Blog 53

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference kicked off yesterday and it was an especially exciting moment for all of us here at Degree 53.

There’s always a large amount of hype leading up to these conferences, and Apple more often than not provides us with the goods.

We have gathered opinions of fellow Degree 53’ers, including Designers, Devs and PMs to give you their thoughts on the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good

Apple Pay

“I think my tweet from last night highlights the only important ‘new’ feature.

I always hate it when I’m paying for Subway by card but have to juggle handing over said card and handing over my phone to get the loyalty points first, while also trying to grab my sandwich.” [Bav]

Tweet about Apple Pay


“With all the new app integrations and data collection going on in the new iOS 9, to power the activity app along with any favourites in apps like news or music, it was reassuring to hear that all behavioural data collected by the OS would be kept only on the device and not shared with the Cloud. Security is a hot topic at the moment and this is definitely a welcome statement to anyone with major concerns about Apple’s data protection.”[Andy J]

Safari Tabs

“The improvement to Safari tabs looks neat. They’re small changes, but anything that can help organise the chaos of internet tabs is more than welcome.” [Jonny]


  • “‘News’ looks neat, but so does Flipboard. Flipboard is neat – and News looks a LOT like Flipboard. I’ll say no more on that.” [Jonny]
  • “News looks like a ‘sexier’ version of Flipboard with much less flexibility, no social, no feeds from anywhere. I will give it a go though.  And Apple, you did not invent photo mosaics!” [Rob]


  • “The multitasking features on iPad look great. In my opinion, it’s the best looking tablet on the market and has been for some time, but it’s been in need of new, actual useful, features for a while. Finally there is something to make me consider upgrading” [Jonny]
  • “Just as well I upgraded to an iPad Air 2. I've been using this instead of a laptop and the ability to have multiple apps open at once is going to be a major change for me. Something Android has had for a while, I admit.” [Simon C]

Spotlight Search Updates

“Last night saw the addition of some very welcome features to spotlight in iOS and OSX. I generate and store a LOT of information as a PM. Adding to the search functionality is going to make my life that little bit easier. When your memory is as bad as mine is you start to rely on the search function a lot.” [Simon C]

Unrecognised phone calls

“Last night, Apple introduced a suggested person on an unrecognised phone call feature, this  could be super useful. [Robert W]

The good: Big debate Spotify Vs Apple Music

We’re all music lovers at Degree 53 and one particular subject had us all debating who will dominate the future of the online music world, Spotify or Apple Music?

  • “I can’t wait to try out Apple Music! I will probably be ditching Spotify (sorry). I do like how they’ve incorporated the old beats app design in it too.” [Jade]
  • “Apple Music looks very interesting. I hate to say that anything is a “killer”, but it immediately made me feel a little sad for Spotify. It remains to be seen how much of Spotify’s market share will be lost to Apple, but it could well be significant based on the price point and the huge marketing machine that Apple can throw at it. We’ll find out on 30th June I guess.” [Jonny]
  • “I’ve been using the Spotify app for a while now and I find it a bit long winded to use. I use the search function a lot and I’m forever drilling back to the home screen to access it via the side menu. So I’m hoping Apple will have an easier interface for quick navigation.” [Josh]
  • “I can’t see Apple Music being as multi-platform as Spotify, the latter available on all handsets, Xbox/PS4, a web player (though not the best developed, story for another day), integration with Sonos and other wireless speaker setup thingys. Oh and integration with Uber.” [Josh]
  • “Spotify’s social features, where you can see what your friends are listening to – and you can share songs/albums/playlists with your friends in a news-feed type way is really cool. I haven’t seen anything about the social network aspects of Apple Music.”  [Josh]
  • “I don’t want to be told what to listen to by “experts” (or Zane Lowe), but the ability to collaborate with friends to make killer Wagstock 2015 playlists is very good. Will Apple Music offer this? [Josh]
  • “The reasons I ended up ditching Google Music after a free trial and went back to Spotify were because public playlists and shared playlists were killer for me. Can’t imagine I’ll even give Apple Music a go since I’m not an iPhone or iTunes user.” [Paul]
  • “Apple Music for me will all depend on what content is in the library from all the streaming services there’s always been stuff that I must have that has been missing, whether it’s been the Beatles, Led Zeppelin or whoever, I’m not going to pay for something that doesn’t have the major artists I listen to. I’m not going to change the music I listen to for convenience. [Robert]

The bad and the ugly

  • “El Capitan is a terrible name for an OS. Sure, it encourages me to attempt a lame Spanish accent whenever I say it, but that’s just not enough to justify such a ridiculous moniker.”[Jonny]
  • “Complications and Time Travel were both good concepts (for the Watch), however, along with El Capitan (the new Mac OS), the product naming team have had a complete mare this year.” [Andy J]
  • “I wondered who would need to create a reminder for removing their coffee off the top of the car?” [Robert]
  • “Apple Wallet could be good but Barclays is absent at the moment and if the uptake is as big as contactless then there’s going to be quite a limited use for now” [Rob]
  • We have since been in contact with Barclays and have received the following response about the issue regarding compatibility with Apple Pay:

“As of now we have not received any update on Apple Pay. Your comments have been passed to the relevant team. However I am not able to quote any time frame, to when it will be incorporated. Whenever we will receive any update, we will inform all our customers.”

Thanks for reading, you may also be interested in our in depth review of WWDC from a Developers perspective

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