Categories
Apple

WWDC Prediction Results

Last week I put out my predictions. Now that Apple has announced everything that they are going to announce for their operating systems. Here is how well I managed to predict what Apple would do.

Recap

Here is a recap of all of my predictions.

Possibility Recap
Change Likelihood
Siri being generally the same on all devices 50%
Messages in the Cloud released 80%
iCloud version of Messages 25%
AirPlay being released 80%
HomePod developer betas 10%
Dark Mode for all Operating Systems 60%
Messages on macOS having parity with iOS 35%
Workflow coming to macOS 40%
macOS Server significantly reduced 100%
macOS Server still including Certificate Management 85%
Profile Manager accessible from more devices 50%
Profile Manager app 10%
iTunes Refresh 10%
iTunes Wish List Synchronization. 15%
tvOS “low battery” thresholds being adjusted. 25%
watchOS audio in the background 50%
Custom Watch Faces 40%
More personalized fitness goals 70%
UIKit on watchOS 75%
ARKit 2.0 85%
Improved Messages reliability 80%
More Parental Controls 60%
Granular Parental Controls 40%

Siri being generally the same on all devices

This is happening with Siri Shortcuts.

Messages in the Cloud released

This did happen with iOS 11.4 before WWDC.

iCloud version of Messages

This did not happen at all.

AirPlay being released

AirPlay 2 was released in iOS 11.4 before WWDC.

HomePod developer betas

There is no HomePod developer beta.

Dark Mode for all Operating Systems

This is only half true. There is no iOS Dark Mode, but macOS 10.14 Mojave does have a system level Dark Mode.

Messages on macOS having parity with iOS

Again this is not the case. Messages on macOS is still the same.

Workflow coming to macOS

Yes, this did happen with Siri Shortcuts.

macOS Server significantly reduced

As of this writing, this is unclear because macOS Server for macOS Mojave has not been released.

macOS Server still including Certificate Management

As of this writing, this is unclear because macOS Server for macOS Mojave has not been released.

Profile Manager accessible from more devices

As of this writing, this is unclear because macOS Server for macOS Mojave has not been released.

Profile Manager app

There is no profile Manager app available.

iTunes Refresh

Does dark mode count? No it does not.

iTunes Wish List Synchronization.

Unfortunately, this did not happen. It could just be a bug with my account.

tvOS “low battery” thresholds being adjusted.

As far as I can tell, the “low batterY” message is still at 20%.

watchOS audio in the background

Yes, background audio is coming with watchOS 5.

Custom Watch Faces

Nope, there are no custom watch faces.

More personalized fitness goals

It does not appear that this is the case. There are now Yoga and Hiking fitness types.

UIKit on watchOS

There is no UIKit on watchOS.

ARKit 2.0

ARKit 2.0 is definitely coming.

Improved Messages reliability

This is probably not changing.

More Parental Controls

There are more parental controls, in particular with Screen Time.

Granular Parental Controls

Screen Time provides very granular parental controls for parents.

Recap

It does not appear that my predictions were very good this year. My hope for getting more correct over last year, is correct in the fact that I got 8 correct, but that is out of 23 predictions. This means that I only got 34.8% correct. The number may be updated once there is more information about macOS Server for macOS 10.14 Mojave.

Categories
Apple iOS iTunes macOS tvOS watchOS

Apple WWDC 2018 Predictions and Wish List

We are now just over a week out from Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference keynote. With that making predictions for what Apple will announce is generally a fool’s errand. That does not stop some, like myself, from having a wish list of items that I would like to see changed. Predictions are particularly difficult given Apple’s continued goal for reducing the information that leaks from the company. Despite this reduction in information, some information still gets out. With the scant amount of information that is available, I have some ideas for what Apple could do with their operating systems. Last year I did two separate posts, however I think that this year will be a bit more low-key as compared to previous years. To coincide with that, I will only be doing a single post about everything that I think Apple will do. Let us start with something that I think will affect all all of Apple’s operating systems. If you want, you can skip straight to the recap.

All Platforms

There are some things that span all of Apple’s operating systems, so this needs its own section.

Siri

Even though all of Apple’s operating systems have Siri, they are not the same, and do not have the same capabilities. For instance, Siri on macOS cannot control any items in the Home app on iOS. Given that the HomeKit information is synchronized over iCloud, this seems like an oversight. There is no reason why macOS could not control the HomeKit items. I totally understand that it may not be possible if you are not on the same network, but if you are on the same network, it should be entirely possible to do so.

Similarly, the HomePod should be able to search for documents in iCloud and send a link to your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. I think Apple will announce that they are going to start having Siri become one unified platform. There will always be things that each platform cannot do. For instance, tvOS cannot search files within iCloud. Although if Apple did allow tvOS, and by extension watchOS, to find files, they could be opened on an iPad, Mac, or iPhone.

It would also be great to ask the HomePod to be able to do something like “Siri, open my ‘2018 Budget’ on my Mac”, and having it open. Implementing this would be an overnight thing, but it is certainly something that Apple could indicate that they are working on. This may be feasible since iCloud knows about all of your devices, and it could signal to each what to do. Next, let us turn to the most mature operating system that Apple has, macOS.

I give the likelihood of Apple announcing that Siri is going to be largely the same across all devices as 50%.

Messages in the Cloud

One of the features that Apple announced, but has not yet shipped is Messages in the Cloud. It is designed to have all of your messages be available on all of your devices, particularly when you add a new device. Despite being in beta multiple times, but it has not yet been released. It does not surprise me that it has not been released yet. It is best to make sure that everything will work flawlessly, given the amount of information and history contained within messages.

