3 Things I Want From Apple At WWDC 2016
Every year Apple holds one of its largest events in June: the World Wide Developers Conference. While occasionally a major product announcement is made at WWDC (like the new trash-can style Mac Pro), most of the announcements concern software upgrades.
Typically the rumor mill begins to churn before a major Apple event. A cursory search for "iPhone 7" is the perfect example, but rumors are few for next week's WWDC.
Apple has been criticized recently for lagging behind Google and even Amazon when it comes to software and services. I agree. So here are a few things I hope to see Apple improve and launch at the 2016 WWDC.
1. Siri API
As voice assistants go, Siri is arguably in last place. Amazon's Echo and Google's Voice / Search assistant offer many features that Siri lacks. The Echo in particular has the one feature I hope Apple brings to Siri: Developer Support.
Ever since Siri was first shown off along with the iPhone 4S, developers have wanted to access the Personal Assistant so it could perform app-specific tasks. Right now, Siri can only interact with Apple's stock apps and launch a Third-Party app (if you know its exact name).
With an API, developers can integrate specific commands making Siri much more powerful. You could theoretically ask Dark Sky, "How long before it rains?" Or ask a podcast app: "Play the latest episode of Cortex."
2. Fix Apple Music
Apple Music is almost a year old now, and is still just as confusing to navigate. Attempting to teach someone how to get to their music is cumbersome at best.
There is no shortage of complaints about Apple Music, and one of the few rumors for this event is a redesign of the app on iOS. The service itself has served me well the past year and I do not regret signing up, but I would really like to see a different UI paradigm for Apple Music.
3. Surprise Me
No one knows exactly how Monday's event will go, but Apple is a creature of habit. They will most likely talk about tvOS, watchOS, MacOS and iOS, and probably in that order (the rebrand of OS X to MacOS is also one of the few rumors swirling). With each platform OS, I hope Apple announces something genuinely interesting and forward-thinking.
Apple may bring Siri to the Mac, which is fine, there will surely be more APIs and tweaks to iOS, and watchOS will probably get additional complications and Watch faces, but I want something more.
Continuity for OS X and Extensions for iOS significantly moved both platforms forward. The user experience and level of productivity one could derive from Apple devices, and the access given to developers through Extensions, were the last great leaps I can remember.
I hope Apple announces some significant updates to iOS and MacOS. Even if the updates rely on developers and don't seem immediately exciting, it's time for Apple to up its game in the software and services arena.