Initial Impressions: WWDC 2016 Keynote

UPDATE #1: Changes to list of compatible iOS 10 devices.

Apple’s WWDC has just started with the opening keynote, where the company announced:

  • macOS Sierra
  • iOS 10
  • watchOS 3
  • tvOS 10
  • Swift Playgrounds

In this post with the event having finished not that long ago, here are my impressions of everything announced:

macOS Sierra:

macOS is the sequel to OS X 10.11 El Capitan and it brings it some decent features:

Continuity/Handoff:

Auto Unlock, uses the Apple Watch to login straight away.

Universal Clipboard, shares text, images, audio, video etc. to your Mac from your iPhone or iPad.

Great additions, but where is iTunes support?

iCloud Drive:

iCloud Drive can now sync items that are on your desktop.

This is great but do question if people will find this annoying with it taking up storage space.

Optimize Storage:

Make room for new files by keeping older ones in iCloud and remove files in other areas of the phone.

Went from 20GB’s of free space to 150GB’s free space.

Sounds like a Disk Defragmentation for the Mac.

Apple Pay on the web:

Shop online and pay with Apple Pay button, sheet comes down which uses continuity via Touch ID on your iPhone to make payments and via the watch as well.

Exactly how I thought it would be implemented.

Tabs: 

All apps support multi-windows, without any developer adoption required.

Very practical when it comes to other apps, such as maps or notes etc. and love that developers do not need to do any work.

Picture in Picture:

Push video into a PiP to watch on the go.

Can be displayed on-top of all content, including when you switch desktop screens.

Great feature but question the controls you can use when in PiP mode.

Siri:

Siri can do sophisticated queries for files you worked on during a time period.

Can pin Siri results into Notification Centre to work on later.

Siri can play music from iTunes.

Siri can look for images on the web and drag them into your documents.

Great addition to the operating system.

Public beta in July, with beta out today.

iOS 10:

iOS 10 is the follow-on from iOS 9 announced this time last year and it has also got some note-worthy changes.

User Experience:

  • Redesigned lock screen.
    • Raise to see lock screen.
    • 3D Touch Notifications.
    • Slide from right to left to get camera.
    • Slide from left to right to see widgets.
  • Rich notifications.
  • Quick interaction with apps.
    • Special area for music controls in Control Centre.
  • Expanded 3D Touch.
    • See more information beyond standard features.

I like how raising your phone makes it better Touch ID to wake which is too quick to see lock screen.

Siri:

Siri SDK is official. API does a lot of the hardwork for figuring out what the user is saying.

Can also send Siri messages via 3rd party apps while in the car.

Siri is one of those that doesn’t sound too impressive now, but could very well be in the future.

QuickType:

Siri intelligence is coming to the keyboard.

LSTM’s is used to figure out what context you are talking about?

Pre-fill calendar events when you figure it out.

Can be useful from time to time for people who use QuickType.

Multi-lingual support is added so you can type across multiple languages.

Photos:

Places is added to view where the photos were taken.

Advanced Computer Vision to add facial recognition locally on the phone and sorting, all while protecting your privacy.

Advanced Computer Vision can also do it for objects and sceneries.

Memories tab uses artificial intelligence to help find memories of trips, topics, people etc. Also fully customizable to what you set it at with theme type and length.

Can also automatically create movies based on photos and location etc.

Great updates all-round when it comes to finding photos.

Maps:

All-new design for maps with easier to access controls.

Proactive based on suggestions, such as figuring out when you normally go to work to give you directions.

Traffic on Route which zooms in and out depending on street length etc.

Search along route and if you stop somewhere it’ll tell you how much longer it will take.

All features are coming to CarPlay.

Maps is opening to developers with Extensions. Make reservations via OpenTable, book an UBER all within the Maps app.

Great additions to maps.

Apple Music:

All-new design from the ground-up.

Black & White interface.

Bold headings up top make it more obvious where you are in.

Library is now the first tab when it opens up.

Recently Added section does not take up any more space now unless you scroll.

Lyrics support has been added.

Daily curated playlists now available.

Album Artwork zooms in to take up more space on the screen when song is playing.

Connect is now embedded in For You section.

Browse tab replaces New tab to see what is most important and latest releases, including the charts.

Apple Music redesign is definitely refreshing. For a current paid subscriber I like many of the changes.

News:

All-new design for the app which has some resemblance with Apple Music.

News is now sorted into topics.

Subscriptions lets you read all articles from a particular supplier.

Breaking news notifications now go straight to your lock screen.

Great updates all-round.

HomeKit:

Brand new Home app.

Includes support for more categories.

Get to see your own personalised wallpaper.

Shows all of your controls straight away and have different scenes up top.

Everything including scenes works via Siri.

Control Centre has a screen for Home.

Apple TV can act as a hub for all of the HomeKit devices to control when away from home.

Home control support is also added to the watch.

Slow but steady way to increase the popularity of the HomeKit platform.

Phone:

Voicemail transcriptions of missed calls.