If Apple does indeed release this, I think there will also be an iCloud version of it as well. I think the iCloud version will not necessarily be able to send any message from your iPhone’s number, but you would be able to do so from your Apple ID. I do not think it would have all of the same bells and whistles that are on iOS, but you would be able to do basic messaging.

I am giving this a 80% chance of Messages in the Cloud being released. I give the probably of having an iCloud version of Messages at 25%. It would be nice to have, but it is not likely.

AirPlay

It is not often that I have had to use AirPlay. This is because I typically do not need to stream something from my Mac, iPhone, or iPad to my Apple TV. However, recently I have been bingeing This Old House, and there are no apps for it. The only way to view this is by using a browser. Since tvOS does not come with a browser, the only option left is to AirPlay. My biggest problem with the arrangement is that I cannot send video to my Apple TV but audio to my HomePod, instead the audio is outputted via the TV, which works but does not sound as good.

One of the things that Apple announced in September of 2017 was AirPlay 2. I anticipate that it will be coming with iOS 11.4, but it is entirely possible that Apple will push things off to iOS 12. AirPlay 2 will allow an iOS device to output the same audio to multiple devices simultaneously. This will work well for those with multiple HomePods. I would like to see iOS 12 provide betas for the HomePod, but I do not know if that will happen or not. I am going to guess it is not likely.

The likelihood of AirPlay being released at WWDC, whether it is with iOS 11.4 or iOS 12, at 80%. I give the probability of HomePod developer betas at 10%, it may be too early in the lifecycle of the HomePod for betas. I do not expect public betas for the HomePod, but developer betas would be nice.

Dark Mode

With the release of the iPhone X and its OLED screen, it would be really great for there to be a system-wide Dark Mode. This Dark Mode should apply to all macOS and iOS. tvOS has a dark mode already, and watchOS uses a dark theme by default, in order to save the screen and battery. Having a dark mode option, and allowing developers to opt-in, would provide a more consistent look and feel when switching between applications. This would be most prominent on macOS when you could be working in an application like GarageBand and its dark theme and then switching to Safari with its super bright theme.

I think the probably of all of Apple’s operating systems having a system-wide dark mode at 60%.

macOS

macOS is a very stable operating system. macOS is likely the Apple operating system that I use for getting most everything done. You might think that there is not much that could be done. In fact, there is still quite a bit that can be done, particularly with bringing some features over from iOS.

Messages

Messages on iOS is pretty full featured, however its counterpart on macOS is quite lacking in some areas. It would be nice to have macOS have feature parity with iOS. Doing so would maintain a consistent experience between iOS and macOS. This could be as simple as providing the same effects that are possible with iOS onto macOS.

I predicted this last year at 95%. This year I am giving it a 35% chance.

Workflow

In March of 2017, it was announced that Apple purchased the iOS app, Workflow. Workflow allows you to you to perform different automation techniques using iOS. This could include sending items to a web service, converting files, or various other tasks. The possibilities are endless. The best part of Workflow is that you do not need to be a programmer to be able to figure it out. Workflow has a drag and drop interface that allows you to tie things together. When Apple purchased Workflow, it was thought that improvements to the app would cease, but there have been some small improvements over the last year.

It would be great to see Workflow make its way to macOS. By porting Workflow over to macOS it will provide a way to automate some tasks, which would be simpler than using one of the current solutions like Automator or AppleScript. It would require some changes to the App, for sure, but it could extend more functionality to macOS.

I give this a likelihood of 40%. It is more likely that Workflow will be integrated than getting a macOS version.

Notification Center

When Mac OS X 10.7 Lion was released one of the features was one that came from iOS. That feature was Notification Center. In the intervening 7 years, not much has been done to improve Notification Center on macOS. It would be great to have additional customization options for Notification Center. For instance, the ability to have all of your Notifications from all devices gathered in one place. Dismissing it in one place would dismiss it on all devices.

This would help all users not have to dismiss notifications on all of their devices. I give this a 25% chance of happening.

macOS Server

I will be honest, this next prediction is pretty much a gimme, since Apple has already indicated the future course for macOS Server. The next version of macOS Server, version 6, is likely to include graphical interface management for Profile Manager, Open Directory, and Xsan Server. All of the other graphical management that was in macOS 5.6 will be removed. Some of the underlying services, like Apache, will still ship with macOS itself, so they can be still be managed via Terminal.

One thing that has not been clarified, and is purely a guess on my part, is that macOS Server will still include certificate management.

The other item that I think Apple will FINALLY do, is allow Profile Manager to be accessible on an iPad in Portrait mode, AND on an iPhone. I think it is entirely feasible, given the the workflow for Profile Manager to be able to accommodate the devices. Additionally, when you need to make changes in Configuration Manager, you are not always at your Mac or near an iPad and it would help server administrators. What would be even better would be an app that is accessible on iPhones, iPads, and macOS.

I give the likelihood of Server being significantly reduced at 100%. Similarly, I give certificate management’s probability at 85%, and Profile Manager being accessible from devices besides iPads in Landscape and Desktops at 50%, and the probably of an app for accessing Profile Manager servers at 10%.

iTunes

This next one is entirely a guess and wishful thinking. I think Apple will let us know that iTunes is being overhauled. Here is what I wrote last year, and I still want it to be true.

iTunes’ original intent was as a syncing mechanism back when all of our media was locally on our computers. That was back in 2001. 16 years later times have changed and while a percentage of individuals still synchronize their music to their computers, that number is a very small percentage. It would be nice to see Apple completely re-think iTunes. One of the hinderances from this occurring is that iTunes is also on Windows. However, Apple could give macOS a boost by providing an even better experience and keeping iTunes on Windows the way it is now.

