Yesterday, Apple opened it’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose. In a keynote speech, Tim Cook announced a range of updates to Apple’s soft- and hardware. We learned about the features of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, and Apple revealed it’s new HomePod speaker device. As a digital product agency, we love events like WWDC because, well, we are developers. In this blog, we’ll highlight our three favorite announcements from Apple’s keynote. These new tools will allow us to build better products for our clients.
CoreML: Apple’s take on machine learning
For years, the internet has been buzzing about machine learning. That’s why we’re excited about Apple’s announcement of Core ML, a framework that can perform basic AI tasks like image recognition and text analysis on iOS devices. It does this through “high performance implementation of deep neural networks,” integrating trained machine learning models into your app. What is unique about Core ML is that all processing happens on-device, offering more user privacy than Google’s cloud approach to machine learning.
Still mystified by how machine learning works? Apple explains:
A trained model is the result of applying a machine learning algorithm to a set of training data. The model makes predictions based on new input data. For example, a model that's been trained on a region's historical house prices may be able to predict a house's price when given the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
Here's a visual introduction that uses a similar example to clearly explain the basics.
Phased app releases
Phased app rollout may seem like a minor feature, but to us, this is huge. Phased releases mean we can gradually roll out your app to different segments of users instead of releasing it all at once. You’ll have more control over major app updates, as a phased release will allow you to better test your app and tweak it before you release it to everyone. This release strategy fits our way of working: we prefer to use short iteration cycles. By releasing products as quickly as possible, we receive early feedback that we can use to rapidly and continuously improve your product. By facilitating phased rollouts in the App Store, Apple has made it much easier to implement our development philosophy.
ARKit: Apple’s API for augmented reality
A third WWDC announcement we’re excited about is Apple’s leap into augmented reality (AR). The success of Pokémon Go and Snapchat AR filters have already shown that augmented reality can appeal to a wide audience. Obviously, there’s a massive potential for games, but we believe there are many more possible applications of this technology. A lot of those have yet to be discovered. Apple's ARKit isn't necessarily doing anything new, but because it runs on iOS, Apple has instantly created the world's biggest AR platform. Here's a video that shows what ARKit can do:
Siri moving in
Of course, these three technologies are just a fraction of what Cook announced at the keynote. iOS 11 is full of other great features, and the arrival of Apple's HomePod will surely intensify the battle between Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Assistant.
Who will rule our living rooms? That's a question we'll cover in a different blog. For now, we'll get started with Apple's new development kits.
Do you feverishly await Apple keynotes like news episode of Game of Thrones? Then we might be looking for you!