The highlights of Apple’s announcement – slimmer iPad, apple Pay and more
Cupertino, California based Apple Inc. had a product announcements today. Here are the highlights…
“Apple Pay is entirely new way to pay in-app and in stores” said Tim Cook on the stage. “Easy secure private way to pay” he added. Along with American Express, MasterCard and Visa the company has partnered with 500 banks in U.S to roll out Apple Pay. Tim has announced that Apple Pay will launching on end of October 2014 across the United States. “We believe Apple Pay is going to be huge, it is going to change the way we pay.” said Cook. Apple pay uses a near-field communication (NFC) chip that is embedded in the latest iPhone 6. Customers can shop in the store by just weaving their phones and authenticating transaction with Touch ID fingerprint sensors.
The most personal device Apple has created. The company said they’ve had great reception from the fitness and fashion industry since the announcement of Apple Watch a month ago. Tim proudly flaunted a Chinese Vogue magazine cover featuring a super model wearing Apple Watch. Apple has said they’ve already developed WatchKit API; for the developers delight it will be rolling out next week. Tim said “he is looking forward to that day” where the company will be shipping AppleWatch, which is early next year. Apple didn't announce fixed date for shipment.
Apple's senior vice president of software, Craig Federighi, started by taking a dig on Android comparing what iOS8 did in 26 days v/s 311 days of kitkat to move their respective users to the latest mobile OS. He said almost 95% of iOS users are running latest operating system(iOS7 & 8). Here are is the break down. 48% users have upgraded to iOS 8, 46% uses iOS 7 and 6% are on older versions. Also Camera Roll has resurfaced on iOS 8.1, it was removed in iOS 8. The beta version of iCloud Photo Library lets uses store all of their photos from all their devices in the cloud on its original file size without downscaling. iOS 8.1 will also be launching in next week on October 20, 2014.
Apple has said developers will get access to TouchID API.
Swift is entirely new programming language developed by Apple for developers to develop for iOS. Craig said “IBM, has completely embraced Swift for their enterprise application development.” He also added “The will be lots of new Swift programmers being minted every day as major universities has partnered with Apple to teach Swift”
Mac OS X
OS X 10.10 Yosemite, is available for download today for free for anyone with Mac machine. The Yosemite update includes Spotlight that could search the web, Spotlight suggestions, native social sharing from the Safari browser. Access to the tabs that you’ve opened across all your devices. Mail Drop, Continuity where your devises are aware of each other. “The best remote you have is the one on your wrist.” You can use your Apple Watch to control your slides on the screen.
Apple unveiled its thinnest ever tablet, the iPad Air 2 ( 6.1mm (0.24in) thick). Tim said about what they tried to do with the new iPad “Packing up more and more power and performance. It is transforming the way we work, play and learn and communicate.” He also remarked the company has sold more iPads(quarter a billion) in the first four year more than any other product s in the history of Apple. iPads have dedicated 675,000 apps on the AppStore. The iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini has come with Touch ID, finger print sensors. Apple has not put NFC in the new iPad Air or the iPad Mini. Whereas iPad Air 2 is armed with A8X chip which is 40% faster than its predecessor, and graphics are 2.5xfaster. Retina iMac Apple has also showed off the new Retina iMac. It comes with 27in (68.6cm) screen with a resolution of 5K, the highest in the industry. The retina iMac's 5210 by 2880 pixels offers 5x detail of a "full HD" 1080p television.
The Apple SIM card
Apple has created a SIM card that lets users switch between multiple cellular networks – AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. This will be a God send feature for frequent travelers.
Apple said its website “The Apple SIM gives you the flexibility to choose from a variety of short-term plans from select carriers in the U.S. and UK right on your iPad. So whenever you need it, you can choose the plan that works best for you — with no long-term commitments. And when you travel, you may also be able to choose a data plan from a local carrier for the duration of your trip.”
If Apple ties up with more carries and rolls out this in more countries, it could make SIM swapping obsolete for international travelers. Two needles in the hay stack of today’s announcements: Spotlight web search and Continuity.
These two are very interesting features. Search is Google’s territory; first siri has tried to encroach in the zone. Now Apple has another trick under its sleeves – direct web search from spotlight. Would be very interesting to see the impact of this on Apple vs Google war in the future. The other one is continuity: All your devices talks to each other and know what you are doing. The task you’ve started on phone/iPad follows you on iMac later and continues exactly from where you left off. This further expands the deep integration between iOS and OS X.