Employee Parallels Alex Paci on the results of the WWDC talks about how Apple sees the future of “smart” hours.
More health and sports
Last year in the pages of the TJ I was told how seriously the Apple towards the development of the Apple Watch in the direction of the best devices for sports and health. It is not surprising that in the new version of watch OS 5, which will be released this fall, this part of functionality hours will be expanded.
There will be new types of exercise in an hour of yoga and a short Hiking (hiking). For fans of running watches will now be able to control the pace and frequency of steps, and the sharing improvements that now allow us to set a competition with your friends will encourage you to fill in the ring activity even more.
The clock will now automatically detect the beginning and the end of the exercise, and retrospectively add data from the time when the exercise has already started if the user confirmed that it is indeed an exercise of this type.
This functionality is extremely lacking in smart watches, and, according to Apple representatives, it took a lot of effort to learn not only to identify the start of exercise but different types of these exercises. And not less important part of the development of is and user-friendly interface in order to confirm that calculated in relation to the clock start, end and type of exercise.
Apple has redesigned the Workout Sessions API — a set of system call that allows receiving information from hours on the physical activity of the user. More accurate data from the sensors embedded in watches and enhanced functionality will allow developers to create applications with new types of exercises which are well integrated into watchOS.
But of course, I much more liked the discussion about what kind of exercises are best to include, if doing chores around the house — cleaning, or even washing the car. Algorithms hours so tuned to certain kinds of body movement in different types of exercises that even if you think of movement when vacuuming and when training “rowing” like, for hours it is not.
For such domestic activities, experts suggest to include the type of training “the Other.” The General impression that Apple feels very confident with the Apple Watch in the category of sports watches and further development of this functionality, although it is important for the gadget will be rather evolutionary than revolutionary. But it seems that other watchOS 5 will allow Apple to develop a watch not only in the direction of sport and health.
Music players on the clock
During the opening conference, Apple announced that the watch will appear in the app to play podcasts. However, what is more, important and much more interesting for developers is that the new version of the operating system will also appear API for background audio playback.
The new feature will allow developers to create their own full-fledged application for podcasts. The API will allow you to select the sound source for the playback of the podcast — headphones, speakers, and so on, including the addition of a new device, the ability to play podcasts when working in other applications, and even integrating control playback of the podcast right in the app “Exercise”, where many users are listening to music or podcasts.
The presence of these system services opens the way for the emergence of not only applications for podcasts but for music players third-party services, such as Spotify on the Apple smartwatch.
Two-way radio, popular in the era of the eighties that are well illustrated in the TV series Stranger Things — remain popular in the US now. The operator Sprint, one of the four largest mobile operators in the United States, still offers phones with service Nextel Direct Connect — analog walkie-talkie over a mobile connection.
This service is often used by builders, employees of emergency response services, and service workers when you need to pass one or more recipients a short voice message simply by pressing a button.
Quartz recently wrote that Apple watch was a very popular device among the employees of the service industry — bars, restaurants, retail, airline workers. For them, watches have become an indispensable device in situations where it is impossible or forbidden to use a smartphone at work.
The synergy between this custom niche, the popularity of the service push-to-talk and the future of the Walkie-Talkie feature in the Apple Watch is observed with the naked eye. Curiously, about the service, Walkie-Talkie in Apple said during the very first hours of the announcement in 2015, but then the function of somehow “lost”.
Now it has returned, and in combination with support for LTE in the Apple Watch Series 3 and future models, it may prove to be unexpectedly popular. By the way, in the American retail sector employs 23% of the total workforce, so it’s not so niche.
The involvement of the user
Interactive notifications, which Apple said during the opening, fit the General outline of the output from the category “fitness hours” and further extend the functionality of the watch as a standalone device.
Apps on the watch, especially from third-party developers, yet take root with difficulty, since the platform is new, with lots of restrictions. To develop a simple, convenient and intuitive application that was actively used by the owners of the clock is difficult.
Interactive notifications is a step in the direction of simple user interaction hours with third-party services when basic and common task is to check in for a flight, reserve a restaurant table — you can extend predictable user actions.
Without much difficulty one can imagine the further development of this trend when in the service industry will coordinate staff across a watch in their wrist, they can reply via interactive notifications. For example, the waiter after receiving their orders via a tablet on the table, then makes changes, confirming the order.
By the way, the problem of low engagement users in a third-party application on your Apple will try to solve including using “cuts” in Siri. Shortcuts, as Apple calls them, are not just extensions for Siri, with which you can automate some tasks on your watch or phone. Apple is making a big bet that Siri will study user behavior and proactively offer those or other actions as widgets directly on the watch dial. And for developers of third-party applications now have a special API, which should facilitate the integration of the functionality of their apps into Siri on the clock.
Apple watch, which recently called a failure, gradually acquire functionality and out of the shadows iPhone, turning into a standalone unit.
Add support for LTE last year was only the beginning of this process. The ability to play audio in the background, interactive notifications, allowing you to do more from your wrist, adding a subtle but significant features such as the ability to add and remove hours in a weather app or stock app for tracking stock will allow many users to panic, alone at some point without a phone.
watchOS 5, for example, will have the opportunity to connect to a WiFi network (now the watch picks up information from your phone). Add the WebKit framework is not a full-fledged Safari browser on the clock, but also a very useful component that allows you to create a much more functional Apple Watch apps.
This approach is typical of Apple products: the basic minimum in the first version and the constant improvement of the product over several years, after which it turns out that this product is suddenly everywhere and at all, and critics, who promised failure, somehow silenced.