Week (23–)26

Examples of iOS 16 features announced in WWDC 2022.

WWDC Recap. This minor event that you might’ve heard of happened and some things were announced. Among them, features for the upcoming iOS 16 including a Lock Screen redesign, improved Focus Mode support, and Message updates. With iPadOS 16, we’ll see the addition of Stage Manager for multitasking, a properly supported Weather app, and a revamped Home app with Matter compatibility. And Watch OS 9 will bring better interval support in workouts, new medication reminders, and sleep tracking — all of which I’m looking forward to. Keynote replay.

Amazon… announced dates and registration for Alexa Live 2022. In case you’re not already familiar, it’s Amazon’s annual developer conference about voice, smart home, and related technologies. The half-day virtual event is split into three tracks — developers, brands, and device makers — and covers a variety of topics from skills development to device integrations. I’ve attended the last couple of years and have always gotten something out of it, even if it’s just to hear from another OEM besides Apple, Google, or Samsung.

Samsung… launched a mobile wallet app for storing credit cards, digital IDs, and others. In an effort to compete with Apple and Google, the company is combining Samsung Pay and Samsung Pass into a unified experience. As companies continue their attempts at replacing physical wallets, it will be interesting to see how adoption and acceptance pans out. And with the current low demand, it may give Samsung the sales boost they need.

Nothing… Phone 1 confirmed a launch date plus what features we can expect. Marques Brownlee published a hands-on video showing off some of the details, including a notification LED “glyph” on the back of the handset. But before you get excited, the first iteration is not slotted for arrival in the US (network issues with local carriers). Nonetheless, I appreciate the whimsy of its differentiating features.

Foldables. Samsung, Motorola, and Google are rumored to have new foldable models in the works. More of a roundup of the latest leaks and rumors than breaking news, it’s still a solid review of the current state of foldables. And, even though many (all?) of these have already been mentioned in previous issues, the author does a good job adding addition context with shipment stats and market trends. It’s worth the once-over if nothing else but to connect the dots of the foldable landscape.

From the desk of…

Since I recently got back from travel, I thought this case study for the Delta mobile website was humorous (and, yes, I flew Delta). Complete with a slide deck of screenshots (plus annotations), it’s a fairly quick read that highlights some of the major challenges with designing mobile experiences. In it, the author reminds us that links are often opened via in-app browsers on mobile, warns of the dangers of bugs in the core experience, and stresses the importance of showing (or hiding) the appropriate content from desktop to mobile.

There’s additional commentary I’d probably add around the differences between native mobile and responsive web. For example, the infinite loading and keyboard collapse bugs that presents themselves in the mobile browser during a search task isn’t something that native app users are exposed to (I had to go test it myself). Conversely, some of the issues that are described — like the the Comfort+ banner ad — do carry over from web to native which is a stronger indicator of internal team struggles (as the author already suggested). I wish I had the time to put together case studies — or just professional observations — like this as well.




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