Apple has been the flag bearer of innovation since the day it was launched. Apple moved forward into the mainstream by subtle-but-decisive and judicious narratives of what it stands for and what it aspires to be in the future.
In this year’s WorldWide Developers Conference (WWDC), held in San Jose, CA, Apple stayed true to its core. Instead of launching an array of products, this conference showed glimpses of technology shaping Apple’s offering in the coming 10 years. The company was very subtle about revealing its roadmap and didn’t explicitly label it a 10-year plan.
Apple is putting in small bits of its next generation of technology into the devices we’re already using. Features such as augmented reality platform, virtual reality development tools, the HomePod speaker, and improvements to iOS 11 are among the building blocks for the technologies Apple is investing its resources in for the future.
Augmented reality (AR) overlays digital images on the real world. It is one of the technologies that can redefine the way we use smartphones today. Microsoft’s HoloLens, Google’s Project Tango and Google Glass, and upcoming un-named project of Facebook might replace the screens of our smartphones one day.
Apple’s approach is subtle. They didn’t ruffle any feathers by launching a new head gear or AR goggles. They simply introduced a new way to develop AR apps on iPhone in their upcoming operating system iOS 11. In the immediate future, it will mostly translate to some new games, entertainment apps, and improvement in already existing apps. In the long run, however, Apple will succeed in securing a base of seasoned AR developers using its platform. It will give a competitive edge to the company, securing its future in a rapidly changing technological ecosystem.
Apple wasn’t all that eager with Virtual Reality (VR) when rest of the tech industry seemed to be having a field day. One reason might be the indecisiveness regarding the prospects of VR as it was introduced as a gaming attraction. It is, however, seem to be doing some course correction. It is now offering a VR development tool box in macOS Sierra Operating system to create 3D and VR content. Apple always provides the required tools to build the content of the future, and this new addition will keep its dedicated users satisfied.
HomePod is Apple’s way to put Siri everywhere and connect all the devices to provide an ambient computing experience powered by AI. Pitched against Amazon Echo, HomePod focuses on music but is also a personal assistant. It will help the company catch up with the other big players in the area of AI.
And finally, the long-awaited promise to turn iPad into a laptop replacement seems to be coming true shortly. The company has started making improvements, but it is still a long way before people start ditching Mac for an iPad. A 10.5 -inch screen, new storage system, improved interactive actions, and a full-screen keyboard are initial steps towards a complete transformation.
The WWDC announcements might feel underwhelming and not impressive enough. It might seem like Apple is confused and shooting in the dark rather than making a bold move. However, without a shred of doubt, the company’s vision and constant strive for perfection has always reflected in its products. A low-key announcement might just be the harbinger of something revolutionary coming along. Why, you may ask. Because it’s Apple!