Early Predictions for WWDC & Google I/O 2015

by GameHouse

In this episode of App Marketing Conversations, Ryan Morel of GameHouse, Ian Sefferman of MobileDevHQ by Tune, and Robi Ganguly of Apptentive make their really early predictions for what Apple & Google will announce at WWDC & Google I/O. How far off will they be?

Watch the video here, or read the transcript below.

Ryan: Good morning, and welcome to another edition of App Marketing Conversations. As always, I am joined by Ian Sefferman of MobileDevHQ by TUNE and Robi Ganguly of Apptentive. This morning we’ve already talked about Apple and their earnings announcements and a little bit about the watch. Robi prefaced this conversation during that segment, so you should make sure to watch it. Here we’re going to talk about really early predictions for the upcoming big two shows, Google I/O and WWDC. Why don’t we start with Google and what we’re expecting from them or what predictions, hopes, etc., hopes and dreams from the Android world.

Robi: Yeah, so I have two predictions. One is because they’ve been quiet on this front for a while, I think they’re probably going to release several upgrades to the App Store. As an app marketer, I would expect that they’re going to be changing some things in the App Store and they’re going to make a big deal about it. It’s probably around search discovery and monetization. Then, the second is since they released Cardboard and the kit around 3D and VR that they were trying to do, we haven’t seen much, so I would expect to hear some more progress around that front, especially because this last year at least in the private capital market has seen a ton of money move into VR. It’s clear that there’s more investment there on the apps front to be had.

Ryan: Yeah. Okay. Do you have an opinion?

Ian: I agree with a lot of that. Here’s my wild prediction. No way do I think this is actually going to happen, but this is nonetheless what I’m hoping on. My wild prediction is that Apple has been working on a self driving car. They will announce it and it will be ready before Google gets theirs out.

Robi: No shit.

Ryan: Okay.

Robi: That’d be incredible.

Ian: You like that?

Robi: Yeah.

Ian: That would change everybody’s world, wouldn’t it?

Ryan: That’s your WWDC prediction or your broad…

Ian: That’s both of them.

Ryan: Right, okay.

Ian: Yeah, that’s both of them together.

Ryan: Okay. We were interrupted briefly by Home Depot. I think you were saying you have a joint prediction between Google I/O and WWDC. Can you restate that.

Ian: It’s about cars. Apple has secretly been working on this car, autonomous vehicle driving itself, and that they will announce it with a launch date earlier than Google will get theirs out.

Ryan: Okay. Do you have an opinion on that?

Robi: I think it would be amazing. I think actually, I think it’s a little early. I think it might happen next year because of the stuff I’ve seen around them hiring people. Yeah, I could believe it, I could totally believe it.

Ryan: Yeah, let me ask you a different question. Is there anything that Apple or Google could do that would surprise you? Like, all this stuff you’d be like yeah, I can totally see them pulling that. I mean within reason of the physical bounds of nature.

Robi: I think at this point because Apple TV has been such a weird anomaly and we’ve had so many hopes and dreams, I would be amazed if they came out and said here’s a legitimate TV. At this point, I think I’ve thrown it away as an idea in my head. I would be shocked if it came out.

Ryan: Okay.

Ian: I think a tactical one. Well, maybe not so tactical. It’s a little bit bigger. One that I would be shocked about that I would love to see happen is the App Stores go away. What if we can get to a point where apps are ephemeral enough that they could be downloaded and removed from phones very, very quickly, and you don’t need this single place to get an app, have it on your phone at all times, and get rid of it. It’s more like a web search experience with native excellence in experience.

Robi: Yeah, that would totally shock me. That would absolutely be surprising.

Ryan: That would be surprising. So, who does that benefit?

Robi: Google.

Ryan: Google, right?

Ian: Google. Yeah.

Ryan: I think one of the interesting things that’s happened, and we probably could’ve talked about this today, is the release of the new Google algorithm which bifurcated mobile, tablet, and desktop search so that mobile searches have different results. Your prediction around Google updating the App Store around search and monetization I think is not a crazy one. That’s where they can really differentiate themselves, and they continue to do so.

Ian: Yeah, and they did it with the app indexing thing as well.

Ryan: Yeah, but Apple continues to not do that.

Ian: Yeah.

