One of our core values at gap intelligence is passion – passion for our clients, for our community, and ourselves. We have an obvious passion for technology, so naturally Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is an exciting news event for our company. With over 100 technical sessions, collaborative labs, consultations, and guest speakers, there are some amazing things coming down the pipe! We can't cover it all in one blog, so here are some highlights.
Most notably Apple has decided to drop the “OS X” name for their Mac operating system, and change it to macOS. A throwback to their early days, macOS was the name denoting the operating system from 1984 to 2000. The newest operating system, macOS Sierra, will feature Apple's famous personal assistant, Siri. This could prove to be a useful and revolutionary idea in a computing OS as it will allow even better multitasking and time optimization. Remind anyone of Jarvis from Ironman?
Also some other exciting features include universal clipboard and optimized storage. Universal clipboard is exactly what it sounds like: you can copy something on any iOS or Mac device, and go to another device, and just… well, paste. We all know how it feels to have the “Not Enough Storage” notification pop up on our phones, and our personal computers may be next. We store so much information and data that it doesn’t help that many new laptops today come with small solid state drives, sized around 128-512GB. With optimized storage, Apple looks to remedy the storage situation and drive users to cloud storage by allowing your Mac to put old files or files you don’t use often onto iCloud Drive, as well as deleting duplicates or obsolete files.
Image credit: apple.com
No WWDC is complete without a release of a new iOS. This year we see Apple bringing more creative and collaborative features to their devices, such as updates to Messages, the lock screen, and the Notes app. In Messages, there is a huge overhaul in the way you can interact and customize your messages. You can send hand written messages, add a personal touch on images and videos, and even have your message bubble come into the chat with an animation. From the lock screen, you can now interact with notifications, such as view photos and videos, and respond to messages. In the Notes app, Apple has allowed for collaboration, similar to Google docs.
One of the main focuses in the new iOS update was the emphasis on privacy. This is not surprising, seeing as Apple was ordered by a federal judge back in February to essentially create a backdoor to their system. With the debate between privacy and national security put aside, Apple has used the issue as a launching pad to beef up privacy on their devices. Within the iOS devices, FaceTime, Messages, and Homekit will now have end-to-end encryption, and the entire device will feature on-device intelligence. On-device intelligence means that data collected will be local only to your device, and any sensitive data that is shared with Apple for crowdsourced-learning will be encrypted and useless on its own.
The Apple Watch has been the center of both criticism and praise when it comes to wearable technology. With the now establish product line and consumer acceptance, Apple has had the opportunity to take a step back and evaluate how they can improve the experience of the watch. With the announcement of watchOS 3, Apple has taken the right step forward this time. watchOS 3 addresses the slow response time by allowing apps to run and update in the background, and when called upon, will load instantly, claiming it will be seven times faster than before. Switching clock faces is now more intuitive, by swiping either left or right from the clock, rather than the added complexity that has been seen with Force Touch. Also exciting is a new use for the side button. In addition to pulling up your favorite contacts, the side button will summon up a "Dock" where you can put all your favorite apps so that they are easily accessable.
Continuing Apple Watch's focus on health via heart rate monitoring, watchOS 3 is making fitness social. With watchOS 3, Apple allows you to compare your activity with your friends as a way to motivate both parties to be more active. watchOS 3 also comes with a nifty new app called Breathe. Breathe, as Apple puts it, "…guides you through a series of deep breaths that can help you better manage everyday stress or just experience a few calming moments."
Image credit: apple.com
Just as gap intelligence is committed to serving and giving back to our local community, Apple wants to push the boundary for education for students all over the world. Apple has announced that they have created an iPad app – Swift Playground – that will allow students to learn coding in a fun and interactive manner. Having taken a couple of frustrating programming classes in college, it's clear that the usual method of teaching coding mostly as by trial and error. There is a meme all over the internet on programming: My code works, I have no idea why. My code doesn’t work, I have no idea why. This app may create a medium for young minds to get interested and excited in coding by making it easy to learn. Since this app will be free in the app store come fall, anyone interested in coding can download this app and start learning.
Image credit: imgur.com
With WWDC 2016 coming to a close, all that's left for this Apple fanatic to do is wait for the next update notification.