From June 5th to the 9th, a lucky group of developers were in San Jose for the WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference), where Apple revealed all their forthcoming hardware and software to the crowdOne of those developers was Magmic’s own, Brian Teschke, who came back from the conference full of stories and excitement.
 
By now, all heavy hitters have been leakedWe know all about iOs11, High Sierra, macOS, HomePod, and of course the newest versions of iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook, watchOS and tvOS.

Let’s get into the things people haven’t really been talking about as much.

(A pic Brian grabbed before walking in)

Listen to Apple Music While Playing Games

Apple has always been in favor of users listening to their music on iTunes while using apps. In the upcoming update, however, we will be able to play music through the Apple Music app while playing in other apps. To avoid the mess that some have experienced with having 2 songs played at once, developers will have to keep this in mind and make their sure apps support the new update, fixing any bugs that may interfere with the new feature.

Phased App Releases

Fellow app developers will appreciate this one as it will give them the opportunity to release new versions of an app in a controlled manner, preventing crashes. Right now, when you release a new version of an app, everyone gets it at the same time.

With phased app releases, it will be sent out to a smaller group of individuals, tracked to see how it’s doing, then released eventually to everyone else. This will reduce the strain on an app’s backend services. Brian explained this to me by saying “Imagine every user of a massively popular app downloads the latest update at the same time. An event like this will cause a huge spike on the servers and could result in high costs for the developers. For developers who don’t have the funds to support that kind of user traffic, phased app releases will solve this problem.”

App Store Changes

Ok, so maybe this one has been talked about a lot but we’re excited about these changes and couldn’t NOT write about them.

    1. There will be 3 videos per product page. This means you’ll be able to show off more of your game’s wicked features that sometimes pictures alone can’t convey.
    2. Videos will autoplay. Similarly to Facebook or Instagram, the videos will start as soon as you land on the page.
    3. Title and subtitle on the homepage. From the homepage of the App Store, users will get to read a little blurb written about the game to get a better idea of what it is. (This is a GREAT opportunity to use SEO & ASO, from an app developer’s point of view.)
    4. Top apps & games will be separated. For example, in ‘Top Free’, the games and apps will have their own designated categories.

(Brian’s view from inside)

Augmented Reality Kit (AG Kit)

As a part of the iOs11 release, we will see the AGK (Augmented Reality Kit), and wow, is it ever futuristic! You can find a more complex breakdown of how it works here, but in short, it’s the ability to use the camera on your iPhone to enhance the world around you.

A neat feature AGK can do is place objects in your surroundings. We put a ‘lamp’ on an empty and it looked incredibly real. Imagine the real view on Pokemon Go, but with real, everyday objects instead of Pikachu.

Brian then told us that the audience at WWDC were shown an example app that has a horror theme, where you can walk around with the camera on and if you point it at a dark part of a room, you’ll see faces and other creepy things. This has serious potential to be equal parts hilarious and horrifying.

Core Machine Learning

Machine learning is a type of AI (Artificial Intelligence) that has the ability to ‘learn’ patterns using algorithms. It allows computers to find insights and focuses on the development of programs that can be changed when exposed to new data.

In iOS11, some core machine learning features will include: face tracking, face detection, landmarks, text detection, rectangle detection, barcode detection, object tracking, and image registration. Updates to this feature will also help improve the keyboard predictor.

Brian was given a trial version on his iPhone and showed me how it worked. He pointed his camera at my foot and it read “Running Shoe”. Pretty crazy, right? The coolest part is that it doesn’t even need the internet to be used, so people who would worry about “bots watching their every move” can relax a little.

 

There you have it; a few things that haven’t been hyped up as much as the heavy hitters but, in my opinion, are pretty cool new features that will be released later in the year from Apple.

Thanks to Brian for being our Magmic insider and letting me pick his brain for this blog post!