markup.

Overall, the changes to all of Apple’s operating systems should be quite beneficial for users across all of their Apple devices.

There are even more features that have not been included, but will be covered in my e-books. There will be more information about those later in the summer.

Apple Releases iOS 11.4

Today Apple has released iOS 11.4, watchOS 4.3.1, and tvOS 11.4. Along with this, Apple announced some changes to the availability of the HomePod.

The HomePod will be available in additional countries start June 18th. These countries are Canada, France, and Germany.

The biggest features of iOS 11.4 is AirPlay 2, including on the HomePod. AirPlay 2 was at Apple’s WWDC 2017 event. The biggest feature of AirPlay 2 is that it supports multi-room audio and the HomePod can be used in stereo mode.

I have been using iOS 11.4 since the first beta, but I was not able to test iOS 11.4 on the HomePod. I installed iOS 11.4 on the HomePod, and tried a couple of different configurations. The configuration that I was most interested in using is:

  • Video going to my Apple TV, via AirPlay from my iPad
  • Audio on the HomePod, via AirPlay

Unfortunately, this configuration is not supported. Similarly, you cannot AirPlay to an Apple TV and output via the HomePod. Therefore, I am still stuck watch This Old House and using the audio from my TV. Maybe in iOS 12 this will change.

Besides AirPlay 2, there is an additional feature of iOS 11.4, Message in the Cloud. Messages in the Cloud is designed to have all of your messages available on all of your devices in the same order. Additionally, all of your messages are stored in iCloud, to make all of this possible.

iOS 11.4 does include some security updates, so it is best to update as soon as possible. The details of what security items were fixed are not yet available.

Source: Apple

Apple WWDC 2018 Predictions and Wish List

We are now just over a week out from Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference keynote. With that making predictions for what Apple will announce is generally a fool’s errand. That does not stop some, like myself, from having a wish list of items that I would like to see changed. Predictions are particularly difficult given Apple’s continued goal for reducing the information that leaks from the company. Despite this reduction in information, some information still gets out. With the scant amount of information that is available, I have some ideas for what Apple could do with their operating systems. Last year I did two separate posts, however I think that this year will be a bit more low-key as compared to previous years. To coincide with that, I will only be doing a single post about everything that I think Apple will do. Let us start with something that I think will affect all all of Apple’s operating systems. If you want, you can skip straight to the recap.

All Platforms

There are some things that span all of Apple’s operating systems, so this needs its own section.

Siri

Even though all of Apple’s operating systems have Siri, they are not the same, and do not have the same capabilities. For instance, Siri on macOS cannot control any items in the Home app on iOS. Given that the HomeKit information is synchronized over iCloud, this seems like an oversight. There is no reason why macOS could not control the HomeKit items. I totally understand that it may not be possible if you are not on the same network, but if you are on the same network, it should be entirely possible to do so.

Similarly, the HomePod should be able to search for documents in iCloud and send a link to your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. I think Apple will announce that they are going to start having Siri become one unified platform. There will always be things that each platform cannot do. For instance, tvOS cannot search files within iCloud. Although if Apple did allow tvOS, and by extension watchOS, to find files, they could be opened on an iPad, Mac, or iPhone.

It would also be great to ask the HomePod to be able to do something like “Siri, open my ‘2018 Budget’ on my Mac”, and having it open. Implementing this would be an overnight thing, but it is certainly something that Apple could indicate that they are working on. This may be feasible since iCloud knows about all of your devices, and it could signal to each what to do. Next, let us turn to the most mature operating system that Apple has, macOS.

I give the likelihood of Apple announcing that Siri is going to be largely the same across all devices as 50%.

Messages in the Cloud

One of the features that Apple announced, but has not yet shipped is Messages in the Cloud. It is designed to have all of your messages be available on all of your devices, particularly when you add a new device. Despite being in beta multiple times, but it has not yet been released. It does not surprise me that it has not been released yet. It is best to make sure that everything will work flawlessly, given the amount of information and history contained within messages.

If Apple does indeed release this, I think there will also be an iCloud version of it as well. I think the iCloud version will not necessarily be able to send any message from your iPhone’s number, but you would be able to do so from your Apple ID. I do not think it would have all of the same bells and whistles that are on iOS, but you would be able to do basic messaging.

I am giving this a 80% chance of Messages in the Cloud being released. I give the probably of having an iCloud version of Messages at 25%. It would be nice to have, but it is not likely.

