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Perspectives from the 2023 Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference

Apple Vision Pro Ar Headset

The 2023 Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference was a groundbreaking event packed with trailblazing innovation that showcased Apple’s latest technological advancements and unveiled exciting updates across their product lineup. The keynote address was filled with innovative announcements ranging from OS updates to impressive hardware upgrades. Apple Vision Pro, the revolutionary spatial computer unlike anything on the market, was the star of the event, while announced upgrades to iOS 17 will further advance personalization for iPhone users.

We have assembled a panel of mobile technology experts to dissect the keynote announcements, share their insights, and explore the potential impacts on the digital landscape. Join us as we embark on a journey through the remarkable offerings of the 2023 Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference, and uncover the possibilities that lie ahead in the ever-evolving realm of iOS development.

Meet the Perficient iOS Development Experts

Jeff Small is the Director of Perficient’s Mobile Solutions group. Jeff has 15+ years of experience building successful mobile products in Android and iOS.

Asif Gill is a Director on the Mobile Solutions team. Asif offers perspectives on native, cross-platform, and mobile integrations. He has been with Perficient for 7+ years.

Dhruvil Patel is Technical Architect in Perficient’s Mobile solution group with 8+ years of experience in mobile (Hybrid, iOS and Android) development along with Single page web application. He has been with Perficient for over 2 years.

What are your overall impressions of the new iOS features and capabilities presented in the Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference keynote?

Asif: Everything we saw shows intent on a long-term product roadmap, and I think we see exactly what that product roadmap is. It’s for Vision Pro. These apps and the interconnectivity between Mac OS and the mobile devices, they’re enablers forming more features and functionality for this Vision Pro offering that they have.

Jeff: My big takeaway was the level of intelligence and sophistication built into the new features of iOS 17. An example of this is the ability to autofill a temporary pass code or verification from email, this was previously only available through text. Being able to monitor your email to find that two-factor identification code shows a level of intelligence that goes beyond what we have seen in the market. I was also very impressed by the level of data sharing across widgets.

Dhruvil: The main thing that stood out to me was the new capabilities integrated into iMessage and FaceTime. We saw with the last update the ability to swipe and reply directly to a particular message, which was something already available in WhatsApp. Now we are seeing the improved search filter and the video recorded messages with FaceTime. We’re seeing continued improvements to the user experience and making these functionalities easier to use. I also liked the new standby mode, where you can turn your phone to the side and connect it to a Qi charger to turn it into a traditional clock for your nightstand.

How do you think these new features will impact your development process?

Jeff: From my perspective, as someone who leads client projects, I think there is an opportunity to look at the development roadmap and find ways to incorporate active widgets. There’s a key takeaway from WWDC of providing more utility to your users and reducing the amount of hoops your users have to jump through to accomplish something. So if I’m on a project building out a mobile app, I’m definitely looking for ways to introduce new technologies and user flows to enrich the user experience.

Asif: I think every single client application should be making use of the active update on the widgets, as well as the home screen and lock screen widgets from the previous update. The active component makes the widget much more attractive. I also think symbol animation, announced in one of the deep dive sessions, will be an interesting enhancement to the user experience. You can now add a number of animations to symbols or items within the app that change state when a user taps to help navigate through the app. There’s tremendous opportunity for interaction and experience for the users on every mobile application that we currently support.

Dhruvil: The biggest impact will be adding new features and functionality for the end users, and getting some older apps updated to be able to deliver this. The new features require specific integrations to function and deliver that personalized experience.

Are you anticipating any challenges or drawbacks to these new features?

Asif: Obviously a lot of things we want to put in our backlog will only be available with iOS 17, that’s what happens when you release new software and operating systems, we just have to wait until it’s released, which will be sometime this fall. Your users see the announcements at WWDC and are expecting to see these new things from day 1, so you really need to get ahead of it to be able to suggest and implement these features to meet user expectations.

Dhruvil: Organizations that are working with cross-platform solutions are naturally going to be slower to implement these new changes compared to those that are doing native iOS development. That’s the biggest challenge with cross-platform in general, you have to wait for libraries to become available and for people in the open source community to be able to support you.

In your opinion, which industry will benefit the most from these updates?

Asif: Every consumer-facing industry will benefit from these updates. The question is how, and that really depends on the organization and the use case for each of these features. These active widgets, animations, updates to the wallet and app clips, the opportunity is limitless it just depends on what the consumer appetite is.

Jeff: Looking specifically at the active widgets update, I’m thinking the home automation/smart home industry will see a boost. Being able to control devices in the home like Sonos, Ring, smart light bulbs, etc. from the widget screen is going to be huge. People are already using these home automation tools to be able to control them from their phone, but now we will see widgets functioning not just as information sources but actual extensions of the app that provide that functionality on the home and lock screens.

Dhruvil: Many industries will be able to benefit from these updates, I think healthcare will see benefits from the new features that allow for easier sharing of information. For example we could see storing of health records that could be shared to providers by tapping the phone replacing manual forms.

How do you think these new features compare to updates from other operating systems?

Jeff: Going off of what Asif said earlier, there is such an apparent roadmap here and it’s clear that we are moving toward a mobile ecosystem that isn’t constrained to your mobile devices. It’s hands-free, it’s voice-controlled, it’s on your wrist, or now your face with the Vision Pro. I don’t know that you can necessarily compare it to other operating systems right now. It feels like each release is building on the previous, there is a mindful vision here that’s leading to portable spatial computing.

Asif: I would say the other operating system has a heavy focus on AI assistance as we saw a couple weeks ago. Apple’s updates and the overall product roadmap are all pointing towards spatial. AI is baked into a lot of this but wasn’t really called out, whereas the other operating systems have been all in on calling out the AI integration.

Dhruvil: I’m a big fan of iOS and Apple, but to be very honest, I was a little surprised AI was not more of a focal point for them. They are integrating so many things with AI and that is what the future of iOS looks like. I’m excited about all of the new features and am waiting for when iOS 17 will be live!

What’s Next?

All in all, the 2023 Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference brought exciting new updates to the iOS ecosystem and unveiled groundbreaking spatial computing technology. We are seeing personalization and intuitive user experiences continue to be a top priority for Apple, as well as a defined roadmap toward an all-encompassing mobile ecosystem. We’re excited to begin development on iOS 17 and look forward to sharing more insights.

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Jeff Small, Director, Mobile Solutions

Jeff Small is a Certified Product Manager & Product Leader, and an experienced mobile solutions leader that understands the connection between experience and product success. He is a Director in the Product Development Solutions group for Perficient.

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