Getting to know iOS 11 with Apple System Engineer, Chris Dye

27 Sep 2017

Dan Bailey, Europe iX CTO & Mobile Sales Partner at IBM and BIMA Technology Council member opened the morning and introduced us to our keynote speaker, Chris Dye, Apple System Engineer.

Not only was Chris introducing us to some of the new features of iOS 11, he also gave insight into some of the Apple developer apps available, and references some great use cases.

Using iPhone to transform the way we think about health

One such product was ResearchKit. Launched in 2015, ResearchKit is an open source framework introduced by Apple that allows researchers and developers to create powerful apps for medical research.

One of the Apps developed used ResearchKit is mPower, a Parkinson's disease research app. Designed to help researchers better understand Parkinson’s disease, the app uses the gyroscope and other iPhone features to measure dexterity, balance, gait and memory. It has and continues to allow researchers to gain greater insight into the factors that make symptoms better or worse, such as sleep, exercise and mood.

Since its launch, the app has enrolled 10,000 participants, making it the largest Parkinson’s study in history. Learn  more about ResearchKit here >> 

So what's new with iOS 11?  

We're not going to pretend that there aren't plenty of articles detailing the complex intricacies of Apple's latest iOS release. So we're not going to try and compete. Instead, we'll give you a brief overview and will post a couple of our favourite, more detailed articles throughout. 

Here we'll share with you some of Chris' favourite features, and a handful of examples of some of them in action. 

All eyes on iPad

Some of the major changes are for iPad users and are mapped across 4 key areas; Productivity, development, networking and apps.

1. Productivity

One of the key changes note is that iOS 11 has introduced the dock for iPad, making multitasking easier. 

This new, customizable Dock provides the same quick access to apps and documents that desktop users are accustomed to. The app switcher has been redesigned, making it easier move between pairs of active apps, used in Split View and now Slide Over. 

One other cool features include the introduction of the Files App - the first time a proper filing system has been introduced for iPhone and iPad users. The Files App keeps everything in one place, whether files are stored locally, in iCloud Drive or across other providers like Box, Dropbox.  Also, the new cut and paste feature allows users to drag and drop images from anywhere on their iPad, straight into presentations, messages and more. 

For more information on iOS 11's productivity features check out Computer World's overview "Apple's iOS 11 adds macOS-like features for better productivity".

2. Deployment

According to Chris, Apple has seen a bit uptake in development for Apple TV, with particular activity coming from the gaming and hospitality sectors, and tvOS has had new capabilities introduced in this latest update. 

3. Networking

Networking enhancements have been introduced, with QoS for macOS, simple setup on Cisco networks, Networking API's and the option for IT teams to prioritise apps with configuration profile, helping to avoid networks slowing down across business crucial applications.

Collaboration has been made simpler, with a 'Tap to Join' option for pesky webex meetings. No more login or set up process  - simply tap and you can instantly join your virtual meeting and ReplayKit allows you to broadcast your iOS screen to others. 

4. Apps 

There are two apps that dominate on Apple's latest update; ARKit and Core ML. 

ARKit is a new framework that allows you to easily create unparalleled augmented reality experiences for iPhone and iPad. 

Core ML is Apple's new machine learning framework, enabling developers to build apps with intelligent new features using just a few lines of code.

ARKit in action 

Magicplan is an example of ARKit applied in the architecture and design industry, allowing users to map out floorplans with accurate dimensions using AR, instead of having to hand draw and measure spaces. 

Magicplan App

IKEA has also launched a new augmented reality app, IKEA Place allowing customers to virtually 'place' IKEA products in their own space, with the potential to transform the way we shop. Build on Apples new ARKit technology, the app puts IKEA ahead as and Ikea is one of the first home furnishing brands in the world to use it.

IKEA Place

Attendees of the BIMA Breakfast Briefing: Getting Hands-On with iOS 11 were treated to a whole host of extra nuggets of information from Chris Dye.  We wanted to thank Chris and the BIMA Technology Council and the team at IBM for hosting us, and if you are interested in attending a BIMA Breakfast Briefing, you can find more upcoming events here >>

Discover more about iOS 11 here

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