By Todd Bernhard on Wed, 06/04/2014
Everyone asks me right after (and often during) an Apple keynote "what was the best thing they announced?" Since this event was all about software, and there were so many new features announced, I had to ponder it all and let it sink in. And I thought, "What would my wife care about?"
My wife doesn't like to use her cell phone, out of concerns of radiation. Whether that's a reasonable concern or not, she's not alone. So she uses a wired handset that looks like a traditional retro phone to give her some distance. Now, with Mac OS Yosemite, and iOS 8, she can make and receive calls from a Mac (we have several throughout the house) using the Mac's speakers and microphone as a speakerphone, and leveraging our Wi-Fi connection.
I love this feature, too, because I often have my iPhone in the charger at the entrance to my house, and if I'm upstairs in my office, I can't get to the phone fast enough. I have a Pebble watch which shows Caller ID and lets me send the call to voice mail, or answer it, but I still need to use the phone to talk. My Martian Watch is a nice alternative, as it acts as a Bluetooth Speakerphone, but I don't wear that as often as the Pebble because of battery life. The Pebble lasts about a week and the Martian about a day.
With all of the new technologies introduced at WWDC, such as the new programming language Swift it may be something as simple as the Mac to iPhone connection that is the biggest takeaway for me. This reinforces the iPhone's "Halo effect" that brings customers to Macs by using the iPhone as a Trojan Horse. Once my wife and I depend on this new feature, it would be hard to switch, and that's just the way Apple wants it!