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WWDC 2020’s Honorable Mentions

Some of the more interesting features of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS aren’t shown during the keynote, but they are briefly referenced in summary slides. After the keynote is finished, I like to dig through the information on Apple’s website and developer documentation to see what else of note is coming.

There’s going to be a lot more we’ll find out over the coming days as WWDC continues. For now, here’s a list of some features either not covered or only hinted at during the keynote.

Resources consulted:

iOS 14 and iPadOS 14

  • General
    • iOS and iPadOS will support system-wide default browser and email apps.
    • VoiceOver supports text recognition and can detect text within images.
    • Apple demonstrated smart Widget stacks but iOS 14 will let you create custom stacks using the widgets of your choice.
    • Translations can be performed completely offline—no internet connection required.
    • Even more privacy and control over the data shared with apps. You can share an approximate location—not an exact one—when an app asks you for your location. You can also restrict photo sharing so that apps can’t have full access to your photo library, only part of it.
    • Family Sharing will extend purchased app sharing to subscriptions from participating developers.
  • Apple apps
    • Maps will show the location of speed and red-light cameras and warn you along your route.
    • CarKey will continue to function for up to five hours after an iPhone has run out of battery. This is the same behavior that Express Transit uses on supported phones.
    • Reminders can be assigned to shared list participants.
    • Messages supports up to nine pinned conversations.
    • Weather is getting much more granular information, likely leveraging their acquisition of Dark Sky. There’s a lot more precipitation information, and the app and its widget will display severe weather warnings.
  • FaceTime
    • FaceTime video quality on supported devices is increased to 1080p
    • FaceTime will also detect if a participant of a group call is using sign language and increase the size of their video.
  • Camera and Photos
    • QuickTake will be available on iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max.
    • Exposure compensation can be locked for the duration of a camera session but you can continue to set exposure and focus lock for individual photos.
    • Apple is finally making better use of the volume buttons with the Camera app. Volume Up can be used to take burst photos, Volume Down can be used for QuickTake video.
    • All devices can now toggle the video resolution settings directly from the Camera app.
    • Photos can have captions to add some descriptive information.

watchOS 7

  • Apple Watch will support spoken translations on the fly.
  • Dictation is going to be handled on the watch directly and should result in quicker and more accurate voice recognition.

Shortcuts

  • The Shortcuts app is getting a redesign. iPadOS will see it include the new sidebar that many of Apple’s apps are getting.
  • Folder support is coming to iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. Finally.
  • Shortcuts are finally/again on the Apple Watch. Before it was acquired and relaunched as Shortcuts, Workflow had a pretty great Apple Watch app and complication. Good to see this return.

Other notable mentions

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Migrating from Instagram to Micro.blog or WordPress

For anyone wanting to escape the misery machine of Facebook and permanently delete their Instagram account, I’ve created a couple of shortcuts so you can migrate your photos to either a Micro.blog-hosted site or a site that runs on WordPress.

Both shortcuts use a copy of your Instagram archive to upload photos and create the appropriate posts. The date for each post is set to the original upload date. The post itself includes the original caption and, if available, location name. You can choose whether to remove hashtags or keep them in the post. The WordPress shortcut has an additional option to convert hashtags to regular tags instead.

I’ve added some safeguards to both shortcuts to prevent a migration from going awry and to give those with lots of photos the option to migrate incrementally rather than all at once.

  • The shortcuts can be stopped and resumed without losing progress or duplicating what’s already been uploaded—especially useful if Shortcuts crashes for any reason. This is done by creating temporary files for each post and then deleting the file when the post has been created.
  • It’s also possible to incrementally migrate photos so you don’t have to commit to doing them all at once. Both shortcuts migrate photos in batches, such as five photos at a time. You can specify how many photos to migrate per batch. When a batch is done, the shortcut needs to be run again to continue with a new batch.

Although I’ve tested both of these shortcuts with Micro.blog-hosted and WordPress-powered sites, I encourage anyone using them to start with some small batches first to make sure everything looks ok. Instagram captions can contain @mentions and hashtags anywhere so the lack of consistent formatting means everyone can write captions differently. If you’ve done anything special with how you’ve written them, you may need to make some adjustments.