Posted by Gracie Clemens
Apple has been busy these past couple months with a number of major announcements: Mac OS X Yosemite, iOS 8, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple Watch, HealthKit, Apple Pay and new iPads. But what opportunities do these new products and software offer to brands? And how will developers and designers adapt? We sat down with our iOS developer, Sean Wright, senior designer, Anthony Prior, and CTO, Savvas Constantinides to take three different bites of perspective out of one big Apple.
The developer view
From a developers’ perspective, what stood out from Apple’s recent events?
Earlier in the year we had two new major additions to Apples’ repertoire; Apple Watch and Swift, which is a new programming language based on the already existing one (Objective-C), supposedly simplifying the developing processes and enabling extra capabilities for developers. WatchKit is meant to be released next month and it’s basically the tool we’ll be using to develop for Apple Watch, so it should be pretty fun playing around with that.
As a developer, obviously the new iPhones are a pretty big consideration for me. They are bigger and more powerful than any iPhone before, so it basically expands the developer’s “sandbox” as it were.
What challenge do you see developing for wearables, such as the Apple Watch announcement?
I think the WatchKit libraries may have some issues coming off the bat next month. However this is expected for any new software, and less so for Apple’s products in my opinion, so it won’t be a total train wreck.
Otherwise, it’s going to be interesting working with UI elements on the smaller screen and I’m excited to see what visual effects become the standard for the new format.
How are you finding developing for iOS 8?
In general it’s been a fairly painless transition; though as this was the largest iOS SDK release in recent years, there is the inevitable list of newly deprecated functions with their newly added counter-parts, which has meant a round of version-specific code placements on apps still hoping to support older versions.
As a developer, what software or product would you like to see Apple announce, and why?
That’s a tough one! It’d be pretty cool if they made iBrain — a cap with the Apple logo that reads your thoughts (using Electroencephalography) and does stuff on your Apple Watch and iPhone via Bluetooth. So you could think, “What’s the time?” and your phone would say out loud or through your headphones: “It’s 3:00am, go home!”
The designer’s view
From a designers’ perspective, what stood out from Apple’s recent events?
Being a product design graduate, the Apple Watch excites me the most. It’s been a long awaited product for a few years now with numerous concepts and ideas guessing what Apple would produce. Now that it’s here we can start to dream and concept what interactive possibilities we can create between the hardware and software.
Apple Pay was the other big announcement, which I think will change the payment landscape, coupled with Touch ID to approve payments I can feel my wallet getting lighter already. The ease in which this will allow us to shop and make payments, both online and offline, will be groundbreaking.
How will these new products affect designing for Apple products in the future?
With the Apple Watch, we will now have an additional screen to design for and another device to connect with. I believe the Apple Watch will kick-start the connected devices landscape, two devices with very different behavioural uses that work together.
For our clients, it means we can explore the functionality of connecting their product with the Apple Watch and exploring what new experiences and benefits this can create for consumers.
Apple Pay will allow us to easily inject payment methods into our client’s apps, whether it’s for e-commerce or a quick and easy charitable donation. It’s a win-win.
How are you finding designing for iOS 8?
One of the most interesting new features for iOS 8 is the idea of creating widgets for the drop-down notification menu.
Some great examples I have seen so far are to ‘track my ride’ using Strava without opening the app, checking the latest clothes in from ASOS (which is dangerous for my wallet) or having my boarding pass available for a flight.
As a designer, what software or product would you like to see Apple announce, and why?
I would like to see the Apple TV, a product that we could interact with almost as much as our phones.
I have used the current Apple TV product and feel it lacks the real innovation compared to other Apple products and I believe the magic will come when they produce the TV itself. Then we will experience true second screen experience through a more personal and connected experience.
The view from our CTO
What did you think of the announcements at Apple’s recent events?
Apple Pay is great for everyone to have access to new capabilities, however NFC is not available for developers and can only be used by Apple Pay at the moment.
Many times there are technologies struggling to become mainstream and user adoption is slow. Sometimes if a recognisable company, such as Apple, introduces a new technology then user adoption is much faster; so I think it’s great Apple got involved because it might actually take mobile and NFC payments to the next level.
On one hand, Apple Pay doesn’t meet everyone’s needs and some brands will use it more than others simply because it fits their business model. On the other hand, Apple has made it appealing to both buyers and sellers because neither party gets charged for usage — the bank does.
It will probably come to the UK soon and the early adopters will most likely be large brands. There are already a few ones in the States that have integrated it, such as AirBnB, Uber, Groupon and Starbucks. One thing’s for sure, when it comes to the UK it will be prime time for brands to lead the way.
Which do you think was the most significant product announcement, and why?
From a software point of view, Apple Pay and HealthKit are very significant. Specifically HealthKit, they’re aggregating data from different apps and storing it all in one place so consumers will have direct access to their health data.
While I think Apple Pay will have the biggest impact, HealthKit shows there’s a lot of value to centralised aggregation of, in this case, health-related data.
What’s the biggest opportunity for clients and brands?
In terms of app features for iOS, it would be Apple Pay because if it works and it’s done right it will be a big game changer.
Why do you think adoption of iOS 8 has been slower than previous releases?
iOS 7 was such a big change compared to iOS 6 — it was a complete redesign of the whole user interface and people wanted to experience this change. Whereas with iOS 8, there’s a lot of new features and new tech but people still respond to graphics more than features. Also, previous devices were great and people hold on to those longer or they don’t bother updating to the new software.
Every update on the iOS is meant to be for the newer devices, but I think the whole industry works on the idea that you won’t hold on to your phone for more than 1 or 2 years.
The HMSD view
“Innovation does not rest — there’s always room for more.”
Smartphones and each version of iOS offer multiple ways to innovate for brands. The idea is for brands to utilise these tools and give us ways to reach consumers, make their lives easier and connect with them — and that’s the best thing; it’s being able to create products and services that benefit the consumers and ultimately make them happier.
Originally published at www.himumsaiddad.com.