The home team covers highlights from WWDC22, from passwordless authentication to the new M2 chip. Digressions include an iMessage update that may increase the drama quotient in your life and the fact that Matt used to pretend to be playing chess when, really, it was World of Warcraft.
WWDC22 was last week (check out Apple’s highlights here). Among the most exciting demonstrations: passkeys, a new approach to authentication with the potential to finally replace passwords altogether.
Apple also announced enhancements to Swift, its programming language, and a new flagship processor, the M2 chip.
Now that iMessage users will be able to edit or even unsend text messages after the fact, will your group chat (or your relationship) ever be the same?
Multitaskers rejoice: A new iPadOS function called Stage Manager organizes apps in a tile formation that allows users to rapidly tap from workspace to workspace.
And yes, you can finally check the weather on your iPhone lock screen.
Today’s Lifeboat badge goes to user Stephen Docy for their answer to Proving that a two-pointer approach works (pair sum).
Ben Popper They have the technology, they made a breakthrough, quantum computing. You can look at the weather on your lock screen on an iPhone. Are you kidding me? They finally did it. What were they waiting for? Why was this even a thing?
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BP Accusoft is a software development company specializing in document processing, conversion, and automation solutions. From out of the box and configurable applications to APIs and SDKs, Accusoft helps developers solve their document workflow challenges while saving hours of development time. Learn more at accusoft.com.
BP Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the Stack Overflow Podcast. I am your host, Ben Popper, joined as I often am by my wonderful co-hosts Matt and Ceora. Hey, y'all.
Matt Kiernander Hello!
Ceora Ford Hi!
BP We got a lot of news this week. Let's start with the fun stuff. WWDC, Worldwide Developer Conference. This is a developer podcast. Did anything happen here Matt that is specific to developers? Because a few things happened that are going to change my life. Apparently I can take back my text messages and edit them, so that it seems is just going to cause a lot of divorce or something, I don't know. That just seems like drama. Seems like major drama will ensue from that.
MK There were a couple of interesting things that popped up, both relating to the average consumer as well as software developers. I think the most pertinent for software developers, or the things I found interesting, was passwordless logins.
BP Ooh, yeah. I did like that one.
MK Did you see this?
CF I didn't see that.
BP I don't quite understand the technical breakdown. I'll give you my best guess and you tell me how I did. So it's called Passkeys, right?
MK Passkeys, I think so, yes.
BP Basically what it does is it's kind of like the secure envelope closure that they do for Face and TouchID, and they'll do this for you now if you want to sign up basically for something with your Apple ID, they do like a spoof email so you're not getting tons of junk mail or whatever. So basically you go to a new website, you say, "I want to create an account," and they say, "You've got to make a password," and you're like, "Oh boy." So you just say, "I want to do this passkey," and basically Apple will then authenticate with your biometric and they'll have essentially like a trust exchange with the provider. And so when it comes time for you to log in, the provider will say, "Check with Apple." Apple checks with the biometric, and then you're logged in. So there literally is no password to steal, right?
MK I think it's fairly similar to how OAuth works in the sense that you're using your Apple biometrics in order to gain it, which will help prevent phishing attacks, social engineering, if your password has been leaked in any way.
BP Essentially there's some sort of handoff where they say to Apple, "You validate," and then Apple goes to the biometric on the device. If somebody's stolen your face, you’ve got bigger problems than them accessing your GrubHub account.
CF Quite a few tech companies have been going the passwordless route. I think we talked about this on a previous episode before about, was it Microsoft that was doing this too?
MK Microsoft and Google have both said recently that they want to switch to passwordless logins.
BP It's like a climate commitment. They're like, "By 2025 there will be no passwords anywhere in Microsoft." No. But I guess inevitably with all things we'll all get our comeuppance and something bad will happen and we'll be like, "Man, we wish we still had passwords." But I forget them, I lose them. People who are a little bit older than me in my family are constantly getting in trouble with this and I have to help them, so the fewer passwords the better as far as I can tell.