The biggest change would be to separate out the classic iPod syncing portion to its own application. This would still allow those individuals who need to synchronize their items to be able to do so. Meanwhile, the remaining functions, Music, Podcasts, Movies, TV Shows, iTunes U, and Apps could all become their own applications. This approach would allow each of these applications to be updated on their own schedule. Alongside this, each application could have a user-interface which matches the functionality of that application.

There are two aspects to this prediction. The first is that Apple will preview a refreshed iTunes. The second is that it will be released “in the fall” (meaning when the new iPhones are released). I give the chance of a refreshed iTunes a 10% chance of happening. It is a slim chance, but still a chance.

I do not know if it is going to happen, but it would be a great way to have a big item amongst stability improvements.

There is one other thing that I have noticed. My “Wish List” is not in sync between my Apple TVs, iOS, and iTunes on the Mac. All of my devices are signed into the same Apple ID, so the wish lists should be the same, but they are not. I am not talking about the any apps on my Wish List, but the movies. I do not get why they would be out of sync, but they are.

I give this a 15% chance of occurring, because I am probably an outlier in this situation. Here are two images to prove the mismatch.

Next let us take a look at the operating system for the Apple TV, tvOS.

tvOS

tvOS is Apple’s operating system for the Apple TV. As has been the case since television became mainstream, people generally tend to do one thing, consume media. Given that this is the primary purpose of large screens in our lives, there is not much that I can think of that Apple would need to add to tvOS. I am sure there are things, but I cannot think of any for tvOS.

There is one slight modification that would be good. I received a “low battery” warning for my Siri Remote on my Apple TV. As is the case on all iOS-based operating systems, “Low Battery” means 20%, or less. This means that my Siri remote can probably go for another 3 or 4 months, if not longer, before actually needing to be charged. I understand why Apple does this for iOS devices, Macs, Apple Watch, Keyboards and Mice, but it seems a bit odd given how long the Siri Remote lasts. It would be nice to have this warning be changed to something like 10%. Even at 10%, the Siri Remote will still last for another couple of months at least.

I give the probability of Apple changing this at 25%, probably because it is hard coded into the operating system.

watchOS

watchOS is probably the Apple operating system that has the largest place for improvement. The biggest feature, that would be personally beneficial, would be the ability for developers to use background audio in a reliant manner, without needing to start a workout first. In particular, my preferred podcast player cannot synchronize my podcasts to the Apple Watch because it is slow, and there is no reliable playback possible. What would be needed for this is probably more than we will get this year, but it would be great to have.

The possibility of this occurring is likely 50%.

Watch Faces

Apple has narrowed the focus for the Apple Watch. One thing that the Apple Watch has had since the beginning is the Faces. While Apple has added a couple of new Watch faces, like the Toy Story characters, and the Siri Watch Face, it would be nice to have a few additional options. In particular, it would be nice for developers to be able to create their own Watch Faces. This could include a Watch Face store, but having too many choices could be cumbersome. With this knowledge it might be best to have more customizable options for the Siri Watch Face. Apple could partner with some Fashion houses to come up with custom watch faces that could be purchased.

I give this a 40% chance of happening.

Personalized Goals

watchOS 4 introduced personalized goals for each month. Some of the personalized goals I have had since last year are:

  • Double move goal every day
  • Burn a certain number of calories
  • Average number of exercise minutes per day
  • Performing a number of workouts in a month
  • Going a certain distance in a month
  • Burn an average number of calories a day

There are a couple of improvements that I would like to see. The first is additional personalized goals, what in particular I do not know. The second improvement is to not have the goals be too far-fetched. Specifically, one of my goals was to do 48 15-minute, or longer, exercises. Maybe it is just me, but having to do 48 exercises in one month seems excessive.

I give this a 70% chance. There are already a variety of goal types, and more may not be necessary. At the same time health and fitness are primary functions of the Apple Watch.

Interface Improvements

watchOS does not use the standard User Interface controls that iOS applications do. Instead watchOS has its own user interface language. It might be time for Apple to bring UIKit over to watchOS. Particularly with the Series 3 Apple Watch battery life is not an issue, and speed does not seem to be a problem either. By having UIKit on watchOS it is possible that more applications would be made available for the Apple Watch.

I give this 75%, only because I am sure Apple knows this would help applications on the watch, but it would take some major performance improvements to make happen.

iOS

Augmented Reality

One of the areas in which Apple is putting a lot of focus is in Augmented Reality. At WWDC 2017, Apple announced ARKit, a new framework that would allow developers to overlay different items on the physical world. With iOS 11.3, Apple released ARKit 1.5, which included allowing objects on vertical surfaces, mapping irregular shapes, and integration with real-world images.

I think Apple will improve ARKit with ARKit 2.0. It is hard to guess what will be included. I am going to guess that they will have ARKit 2.0 require the iPhone 7. I give this an 85% chance of occurring.

Battery Health

I think with iOS 12, the Battery health, which is currently in beta, will come out of beta.

Notifications

There are often items that we use every day, and when they were new they were novel, but now just come to think of as a normal thing. A feature that was introduced with iPhone OS 3.0 was Push Notifications. Over the last nine years, notifications have become an indispensable tool for users and developers alike. Over its history notifications have seen a number of enhancements, but there is still more to do.

