A great list of new features for Apple users were revealed this week at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) which aims to eventually make your Apple devices the centre of your home and family life, where each member of the family would be required Apple access in order to live a seemingly futuristic lifestyle. Revealed was the Ideal Apple House, running off the HomeKit application with Siri integration, where voice control can lock and unlock your doors and garage, whilst monitoring and controlling lighting and heating. It would be required for each member of the family to own an Apple portable device connected to a family share account in order to enter and leave the premises.
Although Apple doesn’t currently have the market share to achieve this kind of dominance easily, figures collected already show Apple’s domination over competing operating systems. Figures show 90% of Apple users have upgraded to the most recent software versions of iOS, compared to the likes of Microsoft who only have 14% of users updated onto Windows 8 and 9% of users who have upgraded their Android device to the latest version of Android KitKat.
A second feature announced at the WWDC is a new software called HealthKit which connects with third-party wearable health devices, allowing monitoring of the user’s body and personal health. The parallel app Health, allows for healthcare statistics to be measured and for the user’s hospital to automatically be contacted if irregularities are detected.
Years previously, Apple attempted to purchase Dropbox with no success, therefore to bring forward direct competition, Apple have announced iCloud Drive – an internet based storage facility which combines to provide improved call and message integration. The iCloud Drive will supply users with access to 5GB of storage for free, allowing for access and uploading via other iOS devices, Mac computers and Windows PC’s. This 5BG of storage exceeds the 2GB signup allowance of Dropbox, however falling short of the 15GB provision provided by Google Drive, 7GB of Microsoft OneDrive and 10GB of Box. Features allowing up to 5GB of email attachments to be sent will be released, although this service is already available to Dropbox and Hightail users.
Updates for App Developers were also revealed, allowing developers access to Apple’s own programming language Swift, which makes the development of high quality apps easier whilst assisting to fewer mistakes, greater creativity and developer satisfaction to prevent them from swaying to Android. New App Store tools also allow for developers to embed short videos in App Store listings to give users an overview of highlighted features. The patented Touch ID fingerprint scanner has finally been given the go-ahead for third-party developers, allowing for additional integration with applications. Each of these features aim to create an all new layer to create a gaming console experience.
In App Store improvements have also been made for users, allowing the purchase of discount app bundles, flight tests of unreleased applications and the ability to search for applications through sub- categories in order to help find the exact app you’re searching for.
Unfortunately for those anticipating the announcement of iWatch this year, no statements to suggest an upcoming release were made, suggesting we may be waiting for another year for any additional news. Now Apple has began to diversify it’s eco-system into new segments, will it tower over competitors, or will there be tricks hidden up their sleeves?