iOS 10 and macOS Sierra: Apple’s Ecosystem Stickiness Gets Stronger

BY Khamosh Pathak

Published 20 Jun 2016

macos and ios 10

It’s no secret that Apple wants to pull you into its walled-garden ecosystem and make sure it does everything to make you delight you into staying there. It started with AirDrop, Handoff, Continuity and making the Notes app better with iOS 9, was one such move.

But this has intensified with iOS 10 and OS X macOS Sierra. All has released some amazing features that’s going to make sure you don’t leave your iPhone for an Android phone, or your Mac for a PC.

Auto Unlock with Apple Watch

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A lot of Mac power users who also wear the Apple Watch are looking forward to this. And if you’v ever worked in an office where you have to lock down your Mac, you know the pain of entering the password 32 times a day.

With Sierra, you don’t have to.

As long as you’re wearing the Watch and its within close proximity to the Mac, it will just open up for you. Simple. Oh and you’ll need to enable iCloud 2 Step Verification for this to work. Fun.

Technical details: This sounds simple but it’s very difficult to pull off securely. Thankfully Apple being Apple, have thought this through. And the level of detail that went into this was just amazing.

On the WWDC 2016 episode of The Talk Show, Craig Federighi said “The big challenge with Auto-unlock is you don’t want a kind of, a relay attack, where Phil is actually, well far away from his office, and someone basically has a Bluetooth listener that’s going to forward a signal to you, ‘cos you’re now by his Mac, and this Mac is having a conversation with Phil’s watch over a very long distance.”

He went on “And so, we’re actually able to do time-of-flight calculation using peer-to-peer Wi-Fi, where we literally can measure how long (at the speed of light) it’s taking for the signal to travel from your watch to your Mac and back!”

They’re measuring signals at the speed of light! Does it get any cooler?

Universal Clipboard

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I’m going to be using this constantly. Universal Clipboard lets you copy stuff on one device (text or even photos) and paste it on another device instantly. So if you find a link or an address on your Mac but you want to share it on your iPhone, just copy it, open your iPhone, and paste it. Viola, it will be there.

This works between the iPhone, iPad and the Mac, to and fro.

Technical Details: Just like Auto Unlock, Universal Clipboard is also filled with security and usability issues.

The Universal Clipboard is not perpetual. It only lasts for 2 minutes. So you have 2 minutes to paste something on your iPhone after you copy it from your Mac.

Oh and the clipboard is peer-to-peer. None of the stuff you copy is going to Apple’s servers.

Desktop on the Cloud

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Apple thinks the things you keep on your Desktop on your Mac are the kind that you might want access to on other devices as well.

So now whatever you keep on your Desktop will be automatically uploaded to iCloud Drive. You can then pull this stuff from your iPhone or iPad using the iCloud Drive app.

Apple Pay on Mac

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Apple Pay is now available on the web. And if you’re shopping on your Mac, it’s going to be really seamless to securely authenticate the transaction – without ever typing any pass codes.

When you shop on your Mac and click the “Pay with Apple Pay” button and select a mode of payment, your iPhone screen will light up with the details for the transaction. Just put your finger on the Touch ID sensor and the transaction will be authenticated.

If you have an Apple Watch, you can do the same by clicking the side button twice.

How’s Life In The Garden? Is The Grass Always Greener…

I’ve kind of given in to the Apple overlords and accepted that I need to use everything with the Apple logo on it, just for my own productivity’s sake.

What about you? Do you mix it up when it comes to gadgets or are you in the Apple only club? Share with us in the comments below.

Check out our iOS 10 coverage below:

And also our macOS Sierra coverage: