Today in San Francisco the world of tech is all eye on Apple as WWDC is off and running – and the Apple will give its first round of 2017 answers as to what’s next for the world’s most successful tech company. If past is prolog, we can expect there will be lots to see and hear as Apple lays out their bigger vision for how all of its major platforms will evolve over the next year.
So what to watch – when so much is on the table?
Our eyes will be on Apple’s announcement regarding Siri and how Apple plans to bring her skills to life. It’s a little ironic that the tech company that had a voice-activated assistant is the last to market with a device that can give it more of a presence outside of the phone.
Rumors have it that they will launch with fewer but more contextual skills – shades of the app store in 2008. But then, the iPhone was the first to debut an app store and a next gen smartphone. Today, Siri is competing with an Alexa platform that has 12k skills and developers chafing at the bit to develop more of them. Developers write skills for the devices that consumers own, so it will be interesting to see whether what Apple has developed will draw enough developer attention to ignite their voice activated platform.
Also worth wondering about – will iOS be getting an overhaul to celebrate iPhone’s big ten year anniversary. The rumors are ranging – some are expecting something akin to a technological coat of paint for the the same basic iOS 7-era design Apple has been perfecting for the last four years. Alternatively, some are expecting big revisions as the current UI paradigm has never been a universal hit (some complain it is too flat and too white) – that will allow it to better interact throughout a variety of SiriKit apps.
No major surprises are anticipated – though in fairness, if they were they wouldn’t be major surprises – though there have been some rumors floating around analyst and supply chain circles that iPad could be seeing its first big update/upgrade in several years with a smaller iPad Pro design with improved display and souped up internals. There is no confirmation of that from Apple – though there is some thought that such a product is needed to better balance out the iPad line.
PYMNTS is, of course, watching with baited breath with the rest of the tech world – check back in tomorrow with all the hits, and maybe misses, of of WWDC 2017.