What Apple’s new products mean for digital design

Last Wednesday evening saw Apple’s big announcement. This revolved around the release of three new products; iPad Pro, Apple TV and iPhone 6s. Opinion in the bb office was particularly divided surrounding these new products, as well as Apple’s future.

Following the death of Steve Jobs in 2011 Apple has faced criticism that its more recent products have not lived up to the level of innovation created during Jobs’ era. Within this context of scepticism, Apple’s most recent releases were subject to the same critique.

Within the bb office there were two fields of thought. On the one hand, certain members felt that Apple’s newest products did not meet expectations created by recently circulating rumours. For example, unlike competitor products HoloLens, Google Glass and Oculus Rift, Apple has not released any Virtual Reality products. However, others felt confident that Apple has not lost its edge.

Perhaps critics are jumping to conclusions too soon. As well as appreciation for particular new features; for example, force-touch, the introduction of the stylus to the iPad Pro, Apple TV’s facilitation of games, many members of the bb team are adamant that Apple still has huge scope for producing great products. It could be that where the potential of greatness in these most recent product releases lurk, is the fact that they can act as a platform for producing our own great products.

Additionally, whilst these products may not have the same ground-breaking influence that the iPod or iPhone had originally for instance, certain features provide us with an indication of what Apple might announce in the near future. From a design and branding perspective, the Hermes watch is a great example of this. This partnership could foreshadow the type of design collaboration that we may see in the branding of the highly anticipated Apple car.

The Apple TV provides a great example of a product which acts as a platform for innovation in the digital sphere. Its new gaming facility provides the potential for small independent game developers to reach millions of TV viewers. Due to the ability to pair a bluetooth keyboard with Apple TV, even the most serious strategy or action games can be played. Additionally, games which are begun on an alternative device (the iPhone or iPad) can then be continued on Apple TV.

Apple has faced some criticism that the TV cannot compete with current successful gaming products such as Xbox One or Playstation 4, however it is unlikely that Apple is trying to create competition here. It seems, the gaming facility of Apple TV aims to consolidate an already strong product, rather than competing with immersive gaming consoles.

Apple TV could also provide opportunities for digital studios like our own, to create non-gaming applications. Ralf Gehrig, bb’s Chief Experience Officer advocated this perspective, suggesting that Apple TV could act as a platform for innovative new products. That could include an interactive news content application for news providers such as CNN or Bloomberg, or alternatively as an interactive remote learning experience for our educational clients.

“Being a digital studio, working with a host of businesses in the financial services industry, this could provide interesting opportunities in the future for us and our clients.”

Whilst opinions amongst the team about the current products were divided, there is still a great deal of confidence and eager anticipation of exciting novel products that Apple might bring to the fore in the future.