Our WWDC 2016 wish list
Apple’s big conference is coming next week. What will we see? iOS 7? iOS something else? Apple Watch news? New Macbooks? The sky is the limit really. There are a few things we know. It’s happening next week. It will be long. A lot will be covered. I’m sure we’ll get news about Health Kit, Apple Home. Maybe we’ll get a taste of what Apple has cooking in the work of VR? Perhaps a Google Home/Amazon Echo rival?
We’ve heard some rumors but we wanted to get the opinions of some experts about what we’d like to see coming from Mr. Cook and the Apple contingent.
“In short, snoozefest.”
iOS is a conundrum. It’s both one of the most elegant and boring operating systems out there. It’s incredibly rigid in what it allows and more specifically what it prohibits. I’d like to say, I want to see iOS branch out a bit, but when it has it has botched it. See widgets for example. Unless a major redesign is in order – and let’s face it, it isn’t – there isn’t a hell of a lot I want to see out of iOS.
Now Siri is another story, and this is where Apple needs to catch up a lot. Google Now/Google Assistant is becoming a much more robust tool to a smartphone, and Siri needs to play catch up by a lot. That means anticipating more needs, better AI and bots to be more conversational and tying into more services to serve up suggestions based on conversations.
From a hardware perspective, I’m not expecting much, except in Apple’s tangential brands which I’ve never bought into – Apple TV and the like. Maybe we’ll see some new Apple Computers – laptop or desktop – but in the realm of mobile, probably nothing too exciting. Unless there is some kind of VR announcement.
Overall, I’m expecting a pretty boring keynote. I hope I’m wrong.
“Bring more ‘Pro’ to the lineup.”
WWDC has always been Apple’s odd-ball event. There was a time when it was all about software, and then it became about the iPhone, but then it went again to become about software, and then there were a few Macs, and the story goes on. Fact of the matter is, while I’m personally not expecting anything hot for iPhones and iPads, there are a few products that are long overdue for a refresh, and that I actually wish got one. One of these is the Apple Watch. Software on this wearable is terrible at best, but it seems that Apple won’t be able to do more with it, unless it launches more powerful hardware. Another product due for a refresh is the MacBook Pro lineup, which we’ve seen rumored with USB-C all over.
Now as for software wishes, I’d love for iOS 10 to bring more “Pro” features to the iPad Pro line-up. Another would be for 3D Touch to grow up and allow me to define what shortcuts I want for each app when hard-pressed.
“VR is the future.”
Now that Google I/O 2016 is behind us, it’s time for Apple to show us some of its plans for the future. Two major takeaways from I/O were Google Now and Daydream – Google’s intelligent assistant and its new virtual reality push. Apple has Siri, but it’s laughable compared to what the current Google Now can do. Virtual Reality, on the other hand, well that’s something to talk about.
Google bootstrapped the concept with a cheap headset standard dubbed “Cardboard”. Others built on this concept with higher quality cardboard-based headsets, and others built plastic versions. All these were amazing – especially considering that they were “only cardboard”. Everyone from children to grandparents were wowed by a simple roller coaster ride and a plain Google Cardboard headset. Then Samsung and Oculus created the Gear VR – which puts Cardboard to shame. The major differences are navigability and an immersive UI.
Now that Google is literally building VR into Android N, the writing is on the wall: VR is the future.
Then there’s Apple. iOS only got parallax support fairly recently, and doesn’t do much with z-indexing of graphical components. Google’s Material Design SDK is built around layers, includes dynamic shadows, and enables the interaction of layers. Apple’s SDK doesn’t – well, not like Android’s does anyway.
While the others will have focused on products and upgrades and services they expect to see from Apple, my perspective is that while Apple has been working on Touch 3D, Google has been working on real 3D – and if Apple doesn’t respond to Google’s push into VR with something truly amazing, they may be too little, too late.
“Time for your wish list!”
So, that’s what we’re thinking. There’s quite a variety in there. Siri, VR, Watch, oh my! What are you thinking? What do you want to see or even need to see at this conference? Sound off below and let’s keep the conversation going.