Highlights From the 2017 Apple WWDC

Apple held their annual WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) in San Jose, CA on June 5, 2017.  Tim Cook, Apple CEO, kicked off the keynote to 5,000 developers  by declaring this will be the biggest WWDC (I had to chuckle because he says this every year).  Here are the things I found interesting in the two hour and half hour keynote.

 

Apple HomePad

As predicted, Apple announced, HomePad, which directly competes with the Amazon Echo and Google Home.  They positioned it as a cross between a high end wireless speaker (specifically comparing it to Sonos) and voice assistant (aka Amazon Echo).   They spent a lot of time focusing on the quality of the speakers and it seem like the voice assistant was more of an add-on.   I think they did so to justify the $350 price tag to differentiate it from the other voice assistants which are substantially less expensive.

 

VR Support

I have to admit, whenever they do the hardware demo at the keynotes, I usually find it cliché …wait for it…it’s the most power Mac ever (duh).  What was interesting was their demo of a Star Wars virtual reality scene being developed by Industrial Light and Magic.   Apple is not known for being a gaming platform but they’ve beefed up the iMac Pro to accommodate VR development .

 

Send and Receive Money with Apple Pay

In demoing the updates to iMessage, Apple showed the ability to send and receive money through Apple Pay.  Wait a second; that sounds like Venmo.  Looks like the Peer-to-Peer payment space just got a big competitor.

 

ARKit

One of the more interesting and exciting things I saw as developer is Apple’s announcement of ARKit .  This allows developers to make Augmented Reality apps for the iOS.  For those of you unfamiliar with AR, Pokemon Go is an example.  It will be interesting what developers will do with ARKit.

 

watchOS 4 features Machine Learning

One of the faces of watchOS 4 is that it will use machine learning to display relevant info to the user.  Pretty cool, but I still don’t plan to wear a watch any time soon (why do I need a watch when I already have an iPhone).

There was actually a lot more stuff announced at the keynote.  This was just  the things I found interesting.  To see the entire keynote, just click here.

 

By Rich Foreman, CEO / Apptology and Director of Startup Grind Sacramento. Rich co-authored the book Tap into the Mobile Economy and his blog has been listed in the Top 20 Mobile Marketing Blogs of 2014.  Follow Rich on Twitter at@ApptologyCEO or attend a Startup Grind Sacramento Event.

“The Future of TV is Apps.”

timcooktv

Source: Getty Images

Admittedly, I had low expectations for this year’s recent Apple keynote.  As I listened to the list of Apple’s new product announcements I was unimpressed: iPad ProApple WatchiPhone 6sApple Pencil.  Yawn.  However, what blew me away was the Apple TV.

Although introduced in 2007, Apple TV seemed unremarkable.  It seemed like it was their forgotten red-headed step child and I wouldn’t have been surprised if they decided to end support for it.  However, Apple CEO Tim Cook brought new life and vision to Apple TV by declaring, “The Future of Televison is Apps.”  As I watched Apple’s product demo, my jaw dropped with all the different possibilities.  Right off the bat, I can see Apple TV replacing the DVR, cable TV, large room video conferencing, and console gaming.

The interface leverages Siri which seems light years ahead of the clumsy interface that I use with my cable box.  But that’s not the secret sauce; it’s the fact that Apple has opened up its SDK and has created tvOS (based on iOS 9).  This will allow developers to develop apps for Apple TV and to be distributed by the Apple TV App Store.

Apple introduced their new controller which uses Siri and could be used like a Wiiwireless controller.  Interesting enough, the iPhone and iPod touch could also be used as a controller.  Couple this with developer’s porting their games to Apple TV, and we could be seeing the demise of Xbox and the PlayStation.

I can see network television and local television stations providing live streaming and on-demand content through their own branded app.  By doing so, they can provide targeted interactive advertising where they will know the demographics of the individual user.   For example, based on my user profile, I would see interactive trailers for Sci Fi movies and subscription offers for Fast Company(which I can instantly buy with my credit card on file).  Best of all, unlike the DVR, the user won’t be able to fast forward the ads.  Once a critical mass of TV stations and networks begin developing their own apps, it will lead to the end of the DVR and Cable TV.

In addition, I can see Apple TV becoming a standard for conference room.  Third party apps will replace large video conferencing systems like Cisco Telepresence.  Presentations will be delivered by an app, controlled by an iPhone.   And when the screen’s idle, it will display creative and useful digital signage.

One can argue that the mobile app market was first started when Apple opened up their SDK for the iPhone.  Amazing new applications have been developed that many did not foresee (for example, when the iPhone was created, I don’t think anyone could imagine Uber developing a $50 B company by delivering car service from an app).  In a similar fashion, I expect amazing innovations will be developed on the Apple TV.

By Rich Foreman, CEOApptology and Director of Startup Grind Sacramento.Rich co-authored the book Tap into the Mobile Economy and his blog has been listed in the Top 20 Mobile Marketing Blogs of 2014.  Follow Rich on Twitter at@ApptologyCEO or attend a Startup Grind Sacramento Event.