It’s a sticky sit­u­a­tion

New ‘ sticky’ soft­ware is de­signed to lock users into the Ap­ple sys­tem,

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - writes Rod Ch­ester Rod Ch­ester trav­elled to San Fran­cisco with Ap­ple.

AP­PLE is build­ing a big­ger wall. The Cu­per­tino tech­nol­ogy gi­ant has long been fo­cused on keep­ing users in­side a closed ecosys­tem – a walled gar­den – and its new phone and com­puter soft­ware an­nounced at the World­wide De­vel­op­ers Con­fer­ence in San Fran­cisco re­cently con­tin­ued the trend.

Ap­ple’s an­nounce­ments show it is keen to tighten the bonds be­tween desk­top, lap­top, tablet com­put­ers and phones, mak­ing them more “sticky”, as well as ex­tend­ing its reach to the houses we live in, the cars we drive and even our phys­i­cal well­be­ing.

Its new mo­bile op­er­at­ing sys­tem, iOS 8, will tackle well­be­ing with an app called Health. The app will gather data from ac­tiv­ity trackers, health­mon­i­tor­ing de­vices and even your med­i­cal cen­tre in a cen­tral por­tal.

Ap­ple also an­nounced Homekit, a sys­tem for de­vel­op­ers to let con­sumers bring app- con­nected smart ap­pli­ances to­gether and al­low Siri to con­trol them.

To fur­ther lock users into Ap­ple de­vices, Ap­ple chief ex­ec­u­tive Tim Cook em­pha­sised an ap­proach called “con­ti­nu­ity” be­tween iOS 8 and OS Yosemite, both of which are due in spring as free up­dates.

A new fea­ture called Hand­off will let users switch from the doc­u­ment, mes­sage or email al­ready started on one Ap­ple de­vice to con­tinue on an­other de­vice.

An­other fea­ture called Fam­ily Shar­ing will let up to six mem­bers of a fam­ily share Ap­ple apps, mu­sic and movies as long as they all pay with one credit card.

A new iCloud Photo li­brary will share pho­tos

Why should I run across the room to pick up an iPhone when I am al­ready on an Ap­ple de­vice

across mo­bile and desk­top de­vices, files will be trans­ferred from iPhones to Macs with a re­vamped Air­Drop, and iPads and Macs will be used as speak­ers for in­com­ing calls to iPhones.

One thing miss­ing at WWDC, how­ever, was new hard­ware. De­spite the hopes of many Ap­ple watch­ers, there was no re­vamped Mac­Book Air, “pro­fes­sional” iPad or the much- an­tic­i­pated iWatch.

In­stead, the fo­cus was on the de­vel­op­ers who make the apps that run on iPhones and iPads. The happy appy chap­pies re­ceived new pro­gram­ming code and fewer re­stric­tions on el­e­ments such as quick- type key­boards to en­able swipe- style typ­ing pop­u­lar with Google An­droid fans.

Gart­ner an­a­lyst Carolina Mi­lanesi tweeted a sum­mary of Ap­ple’s new strat­egy: “Se­cure open­ness, more is bet­ter when it comes to de­vices, grow­ing the value of iCloud. All = a richer ecosys­tem ex­pe­ri­ence.”

IDC an­a­lyst Tom Mainelli summed up Ap­ple’s strat­egy as mak­ing its en­vi­ron­ment “pleas­antly sticky”.

“The con­ti­nu­ity stuff is huge,” Mainelli says. “I’ve of­ten won­dered why Ap­ple is not press­ing its ad­van­tage here with a phone and a tablet and a note­book all in my bag, and yet they don’t know that they are in the bag to­gether and that I’m mov­ing from one de­vice to an­other.

“Why should I run across the room to pick up an iPhone when I am al­ready on an Ap­ple de­vice?”

Mainelli says while the em­pha­sis at WWDC was on op­er­at­ing sys­tems, when you look at the fea­tures and the em­pha­sis on the app de­vel­op­ment com­mu­nity, Ap­ple is about grow­ing its ecosys­tem.

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