Editor Alan Stonebridge is still reeling from the WWDC cavalcade of news.
Apple Took us by surprise at its Worldwide Developers Conference. Naturally, we were expecting a lot of exciting news about the next round of operating system upgrades, but the company didn’t stop there. It revamped most of its Mac lineup, expanded that range with a brand new model for creative professionals, unveiled a new size of iPad Pro, and majorly enhanced the display in both versions of its premium tablet. This issue is packed with details about all of these things, and reactions from our columnists David Chartier and Brianna Wu. Naturally, I’m excited about the operating system upgrades, but one thing stood out at WWDC, and has been rolling around my mind ever since the event: augmented reality (AR). Even ahead of WWDC, it was no big secret that Apple would throw its weight behind the technology, which superimposes computergenerated imagery on top of the real world by way of a device’s camera; in February, Tim Cook told UK newspaper The Independent that he views AR as “a big idea, like the smartphone.”
In that interview, Cook also said: “I get excited because of the things that could be done that could improve a lot of lives. And be entertaining.” Looking at the AR demos that formed a lengthy segment of Apple’s WWDC keynote address, you’d be forgiven for thinking AR is mostly about the latter – and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of fun examples flooding the App Store toward the end of the year. Think about the ways doctors and medical students, real estate, and tourism, to name a few, could use the tech to enhance healthcare, business, and learning. The redesigned App Store in iOS 11 will be a beautiful place to showcase all of this.
Whether we’re talking entertainment or serious applications, I haven’t been this excited about the future of apps in a long time. Perhaps not even since the App Store opened in July 2008 and turned the iPhone from an intriguing communications device into… well, anything developers could make an app for.
alan stonebridge, Editor Twitter: @maclife