Apple Announces iOS 11 with Many New Features Including AR

At its Worldwide developer conference, Apple announced many new features for iOS 11 that will be coming to the consumer in the fall of this year. For now, the features will be made available to developers so that new apps will be readily available once the software update is being pushed out. The new operating system supports not only the iPad or the iPhone, but both, even though some features are more useful on one or the other.

The press release mentions Core ML, HomeKit, SiriKit, and Music Kit as the main extensions for developers. Core ML adds a framework for machine learning that runs on the local hardware instead of using internet connections. HomeKit allows an easier way to authenticate devices through software. SiriKit allows developers to integrate Siri into their apps and integrates into more applications such as to-do lists, notes and reminders, and on-line banking. MusicKit allows developers to integrate Apple Music into their apps. There are many more new features including Apple Pay, multitasking, Apple Pencil, Siri, camera, and many more.

One of the key topics is the integration of AR into iOS 11. Apple showed some apps using the new ARKit that will allow developers access to the latest computer vision technologies to build detailed and compelling, Apple said, virtual content on top of real-world scenes for interactive gaming, immersive shopping experiences, industrial design and more.

Analyst Comment

Like every year, the next OS release promises a large number of new features that Apple believes will leapfrog the competition again, until the competition releases their OS update of course. This is now the time for Apple to get ahead again and the promised features show Apple opening more function in the iOS to their developers to keep up with their competition. In addition, we got a first glimpse at how Apple wants to enter the AR field. As expected and not how some had hoped, there will be no AR glasses in the near future even though they were teased at the press conference, All AR content was based on iPads and iPhones, following closely in the footsteps of Pokemon Go. On the other hand, Apple was always very good at keeping things secret until the actual release date. So there is still hope for Apple iGlasses later in this year or at least in this decade. (NH)