Apple is deep into the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with no hints that an announcement of the iWatch or iPhone 6 is still coming. However, the Mac maker did drop some very big hints during the keynote presentation that fall towards the possibility that consumers may see a iWatch or other wearable devices this fall. OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 are scheduled to be released this fall, and the expectation is that the new iPhone will come out at the same time.
The chance is strong that Apple is still developing a smartwatch that will integrate with the new features of both operating systems appears strong. Looking at the new iOS app, HomeKit, an iWatch seems made for this app. HomeKit will allow users to securely pair iOS devices, like an iPhone or iPad, to lights, locks, and appliances around the home. The ability to unlock a door or turn on lights from a user’s wrist would be the logical next step for Apple in the development of the home automation package.
Another iOS app that appears to be made for a iWatch offering is HealthKit. The iWatch has been speculated to incorporate Nike’s Fuelband technology, which would collect wearer’s data. Heart rate, steps taken, calories burned, sleep patterns, and potentially more information could be collected and go into the HealthKit package. Having a scanner in doctors’ offices that a patient wearing a iWatch could swipe the smartwatch over could further speed up sharing users collected data with healthcare professionals.
Consumers would have the ability to connect current health and fitness related wearables to HealthKit, however, it is a safe bet that Apple would not want to be left out of this market. While a iWatch may just be a dream for consumers, odds are some sort of digital wearable will come out of Cupertino as an option to the FitBit or other fitness wearables. The two iOS app packages were not the only hints that Apple dropped about a potential iWatch at the WWDC keynote.
The remote call feature that Apple showed Apple CEO Tim Cook calling the company’s newest employee, Dr. Dre, seems like a feature made for a iWatch. The feature showed users that when a call comes into an iPhone, it can be answered through a connected Mac computer or iPad. Calls can also be initiated from the connected computers and tablets and this through more speculation towards a smartwatch offering.
The Touch ID technology that allows third-party apps to be used is thought to be made for a iWatch. Using the technology to pay for a latte at Starbucks or waving a wrist at a toll booth makes perfect sense for the iWatch. Consumers who are traveling could find that electronic check in at an airport much easier with a digital wearable than having to dig out a smartphone or printing out confirmation numbers.
Even with the hints dropped by Apple at the WWDC, there is that off chance that the iPhone maker is not developing a smartwatch at all. However, with the many developers at the conference, consumers could see a third party iWatch device released this fall that may offer some connection to many of the new features shown in Yosemite and iOS 8. A third-party iWatch would be a let down to consumers, and Apple does have another reason to look at a smartwatch offering. An Apple iWatch that ties in HomeKit, HealthKit and the other features mentioned, it could vault the company past rival Samsung and the Galaxy product line that includes a smartwatch device already. An iWatch wold continue the battle between the two companies and take it to a whole new level.
By Carl Auer