A Number of Apple Patents came to Life Today in new Features Coming to Market this Fall
Apple held their annual developer conference today (WWDC) marking their 27th developer conference to date Apple noted that they currently have 13 million registered developers with over 5,000 attending this week's event. Developers from 74 countries are attending the confernce with 72% of those being first time attendees. Cook was proud to say that 100 developers at the conference were under 18 years of age and that the youngest developer was only 9 years old. In addition Apple's CEO noted that Apple is investing in the future by awarding 350 scholarships this year alone. Cook also noted that there were over 100 technical sessions this week covering such areas as Maps, Photos, Apple Music, macOS Sierra, Apple Pay, watchOS, tvOS. if you want to review their conference keynote in full you could do so here.
This brief report is to simply point out some of the patents that came to light today relating to future features coming to Apple products this year. One of Apple's oldest patents coming to light was a PIP feature for macOS (as well as iOS). Apple's patent titled "User Interface Spaces" described adding a PIP feature on the Mac in patent figure 19 as noted below back in a 2006 patent filing.
The most important patent fulfilment announced today was Siri for Home Automation. Siri is now going to be opened to all developers and those with home automation products will be able to take advantage of this feature this fall. Apple's webpage image noted directly below shows a user asking Siri to "Set the temperature to 72."
Next up is Siri coming to macOS (new name for OS X) which was covered in a 2014 report titled "Apple Files Major Siri Patent for Mac Desktop Functionality." It acts like Windows 10 Cortana. You can ask it to perform many tasks from finding files to photos on the web to opening an iTunes playlist and help you to advance your multitasking skills. Apple began to hint about this feature way back in 2012.
For interest sake, Apple's Craig Federighi, Senior VP of Software Engineering for iOS and macOS went out of his way to show the advancements in Siri's ability to understand deep questions relating to Siri's new "deep learning" capabilities.
Auto Unlock for Macs. Today Apple introduced an easy way to log into your macs without a password. If you're wearing an Apple Watch, you simple approach your Mac and you're instantly logged in. Apple covered this in a patent filing that we covered in back in March in a report titled "Apple Patent Reveals a Future iPhone using Touch ID to Gain Access to a MacBook without a Password."
The catch at the moment is that Apple is going to force you to buy an Apple Watch if you want this convenience. That's not cool of Apple. This feature should be extended to Apple fans with an iPhone as their patent filing describes. But not all is lost. Apple introduced "Apple Pay on the web" which allows you to use your iPhone's Touch ID to make purchases on your Mac as noted in the keynote graphic below.
Lastly, as part of Continuity, Federighi introduced a feature at the 39:58 mark of the keynote that showed how you can share your desktop with different macs and now your iPhone.
This feature was described in a recent patent that we covered just last week in a report titled "Apple Invents a User Interface for Combinable Virtual iOS Desktops on a Mac." The patent filing had it presented in reverse, with your iOS apps showing up on your Mac. Whether that's an extended feature on the way or one that could be rolled into Apple's new "Tabs" feature is unknown at this time.
All in all for a low-key conference focused on software features it was great to see some of Apple's intellectual property of old come to life in spanking new features for iOS and macOS coming this fall.
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