Wednesday, September 13, 2017

What You Might Have Missed During Yesterday’s Apple Event

Tim Cook is an alien! Ok, maybe not, but he did play one on stage at yesterday’s Apple Event via the new “Animoji”. Although a bit silly, the Animoji was born out of the extreme due diligence that the Apple Team has taken to ensure that the facial recognition software that is built into the new iPhone is robust and tested thoroughly. I could write about each new feature they announced, and probably get in a great debate with readers over whether or not Apple is “innovating enough”, however I would rather reflect on the implications of all that Apple unveiled for their new devices and the upcoming iOS 11. Regardless of their current mission statement as a company, Apple is a customer experience company.

Today, Apple’s mission statement is far from that envisioned by Steve Jobs: “To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.” What I witnessed through yesterday’s event was Apple’s continued focus on that underlying principle. Not only did they kick off the event with topics such as the Today at Apple program and the recent creation of Creative Pros to help individuals integrate everyday life with digital technologies, they also announced the Apple Heart Study. As the event went on, Apple also (subtly) displayed the underlying vision to streamline the integration of digital content with the physical world.

Allowing you to unlock your phone just by looking at it…very cool! And seamless. The seamless integration did not stop there. Here are a couple of other items that Apple unveiled with the release of iOS 11:

  • ARKit: A new framework that allows developers to create augmented reality experiences by blend digital objects with the physical world
  • NFC: Apple opened up the NFC antenna to other applications, allowing the popular method (used today most notably by Apple Pay) to proliferate to other abundant use cases
  • QR: Apple added a built-in QR scanner into the native camera, again allowing easier access to digital properties without the need to download anything

That’s a lot of exciting, customer-centric news crammed into one Apple Event. But in my opinion, some of the most exciting Apple news wasn’t even touched upon at yesterday’s event–Apple most recently started implementing service workers in Safari (WebKit), a key tenet of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). Service Workers, amongst other things, allow for offline connectivity for digital web properties. Once again, Apple is proving their focus on their customers and making it easier for consumers to get the most out of the digital world, anywhere and anytime they desire.

All in all, these exciting announcements show promise that Apple is focused on making integration from the physical to digital world quick, streamlined, and frictionless. Although Apple has proven again that they know how to design products, yesterday’s event at its core was all about making life easier for you and I when it comes to consuming digital web content. Apple made this quite clear with each announcement yesterday: Customer experience is at the heart of their mission. No, Tim Cook is (most likely) not an alien, however he did demonstrate that he might be the first true CXO: Chief Experience Officer.