MK I do wonder what's going to happen as DeepFace technology evolves and whether or not that is actually going to be something. I mean, it is a little bit concerning. I'm hoping that it's not an issue we're going to run into but I think it probably will be.
BP The DeepFace. Oh boy.
MK Yeah. There were a couple of other things as well that came about from this. We have new M2 chips which add a standard increase in performance. Pretty cool if you're into that. MacOS Ventura got announced. Also, one of the things I think Apple is doing more recently now which I find quite interesting, is they're using AI and machine learning to help solve some of the hardware limitations that Apple hardware has. So for instance, the Apple Watch which has got some gyros and stuff on it, they're using it to try and analyze how the wrist moves in relation to your torso to help your running stride and all these other things that I would never have thought of that they're solving with AI and machine learning. So it'd be really interesting to deep dive into that.
BP I need that for my keyboard so I have less carpal tunnel. Tell me how to hold my hands so they don't hurt so much.
CF That's interesting. I would've never imagined that AI and machine learning would be applied in that kind of way.
MK Yeah, that's what I am curious about. Because as we get more involved with like biometric information and all that kind of stuff, how this is going to be applied in situations that we would have never thought of basically.
BP I think the little sort of improvements to user experience within the walled garden are where AI feels safe, and as Ceora and I have discussed before, once that gets out into the public is where it starts to feel a little creepy. Like I don't want cameras everywhere looking at my running gait and deciding if they should sell me shoes or if I need to lose weight or whatever it is. But I think to their credit, one of Apple's talking points and I think it's relatively true, is that advertising is not their principle business, selling your data is not their principle business, and so they can sort of focus on privacy as a value add and build some of their stuff with that in mind which is interesting.
MK That was another big thing that they had on a lot with WWDC. Privacy was mentioned basically every 5 to 10 minutes there as well. What are the other things that I appreciated? I think they were made aware of some of the issues with the Apple Tile that they have which is a tracking tablet that you can put in your bags, everything else, but people are also using it for nefarious things.
CF Oh the tags? Okay, I had a scary situation with one of those before where there were a bunch of women, and I'm sure it happened to other people too, but who I was seeing was women on TikTok talking about how they were suddenly getting notifications through their iPhone that an AirTag was somehow attached to them. And a lot of people were finding them in their bags or tucked under their cars and stuff like that. And I started getting that notification too and I was freaking out and I never figured out where it went. So hopefully nobody was actually tracking me.
BP So scary. Did it ask you, was it like, "Do you want to pair?" or something?
CF Yeah, that's what it was. It was something like that.
BP Okay, good. So that's the stopgap. Obviously you could make a mistake there and accept it. The really scary thing, and actually they did something about this, is if you're in an abusive relationship, and I'm not qualified to speak on this deeply, but Apple did focus on this in WWDC, where it's like, somebody else basically has access to your device and so they can make bad choices for you, choices against your self-interest. And so they would pair the phone and then it would track you after that which would be like a nightmare scenario. So they also announced something there. It was kind of like you can reset everything to sort of lock other people out without notifying them.
CF Oh, cool.
MK It's a safety check for abuse survivors. And it was specifically built for that use case which I think is a good step forward in trying to alleviate some of the interconnectedness that happens when you're in a relationship with somebody.
CF Yeah, that's good. I know the thing with the AirTags was that it notified you that there was one nearby you and that had been on your person or close by you for a long time. And that was the thing so it was kind of weird, like, "Is this a bug or is someone legitimately trying to track people down?" And a lot of times people did actually find them in their cars, under their cars, in their bags and stuff like that. So I'm glad that they've figured out a way to kind of help people deal with that.
BP Speaking as someone who loses his keys every day and loves my little Tile, I see the value there, but obviously building in safety precautions is important. Matt, anything else developer specific? If not, I want to talk about the thing I'm most excited for which is totally just consumer facing, although I'm sure some cool AI was involved.
