Friday, June 3, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

WWDC 2022 Wish Lists

Mainly, I want bug fixes and fewer regressions. Some iOS specifics that I’ve discussed before:

macOS:

watchOS:

Sarah Reichelt:

I wish Apple would supply an iMac monitor using the exact same design, but without the computer.

[…]

CloudKit has always looked like a great solution for use in apps. It allows public and private data, it syncs between devices, and it doesn’t have the potential for unexpected and huge data fees like some other options. But like many developers, I’ve tried and failed to get it to work reliably. It appears that the simpler mechanisms work well, but not the more complex options.

[…]

I would love to see Apple open up the extension ecosystem again. For web development, I use Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code. Even though this is a cross-platform Electron-based web app, it is a great tool. It doesn’t look like a native Mac app but it performs well. But it’s major advantage is the huge number and variety of extensions so you can make VSC look and work the way you want. Apple has deliberately closed Xcode off from this sort of community involvement which is great shame.

[…]

I would love it if the App Stores lived up to Apple’s claim as being the safe place to buy apps, but in reality, app buyers are being fooled by purchased reviews, tricked into in-app purchases, and cannot assume that the rules designed to keep them safe have been applied to all apps.

Ralf Ebert:

  • Code completion always working
  • Debugger working without long delays
  • No more “compiler is unable to type-check this expression in reasonable time”
  • No more “Making Apple Watch ready”
  • No new features that could break any of those.

Ana Simion:

I’d like to see Apple increase the base amount of iCloud storage: 5GB is paltry.

Chris Hannah:

Some form of universal messaging support. Whether it is iMessage for Android (which I think is unlikely), or the adoption of RCS as a fallback instead of SMS. It’s clear that communication between iOS and Android devices shouldn’t be via SMS.

[…]

Multiple audio channels. This isn’t something that I’m desperate for, but it’s certainly irritating for me when you go to a website and a video/ad starts playing automatically and your song stops. Imagine going to a website on your Mac and an autoplaying video, stopping the song you’re listening to. Also, you should be able to alter the volume of specific apps/channels.

Adam Engst:

We’d like to see Apple revisit the Time Machine interface and make it so that it’s easier to navigate, shows dated versions of available files at a glance, and clarifies to the extent possible the differences between the current and older versions.

[…]

We’d love to see site-specific browsing capability come to Safari on the Mac. Although there are a variety of site-specific browsers available, they all have various issues[…]

[…]

Preview has no file format of its own, but with relatively little effort, Apple could at least leverage macOS’s longstanding versioning system to provide an easier way to undo changes.

[…]

We’d like to see Apple build a log of “important” changes into its operating systems, with an API for apps to log their own changes. Whenever the user took an action that met the criteria for “important”—turning on File Sharing, giving an app Full Disk Access, configuring Focus, adjusting system-wide text display, restarting the device—that action would be logged.

Nick Heer:

Every year for the past few, my main hope for WWDC is a renewed emphasis on stability and higher standards.

Joe Fabisevich:

Preface: SwiftUI is amazing and I love it. All I want for WWDC are functional List and NavigationView constructs. They’re both so easy to drop in and use but pretty quickly there’ll be some compromise you have to make, often choosing to abandon them outright instead.

Nicolas Magand:

I would like also to see Reading List as a standalone app, maybe an app including a tab showing the newsletters in your inbox, and why not subscribing to RSS feeds inside this app, in a separate tab? Basically the Podcast app, but for web pages.

[…]

Better collaborative features and 3rd-party access to Drive would be a good start for iCloud in June 2022.

Juli Clover:

Control Center API for third-party apps

[…]

Universal notifications - notifications clear from all devices when read on one

[…]

Support for multiple [iPad] users

Ryan Jones:

iMessage fix groups with green bubbles

[…]

Choose default Maps app

[…]

Clipboard history

AppStories:

This week, Federico and John conclude their annual OS wishes series with a look at what they want to see in macOS this year at WWDC.

