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Apple Puts Spotlight On Privacy In Next Gen Operating Systems

Privacy and cross-device functionality are two big themes of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) announcements today.

The California tech giant showed off a number of privacy features on platforms including iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey. iOS 15, in particular, will now use on-device speech recognition to process Siri requests entirely on the phone by default, while an App Privacy Report will give users an overview on how apps use granted permissions.

According to Ben Wood, Chief Analyst at CCS Insight, the privacy protections will frustrate companies that rely on user data for tracking, advertising, and monetisation.

“Hiding information such as IP addresses, location and whether users have opened or read emails could severely limit the way many companies track and monetise users but will be welcomed by consumers who are becoming increasingly aware of how much data is being captured.

“It will further Apple’s position as being a consumer champion when it comes to privacy,” he said.

Another key message, says Wood, was features being extended across devices, such as the Focus functionality as well as Universal Control, which allows users to control a Mac and iPad with the same mouse and keyboard.

“This is a strong differentiator versus rivals, and it is little surprise that Samsung is working hard on its own eco-system capabilities to try and offer more joined-up service experiences across different devices,” he said.

Apple did not address issues surrounding alternate payment methods or revenue sharing on the App Store, which have seen it come under regulatory scrutiny and face litigation from disgruntled developers such as Epic Games.

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