Integration, Integration, Integration
One of the most notable features of the next Mac OS is “Continuity,” which leverages a constant connection to the cloud to allow users to move from device to device while working on the same documents.
Edits to a document or photo made on one device show up almost immediately on another.
A similar feature, “Handoff,” allows AAPL devices on the same network to “know” what another is doing and lets the user start a task on one and finish it on another.
While these features are useful, they also help lock users into the Apple world. You need to have an all-Apple line-up of devices to get the maximum benefit. An Android phone or tablet won’t fit in.
Three rumored features revealed in the keynote also fit into this integration, but expand it in several significant ways.
The HealthKit app is designed to integrate data from lots of other wearable tech health devices into one comprehensive place. Apple has made it easy for such companies to make their devices and software compatible with HealthKit.
The HomeKit app lets makers of “smart” appliances, such as lights, thermostats, door locks, and so on, connect to Apple’s HomeKit app, so all of those things can be controlled from an iPhone. Several big names are already on board, including Koninklijke Philips NV (NYSE ADR: PHG), Kwikset, and Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON).
Finally, AAPL said it was opening the TouchID feature on the iPhone 5s to developers, so they could use it in their apps. This opens up a lot of new possibilities for apps that require secure access.
Cook also let loose some salvos against Android in his pitch to keep developers in the Apple fold despite shrinking market share.