Earlier today, when Apple announced the iPhone X (to be read as ten), many rumors about the company’s future in innovation and intelligence were put to rest. For over 10-years, Apple has worked on strengthening its hardware and usually succeeded in doing so before the rest of the market. The iPhone 8, another device launched this year, has a few upgraded features: better processing, improved camera, and higher screen resolution, to name the big ones; aspects most users are going to find hard to appreciate if they have been using the recent variants of the iPhone. The tech-giant blew our minds with the launch of their iPhone X.
Image Source: CNET
10 Years of Apple: 10 Key Takeaways from their iOS Devices
On January 12, 2017, Apple introduced us to the world of tomorrow with the Apple Watch Series 3, Apple TV HDR 4K, and the iPhone X. There was an iPhone 8 in the mix as well, but that was to aid with the consistency more than to showcase their ability to innovate. Apple’s massive popularity in both wearable tech (their Apple Watch) and iOS’ huge chunk of revenue (surpassing Android by light years), gives the company the freedom to experiment with its hardware before it dives deep into the intricacies of software, and this recent launch event reaffirmed this to their adoring public.
Below, we have curated a few takeaways based on the devices just launched:
- Apple is changing the iPhone: There will not be an iPhone 9. Chances are, the iPhone 8 could be the last conventional iPhone to hit the market if the iPhone X manages to capture users’ attention the world over. There was the disappearance of the 3.5mm jack last year, and the traditional home button this year; Apple continues to drop subtle hints about their future plans.
- User experience and engagement: With the Apple Watch Series 1&2 garnering the number one position in the wearable tech market, the Apple Watch Series 3 is going to focus more on engaging the user. After innovating with the iPhones and iPads, Apple is going to lead the way with wearables too.
- The iPhone 8 isn’t exciting, but it’s brilliant: As we stated earlier, the launch of iPhone 8 series is more about consistency than innovation, but that doesn’t demean it as a device. With an exceptional camera and processor to back its operations, Apple has ensured that their audience looking for an affordable device isn’t left in limbo.
Image Source: CNET
- Combining health and peripheral: Clearly, Apple wants their devices to be indispensable. From monitoring your heart rate, detecting unusual activity, or elevation, the Apple Watch Series 3 is going to do it all, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The idea here is to amalgamate your health preferences within your device.
- Bye Bye HD, 4K is here: For a long time now, streaming companies and operating systems have banked upon their ability to offer services in HD or Full HD. Apple, however, is light-years ahead when it comes to resolution. With iTunes offering 4K viewing at the same price as HD, the company is aiming at HDR viewing for all.
- Finally, wireless charging: Even though we will have to wait until 2018, it is going to be worth it. Apple, after all these years, has decided to drop the cable and will introduce its own wireless charging device called AirPower. From your Apple Watch to your iPhone 8 or X, it will all be wireless from here on.
Image Source: CNET
- The one in a million feature: It’s time to say goodbye to the fingerprint sensor, Apple is moving onto bigger and better, with their facial recognition feature. Touted as one of the most secure ways to unlock one’s device, as it can only be hacked by one in a million, it is another step towards a button-less tomorrow.
- Apple is banking heavily on the iPad Pro: At the event, there was no mention of the iPad, which proves that Apple is counting heavily on the recently launched iPad Pro variants (10.5 and 12.9). There was nothing about the Apple pencil and keyboards, thus confirming Apple’s confidence in their iPads to serve as an ideal replacement for laptops in the future.
- A new age for iOS app development: Apple devices unlike Android, serve as an ecosystem for enterprises to run their virtual operations. With the iPhone X’s augmented reality prospects for user engagement, iOS app development is going to witness new frontiers and trends in gaming and entertainment, making apps and games such as PokemonGo, look like a cave drawing.
- Personalization is the key: Moving on from a customized user experience, Apple is focusing on making the relationship between users and their iOS device more intimate and dependable. The Apple Watch Series 3 and the iPhone X, have their foundational principles in catering to users’ needs in a more personal manner, integrating everything, from payments to heartbeats.
Any piece of hardware is only as good as the software that it hosts, and Apple is mindful of this; they have taken some giant strides with iOS 11.
Image Source: CNET
Age of iOS 11: The OS of Tomorrow
For a company that has built a trillion-dollar empire by offering an unparalleled user experience integrated within an unprecedented hardware capacity, software upgrades can be critical. Taking user requirements into account, inculcating design thinking, and focusing on innovation. Apple teased us with iOS 11 earlier this year. Users are already eagerly awaiting the upgrade that is being rolled-out next week. Nobody will be anticipating the roll-out more than the techies at Apple because the future of iPad Pro is invariably linked to its success.
Here are some key aspects that make iOS 11 the operating system for a better tomorrow.
- A new control center: For starters, iOS 11 comes with a new control center, which is quite unlike the previous variants. The center now offers more options for personalization and is spread across the entire screen of your iPhone. There is also enhanced 3-D touch for traversing the center for easy operations and device control.
