What Apple didn't announce at WWDC 2021 and why it's disappointing
Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) keynote has come and gone. We got what we expected with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, macOS 12 Monterey, and tvOS 15. We're getting big FaceTime and Messages upgrades, Focus, with better notifications for iPhone and iPad, Health upgrades, and so much more. But with all of the rumors and leaks floating around before WWDC, one can't help but feel a little disappointed at what we didn't end up getting.
No new MacBook Pros
I know that WWDC pretty much always revolves around software, but sometimes hardware is a nice surprise. One of the rumors from the weeks before WWDC came from Jon Prosser suggesting that a new MacBook Pro would be revealed.
Well, we didn't get it. Those who have been looking forward to an M-series chip for the 16-inch MacBook Pro are going to have to wait a little longer. Honestly, I was kind of hoping for this as well, but again, only disappointment awaited us. But seriously, it's been almost two years since the original 16-inch MacBook Pro debuted — it's due for a refresh, isn't it? Once that happens, maybe it can reclaim the spot as the best MacBook.
And if you were hoping for a 14-inch MacBook Pro, well, that didn't happen either. Though honestly, I'm not sure why someone would want a 14-inch over the current 13-inch (that's not much of a difference if you think about it), but it's going back to the rumor mill.
I was hoping to see some colored MacBook Pros, like the iMacs, but alas — maybe one day.
No Food Tracking in iOS 15's Health app
Another rumor that made the rounds before WWDC was that iOS 15's Health app would include native food tracking, similar to MyFitnessPal. While the Health app did get some significant upgrades in iOS 15, food tracking is not one of them, and I am super disappointed by this.
I was really hoping to get food tracking because I am currently a diabetic pregnant woman, and I pretty much have to worry about everything that passes my lips. If Health had food tracking, it would have made my life so much easier since I wouldn't need to use a third-party app (and thus have to maintain yet another account).
I prefer to have all of my health data in a single place, which is why I was really hoping for food tracking. After all, it would have been a perfect pair if the Apple Watch Series 7 got blood glucose monitoring. But at this rate, I'm not holding my breath for blood glucose monitoring to come to the Series 7 either. Le sigh.
No streamlined customization in iOS 15
Since iOS 14 gave us some flexibility with customization in terms of theming app icons and widgets, I was really hoping to see a better, more streamlined process for customization in iOS 15. Again, Apple did not deliver.
Honestly, with my two biggest wishes for iOS 15 just left out in the cold, I can't help but feel that iOS 15 is a somewhat disappointing update. It brings big changes for FaceTime and some improvements for Messages, but I don't really use FaceTime if I'm honest. To me, iOS 15 definitely feels like a Snow Leopard release, as it just refines existing features without adding a lot of big new ones.
I suppose the new Focus feature lets you add another layer to customizing your Home screen and notifications, though, so there's that at least.
watchOS 8 Sleep tracking doesn't inform you of sleep stages
While watchOS 8 adds sleep respiratory rate to the things it tracks, it still won't let you know how well your sleep was in terms of REM, light, and deep sleep stages. This was never a rumor that I was aware of, but it's still disappointing because plenty of other health and fitness trackers do just that. The amount of info you get from sleep tracking with Apple Watch is still pretty minimal, and I was hoping that it would see some bigger improvements this year.
However, there is no denying that sleep respiratory rate tracking is helpful. That's because it can be used to detect sleep apnea and other issues while you sleep.
Maybe one year, we can get sleep stage tracking, though.
iPadOS 15 still doesn't make full use of the M1 chip
With the iPad Pro (2021), Apple put an M1 chip inside, moving away from the A-series chips that it was using prior. The M1 chip is the same as the M1 Macs, but the problem with iPadOS 15 is that it still doesn't fully use the hardware.
Sure, you could technically build, test, and submit apps right from the iPadOS 15's Swift Playgrounds, but that's about it. With the 1TB and 2TB iPad Pro (2021) models having 16GB RAM, where is the pro software to take advantage of that power? Apple's own pro apps, such as Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro, are still MIA on iPad, even though the latest iPad Pro packs an M1 chip. Seriously, what's the point of putting M1 in the iPad if iPadOS still can't make the most of it?
Honestly, I don't see much reason to upgrade from my 2020 11-inch iPad Pro if the M1 iPad Pros won't be much different with iPadOS 15. As of now, the iPad Pro (2021) is still a story half-told, because iPadOS 15 did not complete it.
Were you disappointed by the WWDC keynote?
I was definitely hyped for the WWDC keynote, but I left just a bit disappointed at everything that we didn't get. Overall, I feel like these software updates are more refinements, making them like the Snow Leopard releases for each platform, but I suppose we could use that every now and then. After all, we can't have huge, game-changing releases every year, right? Still, maybe we can get native food tracking and better sleep information next year, and perhaps Apple can make M1 iPads worth getting at some point.
What did you think of the keynote? Were you let down by anything? Let us know in the comments.
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Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.
Actually I was really impressed by the event, so many features I never knew I wanted until now. New MacBook pro’s will come in time. Food tracking is still possible, it could be launched with or after the new Apple watches.
I'll keep my fingers crossed for food tracking!
I was more than disappointed - I returned my M1 11" (16gb/1tb/5g) today. I can't believe you aren't more than a "little disappointed." Not a SINGLE upgrade, change, or feature in iPadOS 15 addressing the huge hardware improvement in the M1 - not even true external monitor support for that TB4 port. No improvement in multi-tasking at all, except to let you replace the convoluted gestures with a mini menu at the top of the screen. Still two side by side windows. Oh boy, we can use that M1 powerhouse to move the widgets around the screen a little faster, open those condensed Safari tabs, and take our drawings and "iPaddy" tasks with the mouse over to the real computer for the "real" work. Not going to let anyone get away without at LEAST three Apple screens, and maybe four if they own a MacBook and an iMac). Tim sure knows how to maximize revenues.
I too, was very under-whelmed with iPad OS 15 ... it's absurd to introduce the M1 chip in a tablet then not support it in a meaningful way on the software side. It's like taking a solo ride on a see-saw ... it will occupy your time briefly but it won't carry the day for meaningful enjoyment of the experience. Apple really dropped the ball on this one in a big way.