Apple’s WWDC event kicked off with a bang yesterday. The Cupertino company has been really busy! We take a look at the top 5 announcements.
Apple kicked off their annual WWDC (world wide developers conference) with a bang yesterday. The Cupertino company revealed a host of new updates and features that will hit the market this year including iOS 10 and Apple Watch OS3. Apple also opened up Siri and iMessage to developers. A lot of the changes were geared toward moving between Apple devices easier “” Siri is now on desktop, and Apple Pay will now work on Safari, for example. Even though there were a lot of announcements, let’s take a look at the top 5.
Another rather significant update will come to the Apple Watch. Apple is clearly trying to get their wearable OS as smooth and polished as their smartphone OS as soon as possible. There are a lot of new features, but most importantly the new OS will load apps seven times faster than the previous version (that’s a great update!). Navigation has been updated to be easier to use and you will be able to access a “dock” area which allows wearers to scroll through their apps, and the Watch will act a little more like an iPhone with a new Control Center.
The new “Scribble” feature will allow message response by writing out letters (combined with the current typing and dictating options). It works in Chinese as well! Apple Watches will also come with a new SOS feature, which activates when the side button is held down and calls emergency services and sends location information to first responder and emergency contacts as well as medical details (allergies, age and medical conditions). The feature will work internationally and will call country specific emergency services (as long as it is tethered to an iPhone or WiFi). Read: Three killer features Apple needs to bring to the next version of iOS
So many new features have been added we could have had a top 10 article on iOS 10 alone! The best way of giving a good summary will be bullet form, so here it is:
Apple News has an all-new design that features clear sections, including Top News, Trending, and Sports. The app pulls together new sections based on your reading habits, and includes a Featured Stories section with editor picks. It will also allow you to subscribe to publications (no more third party apps for each publication!) to allow you to read full newspapers and magazines from the app.
Apple Music receives a total redesign to make navigation much easier. New features include “discovery mix” – playlists tailored to your taste as well as a “lyrics” feature allowing you to quickly pull up lyrics for songs you are listening to.
Apple Maps has been totally redesigned as well. It now integrates live traffic views, adjusts routes based on traffic, has integrated booking rides and paying for them using Apple Pay (where available). All these features have also been included in CarPlay allowing for precise, seamless navigation in your car.
Apple iMessage has been revamped as well. Users will now have a huge array of new emoji. You can share songs from Apple Music, write hand written notes, even in invisible ink (which only appears when users highlight the text!). iMessage has also been opened up to third party developers to incorporate into their applications.
Voicemail Transcription – iOS 10 will now feature voicemail transcription, which will automatically transcribe voicemails and offer them up like texts. In addition, iOS is taking on spam calls: the iOS will support APIs that can alert you to possible spam calls and warn you before you pick up.
As we have reported on earlier, Siri will now be available to third party developers to integrate into their apps and services. This will make the virtual assistant significantly more powerful and useful. You will potentially be able to use Siri to book Uber rides, search for photos on Pinterest and use her to start and stop workouts on your favourite fitness apps. Read: Apple to open up Siri to third party developers
AI typing prediction
QuickType will bring Siri intelligence to the keyboard, using deep learning to enable more intelligent predictive typing using expanded context. The keyboard will now offer intelligent responses, for example offering your current location when you receive a “where are you” text. Pretty impressive! The software will potentially also search for nearby restaurants when you get a “where do you want to go for dinner” type message. The text analyser will be open to third parties so the sky is the limit!
The smart home craze has received another fan. Apple has now introduced a way to aggregate all the HomeKit-enabled devices and services into one simple place. So if you buy any Home-Kit enabled appliance (say a coffee maker), you can connect it to your home network and you can control it from anywhere on the planet. Apple’s “make it simple, make it work” philosophy might enable Apple to run away with the smarthome industry all together. They do have some stiff competition from Google and Amazon though, so we will have to wait and see…
What was your favourite announcement at Apple’s WWDC event? Let us know in the comments below! Follow Jaco on Twitter:@Jaco_vdWalt