MK You know what? You seem pretty chipper about this particular thing so go nuts.
BP The thing where you press on the photo and it cuts out a picture of your dog and then you put that right into the message.
CF Oh that's cool.
BP What's going to have the biggest impact on the culture? Obviously that. It's going to make the most memes, and cool tech for them to build that.
CF Actually, I feel like the thing that's going to be the most impactful is being able to edit and unsend text messages. That is going to be so messy.
BP It's overwhelming how messy that's going to be. Overwhelming.
CF Like, whoa.
BP Is there going to be an edit log? Because I'm going to be like, "You said that," and they'll be like, "It's not here."
MK “I said we were meeting at 8, not 7:30.”
CF I guess a lot of people are going to be taking screenshots all the time because of this. But you know how on Slack when you edit a message it just says 'edited.' I don't even know if it's even going to say that.
BP You make a great point. We need a version history. I've got to be able to go in and see what it said before, because otherwise, you're going to be saying, "Oh, I said 8:30, not 9:30." Or, "No, I didn't call you that name. You're not remembering that right." People are going to be gaslit. Constantly gaslighting
CF Yeah! Oh my goodness.
MK There was one other really nifty thing that I found. It was part of the iOS updates but I really hope it makes its way to MacOS. Essentially what they've done is when you are looking at a video or an image or something like that, you can actually drag on the video and pull out text from that particular piece of media. And I'm thinking, the amount of times I'm watching a tutorial and I'm trying to get something done and they don't have a code snippet there and I'm trying to get all the curly braces and the syntax right. If I could just copy and paste that from a YouTube video into my IDE it would solve so many problems. So I'm really hoping it makes its way into MacOS.
BP Whoa. So wait, is this transcription? Or they add the text and you can pull it from the video? How does this work?
CF They have the same thing with photos now too, right? Where if there's text in a photo, you can copy and paste the text.
MK Yes. Correct. But now this is for video.
BP Hmm, I'm behind the times on this one. I don't know this one. This is cool. Tell me more.
MK Yeah, that was exactly it. I thought that was really neat. And just in terms of trying to do tutorials and that kind of thing, it's really, really handy. It's not on MacOS yet but I'm hoping it's something that they move to it in the future.
BP I can see that being really cool if you're like, "Hey, I'm working on a function," while you're talking and they can just pull it. Or math, if you're trying to teach math over video and they can just pull the equation or whatever. That could be super cool.
MK Yeah, even if you're just on Slack and you're just sharing your screen. Or if you're doing a talk for instance and somebody's watching the talk and they'll be able to kind of pull code snippets from that easily. Yeah, lots of cool things to happen from that.
CF I was not thinking about code at all when you mentioned this. I was thinking about when I'm on TikTok and someone is showing a bunch of products that they use or whatever, like sometimes they'll have text on the screen explaining something and I'll want to copy and paste that so that I can remember to buy that thing later. And it's such a hassle to try to screenshot perfectly so I can catch the name of whatever the product is. If I could just copy and paste–
MK You're doing that tap thing?
CF Yeah. It's so frustrating, but if I could just catch it like that that would be so easy. That would make my life a lot easier. I wasn't even thinking about code and tutorials at all.
BP Matt, this is something I wondered if you noticed because you brought it up. They had a new idea, I think it was on MacOS, for how to arrange all your windows and how to kind of keep stuff to the side and then drag it back in which I thought actually was pretty neat. The way they sort of dropped five windows to the side, you could tell what they were, and then I can switch between work and social media and that's really all there is in my life. But if there was a third thing I could cycle between them and stay focused on each one. Did you have a thought on that?
