AMITIAE - Tuesday 18 June 2013
Cassandra - Something Wickedly Clever This Way Comes: Apple, Mavericks and Device Integration
By Graham K. Rogers
Device integration has been a strong feature for a while. This is a key area. Critical to part of the way this works is the early adoption of the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard. It is not the first time that Apple has released products before final confirmation of the standard by IEEE.
At the time, it seemed odd that Schiller would break into the middle of a presentation on the new MacBook Air to introduce the new Airport Extreme Router (and Time Capsule). This comes ready to go with 802.11ac; and so does the MacBook Air. And when the new Mac Pro was announced, that too had 802.11ac Wi-Fi capabilities. It is hardly a stretch of the imagination to predict that the next iOS devices (and other Macs) will similarly have such enhanced Wi-Fi capabilities.
When reporting on the announcement that Schiller made about the new Airport Extreme Routers, I accessed a Cisco PDF that outlines some of the advantages of the new standard. Of particular note were the features of 802.11ac that allow "Seemingly instantaneous data transfer experience"; and "A pipe fat enough that delivering high quality of experience (QoE) is straightforward".
We have been used to the synchronisation of devices via iCloud for a while. When I update the information in certain of my applications on the Mac, like Contacts or Calendar, the equivalent apps are updated on the iPhone and iPad. Likewise, updating on one of the iOS devices, changes the data on the other and on the Mac.
Mavericks will make a change to the way some apps do this. Examples Federighi showed were setting up directions and using Info Cards on the new Maps app on the Mac and then sending that data right to the iPhone.
Direct connections between the devices are possible already: for example iTunes syncing of the iPhone or iPad. With such a "fat pipe" that 802.11ac provides and the improved "beamforming" that allows a transmission to focus on a specific device the faster integration of data between the devices is a given. Most incoming Internet signals will never reach the high speeds that the new standard is capable of. The purpose is inter-device transfers of data; and Apple will be taking full advantage of this with Mavericks and the updated iOS 7.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.
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