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Everything Changing in Apple Notes and Reminders in iOS and iPadOS 14

Notes and Reminders in iOS 14.

Notes and Reminders in iOS 14.

Apple Notes and Reminders are two of my most-used apps, and each has received significant updates in iOS and iPadOS 14. Though neither app’s improvements have been held up as tentpole features of this fall’s releases, Apple has nonetheless given noteworthy attention to making the user experience for each app better in a variety of key ways. You won’t find fundamental evolutions in how either app works, but these updates prove the power of iteration. From visual tweaks that make everything look and feel more modern, to quality of life enhancements, and more substantive new features, the list of total changes is surprisingly rich.

After a few days of use, here’s everything new I’ve discovered in Notes and Reminders.

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Apple Silicon Macs Will Add a New Boot and Recovery Mode

Jason Snell describes on Six Colors how Apple Silicon Macs will handle boot and recovery modes:

With the advent of Macs running Apple-designed processors, things will get a whole lot simpler. As described Wednesday in the WWDC session Explore the New System Architecture of Apple Silicon Macs, these new Macs will only require you to remember a single button: Power. (On laptops, that’ll be the Touch ID button. On desktops, presumably it’s the physical power button.)

Holding down that button at startup will bring up an entirely new macOS Recovery options screen. From here you’ll be able to fix a broken Mac boot drive, alter security settings, share your Mac’s disk with another computer, choose a startup disk, and pretty much everything else you used to have to remember keyboard shortcuts to do.

The new system is based on iOS’s boot process modified to meet the needs of Mac users. I can’t wait for this change. I don’t use the boot-up key combinations often enough to remember what they are. I expect that as we learn more about Apple’s upcoming Macs, other benefits gained by moving to Apple-designed SoCs will become apparent too.

You can also follow all of our WWDC coverage through our WWDC 2020 hub, or subscribe to the dedicated WWDC 2020 RSS feed.

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The Talk Show Remote from WWDC 2020 with Guests Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak

John Gruber’s annual live version of The Talk Show has become a tradition at WWDC featuring a variety of guests from Apple in recent years. This year, with the conference held online-only, Gruber recorded the show remotely with guests Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak.

Apple crams a lot into a keynote, and it is interviews like Gruber’s that provide additional details, helping paint the bigger picture with interesting insights into the thought that goes into the company’s products.

The wide-ranging interview covers developers and the App Store, the Mac and Big Sur, the iPad and Pencil, iOS 14, and privacy. In response to commentators who believe that Apple is merging iOS and macOS or abandoning the Mac, Federighi rattled off a long list of projects related to the Mac, commenting, “We love the Mac and we’re all in.” Joswiak added, “We’re far from bored with the Mac; it’s in our DNA.”

Federighi also addressed the relationship of Catalyst, SwiftUI, AppKit, and UIKit for developers, explaining that there is no single correct path. He said that the best path depends on where developers start. For example, some developers have invested heavily in AppKit and will probably want to stick with it, while UIKit developers may want to bring their apps to the Mac using Catalyst, whereas a new developer may want to start fresh with SwiftUI.

Gruber also asked about Scribble for iPad, the new feature that recognizes handwriting and adds other flexibility to taking notes with the Apple Pencil. The popularity of apps like GoodNotes and Notability haven’t gone unnoticed in Cupertino. In response to Gruber’s questioning, Federighi explained that the feature is designed to extend the utility of the Pencil when you’re already in a Pencil-centric mode, making it an alternative, but not a replacement, for a keyboard and touch.

The entire interview runs roughly 90 minutes and is worth watching in its entirety on YouTube for the full experience, but it is also available in an audio-only format as part of The Talk Show’s podcast feed.

You can also follow all of our WWDC coverage through our WWDC 2020 hub, or subscribe to the dedicated WWDC 2020 RSS feed.

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WWDC 2020: All the Little Things in Apple’s New OS Releases

WWDC week is always full of big and small announcements about Apple’s core software platforms. Monday’s keynote only has time for sharing a limited number of details, however, so as the week goes on many new discoveries are made as developers and writers delve into the first beta OS releases themselves. As a result, we always have a roundup of new things to share midway through the week. So today, on top of everything detailed in our overviews of iOS and iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, macOS Big Sur, and tvOS 14, here’s an assortment of extra goodies that will be arriving on your devices this fall.

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Apple Highlights the Music of WWDC, Including Federico Viticci’s MusicBot

Today as part of the Discover section of Apple’s Developer app, the company shared three playlists and interviews with developers about the role music plays in their lives. Among the interviews is one with Federico, who was asked about MusicBot, the Apple Music shortcut that he created, and shared on MacStories, last December.

Sam Rosenthal, the developer behind the excellent Apple Arcade game Where Cards Fall, was interviewed too. He explains how his love of music informs his company’s approach to game development:

“A lot of the bands that I really loved… They didn’t stick with one sound,” he said. Rosenthal has carried that philosophy into his work: “Every time we make something, it should be different from the last. It should surprise people.”

In addition to interviews with developers, Apple shared three playlists: WWDC20 Power Up, WWDC20 Coding Energy, and WWDC20 Coding Focus.

With WWDC forced to be held remotely due to the pandemic and other troubles in the world, I really appreciate the sentiment shared by Federico at the conclusion of Apple’s story:

“Music transcends our differences and has the power to unite us,” Viticci said. “To make us feel connected no matter what’s going on in the world.”

Be sure to check out the playlists above, I’ve only had a chance to scroll through them so far, but they look like excellent collections to enjoy as you catch up on the latest WWDC developments.

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The Mac’s Transition to Apple Silicon

Echoes of the past were woven throughout Apple’s announcement that it is transitioning the Mac from Intel-based chips to its own architecture. During the keynote yesterday, Senior Vice President of Hardware Technologies Johny Srouji kicked things off by explaining the balance between performance and power consumption, something that drove the transition to Intel chips nearly 15 years go. Then, Craig Federighi introduced Universal 2 and Rosetta 2, software solutions that originated with the transition to Intel Macs.

It would be a mistake to conclude that the transition to Apple Silicon will be just like the last switch, though. The computing world is very different from 2006, and so is Apple’s lineup of products. The transition carries the promise of powerful, low-power Macs, but it also foreshadows a fundamental change in the relationship among Apple’s platforms that began with the introduction of Mac Catalyst, SwiftUI, and related initiatives. Where precisely these changes lead is not entirely clear yet, but one thing is for certain: the Mac is changing dramatically.

Yesterday, I covered macOS 11.0, known as Big Sur, which is as much a part of this transition as the Mac’s new system-on-a-chip (SoC) will be. Today, however, it’s worth taking a closer look at the hardware that was announced. It won’t be available to consumers until later this year, and the transition is expected to take two years. However, within a week or so, developers will begin receiving test kits that will allow them to start working on supporting the new hardware when the new Macs start shipping.

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Apple Audio: AirPods Receive Automatic Switching, Spatial Audio on AirPods Pro, and HomePod Integrates with Third-Party Music Services

Apple’s audio products – especially AirPods and AirPods Pro – are becoming major players in the company’s product ecosystem, and as a result it’s no surprise that new features for these products were announced at WWDC. Easily my favorite audio announcement was automatic switching between devices, but there’s a lot of other great audio news too: spatial audio on AirPods Pro, third-party music services on HomePod, audio sharing on tvOS, headphone accommodations, and more.

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