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The first shot of this year‘s WWDC introduction video shows a road.

What Apple wants developers to create for the Car

Thoughts on Apple Car, Part 113

Michael Schmidt
Jun 10, 2018 · 4 min read

When Apple builds an „autonomous platform“, it needs what any other platform has: Developers.

And developers need use cases.

In my piece about a possible car-themed 30-year-anniversary WWDC, I listed the three main use cases alongside the basic developer paradigm:

Apple Car will be about much more than an app platform like iOS. It will be about real life interfaces that are more than just software.

Think a bit like TouchID and FaceID are used in the Apple Pay context. It’s a business interface that needs user interaction and enables tight control by the platform, including secure hardware.

The example I gave in my piece above was laundry.

  1. A laundry company would hire a developer to make it possible for Apple Car to pick up a customer’s load.
  2. The developer would design a carOS app that is an extension of their existing iOS/watchOS services.
  3. It sends a notification when the laundry is ready. The customer approves Apple Car to go get it (maybe schedules a pick-up time).
  4. It allows the laundry company to get access to the car in an Apple-controlled way: Either hardware-driven like a load window, that is not connected to the rest of the interior compartment — or software-driven like access to open the car during a special timeframe, only on a specific location (the laundry shop) and with a secure one-time ID that the app provides.
  5. The app notifies the customer, she can pay, and Apple Car defaults back to her home (or whereelse she wants it to go).

That kind of business interfaces can work for everything like retail shopping, post office pick-ups, and any other trip you’d rather not take precious time off your day.

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Why is the second lane completely empty? Is it only for selfdriving cars?

Where is Apple Car and carOS heading long-term?

What I dreamed up were three main use cases for Apple Car:

  1. „Commute/Work“
  2. „Fitness/Workout“
  3. „Family/Entertainment“

Developers will be inspired to help design custom experiences around those three. You can count on Apple providing a mix of HomeKit, ARkit and other key software initiatives of past WWDCs to developers.

Commute and work will make possible a new world of productivity and transportation apps. What changes when navigation moves from your smartphone to the brain of the actual vehicle you’re in?

Fitness and workout can work similar to Apple’s integration with gym equipment — something that was once again showcased during this year’s WWDC in a interestingly less cumbersome segment than you would expect.

Family and entertainment could easily make the strongest part of the car experience — certainly in time spent. All entertainment initiatives of Apple will come together, when they also control the room you’re in.

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Apple (on purpose?) mocked the cumbersome moves one has to make when exiting a car.

Let’s make this easy.

Apple will market the Car to the public, and carOS to developers, with a simple and effective message about what you can do with it:

Simple and fun. Work involves productivity and commuting. Work out is pushing the limits of how you can stay fit during those commute hours. Hang out is everything else — from entertainment that you enjoy alone or share, to AR experiences, or just a 32-person FaceTime call you have with your extended family.

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Developers flocking to Apple Car.

Thoughts on Apple Car

Conceptualizations on the future car, a.o.

Michael Schmidt

Written by

Director Consulting at Virtual Identity. I spent a decade on automotive brands in digital, and blog about #strategy, the #ClimateCrisis, and #AppleCar.

Thoughts on Apple Car

Conceptualizations on the future car, a.o. shared by former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée, Apple/Google/Dropbox designer Ryhan Hassan, Lyft and Snap VC investor Alex Giannikoulis, Wristly founder Bernard Desarnauts, and CaminaLab/Drivania/Shotl founder Gerard Martret.

Michael Schmidt

Written by

Director Consulting at Virtual Identity. I spent a decade on automotive brands in digital, and blog about #strategy, the #ClimateCrisis, and #AppleCar.

Thoughts on Apple Car

Conceptualizations on the future car, a.o. shared by former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée, Apple/Google/Dropbox designer Ryhan Hassan, Lyft and Snap VC investor Alex Giannikoulis, Wristly founder Bernard Desarnauts, and CaminaLab/Drivania/Shotl founder Gerard Martret.

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