MK Yeah. So that particular piece of functionality is called Stage Manager and it seemed to be the headlining feature of Ventura. I think it's neat, it's fun. As someone with ADHD who has difficulty compartmentalizing tasks and staying focused, I'm wondering whether or not that will actually help me because that'll allow me to kind of keep everything segmented and isolated. So I'm hoping it's going to be valuable. I think it's going to be something I'm going to try at least. With my friends and other people I've seen, there seems to be a very mixed reaction on how cool this actually is. Ceora, given that we've just given you the pitch, what are your thoughts?
CF I haven't actually seen what this actually looks like, but I usually organize my tabs by theme anyway to help me stay focused. And if I'm working, I'll have all the tabs related to that specific task in one window and then the next task in another window just to help me stay focused. Does it work? I think so, kind of. I still get distracted obviously but I'm interested to see how it goes. I feel like it sounds like it's not that technologically revolutionary, but I'm sure it could probably help a lot of people as far as productivity goes. It's like one of those things that seems simple but probably could have a big impact on people's productivity.
BP Well, I was going to say, they also showed off just a simple thing within I think Safari now where it automatically tries to group your tabs by work, cooking, social, and then you can just sort of sort through them that way. So they're kind of taking exactly the approach you developed and trying to build that into Safari. How well it works, if it's done by an AI, I don't know. But that seems kind of neat because sometimes I do get to that point where I have 40 tabs and I'm just exhausted. It would be nice to just be like, “All right, show me the work tabs and then later I'll close those and keep open the 17 articles I thought I was going to read. I'll read those later.”
MK The only problem with that is that you're gonna have to use Safari, which…
CF Ugh. I just thought about that too.
BP I used to make a joke that WWDC was the only day of the year I ever used Safari. I use Safari to just livestream WWDC. Once a year I dust off Safari and give it a go. Oh, you know what they did? Let's just do the whole episode on WWDC, we’ve got plenty of material. They have the technology, they made a breakthrough, quantum computing. You can look at the weather on your lock screen on an iPhone. Are you kidding me? They finally did it. What were they waiting for? Why was this even a thing?
CF I have no idea. I feel like that's one of the things Samsung has had on most of their phones for years now. I saw that you can do even more customizable screensavers and things like that and lock screens on iPhones, which again is something that you could almost always do on Android. And of course everyone is like, “Oh, here comes Apple catching up again.”
BP They always wait until they perfect it. That's what they say. But it's a weather widget. This isn’t that complicated. What temperature is outside? It’s not that tough.
MK You can now track Uber Eats progress on your lock screen.
BP The live actions, some of that felt like it was stretching the functionality. Like, “Do I really care this much?” But widgets are awesome. I mean, yeah, I do want to know the temperature and my next calendar appointment and how far I am in my activity rings. Sounds great.
CF And speaking of ADHD, how many times have you opened your phone to check your next calendar event or check the weather and you end up going on Twitter or TikTok or YouTube or something like that? So if you don't even have to unlock your phone to do all that, that should help, right?
BP Yeah, definitely.
MK From an anxiety standpoint at least, I know sometimes just before I go to bed at night and I look at my phone, I'm like, “Oh, what time is my first meeting tomorrow?” And then I open my calendar and then it reminds me of all the other work stuff because it's just that context again and then I'm lying in bed like, “I shouldn't have done that.”
BP It's funny for me because each of my sons has an iPad that's theirs and then I have my Mac and then I have my iPad and then I have an iPhone. But they're all my account, so sometimes my kids will come to me and they'll be like, “Somebody at work wants you to do this.” And I'm just like, “I know. I saw that notification two hours ago. I'm not ready to address it. Let’s not.”
MK So you’ve got two little PAs basically.
BP They don't respond to Slack. Sometimes they respond to text messages and it can get pretty hairy because then I have to jump in and be like, “Sorry! That was my kid.” But one of the things that really frustrated me about setting up a new iPad was it was not easy to just be like, “This is a child's iPad. Set it up for a child,” and one of the new things they added is device setup for kids. So once the new OS comes out I'm going to reboot everything and just go from there because they have a lot of cool controls around the amount of time they can use, and the apps they can use, and tracking them in a way that’s not too creepy. So I’m interested in doing that as a parent.
