A Slice Of ThingS TO cOme, ByTe By ByTe

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Brunch - - INDULGE -

IT’S LIKE A Di­wali mela, ex­cept it costs $1,600 to get in. The World­wide De­vel­op­ers Con­fer­ence (WWDC) is Ap­ple’s show­case event of the year where, peo­ple from all over the world ap­ply to get in, a lucky draw throws up your name, you pay the afore­said amount and then line up out­side. When I ar­rived at the WWDC in San Fran­cisco, many things be­came clear. One: Ap­ple loves lines. With about seven thou­sand peo­ple queued up out­side, the block looked like a siege had just taken place. Two: peo­ple love stand­ing in line. It was early morn­ing when I ar­rived and thou­sands were wait­ing pa­tiently with big smiles plas­tered all over their faces. Maybe they hadn’t fig­ured out that they had paid al­ready and were guar­an­teed en­try. Three: peo­ple at­tend­ing the WWDC love to clap. Ev­ery sin­gle an­nounce­ment was greeted with thun­der­ous ap­plause. Even the 55-year-old han­dle­bar-mous­tached guy wear­ing a mo­tor­cy­cle jacket sit­ting next to me was on his feet, clap­ping in glee when they an­nounced the Min­nie Mouse watch face for the Ap­ple Watch. So, what did they an­nounce, what didn’t hap­pen and how does all of this af­fect our daily life? Here’s a dive into every­thing that the WWDC was, and wasn’t.

At its an­nual event, Ap­ple an­nounced a host of up­dates to the OSs for iPhone, Mac, Watch and TV

watchOS

Ap­ple seems to take this one very seriously. A re­write of the OS it­self has made it seven times faster than the pre- This was the mother of all an­nounce­ments. An all-new lock screen with Raise to Wake fea­ture. This wakes up the phone’s lock screen when you pick up the phone and gives an over­view of no­ti­fi­ca­tions and up­dates. A ma­jor re­vamp of mu­sic in­cludes lyrics for ev­ery song. The new HomeKit app lets you con­trol all the con­nected ac­ces­sories around your house. The pho­tos app now uses deep learn­ing to iden­tify and clas­sify peo­ple and ob­jects in pho­tos, and cat­e­gorises them into the ap­pro­pri­ate fold­ers and tags. Voice­mail gets text tran­scrip­tion of all mes­sages. But like in other places, it’s Siri that is smarter here too and can now be used across mul­ti­ple apps. You can use it to send What­sApp mes­sages, book Uber rides, make Skype calls and more. Mes­sag­ing got a facelift too, with full-screen and bub­ble ef­fects, and the show­stop­per – three times big­ger emo­jis as well as an emoji anal­yser. Write a mes­sage and it’ll tell you where you missed an op

por­tu­nity to use an emoji in­stead!

But does the world need more emo­jis?

Well, it looks like we are go­ing back to the time of cave­man draw­ings. Most peo­ple have lost the art of mes­sag­ing and writ­ing al­ready. Now that emo­jis are big­ger and au­to­mated, I’m not look­ing for­ward to the kinds of mes­sages I’m go­ing to start get­ting in a few months.

No hard­ware hints and an­nounce­ments?

Nope. No new Macbook Pros (they should be an­nounced in a month’s time, though), no Siri home speaker like Ama­zon Echo (once again, I’m pretty sure this one is also a mat­ter of time) and no iPad Pro mini (come on Ap­ple, I can’t be the only one ask­ing for this).

No iMes­sage for An­droid?

I was very sure of this one. But it didn’t come. What did come was a large num­ber of peo­ple telling me it would never hap­pen. Vi­jay Shekhar Sharma of Paytm said it made no sense as iMes­sage was for peo­ple to buy and get en­trenched in Ap­ple de­vices only. I’ve had a wa­ger that iMes­sage for An­droid will be live in 365 days from to­day. 100 (Paytm ru­pees) is on the line.

What about the nine-year-old girl who was the youngest app de­vel­oper there?

Yes, she ex­ists. Her name is An­vitha Vi­jay and I met her. She’s sharp as a nee­dle, spunky and should be a bil­lion­aire by the age of 12. I was both in­spired and in­tim­i­dated.

That was WWDC 2016. Ap­ple’s an­swer to those who seem to think it may have lost the in­no­va­tion edge. Ap­ple’s grooved right back into the lead (for now)!

UP TO SPEED

The new watchOS loads apps seven times faster than the pre­vi­ous OS

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