Apple iPhone 14, Apple Watch Ultra promises peace of mind as killer app
This story is partCNET’s collection of news, tips and advice on Apple’s most popular product.
It happened to Chuck Noland when the plane he was on on Christmas Eve for work was caught in a terrible storm and crashed into the ocean. He was the only survivor. For four years he was stuck alone on an island. If he had hadhe may have been able to ask for help.
Noland is a fictional character, played by Tom Hanks in the hit 2000 survival film Cast Away. But the iPhone 14 is real.
On Wednesday, Apple introduced a series of features designed to make people feel more secure, whether during or during more everyday tasks like looking for a friend in a crowd or driving home from school. Among them, and a way to even when you don’t have cell service.
“These products have become essential in our lives,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the company’s event on Wednesday. As if to emphasize this point, company executives repeated the word “essential” nearly a dozen times while showing off its new products. “They are always with you, useful where and when you need them, and are designed to work together seamlessly.”
Although many of these features may seem extreme – how often you hiking in the desert? – they add to the sense of trust that Apple hopes to forge. At a time when much of our collective faith in the tech industry has been shaken by , and the very idea that Apple wants us to trust it even more might seem silly.
And if we ignore the power of the tech industry in our lives, we wonder if we’ve become too dependent on it all. It’s gotten so bad that some people regularly go on “digital detoxes,” seeking vacation spots beyond the signals of cellphone carriers, hoping toof modern life.
But the iPhone maker is charting a course by building on its health and safety features, alongside a growing list of privacy enhancements so effective they’ve frustrated advertisers, law enforcement and other technology companies.
“Apple is taking this concept of personal security to a whole new level,” said Tim Bajarin, analyst at Creative Strategies. He added that Apple’s competitors will likely try to replicate Apple’s security features as well, but the tech giant‘s broader approach to security, privacy and now personal safety will help it stand up. stand out. “Basically they’re saying, ‘Listen, we’re going to protect you, we’ve got your back. “”
Although Apple continues to add new security features to its devices, it has focused on these ideas for many years.
In 2017, Apple added an optional feature to the Apple Watch to detect abnormal heartbeats, which many customers have since said. before a potential heart attack or stroke. In 2018, the company added fall detection for the Apple Watch, which calls emergency contacts and authorities if you don’t answer. . This too has saved lives.
While new features such as collision detection and satellite calls for help may be in the works for Apple’s latest iPhone, the company also appears to be trying to add security technology to older devices. With its free iOS 16 software update for iPhone and iPad later this month, Apple will include Safety Check to help victims of domestic violence . It also adds lock mode, to protect the owner from a possible hacking attack.
It doesn’t take much to imagine how Apple’s new satellite feature will help people in an emergency. There are so many examples of people like Aaron Ralston, a hiker and climber who, in 2003, was stuck for days in Canyonlands National Park, Utah, without a phone or any other way to call home. ugly.
What will differentiate Apple, industry watchers say, is that creating these technologies required a complex interplay of software, sensors and infrastructure like enough satellites in the sky to make it work.
Apple said it worked with first responders to develop its emergency satellite feature, asking users if they’ve been injured and how they can more effectively relay information to people receiving help. He also had to build relay stations to call 911 in places where emergency operators do not accept text messages.
“It took years to bring this vision to life through groundbreaking hardware software and infrastructure innovation,” Ashley Williams, head of satellite modeling and simulation at Apple, said Wednesday during the company presentation.
Although no other technology company currently offers a similar feature,also announced plans to offer similar technologies over the next two years. Verizon has a similar partnership with Amazon’s Project Kuiper. Analysts say more are likely on the way.
A growing trend
By the way of Appleone of the most difficult challenges he faces is how . Sure, the company can speed up the operation of the device and improve the camera every year, but what more can it do?
Longtime Apple watchers say this year’s Apple Watch and iPhone may hold the key. “They try to understand the real issues that real people are dealing with,” said Maribel Lopezanalyst at Lopez Research.
“Some of the features were meant for everyone, and some of them were meant for very specific people,” she added. But they all revolved around fixing long-standing issues like what to do when cell service isn’t working, in addition to basic things like making devices less likely to break when we drop them. “We’re in a world where people just want to hang out with their phone or their watch and not worry about it.”