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There’s only so much information one can digest in a single sitting. Even a week after Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference wrapped up, we’re still sifting through the details of the company’s announcements. And that’s before the deluge of users even installing the public beta.
But beyond just the features that Apple has included (or hasn’t) in the next versions of its software platforms, there’s also a lot to glean from these announcements about the company’s future plans. In some cases they’re obvious; in others, you just need to read between the lines a little bit. As I pored over Apple’s website, I noticed a few things that made me think about what the folks in Cupertino might have in store.
Browse through the list of features for iOS 13 and iPadOS and something might catch your eye: an entire sub-heading devoted to improvements specifically for India. This includes everything from an Indian English voice for Siri to support for all 22 of India’s official national languages to new Indian fonts and typing prediction for Hindi. That’s a big deal, especially since the only other country that Apple has singled out like this in the past was China, which is one of its major markets.
Tim Cook’s spent a lot of time in recent years talking about Apple’s interest in India. No surprise there: the country has one of the largest populations in the world and is rapidly building out its technological infrastructure, making it one of the few remaining major untapped markets for new Apple customers. The biggest roadblock so far has been the country’s restrictions on companies that want to do business there, including manufacturing products in India itself.
A couple years back, I spent some time in India, and while Apple products were around, they were certainly far less common than those from its competitors. Ultimately, features specific to India will make less of a difference than the legal hoops the company must jump through to do business there and making sure that its products are competitively priced for the market, but these features do ensure that when Apple’s devices eventually surmount those hurdles, they will be good citizens.
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