WWDC: Apple Expands Mobile Offerings in Wearables, mPayment, IoT

Apple Expands Mobile Offerings in Wearables, mPayment, IoTApple kicked off its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this week with a number of major announcements, including a new music streaming service and new operating systems for mobile and desktop.

One of the major revelations liable to go overlooked, though, concerned third party app development for the newly released Apple Watch. Previously, third party apps were essentially extensions of iPhone apps customized somewhat for the Apple Watch interface, but the company is now allowing third party developers to custom-design apps for the smartwatch that can make specific use of the Apple Watch’s unique hardware features and can function independently of a paired iPhone. That could lead to all kinds of specialized software, including more robust fitness- and health-tracking apps that better use the Apple Watch’s biometric capabilities.

Apple also announced that its Apple Pay mPayment platform is expanding, with hundreds of thousands of new merchants on board to adopt the service next month. All told, there will be about a million US retailers working with Apple Pay, a marked improvement from the 200,000 signed up at the service’s launch. (Additionally, in the UK, Apple expects there will be 250,000 participating merchants.) And Apple is also going to let users start adding store credit cards to their Apple Pay roster, so users can make payments using gift cards and the like via Apple Pay.

Finally, rounding out Apple’s mobile developments is the improved iOS 9 operating system. It sports a number of improvements, with perhaps the most notable being the capability to control smart home and smart car components and devices and devices via mobile. Apple couldn’t go into too much detail about that stuff yet since there are few, if any, related products currently available, but the fact that developers now have access to such tools could lead to a number of Apple-friendly IoT products and apps hitting the market in the near future.

Source: CBC News