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Yesterday marked the beginning of the annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Over the course of the two-hour kickoff event, there was innovation and information around all aspects of every operating system in the apple cosmos. While new software features were being presented, there was no mention by Apple of trending topics such as artificial intelligence, machine learning or virtual reality. It remains exciting therefore whether – and how – Apple will position themselves in this area.
From an agency perspective, a couple of innovations were extremely exciting, however. Many interfaces are being opened to developers, creating new opportunities for the optimisation of existing apps, and for the conception of new ones.
Siri can now finally be integrated into apps, and a new Maps API improves individual functions and interfacing with third party apps. And with new iMessage apps, completely new service and communication options for brands arise.
Because the WWDC goes on until Friday, and during this time many labs and sessions will be held for visitors, it could be that further interesting themes will be discussed. Here is a summary of the most important changes to the individual operating systems:
The upgrade to watchOS 3 for the Apple Watch contains new performance improvements, and a reworked Dock. Apple has also devoted more to the theme of health in the OS’s third generation. In this regard, there is an app that helps one breath properly at regular intervals. Fitness and health are clearly at the forefront here for Apple.
tvOS also got a couple of new improvements, even if these were a bit smaller in comparison. A stronger integration of Siri and ‘Single Sign-on’ (with help from Apple, the user can automatically log into apps via a single click) are the update’s highlights.
The name OS X is refreshed to macOS, and now fits better into the family of names. Applause for a name change? Yes, only with Apple!
Siri now also moves to the desktop. The highlight: internet payments can be made with Apple Pay. Verifications are made via fingerprint on the iPhone, or with a click of the Apple Watch.
iOS 10 received the biggest update with many new functions. The first thing that strikes you, is the lock screen’s new look and notifications. But even the widgets get a visual redesign, and can no longer be found in the Notifcation Center; instead, links are placed prominently on the home screen. With a hard press of the icons, widgets can be opened vis the means of 3d Touch.
Apple Music gets a long overdue update, and Apple News gets a new coat of paint. Apple Photos now marks individual photos according to content, which can then be searched. Altogether, an attempt has been made to connect with the Google photo app via new intelligent functions.
The theme of data protection was also often mentioned during the presentation. For example, with regard to this, the computing power of the iPhone is used to analyse photos for keywords and not the Cloud.
For those who can’t get enough of innovations, there’s also the possibility to while away the hours at the Swift Playground, and learn how to program apps. The promotion of little ones’ ‘code skills’ is obviously close to Apple’s heart; therefore, Tim Cook was very happy about Developer Conference’s youngest participant: a 9 year old girl!
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