Apple events have a way of polarising the media. Often its events garner the most attention. WWDC, its longstanding developer event, is often the centrepiece software centric event of the year, which defines what Apple’s hardware products will be capable of, so naturally WWDC 2016 should be seemingly the biggest tech story of the day.
|They will define how the iPhone maker's products are used in the long run.
However, that’s not the case because hours before WWDC, Microsoft announced that it has acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in one of the largest tech acquisitions of all time. Despite that, it must be said that Apple had a power packed event and it made some huge software announcements which will define how Apple’s products are used not only in the near future but possibly in the long run.
So let’s take a look at my favourite announcements.
3D Touch enhancements in iOS 10
The last two iOS updates have been rather timid. While, it will be an overstatement to call iOS 10 bold and ambitious, it is a substantial update. Apple has brought forth a new user interface, which now borrows elements from Google’s Android terms of cards. The notifications have been cleaned up. But the biggest deal is that iOS 10 will make the 3D touch functionality a lot more useful on iPhones with pressure sensitive displays.
Now, 3D touch functionality can be expanded so such a degree that instead of "right click" like contextual menu, apps will get full blow widgets, which too can be stored separately on a new dedicated widgets view. Apple has upped the ante.
This is a big deal, because none of Apple’s major rivals have released a phone with similar technology, so by the time iOS 10 comes out publicly, Apple will be on its second generation of hardware using 3D Touch, which could give it a massive edge.
Siri has been in for a massive upgrade for sometime. Apple exactly delivered that. Not only has Apple made Siri smarter, it has done something I’ve wanted Apple to do for a long time; open it up for developers so that they can integrate their apps with it. Now, Apple has released SiriKit which is a tool for third parties to integrate with Siri.
This will be a breakthrough for it and surely it will become smarter. But Apple hasn't ended here. Siri also comes to macOS Sierra, in which Apple displays some cool new functionality.
There are many people who just use Apple products. They have an iPad, a Mac and an iPhone. Just like me. For these people Apple has a synergy technology which parses data and information across devices. As a part of the new updates now Apple has something called the Universal clipboard. What is it? It’s actually quite brilliant.
Say you're reading something on your phone and you want to copy paste something from that on a document you’re creating on your Mac. Now universal clipboard allows you too that. This is god sent if you’re like and live within Apple’s galaxy of devices.
App updates and iOS 10 redesign
Apple announced a number of updates for its Photos, Maps and Music apps. All were in need of dire user interface overhaul and Apple more or less done that. Photos and Maps now borrow elements from what Google is doing with its apps. The Photos app particularly gets computer vision. Apple music is neater and not as complicated.
Even the new QuickType keyboard leverages deep learning technologies to offer better predictive input. Overall the update to both macOS and iOS 10 is also neat. There is a new notifications centre, a new area for widgets and the notifications have also been cleaned up. It’s nothing radical, but certainly welcome.
The Apple Watch has been a relative success, but it hasn't been the colossal success Apple’s products usually are. One of the main reasons for that has been watchOS. watchOS did many things, but was always slow.
watchOS 3 seemingly is faster with huge focus on performance. It also has enhanced fitness functionality and a new Breathe app which looks quite cool.
Apple has even refined the user interface and made it simpler to what it was. The sum of all these things make it a critical update.