5 must-know announcements from Apple's WWDC 2015
Apple, the most valuable company in the world, is holding its annual Worldwide Developers Conference through June 12 and the excitement can hardly be contained. Thousands and thousands of fans and developers have crowded Moscone West, in San Francisco, to learn what is new from Apple. So far, with more than a dozen major announcements, the IT giant is not disappointing. In this post Business Review USA shares five important announcements from The Verge’s own list.
A new music streaming platform
Apple Music is finally here. It is a music streaming service released to much fanfare. For example, Drake made a cameo in order to promote Connect, an application that empowers artists to upload music and photos to subscribers. Tech Crunch has evaluated Apple Music by its strengths and weaknesses. Its first strength is that it’s on-demand streaming. “Music download sales are falling fast and streaming is quickly on the rise. Apple desperately needed to transition from its iTunes sales model to subscription streaming, or risk watching usage and revenue decay,” writes Tech Crunch. On the weakness side, there is the launch date. It was announced on June 8, but won’t be launched until June 30. We may have forgotten it by then.
OS X El Capitan
El Capitan is what Apple has chosen to name OS X 10.11. It is not a redesign of the whole interface, but rather a modification of it. In Safari, you will now be able to “pin” sites. As a result, they’ll load immediately from the landing page. Also on Apple’s navigator, you can now mute audio tabs to avoid listening to unwanted music. Spotlight will allow you to search sporting event tickets and weather using natural language.
As with El Capitan, IOS 9 brings minor, but significant, modifications and not transformative change to the platform. In Notes you are now able to draw. Passbook is now “Wallet” and Newsstand “News.” HealthKit can track more data, like UV exposure and menstrual cycles. On “low power mode” IOS 9 can extend your iPhone’s battery life by three more hours.
Siri is more “proactive”
The revamped Siri will remind you of Google Now and Apple is dealing with this by playing up its privacy advantages. It promises that all of your data will stay on the phone and not the cloud. Siri will use the data on your iPhone to provide contextual advice and options. Siri may scan your email and put invitations directly into your calendar. It may automatically put on Zen music when you lay down in bed. Siri will now also suggest people to call, apps you may want to use, and breaking news you might be interested in — all based on your prior preferences and habits.
Software update for Apple Watch
Just under two months after its release, Apple Watch has a new operating system. It’s watchOS2. Among its features are more options for watch faces, including “Time Travel,” which offers you an overview of upcoming events plus what’s going on in the present. You’ll be able to reply to emails in addition to reading them. Developers have more control. They can make apps that play back video and audio. There’s full support for HealthKit and HomeKit.
How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.