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What Apple’s Acquisitions mean for their Future Roadmap.

On today’s show:

  • iOS14 hits 80% adoption
  • Parallels 16 for Apple Silicon Beta Drops
  • Apple’s recent Acquisitions and what they could mean for future products.

iOS 14 passes 80% adoption.

Following its late September release, iOS 14 is now on over 80% (or 4/5) iPhones released in the past 4 years. While iPads lag behind slightly at 61% with another 21% of them running iOS 13.something.

Compare these numbers to Android, where the latest Android 10 is running on, wait for it, 8.2% of comparable handsets. Now, I haven’t done all the maths, but I have a feeling that 8.2% is less than 80%. Let me know if I missed something there. Google, understandably no longer announces their adoption rates.

Parallels 16 for Apple Silicon Beta Drops

X86 Operating systems aren’t supported but Windows Insiders can download the ARM64 version as an Insider Preview which will create a Virtual machine on the M1 – but it does have a few Beta limitations like not running ARM32 files and some restrictions around suspending the machines.

Early VMs of ARM Windows running on Qemu showed that Apple Silicon running this in a virtual machine on top of MacOS is still substantially faster than running natively on Microsoft’s surface X hardware. 

Apple’s recent Acquisitions and what they could mean for future products.

January 2018 – BuddyBuild – Continuous Integration, debugging and testing for mobile Apps – rolled into Xcode and Test flight

March 2018 Apple bought Texture for Digital magazine subscriptions, becoming the core of Apple News+

August 2018 and Akonia Holographics, a business around lenses for Augmented reality glasses was acquired, so this of course points towards Apple Glass.

The familiar Shazam was bought in September 2018, which Apple integrated with Apple Music and easy accessibility from Control centre.

Apple bought a portion of Dialog Semiconductor in October 2018, listed as “Chip Development” but more specifically the company seems to be focused around internet of things, so some of their expertise may have found its way into products like AirTags or integration of HomeKit and HomePods.

Asaii Music Analytics in the same month has become a part of Apple Music for Artists behind the scenes of the main Apple Music platform. Platoon, listed as “Artist Development” joined in December 2018 too, 

Into 2019 and Apple brought in Speech tech company PullString in February to enhance Siri, presumably across iOS, Mac and HomePods.

Italian workflow startup Stamplay was acquired in March with Business insider mentioning how it will bolster Apple’s Payment products.

Now we have some fun ones –

Drive.ai was an Autonomous vehicle start-up that Apple acquired in June of 2019 to bolster their Project Titan self driving car efforts. Although at the start of 2019 Apple reportedly laid off around 200 members of the Titan team, this appears to have been a restructuring more than a cut, as they may have needed to shift the expertise base needed for the project at the point it was.

The next month in July 2019 Apple acquired Intel’s smartphone modem business, one of the purchases we’ve talked about before as it looks very much like Apple would love to replace the Qualcomm modems in its devices with their own in house designed chips, further vertically integrating their product stack and reducing costs.

In October 2019 they bought IKinema, a motion capture business which ties in well with the potential motion tracking aspects of AirTags that have been patented, as well as what they currently do with Animoji, tracking your face for AR Replacement with a zebra or something.

December 2019 brought Spectral Edge, a low light photography specialist from the UK, and I can confirm that night mode and low light photography and video on the iPhone 12 Pro Max is excellent all around.

Xnor.ai, an Edge computing and award winning AI company, and Geek Wire reports that the Edge computing they provide is in line with Apple’s interest in preserving data privacy.

Scout FM, an AI Podcast service that combined curated and AI driven suggestions was acquired in early 2020, and this year is also starting to show more interest in Podcasts again after Spotify bought up the rights to Joe Rogans’ show.

Dark Sky, the precision weather app was added in March 2020, another AI and Voice assistant company Voysis joined in April followed by NextVR in May which is a Virtual reality events provider. 

In June, Fleetsmith mobile device management  and July saw Mobeewave a payments start up also come aboard.

Finally, Camera AR and Spaces VR Setup both joined in August. 

It has to be said, the majority of what can’t be tracked to a current product or lineup almost all line up with AR and VR tech, suggesting that Apple Glass is almost certainly real and on the way, though how far out it is, that’s another matter. My guess is there could be an announcement at WWDC and a release towards the end of 2021.

But which of these grabs your attention, and am I missing anything about what they could mean?

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