Tomorrow will mark the beginning of the Worldwide Developers Conference, where Apple will announcers latest developments expected to be released in the fall. There has been plenty of buzz leading up to the conference about the rumoured predictions, and as everyone shares their best guesses, it’s time for me to chime in as well.
To begin, Apple’s most widely common product, the iPhone, has seen very little progress or updates over the past year. The developments that were made for the iPhone 5 and 5C were minimal, and perhaps even inconvenient as the most notable changes were simply a larger screen and a smaller charging port, supposedly beneficial for protecting the phones’ interior. But for the common user this change proved to be more of a hassle as most of the iPhone accessories one may have accumulated now all need an adapter to be used for the iPhone 5- and not the mention the inconvenience of no longer being able to rely on the fact that someone somewhere will always have an extra charger on hand. One of Apple’s top competitors for the iPad has been Microsoft with the tablet. Microsoft touts an edge on the iPad as it allows more abilities for multitasking and Microsoft isn’t shy in advertising this advantage. Consumers are nervous with anticipation to see if Apple will implement any multitasking capabilities. Most rumoured is a pinch-view home screen that would allow users to preview an app without opening it fully. By simply pinching and expanding the app, users can preview the basics of the app without opening it fully. That would mean you can have your sports app open with live updates at the same time you’re watching the stock market, checking the weather, and texting back a friend. The logistics of how this will work is still uncertain leaving us questioning how the homes screen will function. When an app is zoomed, what will happen to the other apps on the screen who now have no room? Will they shrink? Will they go to the next page? We hope not the latter as it can become confusin and frustrating to see the home screen’s order and organisation go to waste with all the shifting around. My prediction relies on a bleak future where there isn’t a multitasking capability like we have seen in Microsoft’s products because, as we know, Apple prides itself on its creative innovation, and I have doubts that the company will blindly follow suit and conform to hand-me-down upgrades. If Apple were to implement multitasking, I imagine it will be nothing like we have seen in any other product. The same goes for the iPad’s rumoured split-screen option, similar to a desktop’s ability to make several smaller square window views on a page. If we see this update, iPads may make owning a laptop or desktop obsolete for the regular consumer.
For Apple iTunes music, we can definitely expect to see changes as Apple has just recently bought Beats music headphones and Beats music streaming service. Previously having only 250,000 users in the US, Beats music streaming service hardly competed with some of the bigger dogs such as Spotify who has one billion users worldwide. However, teamed with Apple’s collection of users, the two might merge beautifully combining to gain more users and more variety. iTunes Radio gives the advantage of discovering new music in your specific interest easy and making owning that song afterwards even easier. iTunes has the largest collection of music compared to its competitor’s collection, however we are seeing a shift in consumer interest. Now very few people actually own all of the music they like. Most only own a small fraction of what they like, and stream the rest from other sites such as Spotify, Pandora, etc. Beats music is all about streaming and offers suggestions as well for other music you might like. I predict that since pairing with Beats, the music streaming for iTunes will see a redesign in how music is consumed as the focus will become more about streaming and discovering and less about listening to own. How Apple will work out a deal with artist to ensure they are paid every time a person listens will be the telling factor on how much change we will see. We can hope to see forward to a fresh revamped iTunes, while iTunes can hope to see a spike in users.
And lastly, I predict we will see a new Apple smart watch much simpler, sleeker, and actually “watch-like” unlike the bulky iPod shuffle that can be turned into the Apple watch accessory. A band-like watch seems to be most fitting and in line with the company’s latest technology offering a touch screen band, but this time a lot less square and much more manageable and natural for a watch. Because if Apple’s use of the finger scanner home button on the iPhone 5, I predict a similar feature on the new watch allowing it to be either a lock and unlock button as well as a health monitor. A feature to be expected on the new phones and iPads is an health tracking app, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the same app come with the watch. If they take advantage, they could sell the most convenient accessory for exercise Apple lovers if they produce a small, sleek watch that can hold music, check health and heart rates, and a GPS tracking ability specifically beneficial for runners who hate to carry a phone for hours or dislike bulky accessories used to hold iPods and iPhones.
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