Continuity and Freedom With Apple’s OS
This year’s WWDC keynote address covered the gamut of Apple platforms and interfaces. In particular, each of the Apple OS’s are receiving new functionalities. The watchOS will now have more watch faces, easily scrollable smart replies and app loading times that are essentially instant. TvOS is seeing a few serious tweaks as well, including the ability to use the iPhone in place of the Apple remote, and a Siri-aided Live Tune-in feature which will allow customers to access live versions of the networks to which they subscribe.
Ultimately, though, it is iOS 10 and OS X (newly named macOS Sierra) which are receiving the most substantial add-ons. Siri is getting a major overhaul. On macOS Siri can do sophisticated file-searching and produce results that are easily draggable into open documents; in iOS 10, she can be used for payments or VOIP calls. On both platforms there’s an increased emphasis on intelligent searching and auto-completing, so Quicktype will now provide users with better suggestions, including intelligent scheduling. The iCloud is also getting a big boost with an added “optimize storage” feature which will both empty old caches and automatically move some files from your desktop to the cloud.
Along with these updates comes an increased ability to use different Apple devices in tandem. Indeed, “continuity” -both between devices and within apps- was the watchword of the address and one of two clear focuses of this year’s WWDC (more on the other later). So, to take two examples, you will now be able to unlock your Mac with your iWatch, and the new version of iCloud drive will allow you to transfer files from your Mac to other Macs or iPhones. App-extensions further emphasize continuity, by allowing users to basically piggyback apps (an app with an app).
The biggest applause lines, however, came during Apple’s unveiling of new development tools. Siri is now open to developers, as is iMaps. These changes- along with the creation of Swift Playgrounds, a free app meant to teach kids the basics of coding in Swift- highlight the other focal point of the address: increased user control. All-in-all, Apple’s OS upgrades promote a more streamlined and customizable user experience.