Hey Siri, Give Us a Hint
On 9 September 2015, Apple made 3 big product announcements (summary here): the much rumoured iPad Pro, the new Siri-powered Apple TV, and the expected iPhone 6s/+.
What jumped out at me is the newly announced Apple TV. Back in my 2012 post on Revolutionary User Interfaces, I wrote that Apple TV will gain Siri support as its main user interface:
I believe that the “Apple TV” in its eventual successful form will have Siri power a large part of its UI. To control our living rooms, the Mouse, the Click Wheel (remote controls), and Multi-touch are largely limiting and inadequate. Google TV has shown us how unpopular these input-methods are. Siri, with our voices, will become the controlling interface for these technologies that provide entertainment and services, throughout the household.
With yesterday’s announcement, it became clearer that we are moving closer to the day where our voices can take a greater role in controlling computer interfaces.
Another exciting prospect with the new Apple TV is the introduction of an App Store for the tvOS. The television is a huge canvas for collaborative and individual couch gaming, as seen from the very good sales of Xbox, PS, and Wii, of a few years ago.
Unfortunately, these mainstream consoles have dropped the ball when it comes to content distribution. Seriously, who still heads out to a store to buy DVDs? The makers of Xbox and PS have only recently understood this by having respective online stores for purchasing and downloading games, but the consoles out there are not originally designed for primarily downloading new content, due to their limited internal storage capacities. I know add-on external storage options exist, but they are cumbersome.
With 32 GB of storage as basic on the new Apple TV, I believe there will be a huge potential for it to be the next console platform. Code once, and have your game logic run on 3 different platforms: iOS (iPhones, iPads), Mac OS X, tvOS (Apple TV), is a rather attractive proposition for developers. The Windows gaming market-share may not be the biggest after all.
3D Touch is the obvious (but difficult to implement) evolution of MultiTouch, and no, you don’t have to run out to get it yet; it’s not revolutionary. Having read “How Apple Built 3D Touch” by Bloomberg, I’m convinced that this technology will not be easily copied by competitors in the near future, leaving Apple to define and set new expectations of touch screen interaction paradigms.
Overall, I would say that this is an iOS roadmap event, for customers and developers alike. The future of Apple and these technologies laid out are a vast canvas, awaiting developers to exercise their imagination and coding prowess. The holy grail of a healthy platform would be user-generated content, allowing a (relatively-)free market of demand and supply to fuel and sustain the platform and its growth.
Apple as a company has a very sustainable near-to-mid-term future. I am quite pleased.
Disclosure: I own AAPL shares.