Google has Project Tango for Android devices and, one day, headgear like Google Glass.
Way back in 2010, when the iPad first debuted, I called it the third revolution of computing. Thankfully, there's a way to do that, but you'll need a Mac or Windows computer running the latest iTunes version. But Monday's Worldwide Developers Conference was the first clear demonstration of the company's work on augmented reality, which superimposes graphics and other information onto a person's view of the world.
That won't be a game changer right away of course, and it certainly won't deliver the kind of jaw-dropping experience being developed by companies like Magic Leap.
The limited scope of Siri's commands disappointed many developers, said Brian Roemmele, a developer who attended the announcement.
Apple and other large companies "tend to make improvements at the margin", said Larry Gillick, a former Siri speech scientist who serves as chief technology officer at a startup called Semantic Machines. Google sells Home for US$180, promoting the smart speakers with discounts. The update should make engaging with apps and moving between them more intuitive for the user.
Apple instructed developers to start supporting HEIF and HEVC in their applications Thursday.
It brings Apple into direct competition with such offerings as Amazon's Echo and Google's Home. There's a new "smart invert" option which, unlike the standard option that inverts all the colors on the display, does not flip the colors for photos and other media. Thankfully, Apple is giving us the ability to go into those files and not only select the best frame, but also loop them (AKA insta-gif) and "Bounce" them - which results in a Boomerang-like effect. Though HomePod only supports Apple Music and nothing else.
Apple is taking aim at Amazon's Echo. You can hit record direct from the revamped Control Centre whenever you want. Pitching it as a digital assistant instead of a music player will only open up Apple to more criticism about how it is falling behind in AI compared with Google and Amazon.
What's far more debatable is how much the average consumer values high-fidelity audio, and how much they're willing to pay for it. Apple said that comparable systems comprised of high-fidelity Wi-Fi speakers paired with a smart virtual assistant can cost anywhere from $400 to $700, which it used to justify the $350 price tag. Hoping it's not too late to the crowded voice-controlled speaker party, Apple seems to be making a big bet on its own technology and software with the HomePod.
iOS 11 unlocks the full potential of iPad. It was on the iPad. The updates were criticized for, among other things, allowing the app to send Uber location data even when it isn't in use. The iPad Pro supports HDR video, while the new iMac supports 10-Buit graphics.
But Apple is inching closer toward its ultimate goal of creating a super thin and portable laptop replacement, and iOS 11 feels like a huge milestone. "It checks whether it's a big room or a room with lots of soft stuff in it, and adjusts how it plays and in what direction".
These are only some of the new features that iOS 11 will introduce come fall. It's impossible to tell which wild idea will actually end up taking off and which will fizzle.