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All posts tagged WWDC

Augmented Reality Now

Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality (AR/VR/XR). There are already a slew of devices, headsets, and mobile apps for the niche.

We all know hardware is both labor and capital intensive. You only need to look at the blogosphere spin on Magic Leap and others to know that we haven’t fully arrived at consumer ready, daily wearables to replace our phones or laptops.

Augmented Reality - Hololens1Augmented Reality - Devices

Full disclosure: I am a former Magic Leap employee. I don’t agree with all the hot takes in many tech blogs on what went right or wrong at the company.

The New Browser Wars

Today we are probably going to hear and read much more from Apple on this at WWDC and while this is going on, Facebook are pushing hard to launch their AR/XR. Anyone who has been following CVPR (Computer Vision Event) knows that the technology and innovation are flourishing and consumers are only going to benefit from the “new browser/mobile/computer wars”.








I don’t understand any of this …

For the uninaugurated, Augmented (or Mixed Reality) superimposes digital content, apps etc on our real world thru wearable computing devices or our smartphones. We still see the real world but we are adding layers of data to it.

Virtual Reality takes us into a world entirely constructed in the digital plane and any content or apps we see are there. We do not see the real world or interact with it.

Augmented Reality gets interesting in how we interact with the real world and our AR content. Sensors on these devices allow perception of depth, object, and spatial recognition and that our apps and content (preferably) adhere to the rules of physics.

Augmented Reality - Scotty


If our personal computers had webcams, and our smartphones have cameras, accelerometers and gyroscopes then these wearable AR & VR devices have these and other sensors to provide the data needed for our interactions.

The Warptest POV

As I have already said, the form factor of headsets has not delivered a mainstream consumer experience… yet. Google Glass had its own challenges and limitations. When headsets evolve into glasses-like wearables or lighter headsets then we will be ready for primetime.

If you want to get started in seeing Augmented Reality, then if your iOS / Android supports ARCore / ARKit you can Google a slew of animals and then see them in your room alongside your furniture, kids etc. Another alternative is simply go to the App / Play Store and search for AR Tape Measure and try any of the apps with a high rating.

Augmented Reality is here. It is going to change how we view the world and wearable AR may replace our smartphones and laptops.

Apple WWDC 2017 Kicked Off Today…

Today Apple launched their annual conference and here are a few major announcements that should excite anyone. I’m usually the first person to be unimpressed by Apple but heck the sheer volume of news is overwhelming.

WWDC 2017 Hot News

ARkit: a series of APIs for Augmented Reality on IOS. Apple demonstrated marker-less spatial awareness on stage. The APIs will have Unity support.

Revamped App Store : this is touted as the biggest revamp of the Store in 9 years.

IOS 11: this is being launched in beta for Devs who sign up for it. The OS has a slew of new and improved features including a mode to detect when you are driving for safety.

WWDC 2017 - IOS 11 feature list

New iMacs built for VR: Apple returns to the glory days of iMacs with powerhouse machines that are designed with spec to support VR. These iMacs are not the candy colored, plastic bubble desktops from the late 90’s. The design is not a lot different from last Apple desktops but it’s what’s inside that counts.

Mac OS High Sierra with Metal for VR built-in: hardware is important but the OS has to provide for the performance demands of VR.

XCode 9 announces over-your-LAN run / install / test /debug to your IOS devices wirelessly.

WWDC 2017 - Xcode wireless development

The Warptest POV

  • ARKit – does their markerless demo spell the end for AR trackers? If so, are Apple going to let it die a natural death or will they decide to restrict IOS AR apps to their APIs?
  • App Store revampbesides the App Store currently being a colossal pain for app discovery, how will these changes impact App Ranking. If there is something new to learn here, then the quickest studies will get a leg up on app rankings.
  • IOS 11 – the list of features is extensive but can I yell “finally” over driving mode and screen recording? Even though this is unquestionably a Beta release, expect the usual fear, angst and loathing as fanboi’s fight overtaxed servers, download and then cry foul at Beta meaning buggy.
  • iMacs with VR support & Metal for VR on Mac OS High SierraThis apparently needs a high-end Graphics card connected to the iMac / MacBook by cable to Thunderbolt port. Conclusion: Kludgy design for Apple but this might be the only way they could have delivered in time for WWDC.


In a nutshell, these are just some of the highlights. If you are a Mac or iPhone owner or developer then you should be reading up on what’s coming. I’m not going to grant Apple that they have finally innovated under Tim Cook but WWDC 2017 is going to shake things up and that’s good for Apple and good stimulus for competition.

Update: with the announcement that Apple have added screen splitting, drag and drop and “welcome to the 21st century” a File Explorer app, IOS 11 gets one step closer to Windows.

