We knew this year’s WWDC event would bring some serious change to the industry. Like a lot of tech-Texans last Monday we saddled up our mares and booked it towards the nearest library to gather around a public computer screen, watching the live stream while enjoying a potful of pork and beans.
The following presentation left us baffled at the newfangled capabilities iOS 8 and OX Yosemite had to offer; the communicative features in particular. Apart from the new programming language, Swift, the enhanced communication features will create a permanent change in the course of Apple’s global dominat- I mean, relations. A massive advantage for most will be the uncertain demise of long-time apps that hold sway in the communicative field.
First, lets address these enhancements that the new operating system will introduce regarding communication:
- Mail Drop (using iCloud): This feature allows us to send files up to 5GB in size which can sync with devices other than Apple products (Dropbox). Mail Drop will also make image sharing more simple, with the ability to annotate them using the ‘Markup tool’. You can encrypt any email with S/MIME protocol. They’ve also added the ability to mark email threads as important so you receive notifications whenever someone adds to the conversation.
- iCloud Drive: a Dropbox-like file sharing/storing system.
- Passcodes for all main apps including Mail, Messages, Reminders, and Notes. Third-party apps as well.
- Group Facetime Sessions
- Wi-fi calling: allows iPhones to make calls through wi-fi networks, making calls while traveling outside the States will be made simple. No strings attached.
- Quicktype and Third-Party keyboards: Enhanced keyboard response/’smart type’ abilities. You can also download new keyboards by third-party developers to set as your default keyboard.
The implication we gathered from this is that Apple intends to sever the significance of applications owned by Microsoft. Needless to say, the two have been locked into a fistfight since Microsoft introduced Zune to challenge the iPod. With the release of these new features, Apple is going directly for the jugular of Microsoft’s communication applications, including Skype, Lync and GroupMe.
Lync, I’ve come to find, isn’t so user friendly and even “terrible” according to the long list of negative reviews it’s received on Google’s Play store. The fact that the market of communication applications has grown immensely proves a challenge in appealing to users who already have several options to choose from.However, GroupMe works well with Apple devices and has received much praise in comparison to other group messaging apps on the market. To quote Business Insider, “… it’s the only app that strikes the perfect balance of everything you want in a messaging app with a user-friendly interface.” Apple’s iOS 8 plans to give GroupMe a run for their money by not only by allowing users to share their location within the group messaging thread and silencing specific alerts, but you can now use the ‘details’ menu within the thread to find attachments (and delete them) without scrolling up to find one. Also, if you weren’t a fan of the iphone/ipad’s original keyboard, a third-party keyboard can be applied as a default interface used in all conversations. This allows more personalization for users and a chance for developers to create interesting, new keyboard designs.
Another Microsoft application that will soon become less useful is their encryption app, Rights Management Sharing. This allows individuals to securely collaborate by encrypting the files they send back and forth, whether it be pictures, audio files, or another document the user intends to keep private. iOS’s new ability to encrypt emails with an S/MIME protocol will create less of a demand for additional apps that perform the same (or similar) functions.
Some other companies affected by iOS 8 include Dropbox, Viber (wi-fi calling/messaging), Yammer (thread notifications), and Snapchat. For Viber specifically, this plays exactly the same as it does against Skype & GroupMe. iOS 8, by bringing communication straight to your macbook, iPad, etc. will, as stated previously, be quite a challenge for these and many other large communication brands competing for recognition and usage.
– Blog post by Mason Gomez, Marketing @ PixelRocket:
PixelRocket is an up and coming mobile and web app company in Houston Texas. We work primarily with nonprofits, startups and enterprise companies as one of the leading app development companies, whether for web or for mobile. Our primary concerns as a software and design company are to exceed the standards of average iPhone application development companies by bringing value to the customer and their goals.
PixelRocket also strives to provide the best in UI/UX design when it comes to the end user experience for web and mobile applications. Our designers are the best in the state and we aim to provide an extraordinary experience with every digital interaction we craft.
Interested in learning more about the company? Check out our recent posts concerning the software testing life cycle and software unit testing here!