Top Picks from WWDC June 2016
WWDC saw a massive update to iOS10 along with great improvements to WatchOS, here are our top features from the announcements.
There was a lot to take away from Apple's WWDC keynote announcements with update to all 4 of their operating systems or 'platforms', MacOS (oooh, they changed the name....) WatchOS, TVOS and iOS.
We wont run through every single announcement, just a handful we have picked out as ones we see as being exciting and having lots of potential.
MacOS Sierra has some great new features, the first being a much closer tie in continuity with both iOS and WatchOS. Users will now be able to copy from their iPhone and immediately paste on their Mac, really handy if you have a URL open on your iPhone that you quickly want to display on your desktop. Users can also view their Desktop on their iPhone and grab files directly from it to use on the iPhone.
The Apple Watch will now save users the huge time and effort it takes to type in a password on the Mac. Users wearing an Apple Watch will simple open their MacBook and it is unlocked, the WatchOS will have already securely authenticated with the Mac.
This secure authentication goes further with the new tighter relationship between MacOS and iOS, allowing users to make payments on the desktop browser via Apple Pay - via Apple's fingerprint based Touch ID on their iPhone.
iMessage has had a huge update bringing it more inline with other popular apps such as WeChat or Facebook Messenger, allowing users to add stickers and other new interactions to their messages, along with the ability for 3rd party developers to create exciting new content accessible through a new iMessages app store. This could be the start of something that is much bigger and opens a huge amount of possibilities. Initial examples are apps that enable payments via iMessage, something that is already being done with apps like WeChat and WhatsApp. However, I am sure that this is just the start. I can already see live video streaming apps being incorporated into iMessage to allow Periscope style communications. It also leads us to mull why siri isn't integrated into iMessages so that you can start to request information that way as not everyone (most people I imagine) feels comfortable talking to an AI within their phone - especially whilst sitting on a bus.
There is always the exceptional one or two who like to push ahead of the curve... (see video below).
HomeKit is still on Apple's mind, they haven't abandoned it. They announced it has a new app, called 'Home'. I don't know anyone with home automation, I think it might be something people use more in the future... but maybe not. Maybe people aren't so lazy that they will still in the future, just flick that light switch off as they walk out of the living room on their way to bed...
That said, I do think that actually there is important potential for it with the elderly and disabled.
WatchOS has some great improvements - first and MOST importantly being is speed! With the new OS you should no longer have to make a cup of tea whilst you wait for an app to load on your watch! Hooray!
Realising that nobody really uses the Apple Watch to make calls or initiate a text message, Apple have changed the functionality of the big side button.
That side button no longer brings up a fiddly interface for Contacts - it now allows you to access a Dock of your apps.
We haven't had a chance to play with the Beta yet, but it seems that the constellation interface has been scrapped - not a bad thing. That interface was very fiddly, which is not something you want on a tiny watch face.
The fact is, with Apple Watch you only really use a few apps a lot. Mostly it is the watch face, which Apple have now updated to not only let you change them easier (side swiping) but also has some new ones including faces that integrate the Activity Rings - therefore, negating the main reason to open the Activity app..
I could be wrong, but I reckon most people use the Apple Watch for 3 things:
• Quickly checking notifications
• Actually telling the time
Most other things are easier to do with your phone, essentially any action that takes longer than 20 seconds is better and easier on the iPhone.
I have also found in the past year, that I rarely ever use the scrolling 'Digital Crown' to scroll, I just swipe the screen.
I can see Apple removing all buttons from the Apple Watch in the future. If there was another physical interaction needed there must be a way to allow users to simply squeeze the sides (or the top & bottom) of the Apple Watch.
Developer Betas are available, with public Betas in July and final releases in the Autumn.