Even before I became an Apple user I thought their annual developer’s conference, “WWDC”, was an exciting time of year. Whatever Apple does moves the consumer electronics industry forward in a way that can’t be said of Google, Samsung, or the litany of B-tier Android device manufacturers. Although the Android “fragmentation problem” has gotten better, there is no single day with a wider adoption of new features than when Apple rolls out the next version of iOS to their giant market share.

These are the things I was excited about this year. A lot of them have to do with widgets, apparently. This year “WWDC” stands for “Widgety Widget Developer’s Conference”.

iOS 17

Better Widgets

Are more android-like. You can do things with a widget other than open the associated app. A no-brainer that should have been in the initial release.


The next release of iOS comes a lot of niceties, but the one I’m most excited about is a feature they call “Standby”.


When your phone is charging and turned sideways it will enter into a sort of smart-display-like mode. Using large fonts and showing you Siri results, widgets, and all sorts of stuff. I could easily imagine using this in conjuction with a HomePod (or really any speaker) to effectively replace a Google Home or Amazon Alexa setup. Your phone (or iPad) could become the screen for your smart speaker. Google is already moving this direction with their latest Pixel Tablet.

This also allows for your charging phone to show context-senstive widgets.

App Updates

The keyboard is apparently going to get markedly better, learn how I write, and not make me fix every ducking bad autocorrect.

Apple’s “Notes” app will allow linking directly to a note, which enables linking between notes. This isn’t enough to put it over the line for me as a serious contender for me to replace Notion with, but this does open it up to becoming a more capable companion.


No longer “Hey Siri” - you have the option of making it just “Siri”. I’m a Siri apologist, and very keen on this feature.


A mindfulness-based journaling app, built into the phone and tied into the already stellar “Health” app. This app plus the APIs could be interesting for me in a future project.


Better Lock Screen

The iPad Lock Screen will now also be getting customization and widgets. Good stuff.

Better Widgets

Same as on iOS, widgets are now interactive. Arguably even more important on the iPad.

App Updates

Basically all the same stuff as in the iPhone version up there applies. Most importantly, the iPad is getting the Health app, so you can interact with those data on a bigger screen.

WatchOS 10

The whole OS is getting overhauled. There will be much more focus put on widgets, and less on apps on your wrist. All the apps are getting an overhaul, too.

MacOS Sonoma

For the first time ever, MacOS updates meant something to me! On the desktop. Included here mostly for thematic consistency. I guess that’s it.

Vision Pro

The thing everyone is talking about from WWDC is the Vision Pro. It is Apple’s way more capable, way more expensive competitor to Facebook’s “Quest 2” virtual reality headset. It is aiming to be a very different kind of product. The Quest 2 is a video game console that sometimes tries to be more. The Vision Pro is aiming to be more like your computer and phone wrapped into one, that sometimes tries to be a video game console.

The Vision Pro is a vision of the future… but it’s not there yet. For those of you who read this but don’t follow tech news (HI MOM), this is Vision Pro:

not good

I want the capability to throw up a big virtual screen wherever I am, floating midair. I want to be able to augment the real world with an overlay of helpful or entertaining content. But I absolutely do not want my view of the world to be passed through a screen showing me what a camera sees in front of me.

I will ditch my phone as soon as augmented reality WITHOUT ACTUALLY robbing me of seeing the world. I don’t want a camera and a screen showing me pass thru. I want something more akin to Google Glass, but with a full pair of glasses. I recognize that this will prevent full “virtual reality” without the ability to block out ambient light, but that’s a small price to pay for living your life without your eyes actually seeing your life.

That’s some Black Mirror1 stuff.

Top 5: Lessons Learned Through Pain

5. Respect Potential Energy in All its Forms

Precariously hanging tree limbs. Rubber exercise bands. Barbells and dumbbells that are in use. I respect all these things thanks to a run-in I had with a slingshot that I stretched beyond is failure point when I was a kid.

4. Beware Carrying Things that Block Your Vision

Who hasn’t carried something that obscured their vision then tripped over something or stepped on something? I can’t recall the exact incident that stuck with me, but I’m ALWAYS aware of whether or not I can see the ground I’m walking on.

3. Don’t Sprint Under Low Overhangs

Good advice generally. If you’re 6’9” it’s GREAT advice.

2. Wear Appropriate Footwear

I once forgot my basketball shoes, but decided to play anyway in my chucks. I will save the gory details, but what followed was several weeks of horribleness.

1. Don’t Push Too Hard

This lesson you have to relearn a few times as you age. As a kid I could basically go forever. Somewhere in my 20’s I had my first instance of injury from pushing too hard weightlifting. I learned and relearned in the weight room what the “right” level of struggle was. Recently I crossed that stress and strain threshold wielding a shovel and a 5 gallon bucket. A month later I’m still dealing with fallout.


In those moments where you just want to type a ducking word, well, the keyboard will learn it, too.  Apple’s Craig Federighi, talking about the improving keyboard

  1.  Speaking of which, Season 6 just came out. It was not bad.