APPLE UNVEILS JUICY SOFTWARE UPDATES & AR/VR INNOVATIONS AT WWDC
The highly anticipated Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) just wrapped up. At WWDC, developers get an early look at upcoming updates for iOS, iPadOS, MacOS, and WatchOS, along with potential hardware announcements. In addition, Apple will be conducting online group chats on Slack throughout this week, led by their team of engineers, designers, and experts. The event kicked off with a live keynote presentation showcasing new software and hardware, as per tradition.
What’s to Come?
Apple is bringing exciting enhancements across multiple platforms and boy oh boy, can we not wait to use them. Here's a glimpse of what's in store:
iOS 17 introduces a range of new features, including video voicemails for unanswered FaceTime calls, personalized contact posters, live voicemail transcription with an answer call option, improved search filters for Messages, catch-up arrows for unread messages, inline location sharing, and a revamped sticker experience. Additionally, Airdrop gains the ability to share Contacts via iPhone and Apple Watch, while the keyboard receives improvements such as more accurate auto-correct and voice dictation. Siri now supports back-to-back commands, the Photos app recognizes more people and pets, and offline maps with downloadable areas are available.
The upcoming Journal app, powered by device Machine Learning (ML), offers personalized content suggestions from your iPhone and even reminds you to create entries. Utilizing the Suggestions API, Journal incorporates end-to-end encryption and a lock feature for added privacy. Stay turned on the Shift blog for more about Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
The Standby mode on iPhones turns the device into a smart clock and nightstand companion when placed on its side while charging. Widgets provide customizable information, tailored to your preferences and needs.
iPadOS 17 brings interactive widgets, a redesigned lock screen, animated wallpapers utilizing Machine Learning and Live Photos, the Health App with Healthkit Framework, and enhanced capabilities for PDFs. External camera support is also introduced.
For macOS, the new version called "Sonoma" mirrors the upgrades in iOS 17. It brings interactive desktop widgets, moving wallpapers, Game Mode, Safari improvements for private browsing and password sharing, video conferencing features like presenter overlay, and the ability to create web apps from web pages.
Audio and Home features receive attention as well. Adaptive Audio is introduced for AirPods, utilizing personalized volume adjustments generated by Machine Learning. AirPlay now learns user preferences and even supports AirPlay in hotels. Passengers in vehicles can now join SharePlay and contribute to the music. Apple TV gains the ability to locate the remote, display photo screensavers, and make FaceTime calls using the iPhone's camera wirelessly.
WatchOS 10 enhances the Apple Watch experience with new watch faces, improved cycling calculations, compass enhancements for hiking, mental health tracking in the Wellbeing app, a smart stack of widgets, and ML-driven relevant information display. Vision health features measure outdoor light exposure and encourage maintaining a safe screen distance.
Apple unveiled their latest innovation in the form of an Augmented and Virtual Reality computer, powered by the M2 chip and a new chip called "R1". This cutting-edge device introduces Spatial Computing, leveraging hand gestures and eye tracking for a truly immersive experience. With dual 4K displays for each eye and built-in speakers for spatial audio, the headset delivers stunning visuals and captivating content viewing. Additionally, the device incorporates a corded external battery and introduces a new authentication method called Optic ID, utilizing Iris scanning. Developers will have access to the RealityKit and ARKit frameworks for creating accompanying apps. Apple's new AR/VR computer combines their signature quality with groundbreaking technology, paving the way for a new era of immersive digital experiences.
Of course we're biased but most excited to see how this impacts us on the development side. SwiftUI is maturing quickly and is extremely powerful for making responsive and aesthetic views which increase an apps interact-ability. The code completion tool will work wonders on efficiency in developing code. Many developers currently use 3rd party tools to cut down on typing time, but soon Xcode will make those 3rd party tools obsolete with their Native option and we cannot wait!
We’ll have another blog about more of these new updates at the code level so stay tuned for further updates!
This article was written by Brody Sears, Software Engineer