It would be nice to see Apple add even more customization options, in particular when it comes to VIPs, in particular, it would be nice to be able to only get notifications from particular individuals. Right now, this works in Mail, but it would be helpful to extend this to all applications, but in particular messages.

One area that I have seen issues lately is that I am not always being notified when a new message comes in. The badge will be shown, but I do not receive any indication on my Apple Watch. It would be great to see Apple improve the reliability of notification of iMessages.

I give this a 80% chance, it would likely coincide with Messages in the Cloud.

Parental Controls

Technology can be a boon, but it can also be detrimental. Many parents wonder what, if any, harm is being done by allowing so much screen time for their children. While parents attempt to limit screen time, it is not always an easy task. It would be very helpful to provide parents with even more controls to allow them to customize the screen time for their children.

For instance, it would be nice to be able to set limits for specific application use. As an example, imagine your kid has an iPad that they can use and you want to limit the amount of YouTube time that they have, to two hours during the school week and at the same time not limit their use of applications that are needed for school, or are educational. There could be an interface that would allow parents to set which days, and times, that a child can use. In this case, you would want to limit them to 2 hours, Monday through Friday.

While it would be acceptable to have this be possible on the iPad itself, having a web-based interface would be even better and would make it easier to administer the iPad. The ability to manage devices is already available through Apple’s Profile Manager, but this would be a bit more specific and would not require knowledge of Profile Manager, nor would it require the use of management profiles.

I give the likelihood of improved parental controls a 60% chance of occurring. I give the likelihood of granular controls at 40%.

Recap

Here is a recap of all of my predictions. Some are more likely to occur than others.

Possibility Recap
Change Likelihood
Siri being generally the same on all devices 50%
Messages in the Cloud released 80%
iCloud version of Messages 25%
AirPlay being released 80%
HomePod developer betas 10%
Dark Mode for all Operating Systems 60%
Messages on macOS having parity with iOS 35%
Workflow coming to macOS 40%
macOS Server significantly reduced 100%
macOS Server still including Certificate Management 85%
Profile Manager accessible from more devices 50%
Profile Manager app 10%
iTunes Refresh 10%
iTunes Wish List Synchronization. 15%
tvOS “low battery” thresholds being adjusted. 25%
watchOS audio in the background 50%
Custom Watch Faces 40%
More personalized fitness goals 70%
UIKit on watchOS 75%
ARKit 2.0 85%
Improved Messages reliability 80%
More Parental Controls 60%
Granular Parental Controls 40%
Categories
Apple Apple TV Apple Watch iPhone

Apple Fall 2017 Event Predictions

Now that Apple has announced that its Fall 2017 event will be held at the Steve Jobs Theater on September 12th, at 10AM Pacific Time, it is time for me to make my predictions for what we will see. Even though Apple does hold other events throughout the year, its biggest has been the September event. The reason for the attention to the September event is that it has been the tradition to show off the new iPhones at the event. In years past, the September event has been used for Music. The iPhone makes up 60% of Apple’s revenue, so that is where the most attention is paid, not only by the tech press, but mainstream media as well. Let us dive into my predictions.

iPhones

I think there will be three new iPhone versions unveiled at the event. The successors to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which will be named the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus. These will use the same form factor as the previous versions. The biggest changes will be from the addition of the Dual camera for the iPhone 7s, which will allow Portrait Mode on the smaller size. I think the processor will be an A11 Fusion, the next generation of processor and the two phones will have parity, in everything except for size. This is akin to the way the iPad Pros are now positioned. This will just be a continuation of that model. I think the sizes will remain the same at 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB. Alongside this, I think the colors will also remain the same as Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, and Space Gray. The prices will also remain the same at $649 for the 32GB iPhone 7s, and each increase in size is $100 more. The same will be for the iPhone 7s Plus, starting at $769 for the 32GB, and $100 more for each size above that. I give this a 95% probability of occurring.

New iPhone Form Factor

The third new phone will be an all new model. This is the rumored “Unicorn” iPhone. As an aside, the idea of naming it “Unicorn” is dumb, it will only be a “Unicorn” phone until it is released and then the next iPhone will be the “Unicorn” phone. You can absolutely call it the “Ferrari” phone, or “D22”, or “iPhone 8” or even “iPhone Pro”. For the sake of these predictions, I will call it the iPhone Pro. The reason I think it may be called the iPhone Pro is it allows Apple to get away from assigning a number to it, and instead just call all versions the same name.

I think the iPhone Pro will sport everything that has been rumored, as well as leaked from the HomePod firmware. The iPhone Pro will sport an “edge to edge” display, an A11 Fusion processor, and a True Tone OLED Display that supports Apple’s ProMotion technology, similar to the iPad Pros. Along with all of this, there will be an improved dual camera system that will be even better at detecting objects and may even be able to have a new setting for automatically doing a “Portrait” mode of a Photo, much like you are able to do now with HDR photos. I give this aspect a 25% chance. That is not all with the camera. I’m also thinking that it will be able to do 3X optical zoom, up from the 2X optical zoom on the iPhone 7s Plus. The rationale behind this is that the 10.5-inch and 2nd Generation 12.9-inch iPad Pros both have 3x optical zoom capability. The last new feature of the phone, which may also make its way into the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus is 4K record at 60 frames per second. All of Apple’s cameras have been able to do 4K at 30 frames per second, but having a “Pro” iPhone capable of 4K at 60fps would be a great feature. I know I would use it.

