6 Things I Learned about Apple from Gruber’s Interview with Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi

Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi

Page 2 – Deep Learning, Siri Domains, and Apple Watch Sandbagging


4.) iOS 10’s Deep Learning Analysis of Photos Will Take Place Only “When You’re Plugged in on AC Overnight”

One of iOS 10’s new features will be “deep analysis” of photos designed to make them more searchable, and this includes facial recognition. Each photo will have some 11 billion calculations performed on it, and Apple is keeping all of that local to your device for the sake of privacy.

That’s cool, but that’s a lot of calculations. According to Craig Federighi, your iPhone can handle those calculations live when you take new photos, but the company will have your existing library of images analyzed only when your device is plugged in.

The larger your photo library, the more important that would be. It’s also the kind of thing that the vast majority of users will never even stop to think about and appreciate—you’d only notice if Apple didn’t do it this way and you found your iPhone battery drained to within an inch of its life 20 minutes after updating to iOS 10.

You can find Mr. Federighi’s comments by doing a Find for “on deep learning” on iMore‘s transcript.

Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi

5.) Apple Will Expand Access to Siri to New “Domains” in the Future

Apple’s decision to open Siri up to developers was one of the big things from last week’s WWDC, but it’s limited to six categories of apps. For now. Craig Federighi and Phil Schiller specifically said that Apple will expand access to Siri to other categories in the future. The “why” was even more interesting.

According to the two execs, the ability of competing services to hand users off to third party apps is based on the cheap trick (my characterization) of using keyword triggers. There’s not so much “understanding” going on by these other services as there is an automatic handoff based on those keywords.

Apple’s approach is to create domains where Siri understands the nomenclature of human word usage particular to that domain, and the company started with the six domains announced during the WWDC keynote.

You can find the comments on this topic by doing a Find for “WeChat” on iMore‘s transcript.

6.) Apple Sandbagged the Capabilities of Apple Watch

The newly-announced watchOS 3.0 looks like it is going to breathe new life into Apple Watch. The changes are so profound it caused our own Dave Hamilton to ask if Apple can do these news things on the original Apple Watch hardware, why did it even release the original watchOS versions.

It turns out there’s a simply answer: Apple was sandbagging. According to Craig Federighi, Apple hobbled what Apple Watch could do while it sought to understand how people actually used the device. Key to this was understanding power consumption.

“We found that we actually really overshot the goal,” Mr. Federighi said, “which was an area of just massive focus and paranoia through the release.”

There are additional comments on Apple Watch in the interview about how Apple honed in on the user experience for watchOS 3.0.

You can find the comments on this topic by doing a Find for “on watchOS” on iMore‘s transcript.

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