AirPlay

It is not often that I have had to use AirPlay. This is because I typically do not need to stream something from my Mac, iPhone, or iPad to my Apple TV. However, recently I have been bingeing This Old House, and there are no apps for it. The only way to view this is by using a browser. Since tvOS does not come with a browser, the only option left is to AirPlay. My biggest problem with the arrangement is that I cannot send video to my Apple TV but audio to my HomePod, instead the audio is outputted via the TV, which works but does not sound as good.

One of the things that Apple announced in September of 2017 was AirPlay 2. I anticipate that it will be coming with iOS 11.4, but it is entirely possible that Apple will push things off to iOS 12. AirPlay 2 will allow an iOS device to output the same audio to multiple devices simultaneously. This will work well for those with multiple HomePods. I would like to see iOS 12 provide betas for the HomePod, but I do not know if that will happen or not. I am going to guess it is not likely.

The likelihood of AirPlay being released at WWDC, whether it is with iOS 11.4 or iOS 12, at 80%. I give the probability of HomePod developer betas at 10%, it may be too early in the lifecycle of the HomePod for betas. I do not expect public betas for the HomePod, but developer betas would be nice.

Dark Mode

With the release of the iPhone X and its OLED screen, it would be really great for there to be a system-wide Dark Mode. This Dark Mode should apply to all macOS and iOS. tvOS has a dark mode already, and watchOS uses a dark theme by default, in order to save the screen and battery. Having a dark mode option, and allowing developers to opt-in, would provide a more consistent look and feel when switching between applications. This would be most prominent on macOS when you could be working in an application like GarageBand and its dark theme and then switching to Safari with its super bright theme.

I think the probably of all of Apple’s operating systems having a system-wide dark mode at 60%.

macOS

macOS is a very stable operating system. macOS is likely the Apple operating system that I use for getting most everything done. You might think that there is not much that could be done. In fact, there is still quite a bit that can be done, particularly with bringing some features over from iOS.

Messages

Messages on iOS is pretty full featured, however its counterpart on macOS is quite lacking in some areas. It would be nice to have macOS have feature parity with iOS. Doing so would maintain a consistent experience between iOS and macOS. This could be as simple as providing the same effects that are possible with iOS onto macOS.

I predicted this last year at 95%. This year I am giving it a 35% chance.

Workflow

In March of 2017, it was announced that Apple purchased the iOS app, Workflow. Workflow allows you to you to perform different automation techniques using iOS. This could include sending items to a web service, converting files, or various other tasks. The possibilities are endless. The best part of Workflow is that you do not need to be a programmer to be able to figure it out. Workflow has a drag and drop interface that allows you to tie things together. When Apple purchased Workflow, it was thought that improvements to the app would cease, but there have been some small improvements over the last year.

It would be great to see Workflow make its way to macOS. By porting Workflow over to macOS it will provide a way to automate some tasks, which would be simpler than using one of the current solutions like Automator or AppleScript. It would require some changes to the App, for sure, but it could extend more functionality to macOS.

I give this a likelihood of 40%. It is more likely that Workflow will be integrated than getting a macOS version.

Notification Center

When Mac OS X 10.7 Lion was released one of the features was one that came from iOS. That feature was Notification Center. In the intervening 7 years, not much has been done to improve Notification Center on macOS. It would be great to have additional customization options for Notification Center. For instance, the ability to have all of your Notifications from all devices gathered in one place. Dismissing it in one place would dismiss it on all devices.

This would help all users not have to dismiss notifications on all of their devices. I give this a 25% chance of happening.

macOS Server

I will be honest, this next prediction is pretty much a gimme, since Apple has already indicated the future course for macOS Server. The next version of macOS Server, version 6, is likely to include graphical interface management for Profile Manager, Open Directory, and Xsan Server. All of the other graphical management that was in macOS 5.6 will be removed. Some of the underlying services, like Apache, will still ship with macOS itself, so they can be still be managed via Terminal.

One thing that has not been clarified, and is purely a guess on my part, is that macOS Server will still include certificate management.

The other item that I think Apple will FINALLY do, is allow Profile Manager to be accessible on an iPad in Portrait mode, AND on an iPhone. I think it is entirely feasible, given the the workflow for Profile Manager to be able to accommodate the devices. Additionally, when you need to make changes in Configuration Manager, you are not always at your Mac or near an iPad and it would help server administrators. What would be even better would be an app that is accessible on iPhones, iPads, and macOS.

