Today Apple held its annual World Wide Developer Conference and Platform De.Central has all the latest about iCloud+ and the new privacy features. Across Apple’s entire ecosystem Apple promotes privacy and now is expanding protections for iCloud subscribers. In perhaps our favorite moment of the event, Craig Federighi tapped what looked like a metal cover for a in floor power outlet which opened hole in the floor. Federighi then jump into the hole where a he landed in a dimly lit room with the word Privacy behind him. But back to features.
FaceTime calls can now be joined by Android and Windows users
In an effort to increase adoption of FaceTime, Apple is enabling FaceTime on the web so that your friends, family and colleagues can all connect, even if they don’t have an Apple device. Apple specifically called out Android and PCs. This is actually very big news; Apple has created a cross platform encrypted video call service. We will have to wait to see how it may not be everything we hope it is.
Mail Privacy Protection
Apple informed us of the dangers of tracking pixels in emails and their solution is ‘Mail Privacy Protection’. Mail Privacy Protection has a number of privacy protecting features like hiding your IP address, hiding your location and hides data if you open the email.
Apple is giving you a privacy report now. It will inform you about apps that access your data, camera, microphone, photos and more.
Privacy is ultra-important if you want to increase adoption of devices like always-listening devices. Apple know s this and lead with their commitment to privacy and all the ways Apple fulfills that commitment. Like how your voice requests never leave your device because they are processed on your device.
As part of your iCloud+ subscription, you will now have access to more privacy protection like ‘Hide my Email’ in the Mail app. So, if you want to subscribe to notifications on Platform De.Central so that you never miss the latest news, you can choose to hide your email. You will still get notifications, but your email will remain private.
Siri API for 3rd parties
Now instead of Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa, you can use a decidedly more private voice assistant with Siri for 3rd party devices. In the presentation, Apple showed off an Ecobee thermostat than apparently had Siri onboard. No word on additional partners at this time.
You can view and get notifications from your cameras on your phone and on your TV. You can also access controls for lights, scenes and more from your TV. On your TV you can view your camera feeds in a grid pattern too. All of this is using Apple Homekit’s Secure Video feature, which processes the video on a dedicated ‘hub’ device that you explicitly choose like an iPad, Apple TV or HomePod.