The upcoming iPhone 8 may not have attended the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) alongside 5,000 of the world’s top software developers this June. Its absence is no cause for alarm, as the 3-day long event rarely rolls out hardware updates. The notorious new generation, however, was there in spirit — in a way.
During the WWDC 2017’s keynote, Tim Cook announced the latest operating system, iOS 11. It’s slated for release this fall, which strengthens rumors of an autumnal debut of the iPhone 8. Thanks to conflicting rumors and unsubstantiated leaks, the phone itself surrounded in mystery, but Cook’s keynote helps to flesh out the details of its operating system giving critics an idea of what it could mean for the upcoming generation.
Apple Focuses on Machine Learning
At the core of the update lies Apple’s main priority: machine learning. In building an operating system and an AI that’s both faster and more powerful than any other iteration, the Cupertino-based company hopes to create a smart, adaptive iPhone. Deep within the code of iOS 11 is the ability to have ongoing contextual awareness of its operations, your immediate actions, and your long-term habits. That means it should start adapting its behavior to your preferences and routines.
This line of thought isn’t necessarily trail blazing. The Galaxy S8’s AI, Bixby, is built with pattern recognition that pushes reminders of upcoming events as well as suggesting particular apps or services according to the time and your previous habits. Hopefully Apple will be able to fine-tune this process so the iPhone is capable of taking over basic daily tasks.
Improved Camera Experience
This intense level of awareness will extend to your camera and Photos app. The Memories feature will be able to read contextual clues captured in your pictures and automatically classify them according to subject. That means it should be able to identify the people or setting of your snaps and organize them into a quick video you can watch whenever you want to reflect on a special person or event in your life.
The camera’s formatting promises to strengthen the quality of the pictures taken. Apple’s dropping the typical JPEG picture for the high-efficiency image file (HEIF). In addition to performing better under poor light conditions, the HEIF promises up to twice as much compression. That means your photos will take up less storage without compromising on quality. More importantly, it means image file size will no longer have such an effect on the initial picture quality.
Compatible with More than the 8
Though the official roll out of the iOS will coincide with the launch of the iPhone 8, users who don’t plan on sinking money into upgrading their phones will be able to experience the new system. iOS 11 will be compatible with the iPhone 5S, SE, 6 line, and 7 line. That means if you made the jump to the 7 last fall, you aren’t missing out on anything but the novelty of a gleaming new handset.
Even that can be resolved. If your Jet Black finish is looking a little worn, it can be easily fixed with the application of a vinyl skin from the designers over at dbrand. They use premium quality 3M vinyl to provide a superior fit around your handset without having to rely on annoying adhesive goo. It also means the iPhone 7 skins from dbrand add considerable grip, anti-scratch protection, and texture to your phone. As the only manufacturers of 3M vinyl iPhone skins, they can guarantee exclusive finishes. It’s easy to convince yourself you have a brand new phone when you see your 7 wrapped up in bamboo, concrete, or dragon skin.
As for anyone with anything older than the 5S, the iOS 11 update won’t be available. Unfortunately that means they’ll be stuck using iOS 10 — an operating system that Apple will no longer support with security, performance, and de-bugging updates. This will leave them vulnerable to security issues and performance glitches that will antiquate these generations.
Luckily, WWDC has given us a long heads up. With several months until iOS 11 is slated to hit our devices, we have more than enough time to determine if we need to make the jump to a newer generation.
Whether it heralds an exciting update to your phone’s abilities or the death knell of your older generation the new iOS 11 promises big changes to the iPhone. We can’t wait to see what those changes are.