I give the likelihood of Server being significantly reduced at 100%. Similarly, I give certificate management’s probability at 85%, and Profile Manager being accessible from devices besides iPads in Landscape and Desktops at 50%, and the probably of an app for accessing Profile Manager servers at 10%.

iTunes

This next one is entirely a guess and wishful thinking. I think Apple will let us know that iTunes is being overhauled. Here is what I wrote last year, and I still want it to be true.

iTunes’ original intent was as a syncing mechanism back when all of our media was locally on our computers. That was back in 2001. 16 years later times have changed and while a percentage of individuals still synchronize their music to their computers, that number is a very small percentage. It would be nice to see Apple completely re-think iTunes. One of the hinderances from this occurring is that iTunes is also on Windows. However, Apple could give macOS a boost by providing an even better experience and keeping iTunes on Windows the way it is now.

The biggest change would be to separate out the classic iPod syncing portion to its own application. This would still allow those individuals who need to synchronize their items to be able to do so. Meanwhile, the remaining functions, Music, Podcasts, Movies, TV Shows, iTunes U, and Apps could all become their own applications. This approach would allow each of these applications to be updated on their own schedule. Alongside this, each application could have a user-interface which matches the functionality of that application.

There are two aspects to this prediction. The first is that Apple will preview a refreshed iTunes. The second is that it will be released “in the fall” (meaning when the new iPhones are released). I give the chance of a refreshed iTunes a 10% chance of happening. It is a slim chance, but still a chance.

I do not know if it is going to happen, but it would be a great way to have a big item amongst stability improvements.

There is one other thing that I have noticed. My “Wish List” is not in sync between my Apple TVs, iOS, and iTunes on the Mac. All of my devices are signed into the same Apple ID, so the wish lists should be the same, but they are not. I am not talking about the any apps on my Wish List, but the movies. I do not get why they would be out of sync, but they are.

I give this a 15% chance of occurring, because I am probably an outlier in this situation. Here are two images to prove the mismatch.

Next let us take a look at the operating system for the Apple TV, tvOS.

tvOS

tvOS is Apple’s operating system for the Apple TV. As has been the case since television became mainstream, people generally tend to do one thing, consume media. Given that this is the primary purpose of large screens in our lives, there is not much that I can think of that Apple would need to add to tvOS. I am sure there are things, but I cannot think of any for tvOS.

There is one slight modification that would be good. I received a “low battery” warning for my Siri Remote on my Apple TV. As is the case on all iOS-based operating systems, “Low Battery” means 20%, or less. This means that my Siri remote can probably go for another 3 or 4 months, if not longer, before actually needing to be charged. I understand why Apple does this for iOS devices, Macs, Apple Watch, Keyboards and Mice, but it seems a bit odd given how long the Siri Remote lasts. It would be nice to have this warning be changed to something like 10%. Even at 10%, the Siri Remote will still last for another couple of months at least.

I give the probability of Apple changing this at 25%, probably because it is hard coded into the operating system.

watchOS

watchOS is probably the Apple operating system that has the largest place for improvement. The biggest feature, that would be personally beneficial, would be the ability for developers to use background audio in a reliant manner, without needing to start a workout first. In particular, my preferred podcast player cannot synchronize my podcasts to the Apple Watch because it is slow, and there is no reliable playback possible. What would be needed for this is probably more than we will get this year, but it would be great to have.

The possibility of this occurring is likely 50%.

Watch Faces

Apple has narrowed the focus for the Apple Watch. One thing that the Apple Watch has had since the beginning is the Faces. While Apple has added a couple of new Watch faces, like the Toy Story characters, and the Siri Watch Face, it would be nice to have a few additional options. In particular, it would be nice for developers to be able to create their own Watch Faces. This could include a Watch Face store, but having too many choices could be cumbersome. With this knowledge it might be best to have more customizable options for the Siri Watch Face. Apple could partner with some Fashion houses to come up with custom watch faces that could be purchased.

I give this a 40% chance of happening.

