Tuesday April 03 03:19 am
iOS 6 Coming soon!
When is the 'Best' time to buy an Apple Product? http //TimetoBuyApple.com (a thelatestech website) It seems often that Apple will introduce a new feature or technology, keep it fairly closed off from developer access for a cycle and then release an API for it after they learn a little more about how people really use it and work out many of the initial kinks in the system. Notification Center seems very ripe for this kind of API access. Apple has had a full release cycle to gather user reactions and think about how to design a really clean API for developers to hook into. Of course 3rd party apps can already get their notifications listed in Notification Center simply by using the same old Notification API that has been around since iOS 3. However, there is currently no way to further customize the display and do anything fancy like the weather or stock widgets. There are already a lot of nice additions and hacks for Notification Center in the jailbreak world (which also it seems is a good indicator of what frameworks and APIs Apple is likely to open up next). This seems like a nice, low-risk, natural progression of a fairly straightforward technology that has already had some time to grow up a bit by itself in the wild. 80% Siri API Siri was the hot new feature of iOS 5 exclusive to the iPhone 4S. For 2 weeks everybody swooned over it and would use it to impress their friends with interesting natural language queries like "Where's my wife?" or "What's the volume of 63 grams of barium?". Then we all hit the limits of what Siri could do and she became just another feature. Like Notification Center, Siri has had a full release cycle for Apple to study user response and nail down the user experience. It is time now to unleash the real potential that Siri promised us and allow developers to hook into it. If generalized into two broad categories, Siri can accomplish two different kinds of tasks. First, she can answer questions by querying a web service like Yelp, Wolfram Alpha, etc... Secondly, she can perform simple device-local application tasks like create reminders, create calendar items, call phone numbers and send messages. It seems like Apple would want to vet any sort of web service that all Siri users could potentially smash with traffic and so the more likely route of opening up Siri would probably lie in attaching APIs to performing simple actions or application local queries. Imagine if you could ask your turn-by-turn direction app for directions with your voice instead of typing addresses or if you could tell your stock trading program to perform certain actions by voice (that could lead to some hilarious headlines, just be sure to always listen to Siri's confirmation first). This kind of an API seems like it would be fairly difficult to design correctly and would probably require more of the developer than something like Notification Center. I expect that at a minimum, Apple will initially have a few cookie cutter commands where developers can plug in their own simple verbs and nouns. "Siri, compose tweet 'had cereal for breakfast today'". "Siri, how many (insert virtual game currency here) do I have?". Developers can instantly leverage Apple's voice recognition tech and give their users access to all the information and tasks that their applications offer. This seems like the natural progression for where Siri has to go next if she is going to keep distinguishing herself from competing assistant programs. Much like the advent of the App Store itself, it seems like Apple is poised to spark another app revolution which will cement its platform by harnessing the power of it's developers once again. By all accounts (from the rumor sites) this one almost happened. Technically there is nothing stopping it. iOS 5 already brought us deep Twitter integration and from what it looks like from the outside, most of the work was already done (see Ping etc...). Instead things got bogged down on the business side of things as they often do, and after some heavy Jobs vs. Zuckerberg meetings it appears like it was no longer meant to be. That is not to say that it can't happen in the future, which is why some people have high hopes that it will arrive in iOS 6. I however feel that as time as passed, distances have grown instead of shrunk. These days Facebook seems to be the girl everybody wants to dance with, and it seems every day they and Microsoft continue to get cozier with each other. I wouldn't preclude this from happening sometime in the future, but iOS 6? Too soon.