The Talk Show Live From WWDC 2019

This year at WWDC John Gruber hosted Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak on-stage for the live edition of The Talk Show. Some impressions:

  • The ASIC in the Mac Pro used to accelerate ProRes workflows is reprogrammable. I wonder if Apple’s going to offer different flavors for other industries to try and help push adoption into areas that Apple has very little toeholds in; while they remain very strong in desktop and web publishing, video, and color correction, high-end post production and niches like scientific modeling are often dominated by UNIX or specialized tools.
  • No price on the Mac Pro’s wheels were given.
  • With Sidecar, Apple is doubling down on the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar, offering it in virtual form on users’ iPads regardless of the Mac you’re using the iPad with. I’m guessing that alongside the rumors of a 16″ MacBook Pro that retains the Touch Bar and only adds back the escape key, they are going to keep it around, and having it be “universal” even to Macs that don’t have it is a way of encouraging developers to use it.
  • There are some good tidbits about crafting the keynotes, including the fact that there are metrics for how many slides each presenter can get through in a minute.
  • Apple will probably never be able to replicate Jobs’ personality and showmanship, but I think it’s inarguable that Federighi is the most entertaining of Apple’s presenters and certainly the one who seems to have the most rapport with the WWDC especially. Joswiak and Federighi’s banter is part of what gives Apple a real personality instead of feeling scripted.

“Optima: A Rant”

Every designer has their own personal bugbear. The overuse of the typeface Optima is mine. So I made a video about it.

MKBHD’s Blind Smartphone Camera Test

This is an interesting video. Marques Brownlee seeded a bunch of cameras and did testing on Instagram and Twitter, gaining hundreds of thousands of votes, and the results included upsets like a Blackberry phone besting the flagship iPhone XS, and the Pixel 3 getting beaten by the P20 Pro.

Brownlee makes a very useful observation that a lot of this has to do with smartphone screen sizes and web compression removing many of the subtle details for comparison, with voters trending towards better exposed or brighter images overall. So too must the confounding factors of the screens people were voting on be considered. This is a terrible scientific test but nonetheless excellent for illustrating how much beyond specs goes into our gut reactions to pictures. The main takeaway seems to be that if you are just taking photos in general conditions and only for social media, virtually any midrange or better phone these days fulfills the “good enough” requirement.

After Effects CC 2019 Preview

Last month Adobe announced its upcoming feature additions for Creative Cloud coming later this year. After Effects picks up some nice changes, such as faster scripting, native Mocha plugin, better puppet tools, and additions for working better with Premiere editors. These all seem like great additions, but I will continue to harp on the lack of effective rendering muscle—multiprocessor rendering remains AWOL since 2014.