WWDC 2019 Round-Up

Apple's annual developer conference kicked off with a keynote that was particularly confused and confusing.


iOS 13 Dark Mode (Artist Rendering)

Darkest Mode

This year Apple was excited to announce a list of innovations they're bringing to iOS, by copying them from features that have been in Android for many years. At the top of this list is Dark Mode, so you'll no longer be blinded by the white backgrounds of apps. This is a feature that was available on Samsung phones before even Android, and now iOS will finally get it too.

Apple Maps is going to see a major upgrade to look more like Google Maps, with Street View.

And that is basically all they had to say because the rest of the iOS presentation was filler.

So much filler.

They spent way too much time droning on about stuff that has nothing to do with iOS. They spent about 5 minutes just on minor changes to the Photos app. No shit, the presenter was literally just showing us pictures of his baby for several minutes.

My favorite Android feature coming to iOS this Fall is the ability to automatically send all unknown callers to voicemail! This is such a vital feature that has been sorely missed on iOS with the rise of robocalls. I got so many last week that I made this my ringtone.

iPadOS

For the first time ever we heard of a new OS specific to the iPad, called iPadOS... but this was not well explained. I'm not kidding, this whole keynote was such a confusing clusterfuck. It looks like iOS, and it smells like iOS. They showed off some small, but meaningful, improvements to multi-tasking. It looks like they're trying to blur the line between desktop and iPad, but they didn't mention mouse support.

They briefly showed a USB-C thumb drive plugged into the iPad, and said you can now use external storage with the Files app. It was not clear if this function will come to iPads with Lightning connectors.

6k Display for $6k

For those of you that want to spend way too much money on a computer, Apple has you covered with the new 2019 Mac Pro. It's so expensive they won't even say how much it is in the Keynote. We can reasonably assume that it is going to cost many times more than what those parts would cost you if you just built it yourself and ran a Hackintosh on it.

If you've got to have an Apple branded PC then you'll be pleased to know that they've returned to the cheese grater form factor. They specifically mentioned that the new Mac Pro will be rack mountable, which is welcomed news to Real Pros who couldn't rack mount the stupid trashcan from 2013.

While you're spending too much on a PC, you can also spend $6,000 on a 32" 6K monitor. The base monitor itself is $5,000, but the stand for it is another $1,000! Seriously. The stand. Just the stand, is an extra $1,000. Fuck you, Apple.

The biggest news on the Mac front was that they're pushing for iPad developers to port their apps to macOS. They promise this will be easy with something called Project Catalyst. I expect we'll hear more about that as WWDC continues this week.

Let's Play with Strng

I love Karplus-Strong string synthesis. It tickles my eardrums and brain in exactly the right way. My mini-series on Audulus was all about building up my own Karplus-Strong engine. Fortunately you don't have to do any of that, because Strng presents all of the vital elements in one pretty little package.

With the addition of AUv3 and a saturator this app has taken on a new life! So Let's Play with it!

Video Description:

humbleTUNE updated their string synthesis app Strng with AUv3 support and some other goodies! I explore it all in this Let's Play!

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Let's Play with Aparillo

There are a few synth apps available on iOS. It can be tough to decide which to spend time with, or if any of them are any different from the others. Aparillo does an excellent job of distinguishing itself from the pack!

Video Description:

Aparillo offers a very unique approach to sound design and synthesis! Let's Play with it!

If you've enjoyed this series please consider supporting it by becoming a Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/discchord If you'd prefer to help on a monthly basis, instead of per video, there is a monthly Patreon campaign: https://www.patreon.com/discchord_com Or you can support me on Timmeon if you don't like Patreon: https://discchord.com/supporters#timmeon (Patrons of these campaigns get the same benefits, including Ad Free viewing on the site!)

Hello, Fellow Kids 👋😜

As someone who likes to consider himself a writer, I've resisted using emojis. I try not to use them even informally on social media. I feel that, like the emoticons that came before emojis, they become a crutch.

Conveying nuance is hard, especially in written text. If you start to take shortcuts you'll have to rely on them. You cannot take shortcuts if you want to master any art form.

My thinking on this has changed recently after reading the 1985 sci-fi novel Eon, by Greg Bear. In it he describes a system of communication that includes both language and pictures. The "picts" he describes in the book sound exactly like emoji. They don't entirely replace verbal communication, but instead enhance it.

In order to maintain relevance, and reach younger generations as the site ages, it is important for me to communicate in the style of the times. To wit: 🍴💩🥑🍞

New iPad Air & iPad mini for 2019

Apple just pulled a very un-Apple move by casually releasing new iPads today without a lot of fanfare. This is just one week before their big March press event, which makes me wonder what (if anything) will be happening on the 25th. The current rumors are that the event will be about a new TV streaming service.

Guess I can skip it now!

Rumors leading up to this month had been indicating that we would see a new "non-Pro" iPad and a new iPad mini. Both of those were correct! The new iPad Air is being compared to the old iPad Pro of 2017, with a similar 10.5" footprint. Meanwhile the mini is coming in at 7.9", which has been the standard iPad mini size.

Both devices arrive with support for Apple Pencil and $160 Smart keyboard covers.

You can buy both of these models today, and they'll be shipping next week. Currently the site estimates deliveries between March 29th and April 2nd. The new iPad Air is $500 for 64GB, or $650 for 256GB. The iPad mini starts at $400 for 64GB, and $550 for 256GB.

There are two key distinctions between these new entries and the Pros that came out last Autumn. Today's models include headphone jacks and Lightning connections; while the Pro models have a USB-C connector.

The current iPad range includes last year's 9.7" $330 "New iPad", the actually new 7.9" $400 iPad mini, the also new 10.5" $500 iPad Air, the recent 11" $800 iPad Pro, and 12.9" $1,000 iPad Pro. There are no technical specs available for the new devices, other than they sport the A12 Bionic chip found in the current range of iPhones. This is not the A12X found in the latest iPad Pro models.

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