Today, Apple announced—for all the world to hear—a mess, a bevy, a veritable slew of new features and services.
While it's easy to get caught up in the desktop computing-related items, our question is: What do these announcements mean for the future of tablets?
Let's take a look at the most relevant news and find out.
Triumph of apps
CEO Tim Cook acknowledged the success of the monetization of apps, noting that there are over 900,000 apps in the App Store, and over 50 billion apps purchased. If you thought that this was an industry that didn't have much earning potential: guess again. According to Cook, apps purchased in the App Store account for 74% of all app revenue on any platform.
Like a video game, but not
Despite demo failures, Apple and Anki debuted a racing car game called Anki Drive. Anki Drive features tiny toy cars employing artificial intelligence to try and gain the edge over other racers. It may not be all that appealing to most consumers, but the experiment is notable in that it has broader gaming applications (if it can be applied in other situations). If you want to mess around with it yourself, it's available today.
Apple is releasing some features already familiar to users of Google Now—driving directions sent from computer browser to phone; push notifications from phone to desktop; and map APIs for apps will soon be available on iOS. Though it may seem like simply playing from behind, closing the gap between yourself and your competition is always an important move.
Apple also introduced its answer to Google Drive: iWork for iCloud. Users will be able to generate and edit their documents for sharing over the cloud by employing services already granted to them by owning an Apple device, and access their work across multiple devices. According to Apple, this will work in Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Safari.
Finally, to round out the FaceTime app, users will now be able to do audio-only calls should they choose. While it may not be terribly exciting, it will definitely help to increase use of the famed app among those who don't have/want their face involved.
With a brand-new redesign, Apple announced iOS 7 for the iPhone and iPad. Users of the upgraded version of iOS will be treated to a brand-new and modern design, and all the system apps have been updated to fit this aesthetic. Even Siri has been given a facelift: Every part of the operating system has been given a new aesthetic, and new multitasking abilities. Should you upgrade to the new version, you'll be treated to a load of sharing features, quick toggles, and an updated notification center.
Taking a page out of Google's book (again), Apple is going to offer a streaming service much like Google's Play Music All Access, though it's naturally found in iTunes. The service will be free with ads, or you can pay for an iTunes Match subscription and get it ad-free.