Apple’s WWDC20 design team sessions reveal fascinating insights

MacStories‘ John Voorhees has watched a lot of Apple’s WWDC20 sessions this week. He’s been impressed with the production quality and the shorter, more condensed format of many of the videos. While he’s still working his way through everything that has been released, his favorite sessions by far have been the ones presented by Apple’s design team.

Apple's WWDC 2020 design team sessions reveal fascinating insights
Designing for the unique characteristics of each platform.

John Voorhees for MacStories:

Through a combination of under-the-hood peeks at how various design elements work and practical tips for implementing new UI controls, the sessions are terrific resources and provide fascinating insight into where design is heading across all of Apple’s products.

Probably my favorite session of the bunch has been Design for the iPadOS pointer. The session explains not only how the pointer works on iPadOS, but why it works that way through a technique called adaptive precision that accounts for the context in which the pointer is being used to define its level of precision.

One of the big picture themes that I came away with from the design sessions I’ve watched so far is the emphasis on designing for the unique qualities of each platform’s hardware. As Design for iPad explains, this doesn’t just mean designing something in between a Mac and an iPhone for the iPad, it also requires developers to consider what makes using an iPad different from either of those platforms.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s “Design for the iPadOS pointer” video will show developers how Apple’s design team approached designing the iPadOS pointer to complement touch input, and how they can customize and refine pointer interactions in their apps to make workflows more efficient and gratifying for the user. Discover how the pointer’s adaptive precision enables people to quickly and confidently target interface elements regardless of their size. Apple’s design team will also share some best practices on adapting the pointer to complement an app’s unique needs including how to select pointer effects and design pointer shapes, integrate trackpad gestures, and keyboard modifiers. Watch it here.


  1. One of Apple’s hallmarks is its attention to detail. That’s one reason why their products are so great. They pay to attention to details that others would not.

  2. I remember everyone laughed when I think it was Phil Schiller saying Apple had courage (to remove the headphone jack). Well, dropping Intel to move to Apple Silicon is no laughing matter and I think that takes plenty of courage for a company to make such a huge change. However, I’m sure Apple has a goal in mind and is confident they’re doing the right thing so I believe the risk is quite low for failure.

    All the constant talk about Apple not being innovative and stagnating is a load of BS after the announcement to move from X86 to ARM across the whole product line. I doubt you’ll find many companies willing to make such a change for key hardware products. When Apple makes the move and it is shown as successful, I’m willing to bet there will be a few other companies making the change if they can get ARM processors that can equal what Apple has to offer. I’m not entirely sure, but I think Qualcomm’s 8cx ARM processor has shown some promise.

    SoCs would be wonderful to have in laptops and desktops because they can be made to do so many different things in such a small package. Apple is making such a smart move but I’ll bet a lot of people don’t quite grasp how important it is for the entire consumer computing industry. If anyone has ever seen the latest iPhone’s dual layer circuit board, they would be astounded to see how small it is. No fans, no heat pipes, it’s just crazy small.

    Certain people keep laughing at Apple and their higher-priced products and will never acknowledge Apple has something worthwhile going for it. I can accept Android OS and Windows OS products and realize they have their benefits. No problem. Whatever suits people, and if it’s useful to them, then more power to them.

  3. If Apple with its Arm-Mac mess with the professional applications I use today I wont buy a Mac anymore. And today I am righting this on a PC and I was waiting to buy a new Mac.

    I don’t care if any Apple or Adobe optimized software screams performance on an Arm-Mac. It is about the tools I need to do my job.

    If I buy a Arm-Mac in 2 years from now, how many third party high-end Arm-Mac applications be ready?. How many of the applications I use today will be available on those Arm-Macs?

    So, think. What job will you do in 2-3 years if you don’t have the applications you use today. How much will I you have to re-learn, pay, or wait, just to be an Apple user and use the Arm-MacOS?

    Questions like these are the ones I am asking myself. So it is not just about what Apple can do, or the faith or loyal I have to be to a computer company. It is all about me and what I do because I am the user, I pay for the computer and the software to do the job I love.

    Apple will be fine. Apple has the resources and can wait 2-5 years.

    But Rosetta is not a magic software. The transition itself is a mess and a pain not worth it, at least I know I don’t want to be a part of it. To build an important software base from practically CERO in 2 years will be a serious task, or a miracle. Because it wont depend on just Apple and 10 other big companies. It depends on thousands of developers interested or not and with the experience and knowledge to do it.

    When Apple gets there in the next 2-3 years, and the software I care is ready I will consider buying a Arm-Mac.

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