As the rumors have indicated, I think Touch ID will not be available on the iPhone Pro, yet there will be a replacement, BioMetric detection through Face Detection. The last new feature that I think will come to the “iPhone Pro” will be wireless charging. Apple already has some wireless charging available with the Apple Watch. The lightning port will not go away, as it is still necessary for many things. However, the ability to charge wirelessly will be built-in and a wireless charging dock will be an extra cost. My guess is $99 or even $129 for the dock. If this does come to fruition, whatever standard that Apple chooses, if they do not do their own, will ultimately become the de-facto standard since Apple ships so many phones.

The hard part to predict with an iPhone Pro is the price. The rumors indicate that it will be $1200. While I can see Apple charging that for a phone, that is most likely the top end model. There are two possibilities. Let us look at both of these.

The first possibility is that the iPhone Pro will come in three sizes; 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB. Again, this is similar to the iPad Pro and these are the sizes that the iPad Pros come in. In this scenario I think the iPhone Pro will also start at $899 or $949, and be $100 more for each size increase. I am speculating this because Apple likes to give surprises and pricing is the one thing that Apple can decide to change at the absolute last minute. A similar pricing surprise occurred with the introduction of the original iPad. Before it was announced, the rumors indicated it would cost $999, and it came in at $499.

The second possibility, which after thinking about it more seems the more likely course. It is entirely possible that Apple may not do a “low end” size and will only make the iPhone Pro available in two sizes; 256GB and 512GB. This would be akin to the “Jet Black” and “Product Red” iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models. These do not come in 32GB versions. If Apple does truly want this to be a “Professional” phone, then only having two sizes would make sense. In this scenario, the pricing may be more inline with the rumors. The pricing could come in at $1049 or $1069 for the 256GB and $1149 or $1169 for the 512GB version.

I give the overall chance of an iPhone Pro at 90% with the automatic “Portrait Mode” pictures at 25%, object detection at 75%, no Touch ID at 90%, and a new biometric option at 90%. I give 4K at 60 frames per second is 50% chance of occurring and I give wireless charging a 50% chance of occurring. I give my speculation on the pricing on the iPhone Pro at 60%. Now that the iPhones have been covered let us turn to the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch has slowly become a more focused product, which is the opposite of the iPhone. The Apple Watch is primarily focused on fitness, and one of the current downsides is that those who want to go and exercise usually have to bring their iPhones along with them. My guess is that this will change with the addition of an LTE version of the Apple Watch. This will be the biggest change to the Apple Watch, besides the inclusion of a new, even more power efficient S3 processor.

I also think that there will be some new Watch Bands, these will have slightly different colors and the existing bands will support the Apple Watch. I think the pricing will be the same as the existing Apple Watch, at $369 for the 38MM, and $399 for the 42MM. I think the LTE versions will be $499 and $529 for each respective size. This would be the same as what it cost to put LTE into an iPad, $130 more. With the introduction of this model, the Series 2 will become the “lower end” model, and drop to $269 for the 38MM and $299 for the 42MM.

I give the likelihood of a new Apple Watch at 90% and a separate LTE version at 90%, the Apple Watch Pricing at 80% and new Apple Watch Bands at 95%. That is all there is for the Apple Watch, let us move to the Apple TV.

Apple TV

The Apple TV is an interesting product. Apple had hoped that the new version of TV would be application based, and while they are not entirely wrong, I do not think it has exploded as Apple might have hoped. Despite that, I think there will be an updated Apple TV unveiled. I think it will have an A9 processor, and support 4K and High Dynamic Range content. It will support resolutions of 3840 by 2160, which is double the vertical resolution of the previous generation.

I think the storage sizes will be reduced from two, which were 32GB and 64GB, down to just one, a 64GB model. There will still be a 32GB Model, but that will be the 4th Generation Apple TV. The price on the 4th Generation will drop to $119, and the 5th Generation will be $149. I think this may be necessary to be able to compete with other streaming boxes. You can get a 4K Roku for $60, or an Amazon Fire TV for $90. Continuing to charge almost a $100 more, while it may make sense in terms of margins, will not get you new customers as quickly as if you have a compelling hardware offering. If Apple truly sees services as the place for continued growth, then the hardware prices should start to reflect that. Combine this with the rumored $1 Billion that Apple is putting into original Television and it could prove to be a good start to bringing more people into the Apple ecosystem.

Since Apple does not have its own catalog of content yet, it will need to be supplemented. That is why the release date for the Amazon Prime Video app will be announced on stage. It is already 100% certain that it will come, as it was announced back at Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference Keynote.

I give the likelihood of a new Apple TV coming at 90%, Amazon Prime Video app at 100%, and pricing at 75%. It is entirely possible that Apple does not

HomePod

Apple’s newest foray into Music and voice is the HomePod. It was unveiled at Apple’s 2017 World Wide Developer Conference keynote as being available in December, I think Apple will provide a bit more information, possibly even a month in which it can pre-ordered. I give the chance of this happening at 50%.

macOS High Sierra and iOS 11

While iOS is now the primary focus not only for Apple, due to profits, but also for developers, the Mac and macOS does not get as much love. Apple will announce the availability date for macOS High Sierra. My guess is that it will be the same day as iOS 11 availability. So my guess is September 19th at the release date for both of these. It is possible that macOS High Sierra might not be released until later though. So I give this an 80% chance of occurring.

New Mac Hardware

There is a very very small chance that new Mac Hardware will be discussed, as in a 5% chance. The only Mac that has not been updated this year is the Mac Mini. If Apple mentions it on stage, it will be very brief. In all likelihood. Any Mac Mini update will simply be a press release or even just a change on the website and nothing more.