That’s fine, homage is the greatest admission that your competition got it right.

Game On.

WWDC 2016 Is Here…

I’m about as excited by WWDC 2016 as I was by their March 18th Product Launch. If Apple launches something innovative or ground breaking, it will be despite the management of Tim Cook. Not because of it.

WWDC 2016 - case in point

Everyone and their brother in the blogosphere are making predictions about what we can expect to see from Apple.

Don’t get me wrong, I want Apple to deliver radical, inspiring products. I want them to yell from the rooftops,

“Game on Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Amazon.”

What’s Your Vision, Apple?

Tim Cook has not delivered a clear vision for Apple the company. Not the way Satya Nadella has at Microsoft.

  • Are we expecting new feature laden versions or sweeping bug fixes for iOS / OS X?
  • Can we expect better development tools? Will they be subscription or not?
  • Will there be thinner or bigger devices launched or a total reimagining of MacBook?
  • Will Apple finally get their thumb out and compete for the colossal Cloud computing market against Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure?
  • Are Apple going to jump into the Bot revolution like just about everyone else and come on Apple, Augmented and Virtual Reality?
  • Most important, which apps will Apple shamelessly have copied in time for WWDC?

Apple seems to tease us with rationed tastings of their vision but no overall mission statement, why?

As Apple announces beta versions of various software, developers will go thru their annual 7 stages of coping:

  1. An Apple engineer leaves a new (unreleased) iPhone in a bar.
  2. WWDC 2016 announces the new betas: try to download and site is overloaded by requests.
  3. Downloads start working but lag is awful.
  4. Downloads of OS / Development tools / other software in beta installed to work devices and users begin reporting all the bugs.
  5. Apple reminds people these are beta versions.
  6. Remembering that this is just like last year.
  7. Guilt, anger, recrimination, despair and multiple conversations in Twitter and Facebook over how to roll back.

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The Warptest POV

Apple is THE frontrunner with consumer mobile devices. That said, Apple today is not Apple under Steve Jobs.

Meanwhile, Microsoft are planning a party for developers after WWDC and to truly rain on Apple’s parade, announced their acquisition of LinkedIn today.

Am I annoyed at Apple for not bringing their A Game? Yes. Challenge the market, push your competitors to compete and don’t fall back on the same old successes.

Forget “Game on Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Amazon.”… “Game on APPLE, bring it.”

Blood on the water in the App Store?

The dust from Apple WWDC is only starting to settle and many a startup who had an App in the App Store is discovering that the announcements yesterday may have made their contribution to the App Store redundant. One example of this that everyone in my twitter feed cited is the marvelous whose social GPS and mapping app may be feeling the heat from Apple implementing their own maps but I’m not so sure.

My question though is why are people acting so surprised?


Let’s refresh our memory how they feel at Apple:

“We’ve been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform.” this was a quote from Steve Jobs in a Download Squad article explaining why they were slapping down Adobe.

App Store - steve-jobs-3g-iphone

“They are lazy. They have all this potential to do interesting things but they just refuse to do it. They don’t do anything with the approaches that Apple is taking, like Carbon. Apple does not support Flash because it is so buggy. Whenever a Mac crashes more often than not it is because of Flash. No one will be using Flash. The world is moving to HTML5,” also credited to Steve Jobs.

Hindsight is always 20-20…

It’s easy to look back and slap your forehead as you see your app “emulated” by new features in iOS6 and wonder why you exclusively developed for the App Store.

If you have to roll the dice and have limited resources for development then of course you are going to gamble on the biggest market share and most popular platform.

Still you have to ask, “What does Apple view as the point of the App Store? Is it what it seems or is it a proving ground to discover and emulate 3rd Party Apps for incorporation as new features into the next iOS?”

The Warptest perspective…

I don’t believe that Apple ever intended to use the App Store in this manner but the analytics that come from consumer habits and purchases are a siren call to market researchers that simply cannot be ignored.

  • In reality no unicorns were slaughtered or dreams were shattered yesterday.
  • There was a huge wakeup call to App Startups that the competition got tougher from yesterday.
  • If you are a Startup or App developer intent on success you had better release a new groundbreaking App shortly after WWDC to gain the maximum ground in your niche.

The knock-on effect is that long term Apple has just given a huge boost to Windows Phone and to an extent Android as well.

app store - smartphones101

Apple are not the only game in town and the Windows Marketplace is virgin territory, until now mostly ignored by many of the same Startups and App Developers who are feeling the pain right now.

App store - The Undiscovered Country

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

(Image courtesy of IMDB’s prodigious movie database)

So if you are reading this and you have ignored Windows Phone development then let me say you continue to do so at your own peril. The Windows Phone SDK download link is .. it’s a brave new world for those willing to seize it, are you?