Innovation

Podcast: Business Technology Weekly - WWDC 2016: Apple the Underdog

Business Technology Weekly is TechRepublic's news podcast, featuring tech headlines, trends, and stories. This week we discuss what announcements at Apple's WWDC mean for developers and business.

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Has Apple fallen behind the innovation curve? This week on TechRepublic's Business Technology Weekly podcast, hosts Dan Patterson, Bill Detwiler, and Amy Talbot discuss what iOS, tvOS, WatchOS, macOS, and other software announcements from WWDC mean for developers and business.

Headlines:

  • Apple WWDC 2016: What business users need to know from the keynote | Conner Forrest This Monday, Apple kicked off its 27th annual Worldwide Developers Conference. Here are a few business takeaways from the keynote address: First, the developer preview of watchOS 3 is available, and apps have been redesigned for one touch accessibility and will be getting support for Apple Pay. Business travelers in emergencies will be able use the SOS feature to connect to 911 and get notifications and GPS coordinates sent to their emergency contacts. It works in different countries as well so you don't have to remember different emergency numbers. Second, the macOS Sierra developer preview is out now, and the public beta will be here in July. Retailers should note that Apple Pay is coming to the web. Users click to pay with Apple Pay and then, using Continuity, they authenticate with their Apple Watch or with Touch ID on their iPhone. And Siri is coming to the Mac with macOS Sierra, bringing with it more sophisticated file queries. Users can ask Siri to show them files that they worked on last week, or files about a specific topic or with a specific tag. Finally, Siri is getting some upgrades with the iOS 10, which is now available in developer preview. Apple is opening up Siri to developers, so that it can work more closely with third-party apps. Siri intelligence is also coming to the iOS keyboard, using deep learning to provide better quick responses and intelligently schedule events based on text conversations. Siri will be able to check your calendar availability or paste a recent address you were searching for. iOS is also getting support for multilingual typing.
  • Apple WWDC 2016: The wonderful world of new developer APIs | Cory Bohon iOS announcements were packed with new betas for every Apple platform, including new APIs for iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. The updates include deeper developer hooks for Siri in iOS, Apple Pay, tvOS, iCloud data sharing, 3D Touch widgets, and a new speech recognition framework. In the past Apple has taken some heat for locking down its platforms. If social media is any indication, OS consolidation, and Apple's new, deep API integration, has developers fired up.
  • WWDC 2016: Apple's product announcements are losing punch | Erik Eckel Apple is the most innovative and desirable company in consumer technology, right? Think again. Apple WWDC 2016 announcements are primarily about incremental, though elegant, updates to its Mac OS, iOS, iCloud Drive, Siri, and other services. Some analysts are concerned that Apple has not decoupled apps like Music from the core OS; most updates won't hit devices for several more months. It remains unclear if iOS 10 will address bugs with Apple Watch, Apple Music, and iCloud. The next iPhone is rumored to be a strong but incremental upgrade as well. Android has greatly improved over the past several years, and with manufacturers like Samsung nipping at Apple's heels, could this be the end of Apple's mobile dominance?
  • Apple File System revealed at WWDC 2016, focused on encryption and SSD support | Conner Forrest One of the biggest releases for the enterprise came out with the updates to macOS Sierra. A new file system for storage called the Apple File System is being released in developer preview. It was created to replace the aging HFS and HFS+ systems, which Apple said were "developed in an era of floppy disks and spinning hard drives, where file sizes were calculated in kilobytes or megabytes." The Apple File System is built with Flash storage in mind and to handle millions of files that may be larger in size. One improvement over the old system is that Apple File System supports 64-bit inode numbers vs. the 32-bit IDs supported by HFS+. Apple File System also has support for sparse files, but HFS+ doesn't. To protect against crashes, the new system utilizes a copy-on-write metadata scheme to make sure that file systems updates are safe in the event of a crash. If you were holding out for a non-case-sensitive system, though, you're out of luck. Apple File System filenames are currently case-sensitive only.
  • WWDC 2016: Apple to require HTTPS encryption on all iOS apps by 2017 | Conner Forrest Apple's war for encryption continues. The company announced on Wednesday that it will require all iOS apps to use HTTPS connections by January 1, 2017. Currently, Apple recommends that iOS apps use a feature called App Transport Security, but it isn't required. By making the use of App Transport Security, and thus encrypted web traffic through HTTPS, Apple is strengthening its stand for privacy, which sparked controversy when it refused to unlock an iPhone for the FBI. So, if you're an iOS developer, you have until the end of the year to enable ATS for your app. However, it hasn't been clear yet what the repercussions will be for developers who don't comply.

Roundtable Bonus Podcast:

  • Is Apple Doomed? In this bonus discussion, TechRepublic's Business Technology Weekly crew plus TechRepublic staff writer Conner Forrest talk about our takeaways from Apple's WWDC 2016. We discuss the more significant announcements - like the one about encryption, and the trivial - like new emojis and text bubbles. We question the media hype surrounding the conference, and whether every event like this has to be full of big, exciting announcements, and we speculate about what's going on behind the scenes at Apple and what it might mean for business users.

Weekly Survey:

  • The Industrial Cloud | Teena Maddox Is your company using an industrial cloud service? An industry cloud provides tools, technologies, and business services uniquely tailored to a specific vertical, such as the healthcare or financial industry, and TechRepublic's sister site, Tech Pro Research, is doing a survey to find out who's using it and what industries users are in. So if you have five minutes, tell us your thoughts about the industry cloud and you'll get a free copy of the research report, which is normally only available to paid subscribers.

Produced by Amy Talbot, Bill Detwiler, Jason Hiner, and Dan Patterson.

We appreciate your feedback and support! Contact us here: podcast [at] techrepublic [dot] com, and (646) 389-5404.

TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research publish a number of free and useful business technology newsletters. Each week we spotlight a newsletter that summarizes the week's most interesting stories. If you want to keep up with the news about Apple after the WWDC, you should subscribe to our Apple in the Enterprise newsletter. It's delivered to inboxes on Tuesdays and Fridays, and it provides tips and tutorials on deploying and supporting Apple products in a business environment.

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About Dan Patterson

Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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