Recap

So, to recap, here is what I am thinking will happen at the September 12th Event. There is just about a week until the event, in the days after the event I will post my prediction results. There are a total of twenty two predictions, so we will see how well I do.

Item Chance
iPhone 7s 95%
iPhone 7s Plus 95%
iPhone 7s/Plus Same Price 95%
iPhone Pro 90%
iPhone Pro Automatic Portrait Mode 25%
iPHone Pro object detection 75%
iPhone Pro No Touch ID 90%
iPhone Pro Biometric ID 90%
iPhone Pro 4K 60fps 50%
iPhone Pro wireless charging 50%
iPhone Pro Pricing 60%
New Apple Watch 90%
LTE Version of Apple Watch 90%
Apple Watch Pricing 80%
New Apple Watch Bands 95%
New Apple TV 90%
Amazon Prime Video app release date 100%
New Apple TV Pricing 75%
HomePod pre-order announced 50%
iOS 11 Release date, September 19th 100%
macOS High Sierra, September 19th 80%
New Mac Mini 5%
Categories
Apple Developer

Apple WWDC 2017 Predictions: macOS, tvOS, and watchOS

One of the hardest things to do is predict where Apple might take things in the future. However, that does not stop one from trying. Which is what I plan to do, regarding what Apple will announce at their annual World Wide Developer’s Conference on June 5th at 10 AM Pacific Time.

The Apple of 2017 is very different from the Apple of 1979. Apple today has a fair number of platforms: iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. Within each of these, there are numerous frameworks which allow developers to produce apps. Built to support these platforms are a variety of services. These services include iCloud, Apple Music, and the iTunes stores.

I am going to attempt to predict what Apple might announce at their World Wide Developer Conference Keynote on June 5th, 2017 at 10:00AM Pacific Time. Some of these items are logical changes while others are just what I hope Apple will announce.

This is the second of two posts that cover my predictions for what will be announced. This article covers macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. The first post covers iPhone and iPad.

macOS

macOS is a very mature operating system. The basic ideas of macOS have been in place since 1984 and many of the features that users have come to rely on have been added since 2001 when Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah was released. With an operating system that is so mature, new features can be hard to come by. However, with a sibling operating system in iOS, macOS can get some new features from iOS.

Feature Parity

Back in 2011 with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple began having macOS and iOS have more features on both platforms. The biggest was the consistent naming on both platforms. I am well aware that you can only put so much engineering into an operating system every year. However, it would be nice to be able to get the same features on macOS at the same time as iOS. To be clear, there are some features that cannot be easily brought over from one operating system to the other. Additionally, there are always features that are not able to be moved over.

iMessage Apps

With iOS 10, Apple unveiled a new feature to iOS, iMessage Applications. These applications allowed for a variety of items all within the iMessage application. Some of these applications include stickers, full-blown applications, and even the ability to order food, and send money to others. One place where this is not possible is on macOS. Adding iMessage Apps to macOS would not be easy for developers, but it could be possible.

The ability to perform many, if not all, of the same functions on macOS would be very helpful for many users, as well as providing parity between iOS and macOS. With the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, it is possible that any Touch ID-based applications to be available on macOS. I give the likelihood of iMessage Apps being added macOS at 95%.

macOS Server

macOS Server has remaining largely unchanged since 2011 when Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. One of the stalwarts macOS Server is the “Software Update” service. With macOS Sierra, Apple announced that the Software Update Service has been deprecated. What this means is that the service will no longer get any updates. Additionally, at some point in the future the service will be removed entirely. I give the possibility of Apple removing this at 85%. If it is not removed with this version, it will most certainly be removed with the version released next year.

watchOS

Even though watchOS has only been around since November of 2014, it has received vast improvements over the last two and half years. The most significant improvement was with watchOS 3, where both battery and speed improvements were recognized, even with the original Series 0 Apple Watch.

Initially the function of Apple Watch was haphazard. The Apple Watch attempted to be a miniaturized version of the iPhone; but ultimately that proved to be the wrong approach. Now a majority of individuals use the Apple Watch as a health-tracking device.

It’s hard to imagine what other improvements Apple could make. I think the most likely ones revolve around adding new health-related functions. Possibly more workout types. One feature that some have asked for is that there is an option to be able to keep the time on the watch face at all times. The ability to keep the time on the watch face all the time would be a direct

A kind of off-the-wall guess at a new feature is custom watch faces. These would be submitted via Xcode and would be submitted to the Apple Watch store. Submitting Apple Watch faces could work in the same manner as iMessage Stickers work now.

I give the likelihood of new workout types to be 70%. The probability of the watch face showing the current time all the time at 80%. I give the probability of third-party Apple Watch faces at 50%.

Health Data

With the biggest use of the Apple Watch being health-related. There are many who wish to be able to synchronize their health data between devices. I fully agree with this sentiment. Specifically, I would like to have the Health Data be synchronized between all of my devices, including macOS. The reason for this is that I may want to view my health data on other devices, besides my iPhone.

If Apple were to do this, it would possibly put user’s health data at risk. Health Data is doubtlessly the most personal information that is stored on an iOS device. If Apple were to do this, they would require it to be opt-in, and probably require two confirmations before allowing the synchronization to occur. Given this, the likelihood of it occurring is very low. I think it is about 10%.

