All the new softwares

posted by Jeff | Saturday, October 2, 2021, 3:32 PM | comments: 0

It seems like the fall is the time for all kinds of new software to come out. That's fun since you mostly don't need new devices to run all of the software. Some of it is still coming, some of it I have.

First, Windows 11 is out. I wouldn't call this a revolutionary release, but there are some objectives that make it a stronger operating system. From a pure user perspective, they've done a great job of cleaning up the UI so it's more consistent. The settings app is the best and most organized that it has ever been, and you won't need to go into any of the old dialogs unless you're a power user or developer. Windows Explorer looks cleaner, and they somehow managed to make dark mode work in most modern apps, and for some reason it even extends to Google web pages. They've also drawn a line in the sand for hardware requirements, so supporting less will allegedly mean greater stability, though I haven't had a blue screen in a long time anyway. What I'm most excited about is the forthcoming Android support, because it makes the hybrid and tablet models of Windows computers more useful in that form factor.

The new version of iOS doesn't seem immediately different to me, but I didn't see any of the videos that describe the changes. I did see that they've made some computational photography improvements that I believe require the new iPhone, so those aren't relevant to us and our iPod and iPad. The settings app is still a confusing mess, so no visible iteration there. And they still think borderless text buttons are OK, so I'll never understand that.

New Android coming next month, and the big UI improvement is the Material You API, which figures out the best contrasting colors and schemes based on your wallpaper. That's a neat science project, but what I'm more excited about is the more consistent use of fonts, particularly Google Sans, across the OS and the various apps. We're already seeing it in Calendar and Gmail. It sounds like you'll be able to use most anything in Google Fonts, which would be great.

Visual Studio 2022 is out in November, and after three years of minor releases, this one is a big deal because they've finally made it a bona fide 64-bit application, so it can effectively use all that memory that my computers have. I've been using the preview version and it's noticeably faster in all of the places it wasn't, specifically Intellisense auto-complete when you've got a massive graph of packages and projects loaded all at once.

.NET 6 will ship about the same time, which wouldn't really be that interesting except that the performance improvements are insane, for a framework where it was already insanely good. Compiler tweaks shorten time and reduce code size, multithreading is more efficient (moving stuff to async is worth it now more than ever), string and collection manipulation is faster.

I'm finally getting somewhere in my backlog of updating all the things on POP Forums. The update to Bootstrap 5 is done, and as hesitant as I always was about adopting a CSS framework, I have no regrets about this one. They've finally relented and allow links to be underlined by default, as they should be, and they purged the aging jQuery library from their Javascript, so that's one less piece of the payload to worry about. I also updated Vue.js in the admin, which was relatively painless. Earlier this year I updated all of the extra cloud bits to use the latest SDK's. Everything left is fairly minor, so once .NET 6 is released, I'll update that and everything will be current, even though I haven't really added any features.

Of course, it's worth noting too that my team at work is shipping all kinds of great stuff on a regular cadence. I mean, it's not stuff I use directly every day, but it certainly impacts a whole lot of people. I really enjoy working with those folks.

Enjoying all of the new bits this fall.


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