Apple today kicked off it WWDC today with its opening keynote event. This is the event where Apple usually makes new product and software announcements. Today’s event was a little tepid with few big announcements that pertain to lawyers.
Apple did announce iOS 12 with various improvements, a watch iOS 5 with new features including watch to watch communications (Apple is continuing to double down on the watch as a health device), improved search capabilities for photos etc. Quite frankly, some of the new features and benefits seemed a little gadgety (tongue detection?) and not particularly relevant to lawyers and business.
But the most exciting thing for me as a lawyers was Apple’s continued commitment to AR. I wrote about this last year and talked a bit about its potential then.
This commitment can be seen with a couple of new apps Apple announced for use with iOS 12. Measure is a new app that allows accurate 3d measurement of objects. USDZ is another new app that takes that measurement capability a step further. It allows you to take a photo of an object, get its dimensions and then place that object digitally on the screen in relatively real size so you can view them as if they were actually in front of you. I could see how could use this in the courtroom to get the correct size of an object in front of the jury without bringing that object physically in. And you could also manipulate the object so that the jury could move around it so they aren’t limited to the one view from the jury box.
Lego (yes, the toy company) in combination with the new and improved ARKit2 also demonstrated the use of AR to create 3d models that you can manipulate, walk around and even go inside. All of these open up new possibilities for demonstrative evidence.
Apple also talked about some new AR features for use with emails and texts (aka as emojis and Animojis). It introduced some new ones and the opportunity to create a personal memoji of yourself (Android already offers this). At first blush, these “tools” would seem to be for fun. But as we all know is difficult with text and emails to communicate the context and the actual meaning that we do when seeing a face. In fact, these silly (tongue detection?) and fun tools actually help communicate with the subtle tools similar to what our face and body language provide.
Apple also introduced group FaceTime that allows up to 32 people to participate in video group calls. The new feature also allows you to go from group chat to facetime almost immediately. Facetime uses tiles that automatically get larger when someone is speaking And can combine with ar emojis for fun, I suppose. Of course, this big limitation to FaceTime is that it is only available for those with iPhones and ipads.
Apple also announced a new MacOS called Mojave with a new dark feature that looks nice but is not particularly relevant to lawyers. It also announced new views and search capabilities and options. One of the nicer new features is improved mark up capabilities and ease of use features for screenshots. And Apple also now has a screenshot feature for video which has a lot of capabilities I use screenshots often to provide enhancements for presentations, arguments and even documents (like this one). Anything that makes that easier is great.
And finally, Apple answered that burning question: is Apple merging iOS and macOS. (No). Although Apple is working to make the two systems more integrated at least for apps. Apple is working on this and hopes to have more abilities for iOS apps to be used with macOS next year.
All in all, while there was no blockbuster announcement, there are some things here for us to use. Should be fun working with these new features (and not, at least for now, having to buy any new Apple products).
Marcin Nowak @marcin via Unsplash