There is one other thing that would be nice from the Apple Watch and Health data. I would like to see indications from the Health app when there are anomalies with heart rate. In particular, if my heart rate spikes while not in a workout, it may be something I want to know about. The health app could do a local notification to indicate that something may be amiss. A similar thing could be done for other types of health data as well. I give this a 25% chance of happening because it would be a logical next step for looking at health data.

tvOS

tvOS is the most nascent operating system that Apple has developed. With being the youngest, it is possible that tvOS has a lot of room to grow. The downside of this though, is that tvOS is a pretty focused product, given that it is aimed at the largest screen many people own, their TV. Despite using my Apple TV for almost all of my tv and movie consumption, there is not a whole lot of functionality that I can see being added. Despite this, there is definitely room for improvement.

The only change that I can see is not directly related to tvOS, but the content. It would be nice to see 4K TV Shows and Movies available for purchase via iTunes. The downside of this is that it would require a new Apple TV box, but not necessarily an entirely new version of tvOS. I do not necessarily see Apple doing this at WWDC, this is more of a consumer-oriented item. Given how much I do not think this will happen, I think the probability of this occurring at 5%.

TV App

With tvOS 10, Apple announced the release of a new application, TV. The TV app is designed to provide you with recommendation of what to watch next. This information comes from your iTunes Library as well as any third-party applications that allow integration. This is an area where Apple could greatly improve.

There has been some concern about the lack of expansion of the third-party integration of the TV App. What Apple could do is provide even better support for third-party services.

iTunes

On the subject of iTunes, there is one major thing that I would LOVE to see, but I do not know if it will occur; a revamped iTunes. iTunes has become such a behemoth of an application. iTunes original intent was as a syncing mechanism back when all of our media was locally on our computers. That was back in 2001. 16 years later times have changed and while a percentage of individuals still synchronize their music to their computers, that number is a very small percentage. It would be nice to see Apple completely re-think iTunes. One of the hinderances from this occurring is that iTunes is also on Windows. However, Apple could give macOS a boost by providing an even better experience and keeping iTunes on Windows the way it is now.

The biggest change would be to separate out the classic iPod syncing portion to its own application. This would still allow those individuals who need to synchronize their items to be able to do so. Meanwhile, the remaining functions, Music, Podcasts, Movies, TV Shows, iTunes U, and Apps could all become their own applications. This approach would allow each of these applications to be updated on their own schedule. Alongside this, each application could have a user-interface which matches the functionality of that application.

There are two aspects to this prediction. The first is that Apple will preview a refreshed iTunes. The second is that it will be released “in the fall” (meaning when the new iPhones are released). I give this a 10% chance of happening. It is a slim chance, but still a chance.

Let me recap what my predictions for what will be unveiled at Apple’s WWDC Keynote.

Possibility Recap
Change Likelihood
macOS iMessage apps 95%
macOS Server Software Update Service going away 85%
watchOS Face being on all the time 80%
New watchOS Workout Types 70%
Third-party Apple Watch Faces 50%
Notifications about health anomalies 25%
Synchronize Health Data 10%
iTunes Refresh 10%
4K Movies and TV in iTunes 5%

Final Thoughts

Each new version of macOS and iOS include a slew of new features. This is not only because new features generate buzz and excitement, but also because new features can spark new ideas from developers. When the occurs the entire eco-system benefits. Apple benefits by increased usage, developers can profit from the features, which Apple also benefits from. Finally users get some updated applications and new capabilities on their existing devices.

Having been an iOS user since the beginning, I have seen the feature set grow from a very limited set to a very feature-rich operating system. However, that does not mean it is near complete, quite the opposite. I have been using macOS full-time for a decade now, and while its feature set was largely in place, it still has a lot of room to grow as well, just in different areas.

I do not know if any of my predictions will actually come to fruition. I guess we will see what Apple does unveil at their WWDC Keynote on June 5th, 2017 at 10:00AM Pacific.

Categories
Apple Developer

Apple WWDC 2017 Predictions: iPhone and iPad

One of the hardest things to do is predict where Apple might take things in the future. However, that does not stop one from trying. Which is what I plan to do, regarding what Apple will announce at their annual World Wide Developer’s Conference on June 5th at 10 AM Pacific Time.

The Apple of 2017 is very different from the Apple of 1979. Apple today has a fair number of platforms: iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. Within each of these, there are numerous frameworks which allow developers to produce apps. Built to support these platforms are a variety of services. These services include iCloud, Apple Music, and the iTunes stores.

I am going to attempt to predict what Apple might announce at their World Wide Developer Conference Keynote on June 5th, 2017 at 10:00AM Pacific Time. Some of these items are logical changes while others are just what I hope Apple will announce.

This is the first of two posts that cover my predictions for what will be announced. This article covers iPad and iPhone. There will be a second post next week that covers macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.

iPad

One of the areas where Apple needs to make some major improvements is with the iPad. While the iPad is no where near as popular as the iPhone, it is still a major part of Apple’s strategy. The iPad has seen some improvements over its seven year life, however any iPad-specific improvements have been lacking in the last few releases. In particular, improvements that would help the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

The biggest improvement that could be made is around the way that multiple applications are handled. When you use multiple applications on the iPad Pro, you can swipe from the right side of the screen to bring up any compatible applications. However, there is no real order to the applications. This makes it quite difficult to be able to easily locate the application that you want to use in split view.

One possible solution to this issue is to reduce the size of the icons, and basically make it an alphabetical list with application names. This could be an option that is just at the top of the screen. My guess at the probability of this behavior changing is 100%.

Switching Applications

Switching applications on the iPad, particularly in split view is rather cumbersome. If you want to be able to switch the left and right applications, you have to perform the following steps:

  1. Expand the application on the right all the way to the left.
  2. Use slide over to bring up the list of possible applications.
  3. Locate the application that you wish to use (see above for issues wit this).
  4. Tap on the application that you wish to use in split view.
  5. Drag the right-side application to the size you wish to use it at.
  6. Tap on the divider button to put the application into split view.

