What Apple’s Newest Launch Means for CustomersBy Weston Hanners, Engineering Manager, YML
Apple’s announcement featured an array of significant changes — from iOS 16 (and iPadOS 16) to new Apple Watches and AirPods — and similar to the WWDC a few months ago, our team of engineers and product designers dug through it all to identify what will matter most to the future of digital experiences. Here are a few announcements that stood out with our team.
Apple Watch Ultra — The Apple Watch for Extremes
While Apple removed the Nike and Edition watches from the lineup, Apple added a brand-new entry — the 49mm Apple Watch Ultra. This watch is more rugged, water-resistant, and includes some improved sensors specific to extreme sports like Mountain Climbing, Biking, and Scuba Diving.
They also revamped the compass and workout apps to make them more useful for these extreme sports customers.
While the Ultra is incredibly tempting, the most extreme sport I currently participate in is walking in the park. I am happy with my series 7 but will likely drool over the ultra until my next upgrade.
Temperature Sensor — Elevating the Women’s Health Experience
The standard Apple Watch is a mature product line at this point, and this year only really added one big update on top of last year's series 7, a body temperature sensor.
Apple Health’s technology to help with ovulation and menstrual cycle tracking has come a significant way in a few short years. “Previously, the technology facilitated integration into various fertility and tracking apps, but a significant amount of the data had to be entered manually (and it was a pain!),” shared Lauren Selley, Director of Program Management at YML.
“Now, instead of waking up and holding a thermometer to your head each day while typing in the results to an app, the sensors in the Apple Watch Series 8 will be able to check users’ temperature every five seconds overnight.” This update gives users an even more accurate look at their basal body temperature **(your temperature when you're fully at rest), which can be used to help predict ovulation. This information is frequently used to assist people trying to conceive or to prevent pregnancy.
With recent court rulings, there is bound to be concern about tracking sensitive information that could indicate if a person may have been pregnant. During the latest event, Apple reiterated that this information is encrypted and cannot be decrypted by Apple, ensuring that your health data is yours and yours alone.
Dynamic Island — New window into multitasking
The Dynamic Island is a new feature that takes the camera and microphone pill-shaped cutout and brings it to life by adding user experience features with applications. By implementing a new user interface, the ends of the pill cut out now extend to bring functionality directly to the user without it interfering with your experience. It reminds us of the Touch Bar in all the best ways.
The whimsy in the Dynamic Island animations is, in many ways, Apple at its best. Instead of trying to further minimize the “notch”, Apple has fully embraced it and worked to make it a UX improvement. The new notifications during calls, when unlocking your phone, and in countless other use cases are all meaningful improvements.
This is Pro only this year, but we expect this to move to the non-Pro models for iPhone 15 and eventually trickle down across the product line, similar to how Face ID started only with the iPhone X.
We think the most surprising thing this year was the Apple Watch Ultra. While we were pretty sure a new watch was coming, the amount of effort put into this exceeded our expectations. Add in the use of the same API for Apple Watch complications as the new iOS 16 lock screen widgets could potentially drive a renewed interest in watch apps, as the market has been stagnant for a few years.
We could probably write 2000 words on everything that happened, but these are the big 3 that stood out to our team. If you’d like to hear more, here are some videos we recommend checking out.
Next up, we are probably looking at new rumored Macs and iPads. With iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura delayed to October, we guess that next month is a good bet. See you then. 👋😃