“Loved by millions. Created by the best.”
Apple has announced a special event taking place on December 2nd in New York City to highlight their favorite apps and games from 2019. The company has yet to release information about whether this is going to be the only thing that will be discussed at the event being held in just over a week.
The invites to the event got sent out yesterday, and they were surprises to everyone who received one. Apple has never sent out invitations for this event, and they have also ever have had a dedicated event for the apps and games alone either. We know there is plenty of great games and apps to love from 2019, but is there enough to hold an entire event for them? That is a question that won’t be answered until we have a chance to see this event in New York.
The tagline for the event is “Loved by millions. Created by the best.”
We find it extremely interesting that the best games and apps of the year are getting their own event, especially when both the AirPods Pro and newest Macbook’s didn’t get an event. Each of those new products came with a press release, and a couple of videos highlighting the best features from the product. It would not come as a surprise to Apple, but not many people are believing that this is going to be an event solely focused around games and apps.
Even if it is only going to be about games and apps, we think the tech giant may have something up their sleeve. Out of all of the ideas being tossed around and the speculation, there have been a few that have stuck with us that we would like to touch on.
Possible Gaming Console
The possibility of a gaming console coming from Apple has been floating around for some time, but a lot of the speculation went away when the company announced that they would be adding games to the TV and that gaming console controllers could be paired with everything from the iPhone and iPad to the Apple TV as well. The newest iPad Pro is a gaming machine itself, and the phone does a fantastic job of keeping people entertained as well. The true measurement? Both the iPhone and iPad Pro can run Fortnite beautifully, so what more could possibly be asked for?
We doubt we will see a console that is 100% dedicated to gaming come out this December, but don’t count out the idea of seeing something similar. The community has yet to see an Apple TV refresh or hardware change for over 18 months, something that rarely happens with Apple and their top products. We might not get a fully dedicated gaming console, but we might be seeing an Apple TV with a new chip inside that is capable of high-end gaming. We doubt it would be anything like the newest Xbox One X, but it may be able to run some AAA games.
It would make sense for Apple to make this a product, as it would make everything in your home come from the Apple TV product. They have already included a subscription to their exclusive shows, and you can already connect your favorite gaming controller to your TV. Adding the ability to play some games on that would only make the value of this product shoot through the roof. Not only would this become a popular gift during the holiday season, but this would also, if powerful enough, turn the Apple TV into a one-stop in-home entertainment system. This is something that Apple could be looking to do this December.
There have been numerous rumors around this exact product, and the lack of announcements have only fueled this fire. Some reports have said that this product was promised this year, and some say that we won’t even get a teaser of the AR system Apple has until the year 2022. These are all contradicting, so coming up with your own conclusions is what most people have had to do in the midst of all of the false information.
If you go with the idea that this product was promised this year, this could finally be the time Apple makes up for standing you up at their annual keynote back in September. It could be very true that this is the time that Apple is showing love to their new games and apps of the year, but this could also be the time that they showcase a new way to play their games. If you could be a very simple way to play new AR games, or it could be complex. There is a lot they could do around AR and gaming on the 2nd of December.
It is also important to note that some of the best games that have been released this year have incorporated augmented reality. Minecraft Earth is an AR game meant for mobile devices, and it wouldn’t be too hard to get that view on a dedicated pair of glasses. It doesn’t have to be a full Iron Man AR view, but a new way to play AR games could be in the works.
History of the iPhone Camera and What It Means for AR
Just to refresh some memory on the history of the iPhone and the dedicated camera that Apple has insisted on getting better each and every year. The iPhone X, which came out in 2017, was the first Apple iPhone to get the telephoto lens. This allows the user to zoom 2x into and not lose any quality in the photo. Many thought this would be a staple in the iPhone for years to come. The next year and the next iPhone, the iPhone XS featured the same telephoto lens. This went mostly unnoticed, and the camera on the new iPhone didn’t experience much of an upgrade.
The next year, and the most recent keynote gave us the iPhone 11. This came as three separate phones, the first time we saw something like this since 2017. Apple released three different phones. The iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and the 11 Pro Max. The regular 11 had two cameras like the previous models, but instead of the telephoto lens, the second camera became a wide-angle camera. This has been well appreciated by the users, but many have forgotten why this is a big deal. Only the 11 Pro is the only new iPhone with a telephoto lens, something everyone had the chance to experience on previous models.
AR Headset via iPhone 11
The reason the camera change is such a big deal, is because everyone with an iPhone 11, regardless of model, is now holding a wide-angle camera at all times. If you are going to use an AR headset with the iPhone, you are going to need to see everything around you. If you have an iPhone 11, open the camera and hold the screen near your face. You will realize how not wide this camera is without the wide-angle camera activated.
If Apple decides to release a headset for their iPhone 11 and put AR instantly in the hands of millions, it would be ready for mass adoption. One thing Oculus is working on is the mass adoption of VR. Unless you go out and intentionally buy a VR headset, you are not going to experience any sort of VR in your day to day routine. Apple, by putting a wide-angle camera in every iPhone 11, has now put mass adoption of AR right in the hands of each consumer. We aren’t likely to see the full version of Apple’s AR glasses this December, but if there is something, we know it could mirror something like the Gear VR hardware, with passthrough meant for AR.
Apple VR Headset via iPhone X and Beyond
Rumors surrounded Apple and mixed reality have mostly been about AR, but we shouldn’t count out the chance of us seeing a VR headset sometime in the near future. If this keynote is truly about games and apps, virtual reality would also be another great medium to introduce. If Apple was interested in making mobile VR experience, it wouldn’t be too hard to execute. The iPhone X and beyond have the screens capable of the fps and the refresh rate, and the screens are also large enough, especially with the right lens inside the headset.
We know that mobile VR has mostly died off, and we understand why. If Apple came out with a dedicated VR slide-in mobile headset, we know it would flop. Now if they came out with an AR headset for your phone that could also double as a VR headset, we could see even more adoption in VR than ever before.
If Apple is working on a full VR headset, this would be a great place to get the ball rolling on adoption. If there is nothing for the users to get used to the idea of virtual reality, the idea that they would buy a VR headset from a company that has stayed away from VR is silly. Consumers would likely go to Oculus, Valve, and Vive for their headset needs. Even if this December isn’t the time to announce or launch anything VR, keep an eye out for that in the future.
Whatever Apple decides to do in the coming weeks, we know it will be a hit. Even if it simply an honest event to highlight the terrific year games and apps had inside of the App Store, it will be a fun event and one that will be remembered. Likely only remembered until the next keynote in the spring, but it will be remembered. As for Apple and AR and the possibility of VR, we are hoping to see something sooner rather than later. For more AR and VR community updates, make sure to check back at VRGear.com.