Tech companies from around the world met in Silicon Valley last weekend to promote the latest software upgrades, and products, from their developers.
Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) showcased its new and improved software, stretching across all Apple devices. Developer previews have already been released; consumer releases will follow.
Mac OS X changed to Mac OS, following suit with iOS, watchOS, and tvOS, making the Mac’s transition into Sierra all the more smooth. The major changes have drawn upon Apple’s already simple format, with the inclusion of Siri.
This allows multitasking to be effortless and easy – locating files and organising schedules, while the new search-drag-drop system makes for a welcome change.
The developers at the WWDC were shown iOS 10, the latest software upgrade for the iPhone. The Californian company is placing more emphasis on personal expression in messaging, with handwritten messages, upgraded stickers, and the ability to replace words with emojis (all with a simple touch).
— AppleInsider (@appleinsider) June 15, 2016
The advancements within the established apps is what truly stood out, with changes to maps being most noteworthy – the ability to book a restaurant reservation and an uber driver quickly and easily, and without leaving the Maps program.
The watchOS improvements are minimalist yet fresh. Faster access to favourite apps, fresh faces and ways to swap them, a new relaxation app called breathe, and upgrades to the fitness app are all well designed, and a good indication into Apple’s thoughts on the future of wearables. The new ability to control your home devices, easy SOS call function, and being able to unlock your Mac via the watch make for seamless interconnectivity between all Apple products.
The annual E3 press conference presented the latest in gaming, with Sony and Microsoft gaining most social media attention.
An orchestra set the tone as Sony opened its conference with a live demo of God of War, a revamping of a cult classic. Sony’s intention, from the outset, to focus on games was clear – with a total of 12 games on display, as live demos or cinematic trailers – and seemed to resonate well with both the press and the world at large, with social media declaring Sony’s presentation as the best of E3. Accompanying God of War were new games Days Gone, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and an untitled Spiderman. The announcement of Playstation’s VR, with an X-Wing mission for Star Wars: Battlefront, Final Fantasy, and Batman VR games displayed, was a welcome surprise. These were all dwarfed, however, by the return of Hideo Kojima – famed Metal Gear series creator. He unveiled his latest project, exclusively on PS4, entitled Death Stranding.
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) June 16, 2016
Microsoft’s press brief immediately went to hardware, with a video display of its new console – the Xbox One S. The S will be 40 per cent slimmer, and will have bluetooth and 4K playback capabilities. The attention to detail was apparent, a new Xbox One controller (fully customisable) being a centrepiece to accompany its game releases.
— Xbox (@Xbox) June 13, 2016
Gwent, a character from the critically acclaimed game The Witcher, will now be receiving her own title game. Along with this, Dead Rising 4, and Forza: Horizon 3 were showcased for the Californian audience. Expansions to popular games were met with a mixed reaction, but unified with the announcement of Project Scorpio – an all new, updated Xbox One console with six teraflops of power (the closest comparison is the Playstation 4 with just under two). – Phil Logan
Photo shows Apple watch promotion at WWDC2016.