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3 new features from WWDC21 every technology marketer should know about

Every year, around this week in June, Apple holds their annual conference for developers – WWDC. Most people know this event for the launch of new iPhones (at least it used to) and the new iOS along side it. What most people may not realise however – is this event is mostly for developers to understand the new features being included in Apple’s new OS(s), or “APIs” in developer language.

In the past, these have included features such as Apples “Wallet” functionality, something most of us use on a near daily basis today, or entirely new categories of products such as the Apple Watch, or HomePod. This year was no exception, with a plethora or new features and functionality being released as part of iOS, iPad OS and macOS for developers to build into their app experiences. In this article I plan to run you through 3 features announced yesterday and why you should consider them as part of your next technology marketing campaign.

FaceTime is ready for main time

Apple is determined to turn its FaceTime product, something iPhone users at some point or another have used – into a Zoom competitor. With the ability for Android users to join FaceTime calls (something that along will make the platform significantly more useful), and a new FaceTime “link” functionality, allowing calls to be shared via a link in a calendar invite (just like Zoom) – these really start to position it as more than just a social video chat app.

Apple is also integrating its other products in to the FaceTime experience, using its Spatial audio technology to make “calls feel more natural, comfortable, and lifelike”, so – for instance – if someone is on the left of your screen, you’ll hear their audio come from your left. They’re also integrating features to isolate noise (something I have enjoyed through the wonderful Krisp app for over at year now) and improvements camera quality.

It doesn’t stop there however – with Apple launching a new cross platform feature that could shake up the virtual event space completely..

Shareplay

Apple’s newest API “SharePlay” – allows for these FaceTime calls to include 3rd party content. Envisioned to allow users to share their latest Tiktok’s, YouTube or even Disney+ films together during a call (synchronising the audio and video on each device), this functionality could easily be extended to virtual events or round tables, allowing all participants to discuss and debate in groups during a live talk, or with the new link functionality – split into breakout rooms.

Apply is already showing how the same APIs can be used to share a whiteboard instead of a film, or a presentation instead of a TikTok – again pushing the FaceTime experience to be much closer to a Zoom or Microsoft Teams meeting.

Now – I’m not saying I’m expecting FaceTime to replace these platforms overnight – they would need to go a long way to make that work – but I certainly expect to see FaceTime calls begin to pop up in B2B settings over the next few coming years.

3D Scanning is now easier than every before

This one is a little more random, but I fully expect it to change how we share products as part of our technology marketing. Apple had already released new ways to send and share 3D models in previous iOS releases with their ARKit “Quickview” feature – allowing users to drop in 3D models directly into their own space via their iPhone’s camera. With the latest enhancements in “RealityKit”, Apple’s AR library, they are adding “Object Capture” – a feature to allow the creation of high quality 3D models using a series of photographs. This alone is nothing new, however its inclusion in the Apple ecosystem will mean we’ll see 3D models become the norm, not just on B2C sites such as WayFair, but as part of your next technology campaign – for everything from server cabinets to laptops.

All of this, as well as the usual slew of other Apple updates, such as increased privacy controls, and the ability to send Gifs from our wrists (yes really) continues to cement Apple as an innovation leader in this space. Apple iOS15, iPad OS 15 and macOS “Monterey” will be available for public beta next month (I don’t recommend you try it yet!), and released later on this year in the Fall, normally around the time of any Apple device releases.

If you’ve found this interesting – and would like to hear more about how Apple’s latest operating systems could impact your next technology marketing campaign please follow or drop my a line on twitter on @busbyjon.

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