Apple’s annual developer conference (Apple WWDC) was June 13-17 of this year. This is the time of year all of the upcoming features and enhancements are typically announced. While some of the features are trivial, here is what I’m looking forward to from a business productivity perspective with iOS 10, macOS, and watchOS 3.

Better Keyboard

The default QuickType keyboard on the iPhone has always received some much deserved hate for being behind the times. In the coming update to iOS, the contextual awareness is getting much stronger. Based on the conversation in messages, the keyboard (and Siri) will auto suggest items to type.

Some examples of items the update will provide when typing are; current location, intelligent scheduling, calendar availability, recent addresses, and item lookup.

Google is well aware of the hate for the stock keyboard on iOS. Seeing how strong Google has nailed the experience on the Android side, they recently released the Gboard keyboard for iOS. Give it a look until this update gets released.

Siri Integration with macOS and Apps

At long last, Siri is making its way to the Mac. Now the digital assistant of the Apple universe will be able to answer research questions, schedule events and reminders, find files, and more on your computer. Many might see this as long overdue. The Microsoft team beat them to the punch with Cortana already existing on Windows, Android, and iOS but of course the lack of feature parity is clear.

Mac Siri

Furthermore, apps are finally able to take advantage of Siri. If you need to call an Uber, ask Siri to. If you need to send a Slack message to a colleague, ask Siri to. It will be exciting to see what the developers come up with.

Maps Gets Smarter

Oh Maps. Ironically, nothing makes an Apple fan think of Google more than Apple Maps. Apple has decided to completely overhaul Maps to address some of the glaring issues. Directions will now include traffic, rides with taxis, and other services will now be bookable directly in app. Also, suggestions will be provided for locations based on known travel plans, searches, and more.

Apple Maps WWDC

Auto Unlock

On the Mac side, assuming you are all in for the Apple universe and have an Apple Watch, you will be able to unlock your Mac automatically. You won’t have to type your password as the Mac will know it is you based on your watch being in proximity. Again, Windows beat Apple to the punch with the Windows Hello. While Hello is not available on all computers (yet), not all Mac users have an Apple Watch either.

Apple File System (APFS)

Hooray for encryption! While this is probably one of the more technical changes, it is a huge benefit for both business and consumer users. The new file system allows more robust, native disk encryption for securing your data at rest. The file system is also optimized for speed when using Solid State hard drives (SSD) which is what all MacBooks use these days.

With malware for Macs on the rise, it is also great to see the new Snapshots feature of APFS. Older copies of files are retained. If the nasty bugs get in and mess with your data, you can restore the files quickly from a snapshot. If you want to nerd out on what APFS is all about, check out this ZDNet article. This is one of my favorite Apple WWDC announcements for sure.

Universal Clipboard

Items will now be able to be copied and pasted from phone, to computer, and back. This feature really is pretty simple but a really nice timesaver for the multi taskers and road warriors. Select anything on your device with a long press and copy. Then on the other device you can long press and paste from iCloud. As you guessed, iCloud is required to use the feature.

Scribble Replies on Watch

Typing out replies on a watch isn’t exactly fun. In watchOS 3 you will now be able to draw, or “Scribble”, replies. Simply draw out the letters with your finger to write out words. This was recently announced for Android Wear watches as well.

Faster Watch Apps

On many lists for reasons why folks stopped using their Apple Watch you will commonly find app speed near the top. Having to switch to the iPhone to do a task because the watch is too slow is not good. Apple is well aware of this and the update is going to provide near instant app launching from the watch. The feature is called “Instant Launch” and makes things seven times snappier.

Which features announced at Apple WWDC are you most looking forward to and/or believe will make your daily life easier? It is always exciting to see how our colleagues and clients use smart devices to complement their workflow. At Blue Collar Computing we provide Mobile Device Management and collaboration solutions for SMBs every day. If you would like to have a quick 15 minute call to discuss using Apple products for your workflow, reach out!