Joe Fabisevich:

Two iMessage features I hope WWDC brings.

1. Status messages so people can know that I’m not available and why. Bonus: Calendar/focus modes integration.

2. The ability to set a chat to not badge Messages. You can mute alerts but it still bumps the badge count and drives me mad.

Jim Dalrymple:

I only want to see one thing from WWDC. Fix Siri. Take a “Snow Leopard” break from everything else and please fix Siri.

Daniel Steinberg:

For SwiftUI, I would like to see best practices for navigation and architecture. We’ve clearly made great strides in the past few years with the disappearance of the Info.plist and the App Delegate - what are the best ways to structure an app.

[…]

Every session that shows code on the screen should provide us with the code sample it came from and that code should be available on the day that the video is posted. There have been sessions where they showed us code that depended on code they didn’t show us and never showed us so we couldn’t recreate how something was done.

See also: Joe Cieplinski.

Previously:

Update (2022-06-06): Becky Hansmeyer:

I still don’t regret the decision to write YarnBuddy entirely in SwiftUI; however, it would be nice to be able to start phasing out some of the weird hacks and workarounds I’ve had to come up with to make the app look and work the way it does. For example, there’s still no true collection view equivalent. Navigation could use a re-think, or at the very least, some official guidance. Core Data integration is okay-ish, but it’s needlessly difficult to make it possible for users to sort and filter a fetch request. Any and all improvements are welcome, so I’m excited to see what the team has been working on this year (though I, like others, think SwiftUI needs to be decoupled from the annual OS upgrade cycle).

[…]

Flat design is just…well, over. It’s been on the way out for awhile, but it’s time for us to save the good bits and jettison the rest of it straight into the sun. In other words: here’s hoping Apple puts the final nail in the coffin on that weird chapter of mobile app design. I just want my apps to have personality again, you know? Not in a garish way, but a beautiful, fun way.

Dave B:

This WWDC is particularly close to my heart, because I’ve been on a bit of crusade for years, trying to get Apple to improve the sub-par Apple Music app. The last time the app got a major update was six years ago with iOS 10, and even from the moment of release, that update was never great. Since then, it has shown its age more and more, with all sorts of problems - big and small - in everything ranging from the UI design to the poor performance the frequent bugs and of course, to the lack of all sorts of key features that we’ve all wanted for years.

Timothy Perfitt:

Things we all agree would be good but very slim chance at WWDC:

  1. Native Smart Card readers support for iOS.
  2. Log into your Mac with 3rd party cloud password without weird iCloud/AppleID tie in
  3. 3rd party CTK drivers for M1 Macs for file vault unlock on start up
  4. Netboot.

Basic Apple Guy:

Presenting my WWDC22 Bingo Board, a list of some of my predictions and hopes I wish to see manifest at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference.

David Kopec:

My wish for today.

Jeff Johnson:

Separate SDK and Xcode downloads

See also: Matthew Bischoff.

21 Comments

The iMessage notifications inconsistency seems to have gotten way worse lately. Not only do I miss the notifications on some devices but often the notification badge won't clear across the board as it used to.

I wrote up a list of my wishes on my site as well: https://danielandrews.com/2022/05/09/wwdc-2022-wishlist/

Ben Kennedy

Every year these lists of hopes and wishes accumulate immediately before the conference. I suppose it's a fun cultural bonding exercise, but the repeated futility bemuses me. This year's agenda was already in motion a year ago or more, and even if it weren't, it's not as though blogs on the Internet exert an influence of wisdom otherwise unavailable within the walls of the world's biggest company.

