Apple Company held an annual conference for developers, WWDC (WorldWide Developers Conference) in San Jose, June 5. This annual event allows getting acquainted with the main vector of the Apple developments and future trends. This year the conference showed that in the nearest future Apple will work closely with machine learning, augmented reality and a new platform for AR applications called ARKit.
At the opening of the event, the head of the corporation Tim Cook announced Apple has registered 16 million application developers in its ecosystem. Apple CEO also mentioned in his speech a 10-year-old resident of Australia, who downloaded five applications to the App Store, as well as an 82-year-old woman who just published her first product in the app store. All these WWDC17 announcements clarify what a great influence Apple Corporation products have on the life of all people across the globe and that all the developments they offer soon will change our lives significantly.
This event is held mainly to developers to encourage them to join the development of apps for iPhone, so the software products announcements were made in addition to the launch of new devices. Here they are:
• Apple announced the launch of a new iOS 11 this autumn.
• A new Mac operating system High Sierra is announced to be more efficient and secure due to the implementation of a new Apple File System.
• Metal 2 is a new platform for graphic processing and integration of Mac computers with Valve VR-solutions.
• WatchOS 4 is announced to have improved integration with Siri.
• A new line of iMac, iMac Pro and MacBook Pro with the VR integration was presented.
• The company demonstrated a smart home-assistant speaker called HomePod with the improved sound compared to competitors.
• A new iPad Pro with outstanding scanning and editing features, which allow users search words even in a handwriting.
Some WWDC 2017 results deserve our special attention. One of these is, of course, a new iOS 11 platform.
New iOS 11
The most expected at the conference was the update of iOS to the 11th version. It will be available this autumn for the owners of iPhone 5S and newer, iPad Air, iPad Pro, the fifth-generation iPad versions, iPad Mini and newer, as well as the sixth-generation iPod Touch. The most interesting features of this OS are listed below.
• iMessages now provides the ability to send money via Apple Pay messages.
• Siri’s voice became more natural and now it uses artificial intelligence partially.
• The translation from English into Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish is available in a test mode.
• More features for Apple Music: the music service will display playlists of friends. In addition, MusicKit for app developers was announced, which gives an opportunity to integrate their apps with the service.
• The completely updated design of the App Store: now there are three categories in the app, namely “Apps”, “Games” and “Today”.
And finally, the one that stole the whole show was an ARKit Announcement (Augmented Reality Kit), which turns AR from magic into reality.
MusicKit for Apple Player
Soon users will be able to play their local playlists and Apple Music right from the app and games, thanks to MusicKit. If a user gives a permission for an integration with Apple Music account, he/she will be able to create playlists, libraries and play songs in the Apple Music catalog in your app. For both mobile apps developers and music fans this opens a number of opportunities and a space for creative ideas. The feature allows seeing playlists of friends, exchange music tracks and discover more audio with the catalog consisting of millions of songs.
Read also: How to Make a Music Streaming App
ARKit for iOS 11
Apple has announced several projects that will allow it to enter the augmented reality market with the release of iOS 11. In the future, Apple wants to see their iOS as the biggest platform for augmented reality applications.
The company will release a special development kit, which will allow developers to create applications with the support for augmented reality on iOS, later in 2017. This tool will support object recognition, motion tracking, and scaling of virtual objects. In addition, it will integrate support for the game engines, including Unity, Unreal and SceneKit Xcode, so that developers can modify existing projects, adding support for augmented reality. According to their announcements, iPhone 7 recognizes up to 630 images per minute, which is 6 times faster than Google Pixel. This is achieved through the improved use of the processor capabilities, video chip, camera and motion sensors.
The conference speakers demonstrated AR capabilities on the iPhone using the example of Pokemon GO, as well as several new games. One of them allows you to scan the LEGO and virtually disassemble it into details, and the other makes it possible to arrange virtual battles on the table. In the development of this new project, Apple invited the famous director Peter Jackson together with his company Wingnut AR, and a former NASA engineer.
Augmented Reality on iOS: What That Means for Developers?
The launch of ARKit for iOS 11 is a milestone event for app developers throughout the world. The opportunities it can give to businesses do not end on just a mobile games (which also represent a great area of innovation, by the way). There many areas waiting for new technologies to thrive:
• Advertisement.The abundance of advertising, spam, and just unnecessary data is an information noise. A person begins to defend himself by blocking advertising messages. But if advertising uses augmented reality, the consumer himself actively enters into communication and takes part in the activity with pleasure.
• Live presentations.AR can be successfully used at the conference to draw the attention of listeners and win more new clients, investors, etc. Augmented reality will make the whole room gasp, it produces wow-effect, which will affect your success positively.
• Media and promotion.In the age of the Internet, it is difficult to complain about the information hunger. That is why to draw an attention of the reader one should surprise him/her. Moreover, the use of augmented reality in various mass and entertainment events will provide the organizers with an unforgettable show that will leave a sense of celebration in the minds of the participants and a desire to receive these sensations more than once.
• Virtual fitting rooms.Today Internet shops confidently kill retail networks, giving consumers an ability to find the right product in one click and buy it online at a better price. The only problem with sales on the Internet is that some kinds of goods need to be tried on. With a virtual fitting room on the basis of AR, this problem will be solved.
• Design and construction.With augmented reality, all the participants of the construction and design areas will receive the necessary information about the construction directly on the surface of their smartphones or lenses. Drawings will be replaced by AR technologies, which can help architects both on the construction site and in communication with the customer. As augmented reality does not replace the reality but enables to add some objects and see how they look like in a particular place, it can revolutionize the design field too.
Read also: Augmented Reality App Development
There are more possible applications of an AR technology, and we listed only the basic of them, which come to mind the first. Nevertheless, the list clearly shows what a diversity of possible enhancements this technology can give and how many different areas it can involve.
Summary: WWDC 2017 Results
Everything the Apple Corporation launches will inevitably affect the lives of all the people across the world. By making augmented reality a core of the most recent developments Apple made a confident step to the creation of revolutionary solutions. Moreover, ARKit for iOS 11 allows every developer to become a part of the progress, work with the most recent technological developments and provide more excellent solutions for the consumers all over the globe.