So another WWDC is upon us and the rumour mill is in full swing. What will Apple unveil? How will it compare to Google’s recent I/O conference? Is it possible to make the iPhone any bigger whilst still calling it an iPhone? All will be revealed on June 13th and our mobile app developers are excited to see what the event will hold.
Let’s take a look at what the widely anticipated iOS 10 might have in store for us.
I think I speak on behalf of all iOS users when I say that Siri needs an update, as we are all sick of hearing ‘I didn’t quite get that’.
It’s looking promising though, as Apple recently snapped up VocalIQ before it could even launch.
Another robotic helper, VocalIQ has beaten all our current digital assistants in a number of difficult tests, and can understand far more complex commands than Siri, Google Now or Amazon’s Alexa.
Like Google’s new product Google Assistant, introduced at Google’s I/O, VocalIQ takes note of context. It is able to answer follow up questions, and resulting in a far more conversational exchange than our current robotic interactions.
This involvement with VocalIQ hints that we are soon to have a more intelligent and marginally less irritating Siri.
But the improvements do not stop there. It is rumoured that Apple will soon be implementing Siri into OS X, meaning we could use it to control our Macs and Desktops.
We may soon be able to search the web, open applications and make phone calls simply using voice commands. Whilst our offices may become a whole lot noisier, multitasking just got a hell of a lot easier.
Now almost a year old, it is likely that Apple Music will be updated, as poor Apple still struggles to keep up with the ever superior Spotify, king of Digital Music.
Bloomberg have reported extensively on it, addressing a number of the potential changes in response to Apple Music’s slow growth and sales. Rumoured improvements include a new user-interface design, as this is something which has been criticised in the past, alongside a simpler black and white theme with far larger album artwork. I personally would like them to stop suggesting I listen to Justin Bieber.
After Apple acquired Beats Music in 2014, with several key employees quitting before Apple Music was even announced to the public, they have a lot to do if they ever want to catch up with their biggest rival Spotify. They were also criticised for failing to promote the service to customers who currently buy their music from the iTunes store.
Whist we are looking forward to see what Apple unveils in response to the rather lukewarm initial response to Apple Music, I doubt Spotify has to worry just yet.
Another new feature could be that users are finally able to hide or even uninstall default apps, such as Compass, Game Centre and Stocks. Effectively everything I have shoved into my ‘junk’ folder and will never look at again.
This rumour comes from a newly discovered code in iTunes metadata, which includes the line ‘isFirstPartyHideableApp’?
Whilst it would be great to be able to finally remove these Apps so they no longer litter our homepages, I’d probably rather see them made slightly more interesting, so they no longer need to be hidden in the first place.
Other rumours are of an iCloud voicemail, a service in which Siri is used to transcribe your voicemail messages.
Not only would we never have to call to receive our voicemails again, as Siri will send you the message in text form, it is also rumoured that Siri will be able to answer our phones for us, telling the caller the reason why we are not able to get to the phone.
Finally, there may be updates to Apple Pay, which I am hesitant to look forward to as it will make spending money even easier, both a blessing and a curse.
Currently users in the UK and a handful of other countries are able to make payments in retail stores through an NFC chip built into their phones.
Although some may be skeptical, Apple Pay is said to be more secure than debit and credit cards, as a fingerprint is required to complete the transaction.
Though Apple Pay currently works in retail stores and within apps such as Starbucks, Open Table and Airbnb, we may soon be able to do our shopping on mobile websites using our Touch ID, making online shopping a whole lot easier. A shopaholic’s dream.
Supposedly Bank of America are also looking for ways to integrate Apple Pay into their ATMs, meaning money could be withdrawn without needing a credit or debit card, which is great news if you’re prone to losing your credit card, but not great if you’re prone to losing your iPhone.
Whether these updates are unveiled at the WWDC or not, I have high hopes for Apple Pay, and low hopes for my bank balance.