With the smartphone rapidly becoming an accessory that fits into other areas of our lives and between other pieces of our technology, Apple is using iOS 7 to get the iPhone into cars and onto your TV for gaming and other purposes.
Users Driven To Upgrade?
The world's first look at iOS 7 yesterday sparked the kind of debate you'd usually see on a political forum. Comments like "its looks like a 'my first operating system'," I don't want pastels on my phone" and "isn't that the Windows Phone 8 font" were some of the first impressions to be spread around the net. But, it is certainly a step up on the existing iOS design and with better integration becomes a smarter device to use.
Yet, it could be far outside the iPhone's retina screen that most interest could come as Apple tries to integrate its devices into more areas of our lives. First up is iOS in the Car, a new app that is built into iOS 7, integrating your phone's features with the display/entertainment system in your car. It will show your on-the-go apps on the main display, and play audio through the car's speakers.
So. you can use your Maps app for navigation, talk to Siri via the in-car microphone and play music without one of those pesky iTrip things. You'll also be able to take calls and respond to messages, all hand free. Of course, you'll need a compatible car first and Apple has signed up Chrysler, GM, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi and others.
Hopefully this will soon save car makers trying to cram multi-thousand dollar tech systems into their products, when all we need is a touchscreen and a USB connection. Expect compatible cars to appear next year.
Apple Playing Games With Microsoft and Sony?
As Microsoft and Sony clash at the E3 games show with the big unveiling of their Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles, Apple is quietly planning its own gaming domination with the news that iOS 7 will support gaming controllers (something Samsung introduced with the Galaxy S4).
Sony's PlayStation 4 could be under threat from controller-enabled smartphone gaming
While Apple's mobile gadgets won't pack quite the power of these PC-in-a-set-top-box monsters, it won't be long before they can challenge the gaming market beyond mere Angry Birds. Take your phone, send the picture to your HDTV via AirPlay (and an Apple TV, for now) and you have a pretty powerful games console.
All the iPhone and iPad have lacked is buttons to press, limiting interactivity. That barrier will be knocked over with third-party or Apple's own controllers, and there's then nothing to stop the iOS devices becoming mainstream consoles. They are already getting key titles like Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic and a new Deus Ex game, and that is likely only the beginning.
That all lines up nicely for when Apple finally releases its own Apple HD TVs, when the "games console" could either be built into the TV or an easy add via your iOS device.