Apple watchers know we’ve come a long way since 2014, which means developers at WWDC 2015 on June 8-12 will get to explore a host of new technologies they didn’t know existed last year.
Each is interesting in isolation, but together they comprise a program of platform potential to justify Apple’s Internet chief, Eddy Cue’s 2014 promise of, "the best product pipeline I've ever seen in 25 years.”
The Apple Watch opens up new conversations for developers. What’s the best way to use Glances? What about nested menus? How else can we bring the connected intelligence of iPhone to the wrist, or (and perhaps even more interesting) what kind of data can we bring to the phone from the watch? “Discover how to use WatchKit to create Apple Watch apps that complement your iPhone app, enable fast and focused interactions, and deliver timely and relevant information to the wrist,” Apple promises.
Apple’s new deal with IBM is incredibly important. It opens up new possibilities for OS X developers in the enterprise. IBM brings all kinds of technologies, not least its Watson deep learning AI. How might the power of Watson inform future OS X or iOS app developments? How much machine intelligence can we put inside a Mac app? Apple may even tell us a little more about the Foundation DB acquisition.
Apple continues to improve Siri, but the intelligent assistant has been as useful as a chocolate teapot to Russian, Danish, Dutch, Thai, Turkish, Swedish and Portuguese speakers. iOS 8.3 changed this, and Siri is now available in all these languages. New languages; new opportunity.
HealthKit and ResearchKit will attract fleets of new developers, from medical scientists to engineers looking to integrate medical and personal health related devices into Apple’s ecosystems. It won’t stop there – developers will eventually be able to build solutions that promise to improve your health and this year’s ResearchKit-gathered evidence should give them the proof they need to get regulatory approval to offer products promising this.
The world banking system may be struggling to resist the onslaught of Apple Pay as bankers recognize none of us will weep when they do inevitably go to the wall, so developers should climb aboard Apple Pay at WWDC to figure out how they might use it to disrupt the banking sector. What apps can you create with Apple Pay that may open new business opportunities or replace traditional fintech sector products? Crowdfunding personal loans?
“Add a new dimension of interaction in your Mac app with Force Touch,” Apple enthuses. We can’t wait. Particularly as the company pops Apple Watch taptic support inside iPhones and the Mac we can look forward to some interesting new ways to communicate, I imagine. You can also look forward to some cool built-in tools for drawing, graphics, video and productivity apps thanks to Force Touch.
Blink and you’ll have missed it but buried inside the iOS 8.4 developer beta is an updated music app with a brand new look that also gives more prominence to iTunes Radio. We don’t yet know what Apple plans to call its Beats service – will it become part of iTunes Radio, or its own entity? However, it’s not so hard to imagine how streaming music could integrate into third-party apps, and where better to discuss this than WWDC?
The scene seems right for Apple to talk Apple TV, following the HBONow exclusive, increasing channel inventory and deals with streaming providers like Hulu or Netflix. It is possible we will learn more on the company’s plans here before WWDC, but developers will explore the implications, perhaps using Auto Layout to “create flexible user interfaces that look great on multiple screen sizes and orientations”. That recent Apple TV price cut and the fact it hasn’t been significantly updated in years lend weight to the notion that this will be a significant upgrade.
One more thing..
Might WWDC 2015 see Apple add features derived from the Spotsetter service it might have acquired last year to Maps? And what about TouchID? Or the iPad Pro? Or future plans for interconnects and USB-C? Clearly there’s a lot to learn at Apple’s developer event in June.
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