Yesterday, Apple held its annual developer event, WWDC 2017, to share its latest software and products that will soon be available to us. There are some interesting additions which we look forward to trying out! We’ve picked some of the most exciting announcements from the event.
It was only a matter of time until Apple rolled out its own smart speaker to match its rivals, Google and Amazon. The HomePod houses Siri and comes with an advanced sound system with seven tweeters. It’s connected to Apple Music and Apple Home kit, which adds for an efficient home automation kit and DJ. Apple is pushing it a bit differently compared to Google and Amazon - more like a connected speaker that has Siri. It’s squaring right at Sonos too (also with Airplay 2 which allows multi-room from your phone).
From our experience, voice automated smart speakers still have room for improvement and are limited to whichever apps are available for their specific platforms. It will be interesting to test the HomePod how it works as a speaker and how its other features can be utilised.
Apple is now focusing on improving smaller parts of the iOS and introducing new features to its software. One of the most anticipated services is person-to-person payments that are connected to ApplePay. Users no longer need additional apps to make and receive payments within the iMessage and it’s a much smoother process. This is interesting, as it’s a step forward for Apple in improving its payments services.
New photo features
For the selfie addicts and (iPhone) photography buffs, Apple has added more exciting features to Photos. Users will be able to create loops, edit live images and take long exposure photos that have only been possible so far with DSLR cameras. We can’t wait to try these features! Apple has been gradually upgrading its photography elements to match Instagram and its other apps (Hyperlapse and Boomerang). iPhones have become primary cameras for a lot of people, so it makes sense to continue improving the photo features to drive creativity through them.
Apple is also gradually moving into the AR territory. The company offers developers to create AR experiences, using their existing Apple devices. The ARKit will be able to connect real-life objects with apps, using motion tracking. This is something we’re excited to see as AR takes off. It could really add a fun and immersive experience for gaming, education, as well as many retail services.
Apple introduced a 10.5 inch iPad Pro which is more powerful and offers more creative features. Users can multitask, using different apps and working on any image or text editing at the same time. The iOS 11 and Apple Pencil updates allow users to create markups, edit, draw and make notes in a more efficient way, which is important for many creatives. It looks like iPad Pro will be a great tool for creative professionals. However, due to many intricate interactions, the more casual iPad users may struggle to use it to its full potential. So, this may not be the best product for them.
While Apple hasn’t announced anything revolutionary, we like the focus on the smaller details within its existing products. Its improvements are going in the right direction to bring as many features as possible to single devices and apps. The key thing is to keep all these processes simple and not over complicate anything. We look forward to testing out some of these developments and will keep you posted on anything exciting we learn from them!