WWDC 2016 – a recap

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With the recently concluded WWDC by Apple, which was a week long event held at San Francisco, Apple has brought their ‘ecosystem’ closer than ever. For starters, Apple has renamed the OS X line of operating systems to macOS to align with the names of oPicture2perating systems on their other devices (namely iOS, watchOS, tvOS). To add to that, they have now brought Siri to the macOS, which brings the mobile and computer world further together. However, I would like to shift my focus to the major changes brought to the iPhone along with iOS 10 because of its relevance to Blibli.

  1. User Experience Changes.

Apple is known for user experience more than anything,Picture3 which is something that has revolutionised the industry. With the new iOS, Apple has shown how much it values user experience by cleaning up their user interface in a number of places. Besides making camera easily accessible from the lock screen and raise to wake feature for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, Apple has redesigned notifications to allow you to do a lot more right from your lock screen. For example, you can use 3D touch on a Calendar notification to “Accept or Decline” meeting invitations, see photos, videos and other rich messages without having to leave the lock screen.

  1. Siri

Besides making Siri available on the Mac as well, Apple has added a whole bunch of new functionality to establish Siri as the best Voice Assistant in the market. Siri now provides third party integration and support which opened up voice assistant to developers with VoIP, messaging, ride booking, health, photo search and payment applications. You can now simply pick up your phone and tell Siri “Slack my manager that I’m going to be twenty minutes late” if it ever happens to you 😉

  1. Quicktype

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Apple has now semi-integrated Siri’s intelligence with the keyboard suggestions to now provide amazing suggestions for responses. For example if you are talking to a friend and your friend asks you for someone’s number, Siri recognises this and offers up that
person’s contact as a suggestion. Furthermore, talking about a lunch or dinner plan allows you to make calendar entries (yes, Siri also checks if you are free at the time) right from the messages app, so you do not have to leave your conversation and switch apps to do so.

4. Messages

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Admittedly Apple’s messaging has not been able to garner the popularity of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, but it has updated the app to bring it up to the standard and possibly pull up ahead of its competitors in features. First off, emojis can now be enlarged and messages can be ‘emojified’ (I had to put it first, it got the biggest applause in the keynote!). Apple has now opened up messages to third party apps allowing developers to come up with their own stickers that users can paste anywhere in their conversations. Furthermore you can now add effects to messages, so if its a celebratory message, the app behaves the way you’d want it to!

  1. Photos

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Photos has gone through a few small but nevertheless cool changes. Photos now provides facial recognition and location detection capabilities. Besides, it also has a separate tab called ‘Memories’. Memories organises your photos and allows you to create beautiful videos with important pictures at the tap of a button. The next time you go for a trip to Nandi Hills with your friends in the weekend and take 500 pictures, all you have to do is tap a button and Apple will automatically create a video with the best photos for you to share with people you know!

Besides all of the changes I’ve discussed above, Apple has also opened up Maps to third parties allowing developers to make ride and restaurant booking apps for Maps without users having to navigate away from the app. Apple Music and Apple News have also gone through a much needed design overhaul to make it easier and cleaner for users. Apple further announced a new application called Home, which allows users to integrate their entire home system to their phone. No more getting out of bed to turn off the lights at night!

While these were the key updates to the new iOS, the new operating system seems more like one that has brought Apple at par in terms of features with it’s competitors. One noteworthy exception is definitely Siri who is now more powerful than ever. With the introduction of Siri to the macOS line, one cannot help but notice how increasingly close Apple has brought the desktop and mobile devices. Apple’s decision to withhold Android support for iMessages was definitely the big miss of the keynote besides hopefuls yearning for Apple’s entry into the VR world.

Despite the misses, developers around the world are glad Apple has now begun to rectify their mistakes and open up their apps to third party integration, and the future for Apple definitely looks brighter post the WWDC than before it.

By: Kunal Thacker

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