Ryan: I guess I’ll go with my hope and prediction for WWDC is maybe not the removal of the App Store but an improved App Store search and discovery process. Although I will forever fight to the death that discovery is not broken but search can still be improved within the App Store. Let’s talk about VR for a second, because you mentioned that a little bit. Do you have any specific predictions that Google or Apple will make headway against?

Robi: Have you guys ever played with Cardboard?

Ryan: I have a little bit

Ian: [Shakes head no]

Robi: My first experience with Cardboard… Cardboard, for those of you watching who aren’t familiar, was this really small piece of cardboard with a couple of plastic lenses in it that you could piece together and make essentially a visor. Then, you could drop your Android phone in it and it would allow you to see things in a VR manner using a couple of special apps.

Ryan: It works with iPhone, too, by the way.

Robi: Oh, does it?

Ryan: Yeah.

Robi: Oh, so it works across. It was really the first time, because I haven’t worn an Oculus Rift, that I had experienced VR. It was compelling enough that I started to understand a little bit more what was going on. But, they haven’t made much noise since. It’s been about a year. I would expect there to be at least some progress around apps available to do it if not a full fledged framework and potentially a way to get these Cardboard devices in the hands of more people. I would expect to see some stuff like that if they’re going to actually come out. That would be my prediction. What I would really like is I would like them to go and start bundling it in with certain, like Nexus devices, and say okay we’re really making a bet on this.

Ryan: Yeah. Okay. Do you have an opinion on that?

Ian: So, I’ve never played with Cardboard. I think the idea sounds intriguing. I worry that it’s simply too much of a hack for VR. The real way to do it is through a true VR like Oculus or whatever. I’m also not really convinced about VR yet as a whole sector. So, we’ll see. It would be really cool if they could figure out a way to pull that off. Ultimately, your phone is the center of your universe, as we’ve talked about many, many times. If they can make it extra usable by adding some VR component, that’d be really sweet.

Ryan: Yeah. Okay, we’re jumping around here quite a bit. Let’s jump around a little more back to the TV thing. So, the Apple invitation for WWDC or the notice for it looked like it had an Apple TV right in the center of it. Did you see that?

Robi: People talked about that logo having that there. Yes. And my hope, which has been my hope for the last two, is that means we’re finally going to get SDK for the Apple TV. That’s my hope.

Ian: That would be a good prediction. I like that.

Ryan: Yeah, I think it would, too, although I still am of the belief that the phone controls everything and maybe the Apple TV is like a dumb component for the phone.

Ian: That’s where you get at… That’s a Chromecast essentially, right?

Ryan: Yeah.

Robi: Yeah, so then you could imagine having WatchKit, TV Kit side by side. Like oh, you just enable your…

Ian: And you see how your heart rate goes up when something bad happens on TV.

Robi: Ha! Oh my gosh. You can already see the ad salespeople drooling at the mouth. They’re like we’re going to sell this data back to advertisers. Like, your ad was not emotional enough.

Ryan: That’s pretty good. Any other big predictions for either? I don’t know that we can get bigger than the car one. What about iOS 9?

Ian: They’re going to have to release something, right, probably. Is it going to be huge? I haven’t heard anything about it. I think for me it would go back to making search a first class citizen there. I think if I had a wish, maybe not a prediction, but if I had a wish it’s that the home screen becomes less tiles of apps and more search focused discovery of content.

Ryan: Like spotlight search, effectively.

Ian: Yeah, it moves to be a first class citizen.

Ryan: Okay.

Robi: If I think about iOS 9, I would expect less emphasis on the actual aesthetics and the UI and more emphasis on like you were talking about, search as an interface. What would be specifically interesting to see would be search getting tied in with the work that they released with extensions last year so that it starts to work across apps because extensions enabled it. Then, the second thing I would expect is more voice. Because the watch increases all of the voice command use cases, I would expect to see another level of Siri essentially.

Ryan: God. You’re probably right. The one thing I’ll add for the iOS 9, I think that’s all probably very true, is I read and I think it’s probably a good one that this might be a focus on a clean up and fixing all the crap that’s gone wrong and piled up over the last few years as they’ve shifted everything toward the flat design and totally new ways of engaging with it. That would be totally fine by me.

Ian: Yeah.

Ryan: Okay. I think we’ve jumped around enough. Thanks very much for watching. Make sure to watch the other segments, like this video, subscribe, and check us out next time.

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