Personalized Goals

watchOS 4 introduced personalized goals for each month. Some of the personalized goals I have had since last year are:

  • Double move goal every day
  • Burn a certain number of calories
  • Average number of exercise minutes per day
  • Performing a number of workouts in a month
  • Going a certain distance in a month
  • Burn an average number of calories a day

There are a couple of improvements that I would like to see. The first is additional personalized goals, what in particular I do not know. The second improvement is to not have the goals be too far-fetched. Specifically, one of my goals was to do 48 15-minute, or longer, exercises. Maybe it is just me, but having to do 48 exercises in one month seems excessive.

I give this a 70% chance. There are already a variety of goal types, and more may not be necessary. At the same time health and fitness are primary functions of the Apple Watch.

Interface Improvements

watchOS does not use the standard User Interface controls that iOS applications do. Instead watchOS has its own user interface language. It might be time for Apple to bring UIKit over to watchOS. Particularly with the Series 3 Apple Watch battery life is not an issue, and speed does not seem to be a problem either. By having UIKit on watchOS it is possible that more applications would be made available for the Apple Watch.

I give this 75%, only because I am sure Apple knows this would help applications on the watch, but it would take some major performance improvements to make happen.

iOS

Augmented Reality

One of the areas in which Apple is putting a lot of focus is in Augmented Reality. At WWDC 2017, Apple announced ARKit, a new framework that would allow developers to overlay different items on the physical world. With iOS 11.3, Apple released ARKit 1.5, which included allowing objects on vertical surfaces, mapping irregular shapes, and integration with real-world images.

I think Apple will improve ARKit with ARKit 2.0. It is hard to guess what will be included. I am going to guess that they will have ARKit 2.0 require the iPhone 7. I give this an 85% chance of occurring.

Battery Health

I think with iOS 12, the Battery health, which is currently in beta, will come out of beta.

Notifications

There are often items that we use every day, and when they were new they were novel, but now just come to think of as a normal thing. A feature that was introduced with iPhone OS 3.0 was Push Notifications. Over the last nine years, notifications have become an indispensable tool for users and developers alike. Over its history notifications have seen a number of enhancements, but there is still more to do.

It would be nice to see Apple add even more customization options, in particular when it comes to VIPs, in particular, it would be nice to be able to only get notifications from particular individuals. Right now, this works in Mail, but it would be helpful to extend this to all applications, but in particular messages.

One area that I have seen issues lately is that I am not always being notified when a new message comes in. The badge will be shown, but I do not receive any indication on my Apple Watch. It would be great to see Apple improve the reliability of notification of iMessages.

I give this a 80% chance, it would likely coincide with Messages in the Cloud.

Parental Controls

Technology can be a boon, but it can also be detrimental. Many parents wonder what, if any, harm is being done by allowing so much screen time for their children. While parents attempt to limit screen time, it is not always an easy task. It would be very helpful to provide parents with even more controls to allow them to customize the screen time for their children.

For instance, it would be nice to be able to set limits for specific application use. As an example, imagine your kid has an iPad that they can use and you want to limit the amount of YouTube time that they have, to two hours during the school week and at the same time not limit their use of applications that are needed for school, or are educational. There could be an interface that would allow parents to set which days, and times, that a child can use. In this case, you would want to limit them to 2 hours, Monday through Friday.

While it would be acceptable to have this be possible on the iPad itself, having a web-based interface would be even better and would make it easier to administer the iPad. The ability to manage devices is already available through Apple’s Profile Manager, but this would be a bit more specific and would not require knowledge of Profile Manager, nor would it require the use of management profiles.

I give the likelihood of improved parental controls a 60% chance of occurring. I give the likelihood of granular controls at 40%.

Recap

Here is a recap of all of my predictions. Some are more likely to occur than others.

Possibility Recap
Change Likelihood
Siri being generally the same on all devices 50%
Messages in the Cloud released 80%
iCloud version of Messages 25%
AirPlay being released 80%
HomePod developer betas 10%
Dark Mode for all Operating Systems 60%
Messages on macOS having parity with iOS 35%
Workflow coming to macOS 40%
macOS Server significantly reduced 100%
macOS Server still including Certificate Management 85%
Profile Manager accessible from more devices 50%
Profile Manager app 10%
iTunes Refresh 10%
iTunes Wish List Synchronization. 15%
tvOS “low battery” thresholds being adjusted. 25%
watchOS audio in the background 50%
Custom Watch Faces 40%
More personalized fitness goals 70%
UIKit on watchOS 75%
ARKit 2.0 85%
Improved Messages reliability 80%
More Parental Controls 60%
Granular Parental Controls 40%