Apple’s wearable future and Mac as a service industry
When you utter the command word as you enter a room, the closest available display device will show you what you need to know or the task you must do, and you will be able to work with that display using your choice of voice, gesture, touch, keyboard or pointing device.
Your computing experience will be completely mobile.
And yes, you’ll still need trucks
Some people will still need powerful computers for the work they must do.
These might be their Mac Pro.
But they might also be vast virtual Macs you can rent as a service in iCloud.
Apple will offer solutions across this ecosystem, from industry-leading wearable devices all the way through to constantly improved and extended iCloud services and third-party SaaS partnerships.
It won’t really matter what you use.
The Apple Watch on your arm, the AR-based computer interface in Apple Glasses, the iPhone, iPad or Mac.
The experience these provide will become increasingly homogenous across all those devices – they’ll simply piggy back to the outputs and devices you happen to have around.
The icons and the future
We recently looked at the significance of those bright, new icons in macOS 11. I argued that we’ll see these enter use across all Apple’s platforms.
Pages will look like Pages on any device, no matter which one you use. User interface flexibility means we’ll use Pages to create documents using head gestures and our voice on some Apple platforms, while using a keyboard and mouse for use on others.
All these interactions will feel increasingly inevitable.
The important thing is that we will grow accustomed to using and migrating between all these multiple user interfaces on a regular basis.
We already shift between using Macs, iPhones and iPads depending on where we are and what we need to do, and we’ll see more of that in future.
In the end, voice, touch, pointing, gesture, keyboard and mouse use will all become so familiar and we’ll flip between them so naturally that we’ll see all of these together as ‘the’ UI, rather than being different interfaces.
It doesn’t matter
You see, it really doesn’t matter how we work with a computer.
What matters is that we have a good experience when we do use the machine, and that it delivers the results we need without stressing us out.
The design of the devices matters more than the form, but the functionality is everything.
Apple knows this, which is why we can see the company develop each one of its platforms fully on their own account while also investing in building communality between them. These things are better together, and more unites them than drives them apart.
As it should be.
It’s also why the services are becoming more important than the devices.
This is inevitable, as the age of thin client computing is already here, and you see it around you each time you stare at your iPhone.
Who needs an iPhone anyway? One day you’ll wear your Mac like sunglasses, or use Siri to tell it what to do while it whirrs away in the cloud.
It’s just gonna take a little time.