CF Oh yeah. That's cool.
MK I don't have children but I would be increasingly concerned with them being online and how to keep a somewhat walled garden around them so they're protected. I don't know, that genuinely scares me a little bit, like how to keep them safe on the internet. So it's cool to see these kinds of features coming out and something that a parent is genuinely excited to see.
CF Yeah. I admire you but I don't envy you in any way, shape, or form when it comes to that kind of thing. One of my aunts is a lot younger than my mom, so her kids are five and seven and they have a Nintendo Switch and I think the boy who’s seven has some sort of smart watch just so his parents can keep up with him. And just thinking about all that stuff with like, what should they be allowed to use, what should they be allowed to play? And you still want them to have fun and be able to relate to their peers but also be safe at the same time.
BP That's the hardest part. That's the hardest part, Ceora. They're like, “Everybody else at school is doing Fortnite constantly and I'm left out.” And I'm like, “I'm sorry. You're seven. I'm not going to let you play first person shooters all night. I don't know what to tell you. It's not happening.” I can relate, I was the kid who never had cable TV and it would be like, “You see that Simpsons episode?” And I’d be like, “Nope! I was reading books. I didn't see it.” So I understand that part of it is hard, being left out at school or whatever, but I'm not going to get peer pressured into doing things.
MK I used to pretend to play chess when really I was playing World of Warcraft. So my dad would come upstairs like, “What are you doing?” I'm like, “I'm playing chess, Dad!” He saw right through that real quick.
CF I feel like I was the same as you were, Ben. And my parents were not super strict in the way that we couldn't have fun, but they were just strict about what we could and couldn't do. We weren't allowed to have social media and stuff like that for the longest. And I think now it's created in me this resistance to following the crowd because I'm super late on every trend, I'm super skeptical of everything. Like, “What's going on here? I don't want to do it just because everyone else is doing it.” So that may be a good thing that you're teaching your kids now that they don’t have to do everything.
BP That’s right. Yeah, teach them to be a little bit skeptical.
CF Yeah, exactly. Sometimes it's a good thing, you know?
BP All right, very cool. I was scrolling through everything that's new in iOS and just one last thing I wanted to shout out which is cool and kind of similar to the grabbing text from the video. These are in beta, but for accessibility purposes they will now automatically transcribe dialogue, so for example from a FaceTime call. If you're hard of hearing, the person can speak to you and it will write what they're saying on the screen which I thought was a really cool use of that kind of real-time AI stuff.
MK And I think you can seamlessly switch between texting and then voice diction as well, like transcribing when you're doing messages, which I find really useful.
BP Yeah, for sure.
CF Very cool.
BP Awesome. All right. This is a full WWDC episode. If you enjoyed it and you have something we missed or something you were pumped about, let us know.
BP All right, everybody. It is that time of the show. We're going to shout out the winner of a lifeboat badge. Thanks to Steven Docy for coming on, proving that a two-pointer approach works, a pair sum. All right, Steven. We appreciate you answering this question. It's been up here for four years and four months and now it's got an accepted answer. Helping folks out. I am Ben Popper. I'm the Director of Content here at Stack Overflow. You can always find me on Twitter @BenPopper. Email us with questions or suggestions, email@example.com. And if you like the show, leave us a rating and a review. It really helps.
MK I'm Matt Kiernander. I'm a Developer Advocate here at Stack Overflow. You can find me online @MattKander on YouTube and Twitter.
CF I'm Ceora Ford. I'm a soon-to-be Developer Advocate at Auth0. You can find me online, usually on Twitter. My username there is @Ceeoreo_.
BP All right, everybody. Thanks for listening. We'll talk to you soon.
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