This procedure takes six steps to be able to accomplish. What would make for a better user experience is to be able to easily swap the two applications. This could be accomplished by holding down on the divider between apps that are in split view. A popup could appear and would offer to swap the applications. I predict the possibility of this occurring at 75%.

App Groups

It is quite often that when you are using applications in split view, that you wish would automatically be grouped together. This could be applications like “Twitter” and “Slack”, or “Notes” and “TV”. However, this is not possible under iOS 10.

It would be nice to see this feature for iOS. This solution could be something akin to Spaces on macOS. With Spaces on macOS you are able to assign applications to a specific space, and the application will also show on that space. This means that you can assign applications that you want to group together to the same space. Given that it is iOS, there is likely a limit to the number of these “spaces” that could be configured. If Apple were to add this feature, it would go a long way for the “pro” users. I give the likelihood of this occurring is 50%.

Within Apple development, there is this idea of application groups. These “application groups” are ones that allow shared information between different applications from the same developer. That is not the type of application grouping that I am referring to.

Sharing Information Between Applications

One of the downsides of split screen on the iPad is that if you want to share information between the two applications that are currently on the screen. If it is simply text that you want to transfer, you can copy and paste. However, if there is an image that you want to send to the other application, you must use the share sheet.

It would be helpful if someone could easily drag and drop information from one application to another. This behavior is very prevalent in macOS applications. There are instances where the items that are dropped from one application to another result in garbage, but this is to be expected.

If Apple were to add this type of functionality, it would be a huge boon to the professional group of iPad users. Additionally, this would add some more functionality and provide more of a replacement for a wider range of users. I put the likelihood of this occurring at 25%.

Swift Playgrounds

When Swift Playgrounds was first introduced it was touted as a way to be able to test out applications and develop directly on the iPad, albeit in a limited manner. There may be some point in the future when you are able to fully develop applications on the iPad, however we are a ways off from that. I do think there will be one change to Swift Playgrounds; the ability to create Sticker Packs directly on the iPad.

Sticker Packs are available for iMessage and allow individuals to quickly create stickers and submit them to the store. There is absolutely no coding required to create a sticker pack. With the Apple Pencil and the iPad Pro, there is a large contingent of artists who would love to be able to create and publish their sticker packs directly from the iPad.

Right now, Xcode is required to be able to publish these sticker packs. However, if Apple updates Swift Playgrounds, or creates an entirely new application, it could allow even more sticker packs.

The update, or application, would only allow sticker packs, not more full-featured applications, so it could be possible to allow this to happen. I think the likelihood of this occurring is about 30%.

iPhone and iPad

There are many aspects to iOS that are shared amongst the iPhone and iPad. Whereas the iPhone was the first product released, it was not the first product to enter development, that was the iPad. When the iPad was released it was actually a different operating system. The features between the iPhone and iPad did not come together until iOS 4.3.

32-bit applications

One of the likeliest features of the next version of iOS are that 32-bit applications will no longer be supported. If this does come to pass, there are a couple of ramifications.

The first result is that there will be a couple of devices that will no longer be supported. Most notably, the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and the 4th generation iPad. This is not anything new, given that devices eventually do become end-of-lifed.

The second result is that any applications that are 32-bit only will no longer run. This means that applications that have not been updated will stop working. A majority of these apps are games, which could become problematic for some of your favorite games. I give the possibility of this occurring at 90%.

Naming

Last year’s release of iOS 10 and macOS 10.12 Sierra were both quite substantial. If there is any time that Apple would change from the “10.x” series of names, this would be it. Now is an excellent time for Apple to name the next macOS as macOS 11 [code name], and next years would be macOS 12 [code name], and keep the numbering going forward. This could allow for individuals to more easily know which versions of the operating systems work best together. While it is possible for newer versions of macOS to work with older versions of iOS, and newer iOS versions to work with older macOS versions, the operating systems work best when they are updated to matching versions.

Along side this, Apple could also start providing names to iOS versions. Ideally, these names would be the same. By doing this, users could more easily identify which version of each operating system that they are using and this would also allow users to easily know if they are running the same versions. This is merely an idea. I give this a 5% possibility. I also give the probability of iOS and macOS having the same version going forward as 5%.

Possibility Recap

Let me recap what my predictions for what will be unveiled at Apple’s WWDC Keynote.

Possibility Recap
Change Likelihood
Split View Changing 100%
32-bit Apps going away 90%
Fast split view app swapping 75%
Split View App Groups 50%
Sticker Pack creation from iPad Pro 30%
Drag and drop Data Transfer 25%

Final Thoughts

Each new version of macOS and iOS include a slew of new features. This is not only because new features generate buzz and excitement, but also because new features can spark new ideas from developers. When the occurs the entire eco-system benefits. Apple benefits by increased usage, developers can profit from the features, which Apple also benefits from. Finally users get some updated applications and new capabilities on their existing devices.

Having been an iOS user since the beginning, I have seen the feature set grow from a very limited set to a very feature-rich operating system. However, that does not mean it is near complete, quite the opposite. I have been using macOS full-time for a decade now, and while its feature set was largely in place, it still has a lot of room to grow as well, just in different areas.

I do not know if any of my predictions will actually come to fruition. I guess we will see what Apple does unveil at their WWDC Keynote on June 5th, 2017 at 10:00AM Pacific. Look for another article about macOS, tvOS, and watchOS coming soon.