What Apple’s WWDC 2023 revealed for professionals in the remote-work era | Tech News

What Apple’s WWDC 2023 revealed for professionals in the remote-work era

Apple's WWDC line up has the stuff that a remote worker’s dreams are made of.

| Updated on: Jun 09 2023, 07:00 IST
Tim Cook
Apple introduced a range of groundbreaking products and software updates specifically designed to help professionals in the rapidly evolving remote work landscape. (AFP)
Tim Cook
Apple introduced a range of groundbreaking products and software updates specifically designed to help professionals in the rapidly evolving remote work landscape. (AFP)

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC2023) this week saw the tech giant unveil a host of cool new innovations for everyday consumers, and they certainly didn't forget the modern working professional!

Apple introduced a range of groundbreaking products and software updates specifically designed to help professionals in the rapidly evolving remote work landscape. With an emphasis on productivity, collaboration, and connectivity, these new offerings will likely revolutionize the way people work across various industries, provided you can afford them.

Even though just two months back. the tech giant was heard monitoring employee attendance via badge records to make sure they're going to the office in person at least three times a week, its WWDC line up has the stuff that a remote worker's dreams are made of.

A Life-Size Private Office Room with Apple Vision Pro

While we are all used to working from our bedrooms and dining tables, Apple ‘s Vision Pro headset could smoothen that experience to an unprecedented level. Calling it a “spatial computer that seamlessly blends digital content with the physical world, while allowing users to stay present and connected to others,” Apple has gone beyond traditional displays, introducing a fully three-dimensional user interface that the user can control with their eyes, hands, and voice.

VisionOS, which Apple is calling “the world's first spatial operating system” features a three-dimensional interface, which means apps can appear side by side at any scale, making a user's bedroom look like a futuristic, life-size computer. With an ultra-high-resolution display system, containing 23 million pixels across two displays, Vision Pro customizes Apple silicon in a dual-chip design so that the experience is akin to a real time experience.

Apple Vision Pro offers immense screen real estate, and with support for Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad, users can set up a workspace wirelessly in sync with capabilities of their Mac, creating almost a private room with portable 4K display promising crisp text.

Set at USD $3,499, Vision Pro might not be within everyone's budget yet, but knowing Apple, it will likely come up with more affordable versions in the coming months or years.

Smarter Video Conferencing Experiences with macOS Sonoma

WWDC previewed macOS Sonoma, Apple's latest desktop operating system, showing off many features like stunning screensavers and powerful widgets. It offers enhanced video conferencing features that let users present and share work more effectively in any video conferencing app.

For remote workers who use presentations, the OS offers features like Presenter Overlay, which places the presenter on top of the content being shared. Users can also apply Reactions, fun gesture-triggered video effects with a cinematic quality. Users can use a hand gesture to share how they feel by seamlessly adding balloons, confetti, hearts, etc. into the video. To easily share content or an app from their currently open windows, users can click the green button in the top-left corner of an app and share it in a video call.

Also, in Safari, users can stay organized with the help of profiles by separating browsing between topics, while keeping cookies, history, extensions, Tab Groups, and Favorites separate. Users can use both work and personal accounts to sign in to the same site and switch between them too.

Better Hybrid & Remote Pro Workflows

With the help of the advanced media engine in Apple silicon chips, macOS Sonoma introduced a new high performance mode to the Screen Sharing app, which delivers what Apple calls “low-latency audio, high frame rates, and supports up to two virtual displays,” allowing high responsive remote access to hybrid in-studio and remote pro workflows. Pros can use this mode to securely access their content creation workflows from any place.

MacOS Sonoma updates also include streamlined PDFs for rapid form-filling with AutoFill and smart recipient recommendations. Also, Notes now shows PDFs and document scans in full width. In addition, users can instantly connect related notes such as recipes or homework with linked notes.

Video Conferencing with tvOS 17

WWDC 2023 also revealed the tvOS 17, where Apple is now adding FaceTime and video conferencing. As Bob Borchers, Apple's Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing, said, “tvOS 17 transforms the biggest screen in the home with FaceTime and new video conferencing capabilities, giving Apple TV 4K users the ability to easily connect with anyone right from their living room.”

Apple has also revealed its plans to launch video conferencing apps like Webex by Cisco and Zoom will launch on tvOS later this year, furthering the remote conference call experience offered on the platform.

Lastly, according to the company, developers can now leverage Continuity Camera APIs on Apple TV 4K to integrate the iPhone or iPad camera and microphone into their tvOS app, to create novel immersive entertainment experiences that can be used for presentations in the workplace and further the creative power of content creators and marketers.

Private & Protected While Remote Working

Privacy issues are foremost when remote working, and Apple is always vocal about their emphasis on privacy protection. Unfortunately, remote working does make organizations more vulnerable to data breaches. According to a study by Fortinet. 62% of organizations that offer remote work have faced data breaches, the reason being at least partially because of employees working remotely.

On the Vision Pro, Optic ID is a new secure authentication system that scans a user's iris under several invisible LED light exposures, comparing it to the enrolled Optic ID data, which in turn is protected by the Secure Enclave. The fully encrypted user Optic ID data is not accessible to apps and is not stored on Apple servers.

In addition, Vision Pro doesn't share Vision Pro's eye tracking information with Apple. Moreover, data from the camera and sensors is processed at the system level, which means individual apps don't have to access a user's surroundings to allow spatial experiences. The EyeSight feature contains a visual indicator that informs when a user is capturing a spatial photo or video.

Additionally, at WWDC, Apple announced a significant update to Private Browsing on Safari, providing protection during browsing from trackers and people with access to the user's device. Apple has improved tracking and fingerprinting protections in Private Browsing to help prevent websites from tracking or identifying a user. When not in use, Private Browsing windows lock, letting users keep tabs open even when away from the device.

Users can create a group to share a set of passwords, where members can add and edit passwords to keep them up to date, which is end-to-end encrypted being shared through iCloud Keychain. In addition, the one-time verification codes that users receive in Mail will now autofill in Safari, so they can securely log in without leaving the browser.

In a world transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic, remote working has become the new norm, and businesses worldwide are adapting to this paradigm shift. The WWDC introduced a lineup of revolutionary products and software updates aimed at empowering work professionals in the era of remote working. Pricey but useful, these innovations are set to reshape the way we work, enhancing productivity, collaboration, and connectivity for professionals across industries.

By Navanwita Sachdev, The Tech Panda

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First Published Date: 09 Jun, 07:00 IST