For Apple, WWDC 2022 is about augmented reality

Apple’s software is generally very good. While the company has focused on more platforms than ever before – macOS, iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, watchOS, whatever software Apple is making for its car may be of the day and is on its way. to be an AR/VR headset – these rigs should linger in perfect. It’s been a while since we came to The Apple Maps-style fiasco; Apple’s biggest mistake right now is leveling Safari’s URL bar mode in the wrong part of the screen.

But what generates all this success and maturity is the feeling that the Apple program is over – or at least very close. Over the past two years, the company’s programming announcements on WWDC have been frequent and almost exclusively additive, with little or no significant fluctuation. In recent years Big Ads on iOS, for example, there have been some FaceTime improvements and some new types of IDs that work with Apple Wallet. On top of that, Apple mainly introduced a new settings menu: new notification controls, focus mode settings, privacy tools – things like that.

It’s not a bad thing, nor is the fact that Apple is the main stalker of software, they are extremely quick to adapt and refine other people’s new ideas on software. Apple devices are feature-rich, durable, stable, and as useful as anything you’ll find anywhere. Many companies keep trying to reinvent everything for no reason and end up having problems where they had none. Apple is nothing but an absolutely efficient machine, and this machine works hard, refining every pixel produced by its hardware.


The best of iOS 15, in case you forgot.

But we’re at a technological turning point that will demand more from Apple. Now that’s kinda shiny AR and VR is another big thing for Apple, a huge industry that’s supposed to shake the earth after a smartphone. You probably won’t flaunt the W WWDC headset, but with the emergence of augmented and virtual reality in more and more areas of our lives, everything about how we experience and interact with technology has to change.

Of course, Apple has been introducing augmented reality for years. But all that’s shown are demonstrations, things you can see or do on the other side of the camera. We haven’t learned much from the company about how it thinks augmented reality hardware will work or how we’ll use it. A company that likes to rave about its input hardware will need a few new devices and a new software model to get into shape. That’s what we’ll see this year at WWDC.

Remember last year Apple showed you could take a picture of a piece of paper with your iPhone, which automatically scans and recognizes any text on the page? Live Text is AR Everywhere: It’s a way to use your phone’s camera and AI to understand and categorize information in the real world. The whole tech industry thinks that’s the future – it’s what Google is doing with Maps and Lenses, and what Snapchat is doing with its Lenses and filters. Apple needs a lot of information where Live Text comes from.

Live Text is an end-to-end AR feature.
Picture: Apple

From a simple user interface perspective, the only thing augmented reality needs is a more efficient system for retrieving information and performing tasks. No one would wear augmented reality glasses to send them Apple Music ads and news alerts every six minutes, would they? Full-screen apps that require individual attention will increasingly be a thing of the past.

We can get some tips on what it will look like: It looks like “Use your phone without getting lost in the phone” will be the topic of this year’s WWDC edition. According BloombergIn the case of Mark Gurman, the iOS lock screen can be seen displaying useful information without having to unlock the phone. The more visible iPhone seems like a great idea and a good way to prevent people from unlocking their phones to check the weather and finding themselves at the bottom of the TikTok hole three and a half hours later. The same goes for interactive widgets, which are supposed to let you perform basic tasks without having to open the app. And if Focus Mode is rumored to be improved – especially if Apple can make it easier to set up and use Focus Mode – it can be a very useful tool on your phone and an absolutely essential tool in AR glasses.

I also expect Apple to continue to bring its devices closer together in what they do and how they do it to make the whole ecosystem more usable. With almost the entire line of Macs and iPads running on Apple’s M chip – and possibly the entire line after WWDC, should the long-awaited Mac Pro finally come out – there’s no reason why devices cannot share more DNA. Perhaps the most exciting announcement for iOS 15, even though it wasn’t released in February, Universal Control is a good example of what Apple looks like to address multiple screens as part of the ecosystem. If iOS 16 gives you truly casual multitasking on an iPad (and I hope it does), an iPad with a keyboard is essentially a Mac. Apple used to avoid this coincidence; Now that seems to include that. And if he sees that all these devices are after all companions and accessories for augmented reality glasses, they will need all of them to do their job well.

The last time Apple – hell, the last time somebody He had a really new idea of ​​how we used gadgets in 2007 when the iPhone was launched. Since then, the industry has taken the “yes” path, improving, refining and improving without deviating from the basics of multi-touch. But augmented reality will ruin everything. It cannot work otherwise. That’s why companies are working on neural interfaces trying out this Perfect Gesture Control and trying to figure out how to display everything from translated text to maps and games on a small screen in front of your face. Meta already sends and sells its best ideas; Google has great features for Lens and Video. Now Apple needs to start showing the world what it thinks about the future of augmented reality. Helmet or no helmet, this will be the story of WWDC 2022.

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