1. Fix shit.

2. Make "macOS" (ugh) great UNIX again! *

Things I do not want but fear will happen anyway, provoking a severe deprecation (by me) of macOS on anything other than a notebook in a client-only capacity:

1. Catalyst Mail app.

* Mac Mini is not a server and macOS not a server OS, but it has just enough in it to make it useful as such, in particular the Apple-specific extensions to protocols (SMB TM and Spotlight) and Apple-proprietary stuff (content cache). Plus of course all that security theatre you have to turn off. Use dedicated RAID hardware and routers if you require those; macOS can do neither at all well. I just fiddled together (mostly thanks to the scarcely-documented launchd) a LAN bridge to my Zerotier network. The macOS bridge driver doesn't support mismatched MTUs across interfaces, so first you tell Zerotier to use standard Ethernet MTU of 1500 (using an undocumented option not available in the web UI), and then you make sure that the "feth" (Fake Ethernet) interface of your ZT network shares your bridge with your NIC. This latter is harder than necessary because configd(8) does not recognise virtual interfaces, does not let you add them to bridges (and no GUI either), does not dynamically manage the bridge as the interface comes and goes with the daemon (all, BTW, handled just fine on Windows--the horror!). All of which is by way of saying that editing an XML file to spawn a shell script periodically to get it working at all times is absolutely necessary on the world's most advanced desktop operating system. Oh, and don't forget to use PF to clamp the MSS to 1392 on packets entering and leaving via feth, or your performance will be a lot worse than necessary. Watch out for potential restarts of the daemon caused by updates ...

macOS:

Improve Disk Utility. Allow to check all volumes, containers and disks with a single click. Allow to check without repairing. Allow to check or repair excluding snapshots which may be many and take much time.

Allow developers to release DiskWarrior, TechTool Pro and Drive Genius to rebuild the directory of APFS.

Bring back colored items for Finder items and Finder sidebar. Colored tags are tiny and hard to spot.

Prevent Finder column view to jump to left hiding contents. Always show contents.

Always follow-show item dropped to other folder with many items in column view.

Select correct item when being selected and its name is changed in Finder column view.

Allow to place folders on the Application side of the Dock. Useful to sort them by categories.

Built-in troubleshooting tool, much as Conflict Catcher worked with Mac OS Classic.

Record chronologically installed applications, including the ones just saved and opened manually, without installer and when not using the Apple Store.

Speed up actions after booting in Safe mode.

Increase current item pathname limit and warn when an item pathname is too large.

Allow to boot different Apple silicon Macs from the same external disk.

Allow to use different bluetooth Apple keyboards and mide linked to different Macs when booting them from the same external SSD.

Always report putative culprits when something does not work as expected in Mac.

watchOS:

Make a truly standalone Apple Watch, requiring no dependency from iPhone or other gadget.

Apple Watch with camera.

Apple Watch with Safari to read QR Codes.

1. Sideloading.

2. 3rd party payment processing.

3. Send SwiftUI to /dev/null.

4. Send Swift to /dev/null.

5. Send Catalyst to /dev/null.

6. Fix AppKit bugs.

7. Fix UIKit bugs.

Support exporting from Messages.

Stop getting my hopes up.

How this wasn't a high-priority use case, I have no idea. Part of me says "to push iCloud subscriptions", but this is so basic a want I think I have to ascribe it to something cultural at Apple, namely their “mvp is good enough” mentality.

And export isn’t an mvp feature, but what version of Messages are we on now? Waaay more important than, say, tapback, stickers, or an app store. But those are engagement-pushers. Nobody at Apple seems to have said, “Ok, time for v2. What does a mature messaging app do?”

Guess I should add my wish as long as I'm here:

* Safari web developer tools more in line with Chrome's & Firefox's.

You want folks to code for your browser, you need to make it the best, most frictionless place to test that code. I'm sure some Stockholmed someone will defend that mess Safari provides, but here Apple needs to start not with Think Different but Think Useful.

Safari's gotten better, I think (though who picked olive for an active line highlight color?), but it's actively hostile to folks used to debugging in other browsers.

Two quick examples:

1. F12 should open & close tools. (I overrode this in settings, but it will only open, not close dev tools)
2. Continue script execution should be F8.

