I just got home after attending Apple’s WWDC in San Jose, California. (I attended as a guest of Apple). It was a big year – a new Mac Pro for the most extremely high end of users, iPad gets its own OS to push it toward more serious ‘laptop alternative’ territory, Apple Watch also steps toward becoming a stand alone device with more options that untether it from needing to be attached to an iPhone, and lots of new features for Macs too.
My two favourite things, though were:
- Sign In with Apple: A privacy-focused alternative to signing in with Google or Facebook, as seen in many places on the web. My story for the AFR next week will focus on this launch and why it essentially shifts Apple from ‘privacy as a feature’ in its recent years to ‘privacy as a service’, and that’s an important step for the online marketplace.
- ARKit 3 & Reality Composer: Apple is the leading AR platform, really, with iPhone and iPad having the best Augmented Reality features in the market. The latest update to ARKit sees clever new capabilities that help put humans into AR scenes. That includes People Occlusion, which lets people move in front of and behind AR objects in a scene, and motion capture that turns human movement into movement for AR characters. Reality Composer is a new tool that makes it super easy to start creating actual AR scenes and interactive environments. These two things will help push a lot of creativity without the need for crazy programming knowledge to go with it.
Overall, it’s clear Apple is starting to refocus a lot of energy beyond the iPhone. I love this event because software is where the real change arrives. New hardware gets the flashy news headlines, but the software updates are where actual new features come from.
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Apple WWDC highlights
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Apple’s new third-party login system will focus on user privacy, preventing user tracking. Tim Cook tells CBS News the move isn’t about battling Google and Facebook, but advancing privacy.