3rd Party APIs can provide information on if numbers are related to spam etc.

Nice additions.

Messages:

Video can now play inside the transcript.

Can take a photo live with the camera.

Emoji’s are now 3x larger and Emoji predictions are now included in QuickType and suggest ones to replace words with Emoji’s.

Bubble Effects is now large or small font, just like to Google Allo.

Handwritten messages.

Digital Touch messages support.

Full-screen effects.

You can send Apple Music song links via Messages.

Messages is now being opened to developers with iMessage apps. App Draw lets people go to the App Store with apps that do stickers, payments etc.

Great all-round additions to Messages which makes it feel more like a social network.

Other Small Additions:

  • Notes collaboration
  • Conversation View
  • Live Photos editing
  • Split View in Safari on iPad.
  • Every app has end-to-end encryption by default and always.

iOS 10 beta is available today and public beta in July. Free Upgrade in Fall and supports all devices that run iOS 9 except iPhone 4s (I bet it’s because it was the last 3.5inch screened device).

UPDATE #1: Apple has now release an update for compatible devices for iOS 10, dropping the iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad Mini 1 and iPod Touch 5G in addition to the iPhone 4s, which means no devices running an A5 or A5X chip will be supported, just as I predicted.

It’s also worth noting that iPad 2 and iPad Mini 1 were the last devices to not have a Retina Display which will make it easier for developers with supporting assets etc.

watchOS 3:

watchOS 3 is the next operating system to run on the Apple Watch, with some nice changes.

Faster Launch:

Apps update in the background and keep some things loaded in the background.

This addresses most people’s No. 1 request for the Apple Watch 2 when it comes to speed and this should help fix that issue in some ways.

Dock:

Quick way to switch between apps that you use frequently or have currently opened.

Definitely a better way of navigating on the watch compared to going to the home screen all the time.

New Control Centre:

All toggles on a single screen from a swipe up from bottom like on iOS.

Definitely removes a lot of confusion about toggles and has a single go to place.

Reply to Messages via Scribble:

Draw each letter on the screen as a quick form of input.

This was also added in Android Wear 2.0 and makes perfect sense for inputting characters.

Watch Faces:

New watch face called Activity to see rings and time at the same time.

You can also swipe between watch faces for different occasions.

Really good for active junkies.

SOS:

Hold down side button to dial emergency services number in whatever country you’re in.

The fact it automatically dials 911 in US, 999 in Hong Kong or 000 in Australia

Activity Sharing:

See family members and friends rings to make it better compete with each other.

This could be a really great motivator for people who really get into it.

Wheel Chair Support for Activity:

Enlisted experts to help create workouts for people in wheel chairs.

Time to Stand will now be time to roll.

Accessibility on the watch is a really great approach for the watch.

Breathe:

Guide you through simple deep breathing exercises to relief stress etc.

Not something people necessarily asked for, but with health benefits from it, it’s a great addition.

Dev Kit:

Developers now have access to:

  • Apple Pay in Watch Apps
  • Workouts in the background
  • SpriteKit & SceneKit
  • Game Centre
  • CloudKit
  • Inline Video
  • And more…

Nice additions for developers.

Beta is available today and will be released later this year.

 

tvOS 10:

tvOS is the operating system that runs on the 4th generation Apple TV and has some nice additions to it.

 

Apple TV Remote App:

Takes the functionality of the Siri Remote all in a new version of the Remote app.

Finally… and it supports Gyroscope and Accelerometer for games.

Siri:

Search movie by topics, search YouTube for videos.

Nothing really special about it but good additions.

Single sign-on:

Sign in once on Apple TV and it will give you authentication for all relevant apps.

Very useful.

Dark Mode:

Home screen can have a black background.

Really great for night time.

DEV Kit:

ReplayKit, PhotoKit, HomeKit and more including 4 game controller support etc.

Great additions.

tvOS beta is available today and released later this year.

Developers:

Swift Playgrounds:

New iPad app that lets people learn to code.

App is designed and aimed more towards kids who have not learnt to code before.

I really like the idea of what they have done with this, but it’s not quite what people want, as they are after Xcode on iPad, which I doubt will happen anytime soon.

Available for public release in the fall and this app will be free to help kids learn coding.

 

Final Initial Impressions:

I was actually quite impressed with watchOS 3 and tvOS updates more than I anticipated and believe these updates will indeed help with sales, especially with the watch.

macOS Sierra has quite a few useful features added to them, but wish they did more with iTunes.

I honestly have mixed opinions on iOS 10 as a lot of the features announced are not what I would say I use on daily basis, however I do like what they have done with Messages, Apple Music and 3D Touch, but other areas are really great including Siri SDK. I will still reserve judgement on all of these platforms until the end of the week.

And that’s it, thank you very much for reading my thoughts.

I will be making another blog post later this week once I know all of the minor details of all the software and everything else announced during the week.

If you enjoyed this post and want to see more of these in the future be sure to like this post and follow me here and/or on Twitter @neilh_apps.

 

 

 

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