Apple Is Becoming More and More Like My Mom
A son’s insights into WWDC 2019
WWDC 2019 — The New Stuff
(If you already read one of the myriad other posts about WWDC 2019, feel free to scroll to the next section)
WWDC 2019 was like Christmas for Apple developers and fans.
For over three hours, Tim Cook slid down the McEnery Convention Center chimney and pulled a seemingly-endless list of iPresents out of his goodie bag.
Here are a few of the big ones:
- The gratest Mac to ever come out of Cupertino: the aforementioned 28-core, up to 1.5 TB of RAM, 1,400 Watt, $6,000 cheese grater.
- iOS 13 dark mode. The audience went into full-on dork mode over this new feature. You could hear the squeals of delight through the live stream.
- The Death of iTunes (R.I.P. 2001–2019). I hope I still get to keep all my Backstreet Boys and NSYNC downloaded cover art.
Here are a few of the small ones:
- New tvOS screensavers filmed underwater. Thank god, Tim Cook finally saw my pleas on the Apple fan forums.
- macOS Catalina, Mojave’s successor. This probably shouldn’t be in the ‘small’ section but I’m just curious when Apple’s going to name a macOS after Rancho Cucamonga, California. Hopefully soon.
- Siri got new vocal cords.
And here are a few of the really small ones (you better believe I’m excited for that redesigned walkie-talkie):
I really don’t think Apple employees sleep.
When it Hit Me
So it was about 20 minutes into the stream when Apple’s VP of technology, Kevin Lynch, unveiled the new Apple Watch Noise app.
The Noise App
Here’s how it works:
Your Apple Watch uses its microphone to listen to the world around you and alerts you if you are in a loud environment where your hearing health is at risk.
It’s a great, simple idea but it seems all too familiar.
That’s when I realized, my mom does the same thing.
My mom’s biggest worry is that I will lose my hearing early from listening to music with my headphones in. She grew up in an era long before Airpods and I swear she sees a new PBS documentary about early hearing loss every week (between her regularly-scheduled Downton Abbey re-runs, of course).
Needless to say, if she ever sees me wearing headphones around the house, she will interrupt my Oldies but Goodies: a Timeless Adventure Through the 60’s playlist to yell at me about hearing loss.
The new Noise App would definitely give me a warning that the yelling is putting my hearing health at risk.
As I watched the WWDC live stream, interest piqued from this revelation about the Noise App, a new feature was announced for Find My iPhone:
With the new update, Find My iPhone even works if your device is offline. How? The device continues to transmit a secure Bluetooth beacon that anyone’s nearby iPhone can pick up and report to Apple.
This one brought me back to the countless times I didn’t see a text, a call, or fifteen calls from my mom and within a matter of minutes she had the whole city — friends, family, strangers — out looking for me. She would transmit a beacon so strong that not just anyone would pick it up, everyone would pick it up.
She had Apple’s new system down wayyy before Tim Cooked up this idea.
It’s clear: for WWDC 2019, Apple replicated my mom’s worrying features as new release features.
WWDC 2020 — What to Expect
And so, @apple here are the new features I’m expecting at WWDC 2020:
- An Apple Watch app that vibrates continuously if I spend money eating out. We have food at home.
- A location services feature that reminds you to always bring a jacket when you leave the house.
- A Reminders alarm that alerts you to take the chicken out of the freezer so it’s thawed at the precise moment when mom pulls into the driveway.
But when you look at all the features Apple released at WWDC 2019 this year, there seems to be a visible trend:
Apple has our safety, security, and health in mind.
Apple revamped its Apple Watch Health app and made it more powerful to help you, me, and Karen from across the street live healthier lives. The new menstrual cycle tracking feature on Apple Watch will help women see predicted timing for their next period and fertility window. The company completely overhauled Carplay, to make it less distracting and safer to use while driving.
The list goes on.
Apple’s looking out for us. Just like our moms.