This is the second of a two-part blog post on key takeaways from Apple’s WWDC 2013. Here we discuss other takeaways from the Apple’s annual developer’s conference.
This is an example of how the two operating systems are trying to merge or rather the OSXfication of iOS. Air Drop which was earlier only part of Mac OSX – is now bundled in iOS 7. And it functions almost in a similar manner! Since we are dealing with phones here – it’s a cause of concern that there is no passcode or user authentication involved. According to Apple’s website, the service will also support sending Passbook passes and contacts. And, given that there’s also a third-party API for AirDrop we guess that this is a precursor to a wallet in some ways.
Focus on China
With Apple doing exceptionally well in China, it has decided to give the necessary attention to its Chinese users by including a Chinese-English bilingual dictionary; handwriting recognition for multiple Chinese characters; and support for Chinese microblogging service Tencent Weibo. Considering the fact that Apple was tight lipped until last year about China operations – this is definitely a lot of love.
iBeacons use Bluetooth Low Energy profile for microlocation. So your iOS device may be able to connect/collect/transfer to Bluetooth 4.0 devices – your “exact location within a location” – for example – the floor of the Grand Hyatt you are located or in which specific aisle of the departmental store you are presently in. All this without having a GPS system installed! With Indoor Positioning Systems reaching maturity – mobile does seem to be next logical jump. Just imagine the possibilities. This is going to result in a rat-race among retailers that are now using all sorts of technologies such as Heat Maps and Piezo-electric tiles to track behavioral analytics. Currently there is no de-facto standard for IPS. Looks like Apple’s going to have another feather in its cap. [Technical details aren’t really available at this point of time – so actual implementation or use-case might differ.]
Third Party Game Controller Support
If you wondered, if any part of iOS 7 is for Gamers, then this has to be it. Imagine using your iPhone 5 as a Game Controller. What if there was a snap-on case for such games which were made for iDevices? Can you imagine the possibilities? We can already think of quite a few items – Joysticks, Steering Wheels, Guns. Logitech’s leaked game controller for iOS has a lightning connector. Android already has thousands of Third Party Game Controllers in the market but it hasn’t really picked up as most Android games are still touch-based.
That brings us to another question. With iDevices famous for their touch based interfaces – will Apple be able to make a dent in the video game universe? But it’s also hard to predict which way the video game market might swing. It would be safe to assume that right now this is not a threat to the video gaming eco-system. Introducing a game controller standard is Apple’s way of acknowledging Sony and Microsoft.
The new WiFi standard
Apple is now selling a 802.11ac version of their Airport Extreme Router. The new Macbook Air also has this capability. Why a new WiFi standard? This Wifi standard supports data transfer speeds of up to 1.3 Gbps – allowing for HD video (even 4K according to some experts) to stream between devices. Apple TV has its own fair share of issues owing to its dependencies on your WiFi bandwidth or the speed of your own Internet. Eliminating the dependency on “your” WiFi – the connectivity between your Device and TV has now exponentially improved. And what would you/could you stream at that speed and resolution? Videos and (wait for it) Games! Couple this with the Third Party Game Controller Support discussed earlier – doesn’t it make perfect sense? Games require very low latency and high response speed and this new standard is the perfect mask for Apple’s intention to “take over your living room”
Two other features that we believe could improve the iOS experience are “Device Security” by which if someone turns off your “Find my iPhone” or wipe your iOS Device, they won’t be able to reactivate it without your iCloud password – and “60 FPS video capture” which we believe could lead to some interesting Vine videos.