The full scope of the Apple world becomes the focus

Even if a new feature in the iPhone Photos app arranges your photos into a slideshow with emotional soundtrack, you need to subscribe to Apple Music. Accessing new fitness class products in Apple Fitness+ and using them on the big screen requires a subscription to Fitness+, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.

With the help of macOS Monterey, which is about to run on Mac computers and laptops, a project called General control Allow users to synchronize their Mac and iPad wirelessly, and use a keyboard or mouse on these two hardware. AirPlay will also appear on the Mac, so iPhone users can cast their mobile content to the Mac screen. macOS Monterey includes many of the same software updates as iOS 15, including an upgraded FaceTime experience and SharePlay features. Almost all roads lead to another Apple product.

Not all new Apple software features are limited to Apple products. SharePlay will have an API or application programming interface, which is a set of software tools that allow other application manufacturers to build these media sharing experiences into their products. Some large content streaming application manufacturers have registered to allow sharing of their videos, including Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+, Twitch and TikTok. FaceTime is about to land on the Internet, which means that Android phone users and Windows PC users will be able to continue to make FaceTime calls that they have been denied for years. Siri is Apple’s typical dedicated voice assistant, it will be able to emit sound from within Apple-approved third-party hardware. It doesn’t matter, Siri is still a bit ineffective; at least it can now be used with the Ecobee smart thermostat!

However, Apple’s differentiation will be reflected in the details. Just because you can use Apple’s software on different applications or devices does not mean that it will be optimized on these devices as on the iPad or iPhone. For example, FaceTime on the Internet will not have Apple’s latest SharePlay feature. In addition, FaceTime callers on Android phones will not be able to apply effects to their videos.Even Siri appeared on the Ecobee thermostat Have a major gain: You have to buy a HomePod mini for $99, which is Apple’s response to Amazon Echo to allow Siri to work with non-Apple hardware.

About Apple

Some technologists and consumers will argue that these fully integrated experiences are what makes Apple products work better one Than other options. In some cases, this argument is reasonable.

On the one hand, there are security benefits. This tight integration supports products like iCloud+ to a certain extent, and when it launches later this year, it will include security enhancements to Apple’s email client, unlimited storage of video clips taken with HomeKit-enabled security cameras And VPN-like features cover up your Internet browsing in Safari.

Ben Thompson, author of the popular Stratechery newsletter, is a sharp critic of Apple’s App Store issues. Pointed out in his newsletter Even he sometimes enjoys “the advantage of deep integration from Apple, whether in a single device or the entire ecosystem.”

A specific example cited by Thompson was his use of AirDrop as part of his workflow. He said that a new feature called Quick Note created an ecosystem-wide experience for the note-taking of Apple products, which made him want to Use Apple Notes instead. “Yes, innovation stems from the idea of ​​openness and allowing a thousand flowers to bloom, but it can also come from the ability to control and integrate across non-obvious interfaces,” Thompson wrote.

Techsponential’s Greengart is also optimistic that Apple prioritizes its own software systems and applications. He pointed out that after Apple focuses on its tightly integrated software, it usually relaxes access restrictions for developers. These restrictions are Apple’s access restrictions on sensors and APIs running on Apple hardware, thereby bringing better applications to consumers program. “I expect that at some point, those things that have been proven to enhance the iOS ecosystem, developers can also play a role in this ecosystem,” he said.

You can even call it an optimistic view of Apple’s approach—a proper description of a walled garden.

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