September 12, 2017

All the news from Apple’s Keynote & why you should care

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(Apple, BBC News)

Apple’s September event has now well and truly secured its spot as one of the most anticipated and talked about Keynotes from the 4 horsemen of tech (Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple). As one of the most valuable and influential companies in the world, it’s important to understand what the impact could mean when Apple announce a storm of products and services that will populate our work, homes, and personal lives over the next 12 months.

Last night they hosted the annual event for the first time at the Steve Jobs Theatre at their new Apple spaceship campus in San Francisco.

Last night I sat up and watched the 2 hour Keynote so that you don’t have to. I’ve pulled together some of the key takeaways and most importantly, explained why you should care! Into a 8 min read.

Supercut of keynote if your in a rush

Software

iOS 11

The world’s most popular mobile operating system receives a range of new features and capabilities. I covered a lot of this in June in my WWDC wrap up and I have had the ability to try these first hand in the beta program for last few months, it is soon to be rolled out to the public on the 19th September!

Here are some of highlights:

Siri gets smarter – Apple’s smart assistant was introduced in 2011 and has now had a major voice overhaul for more natural and human-like interactions. They have also opened up access for 3rd party companies to use Siri. You can also see increased intelligence across the entire device as they have baked in Siri into various aspects of the operating system! From calendar to Mail, Music to notifications using the AI to make suggestions to allow smarter and more personal experiences for the end user.

Apple Pay – Micropayments will enable peer to peer payments and Apple Pay payments will be able to be taken via the web, allow ease of mobile transactions to be integrated into websites for greater user experience.

All new app store – Apple has redesigned the app store from the ground up to include editorial which will drive app discovery. People say apps are dead but Apple has done a really clever thing and tried to help surface some of the hidden gems in the store. This paired with recent update allowing sponsored app suggestions feels like a more premium experience.

Messages – Apple is focusing on creating more hyper-rich messaging experiences since the introduction of in-message apps. This can be seen with the app drawer which allows you to access more things to share without leaving the Messages app. Why not download the VCCP sticker pack and give it a go?

ARKit

Back in June at their developers’ conference, Apple made a splash with announcing ARKit – a tool that will allow plug and play development of augmented reality applications! We have already seen plenty of experiences that developers have been creating over the last few months!

Why should I care? – As of last night with the rollout of iOS11, Apple now has the LARGEST augmented reality platform in the market! We have already seen a sneak peek of some of the launch partners and brands who are taking advantage of this and since its announcement, it has been so impactful that it has forced Google to bring out its own equivalent – AR CORE.

This will fuel an explosion of brand interest in the capabilities of AR as it allows you to really blur the physical and digital worlds. This allows the creation of richer experiences as devices can better understand the physical specs of their environment.

Hardware

It wouldn’t be an Apple Keynote without reference to hardware and a few new, shiny products that we will all desire to own. This year was no different with a broad range of new kit coming to the market that looks to encourage us to part with our hard-earned cash.

iPhones

This year marks the 10th anniversary since the introduction of the original iPhone which changed the technology industry forever. As expected they didn’t want to let this huge milestone pass without doing something special. Apple announced a number of updates and Introduced a whole new device.

iPhone Goes Pro with the X (pronounced 10)

The iPhone X hails a radical redesign of Apple phones. It features an edge-to-edge, OLED display which replaces the old LCD screens, offering a more vivid, crystal-clear picture. The home button is gone to offer a cleaner look and the Touch ID process has been replaced with 3D facial recognition technology Face ID. This technology is also incorporated into other uses e.g. including automatically silencing notifications, greater augmented reality solutions and payments. To make life even easier and secure for the user.

Check out the announcement Video

Why should I care?

This major change in the iPhone design seems to be pushing for the idea of a seamless transition between reality and technology. Being able to interact with your phone by just looking at it, being able to charge it without wires, being able to watch high-quality content on a clean-looking, bezel-free phone screen – these are all designed to help integrate a user’s experience seamlessly into their everyday lives. This idea of fusing reality and technology will be very important for the branding and advertising worlds.

iPhone 8 gets a refresh – along with what Apple has called the future of the iPhone with the iPhone X, we saw a major Hardware bump from last years iPhone 7 in the form of iPhone 8. With a number of updates in the usual places of the display, camera, Processor and overall experience with this refined phone. One of the key changes is the introduction of all glass back to the device, as both the iPhone 8 and iPhone X will be able to be charged wirelessly by just placing a phone on a pad to fast charge 50% in 30 min. It will be available September 22nd.

Side note

Along with all the iPhone hardware and software announcements, it’s clear to see Apple is heavily investing in a seamless integration of the two, and an increased focus on camera capabilities; both of the main cameras bringing professional grade features with portrait lighting. As well as this, we see the increased use of front-facing expenses, like snapchat lenses, because of the selfie generation. The camera tech they have packed into the devices is industry leading and we can’t wait to see what this will enable over the coming months.

Apple Watch series 3 ⌚

Apple’s newest watch will finally have LTE service, meaning it doesn’t need to be tethered to your phone at all times. This is an important new feature that will appeal massively to runners and gym-goers. This new feature will mean that this Apple product will become a much more independent contender in the tech and device world. It will also include an increased processor that will enable greater onboard processing and applications on the number 1 watch in the world (recently surpassing Rolex).

Why should I care?

This will open up new capabilities of using the device as a stand-alone device, to go anywhere with just your Apple watch, freeing you from your phone and still keeping in the moment! As we continue to strap these smart devices to our bodies, we will have increased information and understanding of ourselves.

TVs

Apple announced today a refresh to what it described as a hobby product – the Apple TV. The addition of 4K HDR brings it up to the high standards of the industry set by the likes of Amazon, Roku, and Google. It seems Apple is beginning to take Apple TV seriously – they’ve tested the water with original content such as Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke and invested 1 billion dollars into future programming.

Why should I care?

With 4K HDR well and truly cemented as an industry standard for future broadcast content, it puts pressure on content creators to adopt this super high-quality format with more vibrant and dynamic colours, that can can be challenging on the production process.  It is also worth a note that they are one to watch as they are increasingly looking like they will be taking on the streaming giants?

Will Harvey is Creative Innovation Lead at VCCP. Follow him on twitter here. 

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Team Curious

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