WWDC 2014 has kicked off and this has given us an opportunity to take a look at what's coming down the pipeline from Apple. One of the big new features is tighter integration between OS X 10.10 Yosemite and iOS 8. These new integration features include:
- Continuity: iOS and OS X devices recognize when other devices are in proximity to them and allow users to switch seamlessly from one device to another. For example, start creating a spreadsheet on the iPhone, and hand it over to a Mac.
- SMS and iPhone integration: Text messages come to OS X devices, and Macs can use a nearby iPhone to make and receive calls.
- iCloud Drive: Users can access documents created in one app from other apps.
But will this help Apple sell more Macs?
There's no doubt that iOS devices are flying off the shelves. Last quarter saw almost 44 million iPhones and 16 million iPads sold.
Compare this to Mac, which saw only 4.1 million devices shipped over the same period. Compared to iOS, Mac sales feel like a rounding error.
Apple could have chosen to do more to better integrate iOS with Windows – a move that would undoubtedly benefit more users – but it has instead chosen to focus on its own ecosystem. That's significant, and could be the tipping point that Apple has been waiting for on two fronts.
Apple is now clearly – and quite aggressively – leveraging the iOS to push OS X, and is capitalizing on the fact that almost 90 percent of iOS devices are running the latest version of iOS (compare this to Android, where less than 10 percent of devices are running the latest KitKat release). And since many of these integrations revolve around productivity, this push could not only put more Macs into homes that have iPhones and iPads, but it could very well build on the success that iOS has seen in the BYOD market and give OS X a huge helping hand.
And Apple is keen not to leave any iOS user behind. iOS 8 – which will be released to devices this fall – will run on iPhones going all the way back to the iPhone 4s, on iPads back to the iPad 2, and fifth-generation iPod touch devices. This means that Apple isn't using iOS 8 to sell new iPhones and iPads – I think it feels that those sales will take are of themselves – but instead is using it to push OS X is more homes and businesses.
Will this work? I guess we'll have to wait and see. But one thing's for sure, this is a new play for Apple.