There have been a ton of announcements by Apple this week. And with that, it feels like they’re going to force you to buy a new iPhone. That is, if you want to get the most out of iOS 11. What am I talking about? Well, there is going to be a lot of really cool AR functionality with iOS 11. But if you don’t have the “right” iPhone, you’re out of luck. As part of Apple’s ARKit documentation, it indicates that ARKit will only work with Apple A9 and A10 processors. Which means that if you have a pre-2016 iPhone or iPad you’re not going to be able to take advantage. I wonder how many people this will affect? And is Apple doing this to drive sales?
Or is it just a matter of the technology just won’t work with the older devices. Which I can appreciate. As someone with an iPhone that wouldn’t qualify, I’m not thrilled with this. But I am due for an upgrade this fall, so maybe it’s coming at a good time.
What is ARKit, you ask? It is an iOS framework for placing digital graphics into mobile devices camera scenes. If you watched the keynote speech, you might remember Apple showing how to place a cup of coffee and a lamp right onto a surface. A real surface. But the downside to this? It’s going to use a lot of battery power.
ARKit is actually a really great and big step by Apple, but the issue for users is whether or not they want the iOS update. And further, will they want to update their device in order to get all the benefits that are coming from the iOS update? During the keynote speech, Tim Cook announced that 86% of iOS devices are running the most recent version of iOS 10. Comparatively, he also noted that only 7% of Android devices are running the most recent version of their operating system – Nougat. Does that make Apple users more loyal?
The updates to iOS 11 look incredible. Period. Full stop. But as a user, you have to determine if the incredible updates are worth the cost. Which in this case is literally a new device. The example provided above maybe doesn’t resonate with a lot of people. I’m just putting a cup of coffee and a lamp on a table. So what? Think about it in terms of a company like Ikea. Using AR, Ikea can demonstrate to it’s customers how it’s furniture will look in real world environments. This concept isn’t necessarily new, but you will now be able to that on your iPhone or iPad.
AR is really cool because it’s mixed reality. On one hand you have something that is real – such as an actual table. And then you are able to put something on top of that real object that isn’t real. Like a coffee. This is potentially huge from a gaming perspective. Which, I’m not going to get into right now, but it is food for thought. I do like where Apple is going with this. I don’t know that I love the fact that I will have to purchase a new iPhone in order to be able to utilize all the features of iOS 11. But that is a choice I have to make when the new phones and operating system are available. I wonder how many people will be upgrading their iPhone’s in the fall?