Technology is always moving on. In the past we’ve talked about how you can use AirPlay to control your bar’s music from a phone. What does Apple have in store this year in new tech?

While the WWDC event is aimed at developers (it is the World Wide Developer Conference after all) it does give us a sneak peak about what Apple has planned for later in the year, and therefore what Android will be scrambling to copy as soon as possible.

With the App Store turning 10 years old this month, the number of apps that have changed the way we use technology is ridiculous. The smartphone really is the remote control of our lives now.

IOS 12

iOS 12

Making older devices faster

One big focus of the new version of iOS is making older hardware faster, so if you’re using an older iPad to run your POS in the bar, you might just find its faster and more responsive later this year.

Augmented Reality Powered by Pixar

Apple have worked with Pixar to create new file formats to make using AR easier. That means you will be able to more easily find a local developer to create immersive experiences in your bar like a menu that comes to life when you point your phone at it.

Several drinks companies have already created AR bottle labels for their products, with animations, video and stories of the brand available for guests and customers to enjoy.

Looking to get new furniture for the bar? You can even use the phone’s AR functions to measure your space or old items so you know the new stuff will fit!

Your guests could even be playing augmented reality Jenga or Lego games while enjoying drinks in the bar.

Photos telling the story of your bar

iOS 12 will add more powerful ways to search and share photos, based not only on what’s in the image but if it was taken at a specific event. It will be worth checking out if there’s a way to register your event with Apple when it goes live later this year so your guests can easily tag you.

Siri Shortcuts Can Automate Opening The Bar

If you’ve embraced Apple’s HomeKit automation hardware like lighting, blinds etc, you could really benefit from Siri Shortcuts.

Simply telling Siri to “Open the Bar” can set your lighting to the right level, open or close your blinds, start your early evening playlist and even unlock the smart locks on your doors. Seems like a great way of removing some of the checklists of jobs you’d normally need to go through!

Phone Free Speakeasies Win Too

iPhone’s Do Not Disturb mode now has the option to stay on for a length of time or until you leave a specific place – a secret bar for example. That way, your guests won’t be bothered by their phones until they’re safely away from the venue.

FaceTime for Groups

Its always been a pain to get your staff together for a team meeting, but with FaceTime Groups, you’ll be able to have up to 32 people on a single free call. This might well kill many of the conference calling services which charge for corporate calling.

Even better, if you’re a part of a group of bars that are spread across a state or a country, you can now meet face to face without all the travel. It also integrates with group messages so if you have a thread set up for your team already, you can dial everyone in one go.


Apple WatchOS

Cocktails On Your Wrist

I’m not sure that there’s a great app yet for the Apple Watch to let bartenders check recipes on the fly. It seems that it would be pretty simple to create a Rolodex type app using the crown to get to the recipe you need quickly. Much better than pulling your phone out behind the bar to check those ingredients.

Podcasts On Your Wrist

Clearly the most important thing announced today – you’ll now be able to listen to the BartenderHQ Podcast from your watch, even when you’re away from your phone. I know, I know. That’s what you were all waiting for.

Siri Shortcuts On The Watch

If you have a restaurant reservation made on an app on your phone, your watch will be able to suggest calling ahead if it sees you’re running late. Finally, people might realise that we can’t hold their tables forever when we don’t know they’re late.


Apple tvOS

If you’re looking for an easy way to stream content to the screens in your venue, it can all be sent from your iPhone or iPad. You can put your promo videos onto YouTube and simply have it play on the screens all day long.

Assuming you have the rights to show it, its easy to get all the sports you could need, from mainstream to niche. So if you’ve always wanted to show the World Paintball Championships or the latest SpaceX launch, you can.

MacOS Mojave

macOS Mojave

Dark Mode

This may seem minor, but if you’re using a Mac in the venue for example to take care of bookings or admin, a reduced glow might be a nice change so that your hosts aren’t lit up like Christmas trees.

Quick Actions

Its always been tricky to get a bunch of items into a single PDF file, but now you can just select multiple files and click create PDF in finder, and its done.

Even better for bars, if you want to add logos to a whole folder of images from the weekend before they go to your social feeds, you can do that in a single click with the watermark action.

Continuity Camera

Want to add photos of guests quickly into a digital frame for printing or social on the Mac? You can use an iPhone to take an image which will automatically be added into a document in the way you need it with minimal edits – making it quick and easy to do.

So these are some of the biggest things I can see a use for in bars and restaurants, bid did I miss anything? I’d love to know!

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