Apple Watch, iOS 8 & Other Key Takeaways from Apple’s Latest

Was there an announcement this week? Something about a watch?

In fact, despite what looks to be an impressive wearable debut, the real disruptor may prove to be Apple Pay.

But first a word on what this all means for Titanium and the Appcelerator Platform:

  • On September 5th we released our beta support for iOS 8 to our vast and active developer community. We’ve gotten excellent feedback and contributions — and we’re always looking for more. We will support iOS 8 on September 17, timed to Apple’s release. If Apple should change that date, we’ll let you know.
  • Apple Watch: Will we support it? Yes. With Apple Watch, wearables move to the here-and-now — yet another reason to embrace a native, cross-platform development capability. We’ve already begun our R&D efforts (emphasis on the “R”). Watch this space for more news…

While the jump from iOS 7 to iOS 8 isn’t quite as dramatic as the one from iOS 6 to iOS 7, there are still thousands of new native APIs. Arguably the most immediate impact will be to app layouts, given the larger screen sizes. The ability to integrate TouchID with 3rd-party apps for fingerprint authentication, as well as interactive notifications, which enhance the way apps communicate with users, will give app builders some useful new toys to play with.

(Appcelerator Platform customers: If you’ve built automated test regression suites for your apps, you’re especially well-positioned to identify how iOS 8 impacts your apps, and to respond quickly.)

Apple Watch < Apple Pay (?)

If its promotional videos are to be believed, I’m already a fan of the Apple Watch. Apple’s knack for setting high bars and then jumping over them is incredible. They’ve spoiled us. (At least, they’ve spoiled me.)

Even so, I wonder if Apple Pay might not become the bigger disruptor of the two. A few things to consider:

  1. Apple (via iTunes) already has a gigantic vault of user payment information.
  2. Their payment device is already in plenty of hands – and soon to be, wrists.
  3. The folks who say credit cards are convenient and not in need of replacement are missing the point. Apple Pay may prove only marginally more convenient, but it’s dramatically more secure. Tokenization, plus TouchID, will see to that.
  4. Unlike its largest competitor, Apple is a device company, not a data company. Their stated commitments to the privacy of user data is a lot more credible. (It will have to be.)
  5. Most banks and merchants are behind it. Enough said.

1-3 by themselves are probably enough for Apple Pay to reconfigure payment processing, at least in the U.S. Add in 4 and 5, and, well… I wouldn’t want to be in the magnetic stripe business. Or PayPal.

Mobile Urgency

One thing is certain. Taken together, Apple Watch and Apple Pay announce very clearly that mobility is about to shift into even higher gear.

This should be eye-opening for any company still struggling to get their mobile strategy off the starting blocks. Unfortunately, the sentiment “it’s never too late to start” doesn’t apply in business. In business, too late to start usually leads to the wrong kind of early finish.

Feeling stuck? Let us know. We can help.