TECH The apple-based firm is developing synergies in its ecosystem and is tackling Zoom and Facebook head-on by boosting video and iMessage
- Apple’s WWDC Developer Conference runs virtually until Friday.
- On Monday, during its big keynote, Apple lifted the veil on iOS 15.
- By boosting sharing on FaceTime and iMessage, the apple-based firm is challenging Facebook.
Some were disappointed by the lack of shocking announcements. But at its WWDC developer conference on Monday, Apple unveiled an extremely cohesive view of its ecosystem. From its watch to the connected home, including the iPhone-iPad-Mac triptych, the Apple company is developing the complementarity of its services to better capture users.
iOS 15, a minor update
While Android 12 will offer itself a design revised from top to bottom, iOS is evolving smoothly this year. The notification system has been revised, and they can now be classified by priority – thanks to artificial intelligence – and no longer just by date. Focus mode offers more settings than “Do Not Disturb”. Like Google Lense, the camera is able to identify text present in an image, such as on a business card or menu. In the United States, the Apple Wallet will allow you to store your driver’s license – which acts as an identity card – in a digital version in certain partner states. The weather app, it integrates data from Dark Sky, bought by Apple, and Maps offers a 3D mode displaying the elevation.
With FaceTime and iMessage, Apple challenges Zoom and Facebook
Apple took advantage of the pandemic to add many functions to FaceTime, which is coming to the market for Zoom and Google Meet. An appointment can be planned in advance, and for the first time, the link shared with contacts on Android or a Windows PC. With portrait mode, the background of her messy living room can be blurred.
Apple is venturing a little more into the social field. With SharePlay, the company tackles shared experiences: several people can listen to a piece of music or watch a video together. Apple has announced partnerships with Disney +, Hulu, HBO Max, TikTok, and Twitch, among others. Finally, with “Shared with you”, iMessages archives in a flow all the elements shared by a contact (photos, videos, articles). While Mark Zuckerberg no longer believes in a public newsfeed and relies on private interactions in small groups, Apple’s message is clear: you don’t need Facebook for this.
Universal control connected home… Internal and external synergies
For several years, Apple has been developing the complementarity between its different devices. With MacOS Monterey, the trend goes further: “universal control” allows you to control your Mac and your iPad with the same keyboard / touchpad when they are next to each other, without any configuration required. It’s not just an extended display: it is possible to copy and drag a file from one to the other, thanks to Bluetooth and direct wifi.
On the connected home side, Apple is finally opening Siri to partners. Its assistant will be integrated in particular on an Ecobee thermostat, to better compete with Amazon and Google.
Apple promises to protect privacy
Google plays the tightrope by promising to protect privacy while needing personal data for advertising. Apple, which sells its devices at a high price, does not have this dilemma. The company poses as a champion of privacy. Mail, in particular, protects geolocation and prevents any tracking via hidden pixels, which allow third parties to collect information (if an e-mail is opened or if a link is clicked, for example).
Apple ensures that some functions (such as text recognition in photos) are done locally and not in the Cloud, just like voice commands for Siri. With the Apple Watch, you can share particularly sensitive data on your health with doctors, but also relatives. They are encrypted locally and in transit, which means Apple never has access to them.
The mature ecosystem is more attractive than ever. You still have to have the means to afford it. The bill for an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and MacBook Pro fluctuates from 2,500 euros for entry-level models and more than 5,000 euros for the most recent.
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