Have you noticed that Apple’s events aren’t nearly as exciting today as in the old days. Back then, Steve Jobs would employ his fabled “reality distortion field” while pitching Apple’s latest and greatest to adoring Apple enthusiasts live at Macworld Expo. Fans camped out for days just to get a good seat for one of Jobs’ fabled keynotes.
In the years since Jobs and Macworld Expo shuffled off this mortal coil and COVID became a thing, Apple product announcements have become slick, scripted television extravaganzas featuring Apple CEO Tim Cook and his minions. At first, I found Apple’s new way of revealing new products somewhat entertaining. But, as the years have passed, these events have become more predictable and annoying.
WWDC: Slickly Produced
Last week’s Worldwide Developer Conference event was no exception; predictable and annoying. Still, I watched most of it because it’s my job, but I didn’t enjoy it. You can watch the keynote at www.apple.com/apple-events if you care to. But, if you don’t care to spend an hour and 48 minutes watching it, here are some highlights for Mac users.
The next rendition of macOS, dubbed “Ventura,” includes several promising new features such as Stage Manager, “a new way to stay focused on the task in front of you while seamlessly switching between apps and windows.” Stage Manager looks less confusing than Mission Control, and more powerful and customizable than the Dock. I eagerly await its arrival.
Another Ventura feature I think you’ll love is Continuity Camera, which now lets you use your iPhone as your video camera instead of the mediocre built-in camera in your notebook Mac. If your iPhone has an Ultra Wide camera (iPhone 11 or later) you can invoke Desk View, which shows your face alongside an overhead view of your desk, which looks both cool and useful.
For what it’s worth, if you want to use your iPhone camera with your Mac now (and you should), remember ReincubateCamo, an iPhone app I raved about in April 2021. It works beautifully with macOS Monterey so you can start using your iPhone camera with your Mac today.
Then Came M2 and Freeform
Apple’s new M2 processors deliver more performance and better power efficiency than previous iterations and are slated for the completely redesigned Macbook Air and the updated 13-inch Macbook Pro.
Finally, a new Apple productivity app called Freeform will ship later this year. It looks like a whiteboard and Apple says it is “where you and your collaborators can bring ideas to life. Plan projects, collect inspiration, brainstorm with your team, or draw with a friend. Share files and insert web links, documents, video, and audio.” As a productivity enthusiast, I look forward to trying it.
One last thing: There will soon be public betas of Apple’s next operating system releases. My advice is not to install them on any device you depend upon to work properly.