In the months leading up to Apple’s 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference, the internet has provided several theories for what could be next for iOS developers, but one thing is clear: Apple wants to change how we use our smartphones.
On Monday, Apple will hold its annual WWDC in San Jose, where it will reveal the software strategy for the remainder of 2018. Whereas past conferences launched upgrades that would ensure Apple fans stayed glued to their smart devices, it appears that the company is growing increasingly concerned with smartphone habits and the addictive nature of the company’s own innovations.
There’s a chance CEO Tim Cook will acknowledge past criticism regarding addictive technology and how Apple plans to change our relationship with these devices. And whether it’s the rumored iPhone SE 2 or an earlier model, the way we use iPhones is going to change. Here’s how things might be different:
1. We could start talking to Siri more
Apple’s voice-activated Siri assistant has fallen behind compared to Google Assistant and Apple will have to improve the A.I. and voice recognition features to stay competitive. In April, the company poached Google’s former chief of search and A.I., John Giannandrea, which was seen as an effort to improve Siri’s functionality.
Weeks before WWDC, Inverse and Apple users across the internet spotted an Easter-egg promotional campaign for its assistant. When asked specific questions about WWDC, Siri now brags about “getting a brand-new voice” and “getting a lot smarter” in the near future, which is a pretty bold clue that changes are coming.
2. We could start using our iPhones less.
That may sound counterintuitive for a company strategy, but Apple took note when investors criticized the addictive nature of Apple’s devices in January.
Since then, Apple engineers have been working on an initiative called Digital Health that is expected to offer apps and other tools that will help users monitor how much time they spend on their devices. It’s likely some of these tools will soon be available for Apple users.
3. Reality might become a little more augmented
Some of the rumors surrounding the iPhone SE 2 feel a little too speculative, like a wireless charger, but one thing is certain: Tim Cook feels that augmented reality will revolutionize smart devices.
Thanks to a company leak in April, Apple users are already awaiting the augmented reality headset known as “T288” and company patents reveal the potential for better graphics, less eye strain, and overall a better user experience. While the AR headset might not launch until 2020, Cook is expected to make augmented reality a bigger feature across devices. It’s rumored that the company has been planning a new mode for ARKit that would let users play AR games against each other in a shared virtual environment.
Augmented reality, however, is one of Apple’s most heavily guarded projects, so fans will have to wait until Monday to know for sure.