Apple unveiled a host of exciting new features at its annual developer conference. But several of these mean new battlefields for the tech giant.
1. iMessage vs.WhatsApp
Why pay $19 billion for WhatsApp when you can turn your own messaging service into a major WhatsApp competitor? Apple’s WWDC keynote unveiled an array of new iMessage functions that are clearly stolen from WhatsApp. The new version of iMessage will allow users to send their location, voice message, film and photos all straight from the app. WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum responded to the iMessage upgrades with sarcastic enthusiasm.
very flattering to see Apple „borrow“ numerous WhatsApp features into iMessage in iOS 8 #innovation
— jan koum (@jankoum) 2. Juni 2014
Unlike on WhatsApp however, voice messages send with iMessage are to feature a self-destruct function.
2. iCloud Drive vs. Dropbox
With the help of MailDrop and iCloud, Apple users will now be able to send emails with attachments of up to 5GB. „We all know that documents in the cloud provide a really convenient way for working with an app that works across all platforms,“ said Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi.
Apple wants to address a „fundamental problem with email“, namely the limits on the size of attachments.
3. Apple vs. foreign devices
The focus of this year’s WWDC keynote was on the integration of Apple devices. In particular, Apple previewed „Continuity“ a feature that allows users to start working on something with one device, and finish it on another device. The integration of Apple products with AirDrop and iCloud shows that Apple is interested in consolidating its base of customers within the Apple universe, and giving them more reasons to stay loyal.
Re:code’s Walt Mossberg says the „the overwhelming theme at WWDC was that your digital life can be better if your phone, tablet and laptop all have the familiar Apple logo.“
However, the tech giant has simultaneously opened up its API to allow integration of third-party software to modify Safari and native iOS apps, like the camera.
4. „Hey Siri“ vs. „Ok Google“
Apple isn’t even trying to disguise where it got this idea from. Just like Google Glass and Chrome, Siri will soon be listening out for prompts from iPhone and iPad users. Without touching their phone, Apple users can activate Siri simply by saying „Hey Siri“.
Siri isn’t the only battlefront that Apple shares with Google. Apple’s move into the smart home field rivals Google’s purchase of Nest and a growing interest in an internet of smart household objects that are linked to one user profile.
5. Apple Swift vs. Objective-C
Developers were surprised to discover that Apple has built its own programming language, Swift. Swift is designed to work side-by-side with any existing Objective-C code that Apple aready uses in its software.
But it looks like Apple is planning to phase out Objective-C and wants its developers to use its own version of the coding language, which also works like Objective-C.