Mobile Monday: WWDC 2016 Edition

Posted Jun 13, 2016

In this edition of Mobile Monday, we’re covering the latest news from Apple’s WWDC event taking place today, from raise to wake and universal clipboards to Siri for developers and app extensions.

Raise to Wake
The lock screen is receiving a few updates with iOS 10, including a new raise to wake system that will pull up lock screen notifications based on the simple gesture of lifting the phone. By the time the phone’s screen is within view, the notification pane will be open.

Arguably, this feature was added because fingerprint authentication was causing most users to unlock their phones just a split second after lighting up the phone screen via the phone button. While the gesture-based logic is simple and sensical, it is still interesting, as it is yet another indication that the trend of gesture-based design is gaining traction.

Siri for Developers
Previously, Siri was only functional in a meaningful way with native iOS apps. However, with iOS 10, Siri will be unlocked, allowing developers to create third party app integrations. As a result, Siri will support commands for third party apps, allowing users to quickly engage with apps without ever formally initializing an app session.

Universal Clipboard
Understanding that users are typically shuffling between multiple devices, today Apple unveiled a syncing & sharing system that it is dubbing as its universal clipboard. The universal clipboard feature will allow users to quickly share assets and content between their devices. While Airplay already facilitates relatively easy file transfer between devices, universal clipboard will eliminate the need for finding secondary devices, sharing with them, and accepting the transfer. Instead, user authentication across the devices will ensure that what’s copied on one device is only paste-able on approved devices.

App Extensions
Apple is releasing a new suite of tools that will enable mobile app developers to create extensions for existing native apps. During the WWDC press conference, the examples given were extensions for the Maps app. With extensions, users can effectively pull up a card with third party app content while still in their native app. For developers, this increases engagement potential with their apps, though it does make session metrics a bit murky.

Smartwatch Authentication
Understanding that our devices are nearly always with us — particularly if it’s a smartwatch — Apple unveiled a new authentication system for their laptops that will allow users to skip the traditional password entry. Instead, if a user is authenticated via their AppleWatch, the laptop will recognize this and will skip the traditional username and password requirements to unlock.

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