While reading reports covering Monday’s keynote speech at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, the one where they took the wraps off their new operating systems, a small light bulb went off over my head. I figured out the next big change in our lifestyles… and, since these days nerd culture and pop culture are one and the same, I figured I’d use the ComicMix slice of the ethersphere to prognosticate.
Besides, it beats talking about the Fantastic Four bullshit.
It turns out that Apple’s new mobile operating system, iOS8, will have the capability of allowing for phone calls and such to go over Wi-Fi as well as cellular… provided, of course, that your service provider agrees. Mobile-T and Rogers in Canada have already announced they’re joining in, so I think it will be difficult for others to be assholes about this one. Not that that hasn’t happened before.
Why is this important? You’ll be able to connect to and make calls from Wi-Fi networks for free, you’ll have more choice, a more reliable connection, better audio quality, longer battery performance and fewer bandwidth issues. Apple barely mentioned it; I suspect there will be a big deal made after AT&T and Verizon opt in.
Then my mind started wandering. I’m used to that, as my attention span is roughly equal to the life of a Lawrencium atom. I noted Apple is porting its fingerprint button over to the iPad and is finally allowing other companies to play with it. Personally, I’ve found the device to be almost ready for prime time but not quite. Given their history I think Apple will have it as glitzy as need be very soon. What could this mean for you?
Security. The biggest problem facing the entire computer industry is the theft of personal data. Just as the manager of your local Target or talk to Heartland Payment Systems. Hackers are stealing credit card information, social security numbers, passwords, and the fillings in your teeth. OK, that last one is a metaphor… thus far.
It affects other important operations as well, but this isn’t the place to go into NSA’s issues. That would be a digression.
But… if you had to use a fingerprint as your password, or as part of the password process, and you can choose which finger(s) to use on your own (which you can do already under iOS7), if somebody wants to rip off your bank account they’re going to have to do it the old fashioned way and point a gun to your head.
So it’ll be easier and safer to buy stuff. It’ll also be easier to renew your driver’s license, do high-end banking (as if), notarize documents, buy a house, rent an apartment… and, if the politicians ever grow up (as if), vote. Maybe our voter turnout will actually get as high as 60%.
How does this affect comics readers? Well, besides the nerd thing, it is clear that electronic comics are making substantial inroads and are also bringing in an audience that doesn’t have access to comics shops. The younger you are (unless you’re me, and you wouldn’t want that), the more likely you are to be reading comics on a tablet, computer, or teevee screen. Safe and reliable e-commerce will be an integral part of the future of the comics medium, no matter how it evolves.
And evolve it shall. This is a great time to have a short attention span.