On June 2nd, Apple had its 25th annual developer conference which has been covered extensively by the press. Personally, I thought Apple’s announcements were very important in a variety of ways, and I can’t wait to get the next version of the Mac OS which is called Yosemite, the first Jewish version of the OS (Yo Semite) as well as IOS 8.
It is surprising that with all the press coverage, one very important aspect of the announcements was missed: Apple laid out the foundation of the iWatch that should launch in the fall. Here is why I think that:
Apple outlined the software structure it plans to use for Home Automation. The company indicated that IOS would become a platform for this capability. The iPhone was the example device. Using your iPhone, you will be able to control the lighting in your home, climate, security and more. To do this means you have to have you phone with you. But many if not most people do set down their phones in their homes. It is much easier to keep something on your wrist.
It is no secret that Apple has been developing a platform to integrate health information. The platform for this is called Health Kit. It will allow the integration of health information from a variety of devices, applications and services. Don’t be surprised when it become apparent that most prominent on this will be Apple’s own devices, applications and services. The key device will be the iWatch as I have stated before.
Siri-always on and always listening
Siri, Apple’s voice control App is constantly improving. It is getting better at understanding what you are saying and can do more things. For instance, I can ask Siri to pay a certain song or call a certain person. Now with the new versions of the Operating Systems. Siri will always be listening. You will not have to push anything but just say, “Hey Siri” followed you your question or command. This will be especially important when the thing on your wrist is doing the listening. It will be a lot easier to just say “Hey Siri, can you dim down the lights and turn on the next episode of “Orange is the new Black” without having to look for your phone.
You don’t need your phone to have a phone
Apple will provide a way to make and accept phone calls and text on every device. If your cell rings, but you are not near your computer, you can answer it on your computer, iPad, AppleTV or your iWatch. It is likely that your phone will not be near you when you are now able to answer or make a call from any device. I have experienced this for sometime using a combination of Google Voice and Hangout.
App developers will be able to use Apple verification to authenticate users. The fingerprint verification will be added to all devices but once you verify yourself on the iWatch, you will not have to do that again unless you take the watch off.
iBeacon is a very important part of Apple’s strategy going forward. With iBeacon, Apple will know where you are in your home for instance (they will give you good reasons to put beacons around your house).
Apple is moving more an more functionality to the cloud that is a critical component of their strategy for the future. Steve Jobs discussed this during his last speech. Moving functionally, and data to the cloud makes devices much more powerful and yet easier to use. iCloud is not there to support the iWatch. It is the other way around.
Finally I should say that the iWatch will not be named iWatch. The name of this device is one of the most carefully guarded secrets. I think that I will refer to it as iBand in the future.