Apple’s yearly WWDC product announcements
It’s that time of year again and InnoviMobile has some opinions on game-changing technologies that Apple introduces – mostly once a year (nothing on the new iPhone – but that’s surely coming the fall). Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference is their time to announce new products and enhancements to existing products and platforms. Apple talked about many innovations – the HomePod speaker (although I’m a big fan of Sonos I’m definitely getting the HomePod), a modest update to Mac’s operating system not-so-cleverly named High Sierra, and iOS 11 – the new operating system for the iPhone and iPad.
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Most of the iOS 11 announcements were about the iPad and there was lots of Siri love (one day Siri will listen to what I want… one day). When we think of iOS enhancements we think of business customers. Sure, being able to record your screen, send friends money using Apple Pay, and the one-handed keyboard option is cool enhancements. But what about enhancements that will move the needle for business and enterprise apps.
OUR TOP 3 IOS 11 ENHANCEMENTS
- NFC (near-field communications) chip access – Since the birth of Apple Pay in the iPhone 5s Apple has been including an NFC chip in their iPhones and iPads. However, that chip’s only functionality was limited to providing contactless payment functionality. Developers didn’t have access to the chip for other cool things like accessing NFC tags. These tags are handy for keeping track of inventory to providing on-the-spot product information. Apple is providing support for Type 1-5 NFC tags which gives businesses choices on a variety type of standardized tags.
- Machine Learning – Apps now have access to the processing of machine learning models created by open source tools directly in iOS (and consequently on Apple’s powerful processing and graphics chips). Though the actual models are created outside of Apple’s tools and ecosystem they are compatible with Apple’s Core ML libraries in the iOS SDK. Apple provides examples of these models such as models to recognize faces and objects. Apps provide the “input” of the models, and then the input is applied to the models to create a result that can be used inside apps. Possible applications of this technology are using image recognition for products, product recommendation processing, and decision making around user presences within business apps.
- Augmented Reality – Apple showed a demonstration of augmented reality technology using Sir Peter Jackson’s Wingnut AR studio and it was simply stunning. The concept is that you can point an app with an open camera function on a physical object and then literally animate objects in real time. Possible business uses include new ways for customers at a retail location to learn about the product and interacting with graphical objects in the real physical world through a screen. Imagine being in a restaurant and instead of reading a menu you point a device onto a table and then you drag and drop sizzling steaks or mouth-water sushi.