Corollaries to 2:
F8 should not be Step Out. (That is, the conventional pattern doesn't just not work on Safari, it produces unexpected behavior)
Continue script execution should not be Ctrl-Cmd-Y or Cmd-backslash (is that a Mac convention I've missed?)

I worry that Apple web devs only test on Safari, opposite the rest of the world. Neither is right.

I have a very simple wish: Actually give a damn about macOS. It's clear that Apple doesn't, and it's pathetic of them to have to begin almost every Mac presentation with, "We love the Mac."

The services apps are horrible. Basic functionalities no longer work reliably. Long established Mac UI patterns are broken. Every decision they make about macOS feels like they're driven by iOS.

When's the last time we've seen actual improvements to macOS? It's been quite a while. Everything since (Snow) Leopard has been just minor tweaks and leftovers from iOS.

I wish Apple would not drop the ball and concentrate on fixing bugs and keeping all their apps and features up to date, with consistency and feature parity.

Also, they have a few long-term weaknesses: search - is the main one.
Whenever a search is involved right now, it works poorly. Spotlight, App Store, and Siri all suffer from it.

I forgot to say:

Please, please, please, sort "Apple - System Preferences - Security & Privacy - Privacy" contents of its left pane alphabetically. For instance, for Accessibility and Full Disk Access. Now is a real mess and time consuming to find anything there. Really frustrating.

@MeX Good point. You can type-select within that list, though that’s not at all obvious.

Ryan Ferrell

Allow my work laptop to Universal Control with my personal Macs.

Support for mice with more than two buttons.

My top 3 (but not exhaustive) list of buggy apps:

Finder has so many small bugs, I have to force restart it at least once per week. Last time today, because suddenly I could not open the Documents folder anymore. All file icons disappearing from the desktop also is a classic. Very scary when it happened the first time.

Photos.app import of pictures from my iPhone (local USB) regularly forgets which pictures have already been imported. This will create duplicate copies of sometimes thousands of photos in my library. Only remedy I found is to delete the photos from my iPhone.

This is very old and not really a bug. I really hate how attachments are presented in Mail.app. Especially how single page documents are presented differently from multipage documents. It's confusing as hell and a regular cause of support calls from my mom.

1. Bertrand Serlet returns with his team, drops any code that has been written after Snow Leopard, fires everyone responsible for it, and makes MacOS great again.

@Michael Tsai June 4, 2022 7:49 PM
@MeX Good point. You can type-select within that list, though that’s not at all obvious.

Do you mean that starting typing a name goes to such item? It does not work here, even after unlocking Full Disk Access, on macOS 12.4 (21F79) Monterey.

Even better would be if they are sorted alphabetically by application including ALL items for such application. For instance, "Full Disk Access" may have also entries starting with "com…" (or whatever) and "co.uk…" (or whatever) SEPARATED from other entries for the applications to which they belong, which increases the chaos.

@MeX Yes, I can start to type “Full Disk Access” or “Automation” to jump around in the left pane. The right pane is, confusingly, also not alphabetical, but type-selecting doesn’t work there for me.

@Michael Tsai

Thanks. Works as you say also for me. I meant the right pane was a mess, but you are also right that the left one is also not alphabetically sorted. It is amazing that this serious productivity flaw has been around for so long. Let's hope macOS 13 (tomorrow!) fixes all that…

Apple has advice on filing great bug reports.

It is left as an exercise to the reader to determine whether this constitutes dark humour.

Other:

Show the login screen with seconds (not just hour and minutes). That is useful to troubleshoot login issues after booting and waking up from sleep.

And another one:

Keep highlighted a Finder item in column view when you click over it, edit its name and click its icon on the left. Now it moves to other place (when the name change involves a new sorting order) but does not keep selected. Instead, the Finder selects other item. I have wrongly done things with items due to this frustrating flaw.

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