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An Everyday User’s (Unfiltered) Take on WWDC22

An Everyday User’s (Unfiltered) Take on WWDC22

Apple recently held its worldwide developer’s conference, WWDC. But don’t be misled by the name, this is very much a consumer-facing event. The highly anticipated calendar entry is reserved – almost exclusively – for announcing updates to the software that run Apple’s devices, utilities and services. 

As a bona fide consumer, well within the confines of Apple’s walled garden, I take a keen interest in such proceedings. And true to form, the tech giant did not disappoint. Through these enhancements, Apple continues to redefine what technology could be to us. 

In this thought, I discuss the new features (and product announcements) that stand out to me. Being in Australia I’m yet to test drive them – we get the updates a bit later – but I’m keen on these updates all the same. 

iPhone Lock Screen

To start things off, there are some fun enhancements to the much-loved iPhone lock screen. We now get to customise this space in new ways with wallpapers and widgets. Also, you can have multiple lock screens for different use cases. 

Although I’m not one to go the distance with this feature, I like to know that it’s there and that I can play around with it, as and when I please. I think I change my lock screen about once a year. 



New changes have come to messages. Most notably, undo send, and edit recently sent messages. These are welcome features. I find the predictive text algorithm a bit unpredictable. This is not helped by the fact that I am especially prone to typing errors. I’ve often had to send follow-up messages to correct errors.

Focus Mode


With notifications streaming in from everywhere, focus mode gives you the ability to turn it down, or better yet, mute it. This is what I call, listening to customers. It helps to have control over how many interruptions you’re getting from your device. And the best part, these settings are synced across all your devices. So when you set up focus modes for work on your phone, it automatically takes on your mac. Great idea!

Focus mode is not exactly new, but it got some updates for those wanting even more control over what gets through. Focus filter now allows you to pick and choose which notifications come through, for each app. Examples include tab groups in safaris, conversations in messages, accounts in mail and events in the calendar. Of course, you can have multiple focus modes. 

Developers get to design apps with focus filters in mind too. I’m curious to see if social media platforms will embrace this idea of “mute” controls.

Payments & Pay Later


Now merchants can start accepting payments from customers who just tap their iPhones. So what’s new with this? I looked closer at the accompanying visual and realised both the merchant and the customer were using their iPhones. Hence the merchant does not need any additional hardware. There’s a game-changer. 

Speaking of pay, You may recall that Apple launched their credit card sometime back, so they’ve been making inroads into the payment space for a while. Wonder who else is in this space? There’s VISA, Mastercard and American Express. Yes, Apple is making a mark in financial services. 

And now with Apple Pay Later you can pay for a transaction in 4 equal payments, split over six weeks, interest-free. Very convenient, and hugely significant. It means Apple is literally extending credit to shoppers. Sort of like a bank.



Apple’s navigation system, iMaps, also got some attention. You can now plan up to 15 stops in a single trip. I see this being handy for tour guides and holidaymakers who need to map out all the stops for the day. What’s impressive is the ability to plan the trip on the bigger screen of a mac device, and then share it with your phone. This saves you from having to enter the information multiple times. 

Still on transport, with the new maps, riders can see public transport fares within the app. This means that you can now plan your public transport route, without having to exit the app for fare details. Apple is working on making it possible to top up your fare cards from within the app.  It’ll be interesting to see if the iPhone can replace the physical transit card altogether.



The watch OS9 medications app makes it easy to discreetly track medication, vitamins and supplements anytime. Use your iPhone camera to scan and import medications. Once prescription details are entered, you can receive notifications for the medicines you take regularly. Very handy. I’ve used the reminders app in the past for this, so I’m glad to see this feature built-in. Also, the iWatch integration truly elevates this feature to a personal level. 

See Also

Here’s another value add. Once you’ve built up your list of prescription and over-the-counter medications, the app can let you know about drug-drug interactions that can cause side effects or diminish the effectiveness of a drug. Of course, the app does not replace your local GP. 

Not sure how I feel about Apple entering this space, but they’ve done it very thoughtfully. 

New Macs


The all-new M2 chip was announced at WWDC22. Naturally, it’s more capable than its predecessor, the M1. I am tempted to get the new MacBook air with the M2 chip. Although I do most of my work on a 27” iMac which meets my needs comfortably, my current laptop is on its last leg, and can’t handle more intensive workloads. There’s also the new 13″ MacBook pro that launched with the M2 chip so it’s a tough decision. 

Hand Off

Let’s say hello to hand off. It’s a great example of how Apple is creating deep integration across their devices and services. The feature allows for seamlessly switching devices during FaceTime calls. To put it differently, you can start a video call on your phone, and “hand it over” to your MacBook without dropping the call. I see a lot of use for this feature and I’m personally keen on it.

Continuity Camera


The continuity camera allows you to use the rear camera on your iPhone for video conferencing on other Apple devices like the desktop or laptop. It’s a great value add because iPhone cameras are arguably the best in class. Desktop and tablet front-facing cameras on the other hand consistently underwhelm. So there’s a real need for this innovation.

Indeed the proof of concept for this use case was long established by third-party software providers who created apps to use the phone camera in this way. A google search of “how to use your phone as a webcam” will show that this concept is not new. Bringing it into the Apple ecosystem is a clear value add. It’s sad to note, however, that this move to bring Continuity Camera into the Apple ecosystem, casually dismisses a sizeable fraction of the competition. This trend was explored quite elegantly by Marques Brownlee in his video, aptly titled: Apple vs The Paradox of Choice. 

iPad Desktop Support

For the longest time, Apple critics have accused the tech giant of limiting the functionality of their iPad devices by not having support for external displays in the OS. The presumed reason was to avoid hurting sales of Mac devices. With iPad OS 16, we now have built-in support for an external display.  I’m excited to see how this looks and feels with daily use. It will certainly go a long way towards extending the usability of the already very capable iPad devices. 

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