- A smarter Siri: Apparently, Siri has got an upgrade too. While the company has humanized the voice control and speech, it has also taken the route of deep learning to further enhance the customer experience, using predictions and recommendations. We can’t wait to see what the iPhone X and Siri will be able to accomplish in the iOS 11 framework.
- The Files app: For ages, one couldn’t justify the relevance of iCloud Drive as a separate storage entity, especially when they were using a single iOS device. However, with iOS 11, users will be able to access and manage all their files, stored across different locations and virtual storage services including the likes of: Dropbox and Google Drive, through the Files app.
Image Source: CNET
- Dock and app switcher: Designed for the iPad Pro users and to serve as a replacement for the Mac, the Dock enables users to access their most used apps with a swipe up, quite like in MacBook Pro and Air. Alongside, the app switcher allows one to toggle through various apps and even multi-task, thus enhancing the entire user experience.
- Apple pencil and inline drawing: Certainly, for the ones looking to buy an iPad Pro, an Apple pencil is indispensable, and iOS 11 ensures that the extra expenditure is worth it. Allowing inline drawing for Mail and Notes in the iPhone and iPad, iOS 11 offers a seamless user experience when it comes to using the pencil and, will be a huge hit among artists and designers.
- Do not disturb: With great power comes great responsibility, and the biggest tech company on earth does not forget that – they have added a ‘DND’ option in iOS 11. Each time you connect your device to your car’s Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, DND is activated, and it not only mutes your notifications but also sends out a responsive message, indicating you are driving.
There are a ton of other features in iOS 11 pertaining to the needs of the user. For now, one can only wait for the update to be rolled out, and when the iPhone X begins shipping, we will get a better overview of the software in action.
Apple’s iOS is an ecosystem within itself, unlike Android, iOS only works on devices manufactured by Apple, and therefore, each time there is a software upgrade the developers have something to look forward to. Augmented reality is becoming a reality for the iPhone X, and is all set to revolutionize gaming and entertainment. iOS brings some new toys for developers to play with.
— WIRED (@WIRED) September 13, 2017
Developers and iOS 11
The latest variant of Apple’s OS packs a solid punch for developers.
Introducing ARKit API for developers, the new variant will help developers and designers work on projects that require the creation of high-augmented reality aspects, using the sensors and camera integrated within the device.
With ARKit in place, any iOS device will be able to recognize a surface. For instance, developers can add a cricketing field and then add virtual objects to it. Given the A11 Bionic in play and increased computing capabilities of the iPhone X and iPad Pro series, ARKit’s augmented capacity cannot be doubted. Promising an unmatched gaming experience, the ARKit will allow developers to integrate their digital imagination with the physical realities around them. We all witnessed the attention PokemonGo experienced, and with ARKit, developers will have the opportunity to make PokemonGo look like an amateur.
Depth Map API:
During the Apple event, Cook along with his counterparts took great pleasure in showcasing the camera capabilities of iPhone 8 and iPhone X, and to impart the same capabilities to iOS app developers, Depth Map API was introduced. For the ones looking to create apps focusing on artistic photo editing tools, the Depth Map API is going to be helpful.
The Apple TV finally supports 4K video pic.twitter.com/a4NJO57iaN
— The Verge (@verge) September 15, 2017
For a long time, developers struggled with the process to apply for a ‘Made for iPhone’ signature from Apple. However, with iOS 11, Apple is allowing experimentation and testing of products before they are launched on the App Store. This will give developers more freedom to improvise and innovate with their products, thus ensuring a better mobile app experience altogether.
Unlike before, with iOS 11, developers get complete access to Apple Music, iCloud Music Library, recommendations, and other aspects featured within the iTunes. As developers are always looking to integrate music options within their apps, this add-on is going to greatly benefit them.
Core ML is Apple’s AI for app developers. It is a machine learning framework curated to help developers build apps using nothing than a few lines of code. Inculcating deep neural networks, API for face tracking, detection, textual analysis and detection, object tracking and along with other aspects, the feature will be helpful for apps being designed for the iPhone X.
Apple now offers a ‘Core NFC’ framework that helps apps read Near Field Communication (NFC) tags. Any apps created using this framework will allow the users to gain more information about the environment around them. For instance, someone close to a product with an NFC tag will have a ‘Ready to Scan’ dialog box for them to register it. For people looking to learn more about the world around them, this feature, when inculcated within apps, will be particularly useful.
Image Source: CNET
Within 12-hours of its launch, the Apple Watch Series 3 is already being touted as the new kind of smartphone, with built in LTE, streaming service, a powerful Siri, and numerous other features. The hefty price tag on the iPhone X has not received any criticism; luckily expensive products and Apple complement each other like peanut butter and jelly.
As the iOS 11 is rolled out next week for multiple Apple devices, including earlier variants of the iPhone and iPads, one can’t wait but wonder what Apple is planning on doing next, if this year’s annual event was any clue, Apple is just getting started, yet again.
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