Apple made several consumer and developer announcements at this year’s WWDC 2017, the technology giant’s annual conference. The event kicked off Monday with a keynote featuring news of an upgraded iPad Pro, iOS 11, artificial intelligence technology, person-to-person payments from Apple Pay, augmented reality and more.
Let’s take a look back at just a few of the new technologies and enhancements that already have enterprises buzzing:
The iPad Pro Will Improve Usability for Mobile Workers
For your on the go mobile workforce, the new iPad Pro promises enhanced productivity features with memory improvements that make the tablet just as powerful as a personal computer. Its new full-size multi-language keyboard also proves useful for bi-lingual users and those working with customers and partners internationally. To make it even more functional, the iPad Pro promises improved copy-and-paste capabilities and an unlimited item dock to be the ultimate on-the-go device for employees that don’t want to carry a clunky laptop but need something more powerful and flexible than their mobile phone.
With iOS 11, the iPad will now support drag-and-drop functionality between split-screen apps, allowing users to open their photos app on one screen and drag their images into an iMessage or their email. To support this at an enterprise level, developers will have to implement its API for system-wide integration. Finally, the Apple Pencil is being marketed as a “magic wand” to the iPad Pro that can be used for jotting down notes, painting and designing creative with pixel-perfect precision, and easily signing a work order or project proposal.
A New Files App and High Sierra OS Will Improve Document Management
A much-needed file management application for iOS will soon be making its way to your iPhone and iPad. The app, simply called Files, will come with support for nested folders and spring loading as well as a search option and a dedicated “Favorites” tab for accessing documents easily. Previously, iOS users relied on iCloud or third party management systems such as Dropbox to manage their work and personal files.
With the upcoming launch of the Files app, enterprises now have the flexibility to share documents securely across desktop, iPhone and iPads, a capability that is essential for mobile workers. Further, the new Files app will work seamlessly with iCloud, Dropbox, Adobe Creative Cloud and more. For users that work mostly on their Macs, the upgraded High Sierra OS will include an improved file management system with enhanced built-in crash protect measures, ‘Safe’ document saving functionality and native encryption.
iOS 11 Will Include the Addition of Productivity Enhancing Capabilities
For enterprise users, iOS 11 introduces a few new productivity enhancing features. Apple will now provide QR code support to the native camera app in the operating system upgrade, a welcome addition for those in the manufacturing plant and field services and medical industries who frequently rely on barcodes for various parts and medication scanning, respectively. With this feature, users will be able to scan QR codes right from their familiar camera without the need for third-party apps.
iOS 11 will also introduce the addition of native screen recording abilities and screenshot markups. With screen recording, enterprise users can easily capture everything that they do on their device, a useful feature for recording quick demo videos from an iPhone or iPad. Mentioned briefly during the iPad Pro demo during the keynote address, screenshot markups will also be included on the iOS 11 upgrade, making it much easier to write quick notes on a screenshot image, document or email. As an added time-saving bonus, users will also no longer have to find the screenshot in their camera roll first, and will be able to easily re-crop and markup their desired screenshot right away.
While iOS 11 won’t be available for Apple users until September, it is currently available in beta for members of the Apple Developer Program.
The Latest Technology from Apple Focuses on Siri and Augmented Reality
One of the most notable additions to the Apple family at WWDC was the announcement of SiriKit and ARKit. SiriKit is designed for developers to implement an app extension that integrates their services with Siri and Maps for voice use. New machine learning capabilities include on-device learning about topics that are pertinent to the specific user, similar to the features that are already common with Google Assistant.
The announcement of Apple’s new ARKit will also give developers the ability to integrate their iPhone or iPad’s camera with motion features to produce augmented reality experiences in their apps or games. This can be done by combining device motion tracking, camera scene capture, scene process and display conveniences to simplify the tasks of building an AR experience. There is currently no news on how ARKit will affect the enterprise, but we are interested to see how it could be used on a manufacturing plant floor or during a medical procedure in the future.
For more updates of this year’s WWDC event, click here. Learn how PowWow Mobile’s SmartUX Platform works with any operating system including iOS and is helping enterprises modernize their business applications.