For Apple, WWDC 2022 is primarily about augmented reality - Verve times

For Apple, WWDC 2022 is primarily about augmented reality – Verve times

Apple software is generally very good. Although the company has expanded its focus to more platforms than ever – macOS and iOS and iPadOS and tvOS and watchOS and any software that Apple will build for its possible-maybe-ever-upcoming car and its almost certainly-early AR / VR. headset – these platforms remain excellent. It’s been a while since we’ve been given an Apple Maps style fiasco; the biggest mistakes Apple is making now are much more at the level of placing the Safari URL bar on the wrong part of the screen.

What breeds all that success and maturity is the feeling that Apple’s software is ready – or at least very close. Over the past few years, the company’s software announcements at WWDC have been almost exclusively iterative and additive, with several large fluctuations. Last year’s big announcements for iOS were, for example, some FaceTime quality of life improvements and some new types of IDs that work in the Apple Wallet. Otherwise, Apple usually just introduced new settings menus: new notification controls, focus mode settings, privacy tools – things like that.

This is not a bad thing! Nor is the fact that Apple is the best fast-paced successor in the software business, adapting remarkably fast and improving on new software ideas for everyone else. Apple devices are as feature-packed, long-lasting, stable, and usable as anything you can find anywhere. Too many companies are unreasonably trying to reinvent everything and end up creating problems where they haven’t been. Apple is nothing but a ruthlessly efficient machine, and this machine works hard to hack every pixel its device creates.

The best of iOS 15, if you forget.

But we are at the inflection point in technology that will require more from Apple. It is now quite clear that AR and VR are another big thing for Apple, another supposedly horribly huge smartphone industry. Apple probably won’t show a headset at WWDC, but as augmented and virtual reality permeates our lives, everything about how we experience technology and how we communicate with it will have to change.

Apple, of course, has been showcasing AR for years. But all that is shown are samples, things that you can see or do on the other side of the camera. We have seen very little from the company about how they think AR devices will work and how we will use them. A company that loves to rave about its input devices will need several new and new software paradigms. That’s what we’ll see at WWDC this year.

Remember last year when Apple showed you can take a picture of a piece of paper with your iPhone and it automatically scans and recognizes any text on the page? Live text is through the AR function: it’s a way to understand and catalog real-world information using your camera and AI phone. The entire engineering industry thinks it’s the future – that’s what Google does with Maps and Lens and what Snapchat does with its lenses and filters. Apple needs a lot more where Live Text came from.

Live text is through and through the AR function.
Image: Apple

From a simple user interface perspective, AR will require a much more efficient system for obtaining information and performing tasks. No one will wear AR glasses that send him ads and alerts on Apple Music news every six minutes, will they? And full-screen apps that require your unique attention will be a thing of the past.

We may get some clues as to what it will look like: it sounds like this year’s WWDC theme will be “use your phone without getting lost on your phone.” According to BloombergMark Gurman, we could see the iOS lock screen, which displays useful information without having to unlock the phone. The more handsome iPhone seems like a great idea and a good way to prevent people from opening their phone to check the weather, and three and a half hours later they find themselves deep in the TikTok hole. The same goes for the famous “interactive widgets”, which allow you to perform basic tasks without having to open the application. And if Focus mode gets some of the improvements it translates, and especially if Apple can make it easier to set up and use Focus mode, it could be a really useful tool for your phone and an absolutely essential tool for your AR glasses.

I would also expect Apple to continue to bring its devices much closer together in terms of what they do and how they do it, in an effort to make its entire ecosystem more usable. With an almost full range of Macs and iPads running on the Apple M chip – and perhaps a number after WWDC, if the long-awaited Mac Pro finally arrives – there’s no reason why these devices shouldn’t share more DNA. Universal Control, which was probably the most interesting announcement on iOS 15, although not shipped by February, is a good example of what Apple seems to treat its many screens as part of the ecosystem. If iOS 16 brings real freeform multitasking to the iPad (and boy, I hope so), the iPad in the keyboard dock is basically a Mac. Apple avoided this proximity; now he seems to be embracing it. And if he considers all of these devices as companions and accessories for AR glasses, he will need them all to do their job well.

The last Apple – damn, the last anyone – He really had a new idea of ​​how we use gadgets in 2007, when the iPhone was launched. Since then, the industry is on track and yes, and improvements and improvements without ever breaking from the basics of multitouch. But AR will break it all. There is no other way. That’s why companies work on neural interfaces, trying to master gestures perfectly, and trying to figure out how to display everything from translated text to maps and games on a tiny screen in front of your face. Meta already delivers and sells its best ideas; Google comes in the form of Lens features and hissing videos. Now Apple must begin to show the world how it thinks the future of AR works. Headset or no headset, this will be the story of WWDC 2022.

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