Partners Eager For Apple's iOS 8, HD Audio And iWatch At Upcoming WWDC; Apple Confirms Beats Acquisition

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Partners said there is some pressure on Apple to come out with a multitasking screen-sharing feature simply because their competitors already have this capability. That is why partners suspect Cook will at least display this feature on iPads on June 2, however, they do expect Apple to have their own differences to make up for being late to the party.

"That will be a very attractive feature for Apple to include,” said De Arriz. “It will have the ability to show you two things on the screen, and allow things to share meta data to drag one thing to another -- the same way it works with a desktop. It’s not just seeing two things and saying, ‘Here’s my movie and here’s my email.' It’s the ability to drag the movie over and drop it into the email."

Partners said it is likely that Apple will drive to expand the digital wallet in iOS 8 through advancements in thumbprint-recognition software and iBeacon. Both would need multiple major vendors to sign on with them in order to take off.

"We fully expect fingerprint-recognition software to be implemented to the whole line of iPhones and high-end iPads,” said De Arriz. “I think in iOS 8 we'll see the expansion of it from just being able to use your thumbprint to log into your phone and authorize iTunes purchases, to being a verificator of purchases with outside vendors through your digital wallet."

Partners said they envision an API being available for vendors to use thumbprint recognition. They see Apple taking the next step toward replacing the leather wallet with the digital wallet by verifying purchases with an online vendor with just a touch of your thumb.

"Apple has had that technology for a year but just hasn't made it available to other people," said De Arriz. “I think we’ll see that happening in iOS 8 -- that there is an API for other people to use thumbprint verification. That will be very nice for purchases, even for just security verification.”

Partners believe Apple will likely use iBeacon to expand the digital wallet by allowing users to pay for things with their phone at a store over Bluetooth. The iBeacon feature currently exists in iOS 7, where devices send push notifications to each other when they are in range. The enhancements to this feature would make it more secure and compatible with more vendors.

Partners do not expect to see other hardware announcements at WWDC, but do anticipate some surprises. Apple will be live-streaming the event at 10 a.m. PDT on June 2, through its website.


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