WWDC22: Matching content with context
Any mobile developer - for or against - would agree: Apple’s WWDC marks a yearly highlight. It’s the moment when Apple shows off their latest and greatest achievements and we get a glance at what they’re preparing themselves for. This year, while watching the Keynote presentation, one common thread continued popping up in our heads: “Content only matters when shown in the right context.”
Live Activities on your home screen
The whole event was littered with examples, but there’s one that stood out: the Live Activities feature. Right now, when you order food, you have to pick up your phone and open up the right app to check the status of your order. The content is there, but the context is off.
Using Live Activities, you now can glance at your home screen and get the same information right away. Once that order is fulfilled, it instantly makes room for new, more relevant content. That’s content in the right context. Our prediction? Every delivery service and transport company will jump on this train to delight their user even more.
Focus Filters to highlight the necessary
Focus Filters allow developers to show or hide certain content, based on the active focus filter. This API can reduce context-switching fatigue significantly. Apple now understands that what is relevant to your user at work, might not be relevant during family time. Even in the same app. Once again: context matters.
Learning from crypto & NFTs
With the new digital ID adoption and sharing of room keys, Apple Wallet takes authentication to a new level. Did they get the sauce from Web3 wallets, like Metamask, that allow users to authenticate, own and share assets? A shared room key in Apple Wallet and an NFT in Metamask are not that far apart, as they both link to an owner, can authenticate a user and have the ability to be shared.
Even more so, Apple now adopts Passkeys. These unique cryptographically derived keys are supposed to prevent phishing attacks and allow for a smoother authentication flow. If Apple were to add common blockchain key-derivation algorithms, adoption wouldn’t be far off.
No Apple Glasses, but a bunch of AR
When it comes to AR, this WWDC had plenty of cool new features as well. Roomplan, for example, allows you to scan entire rooms and create detailed, virtual floor plans. In the field of AR, getting the content right in its context is perhaps even more important. Recognising doors, windows or furniture correctly makes or breaks your AR experience.
The same goes for object detection in images. Getting in-depth information from the LiDAR sensor is useful. But extracting the right information from 2D pixels is where AR can truly shine. In the same category, you now get Live Text capture in a broader array of languages.
So, where does this lead to? Having a fully-fledged feature set is what will make AR actually useful and more than a gadget. It’s clear that Apple is on a long-term mission to leverage the full power of AR and make it a seamless experience for everyone to use.
On the more technical side of things
WWDC wouldn’t be WWDC without some new upgrades to macOS and Swift. If you want to read about the most important changes and announcements, make sure to catch the overview on our developer blog.
Context is everything
What did we learn after watching this year’s dub dub? Rather than asking: “Which user interface is Apple going to build next?” We believe that the more prevalent question to developers is: “Which content is more relevant in which context? And how can user interfaces help with this interaction?” We’ll leave you with that thought.
See you next year!