The raft of new services and features announced at this year’s World Wide Developers Conference highlights where Apple believes the future of smartphones and tablets is heading.
Although Apple did launch new hardware -- updated MacBook Air notebook computers and a new pro desktop which nearly sent the crowd into hysterics when its technical specifications were revealed –- the keynote was all about services and features and, in particular, services and features that offer ease of use, simplification and peace of mind. Just as importantly, the announcements are the clearest indication yet of the state of the world smartphone market and how the devices’ use has evolved from business and productivity to entertainment and social interaction.
While Apple’s widely predicted entry into the internet radio business with iTunes Radio will no doubt steal the headlines, other announcements, such as iCloud Keychain, showed how Apple is aware of the future and are likely to also have a real impact on the way consumers use their mobile devices.
A way of storing secure, encrypted information in the cloud, so that it can be accessed anywhere as long as the user has an internet connection, iCloud Keychain is essentially a password locker where consumers can safely store their log-in details for the ever-growing number of online services they use, behind one very secure password.
With the latest updates to both the iPhone and Mac operating systems, notifications such as email, text messages and app alerts will appear on whichever device is in use at the time. What’s more, with a new maps and calender app built in to the new OSX Mavericks desktop, OS calendar appointments, and turn-by-turn navigation via a new maps app can be created on one device to be sent to another.
Share more than FaceTime
When iPhones and iPads receive the iOS 7 update, later this year, they will be able to make voice-only FaceTime calls whenever they have a wi-fi signal and will be able to push images and other content to their friends’ iOS devices through AirDrop, a mobile version of the sharing platform on the Mac desktops that notices when friends’ computers are on the same network or within range.
Protect your device
The Activation Lock ensures that even if a stolen iPhone or iPad is wiped, it can never be used again unless the activation lock password is entered. Every time it is charged it will simply display the message that the device is stolen on the home screen.