Apple’s developers were hard at work preparing for the annual WWDC when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Instead of attending the event in the state-of-the-art Steve Jobs Theater, developers and business professionals will tune in to WWDC 2020 remotely beginning June 22, hoping to hear the following announcements from Apple that will make it easier for them to do their jobs during the pandemic.
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1. New operating systems
Everyone anticipates that Apple will introduce iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOS 10.16, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14; for all of these platforms, business professionals expect Apple to announce quicker performance, refreshed interfaces, and better battery life.
Prepare yourself for the phrase “contact tracing.” Baked into iOS updates will surely be new features better enabling iPhone users to track and trace their COVID-19 exposure. I expect Apple will do so in a way that is secure and socially acceptable.
SEE: Why coronavirus contact tracing apps face privacy and security challenges (TechRepublic)
2. New hardware
Every year Apple introduces newer, faster, sleeker hardware. Macs get thinner. Desktops get faster. New architectures introduce improved performance. That’s all expected, and Apple will likely deliver with the announcement Macs will soon feature Arm CPUs, which already power the company’s iOS devices and an updated iMac.
But more is needed this year. Against the backdrop of widespread political unrest, an economic recession, and a global public health crisis, the standard hardware announcements won’t prove as newsworthy or feel as momentous, which brings us to the third expectation.
SEE: Where and how to watch Apple WWDC 2020 on June 22 (TechRepublic)
3. More and easier collaboration
Here’s where need crosses into wish list territory. In March 2020, many workers across the world started working from home. All of a sudden, sharing and collaboration features baked into Pages, Numbers, and Keynote via iCloud became much more important as office workers struggled to find effective ways to continue working as if they were in the office.
Sharing and developing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations remotely is helpful, especially now when organizations continue working with social distancing restrictions in effect in some locations and outright prohibitions on assembling applying in others. The ability to collaborate while developing sophisticated diagrams, producing project plans, brainstorming concepts, and whiteboarding new initiatives is a critical need. If Apple introduces a creative solution boasting such new features and capabilities, it would be welcome news and help the company capture some of the cloud market gains Microsoft 365 is making with its OneNote, Planner, Project, and OneDrive alternatives, among others. Until then, Apple users can choose clunky collections of disparate but individually effective tools, including Asana, BaseCamp, iCloud, MindManager, and the Omni Group suite, among others. But wouldn’t it be awesome if Apple introduced capable, iCloud-integrated alternatives of its own?
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4. A robust videoconferencing platform
Microsoft Teams and Zoom videoconferencing application use and adoption skyrocketed beginning in March 2020. Apple needs its own corresponding videoconferencing platform–it’s time.
I’m talking about more that just FaceTime. As an owner of a managed service provider with more than 90 employees that found a majority of staff needing to collaborate, innovate, and continue operations while working remotely with little notice, I know first-hand the value of a video conferencing platform that also supports file sharing and storage, screen sharing, and scheduling. Just imagine how intuitive and functional Apple could make such a solution.
Admittedly, a new and robust teleconferencing solution on short notice is an unreasonable expectation, but extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, and Apple’s just the company to pull off such a feat.