Apple-related issues pervade CES 2022… as always
Published : Wednesday, 12 January, 2022CES, the major tech event of every year, but Apple is never an official participant. Despite this fact, Apple’s tech and products pervade the show every time. Some of the most exciting announcements at CES this year involve new gadgets that are compatible with the Apple FindMe network, such as a smart door lock linked to your iPhone, and Intel's attempts to stay on top of the competition with Apple's hi-power M-series chips.
Apple are frequently present at CES in this ghost-like manner. For example, the integration of AirPlay 2 into new TVs was one of the major innovations of 2019. That same year Apple also put up a huge billboard by the Las Vegas strip during CES to restate its position on privacy, a hotly debated topic for Amazon and Google, perennial CES headliners.
However, once again, the company's presence is notable. It’s probably due to the proprietary Apple features like Find My and MagSafe, which require adoption by third-party manufacturers of accessories that typically use the CES to reveal their new products.
Devices integrated with Apple's platforms
No new Apple products were unveiled at CES, yet its technology still pervades everything from new backpacks to earbuds. CES 2022 saw a ton of novel products designed to work with Apple's Find My location service, MagSafe chargers and the connected-home platform.
Take, for instance, Targus' new Cypress Hero Backpack, revealed at CES. Its built-in location tracker works with Find My system that allows its owner to see it right on Apple's app map without the need to buy an AirTag. The button inside the backpack will ping the user's iPhone should the need be. The Targus Cypress Hero Backpack will become available for ordering in either the spring or summer 2022 and is priced at $150.
Chipolo, a manufacturer of Bluetooth tracking products, also revealed a new Find My-compatible product at the exhibition. It was one of the first brands to join Apple's Find My platform in 2021 with its One Spot. Now comes the time for its new credit-card shaped tracker designed for wallets.
Just like with the above-mentioned Targus backpack, Apple's AirTags and other similar accessories, the Chipolo Card Spot can be monitored in the Items tab in Apple's Find My app. The Card Spot is slated for launch in February and is priced at $35.
Belkin, another firm supporter of integration with Apple, also revealed a new earbud model at CES 2022. These Soundform Immerse earbuds with hybrid active noise cancellation, will be natively integrated with Find My support, just like its predecessors.
In April 2021 Apple granted access to its Find My platform to third-party developers, but this hasn't yet elicited a broad response. Apple's Find My network works through crowdsourcing Bluetooth signals from proximate Apple gadgets in order to send the misplaced item's estimated location up to the cloud.
A novel smart lock with Apple's Home Keys functionality was also presented at CES 2022. Schlage revealed a new Encode smart lock version with the ability to unlock a door by tapping your iPhone or Apple Watch against it. This technology is similar to Apple Pay, and in order to use this key, you won’t need to unlock your phone or launch any app. iOS 15 already offered the ability to add home and hotel keys to the Apple Wallet, but the rollout has been slow.
HomeKit-powered products were also presented, including Wemo’s video doorbell from Belkin and a floodlight camera from Eve. Other Apple-integrated accessories included Scosche’s car mount that works with Apple's MagSafe chargers.
Intel and Apple: competition and cooperation
Intel presented a whole range of 12-gen processors for inexpensive laptops, Chromebooks, gaming laptops and thin-and-light notebooks at CES 2022. Most importantly, it claims that its most powerful new chips offer better performance than Apple’s renowned M1-series laptops. Clearly, Intel is taking Apple's entrance onto the chipmaking stage with all seriousness.
In addition, Intel is also hoping for easier integration of Windows PCs with the iPhone and the Apple Watch. It will, in fact, be one of the vital new features in the next version of Intel's Evo platform, with a range of requirements that will ensure performance consistency and battery life, among other specs.
At the CES 2022 press conference, Intel demonstrated the ways to view and respond to iMessages on Windows. The seamless integration of Apple's phones and laptops has been the key to the popularity of Macs among iPhone owners. Integration with Windows PCs may challenge this concept and shake up some of the loyalty to Macs.
Apple: out of the CES orbit
Apple hasn't been an official part of CES since 1992, with its chief privacy officer briefly appearing to speak in 2020. Perhaps one day it will, because relationships with third-party partners and developers are crucial for the company on its path to expansion into new niches, particularly home-related. That's one of the major points of focus at CES, and one where Apple has generally trailed Amazon and Google.
Apple is highly unlikely to ever attend CES like Google, Amazon, Samsung and Microsoft. However, the trade show will always be an indicator of the integration dynamics of Apple's new tech features and services.