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Apple recently teamed up with General Electric to announce a new partnership, under the terms of which the companies will collaborate to bring GE’s powerful suite of Predix apps to iOS devices like iPhone and iPad. Predix is GE’s existing Internet of Things (IoT) platform, which is presently comprised of several powerful apps designed to facilitate the manufacturing-giant’s industrial projects around the world.
“GE is an ideal partner with a rich history of innovation across the industrial world in areas like aviation, manufacturing, healthcare and energy,” said Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, who added that “Together, Apple and GE are fundamentally changing how the industrial world works by combining GE’s Predix platform with the power and simplicity of iPhone and iPad.”
Not only will the partnership result in an overall streamlining of GE’s Predix platform for use on iOS devices, but to help usher its estimated 330,000 employees into the future of ‘Predix on iOS’, GE is offering a free Mac to essentially anyone on its payroll who wants one, according to an MSPowerUsers report on the announcement.
The first-fruits of their partnership will launch on Thursday, October 26, and takes the form of Predix SDK for iOS — a powerful suite of tools that will enable developers to “create powerful apps designed to take full advantage of the industrial analytics from Predix,” while at the same time tapping into the power, fluidity, and simplicity of Apple’s mobile operating system.
Apple notes in its official press release how Predix SDK apps will provide workers in the field with clear, instant, and up-to-the-minute insight into how their equipment is performing, conveniently from their iPhone or iPad. As an example, devs could use a tool like FaceTime to create an app allowing mechanics or engineers in one state to receive guidance on fixing an issue from their associates in another state via real-time video conferencing on iOS.
Distance becomes less of an issue, in this way, as field workers can accomplish what would have previously required a trip using just their iPhones or iPads. Apple notes: “These industrial apps will close the information loop faster, ultimately increasing cost savings and minimizing unplanned downtime.”
On the topics of ‘cost savings’ and ‘minimizing downtime’, GE also announced that pursuant with its new partnership, not only will iPhones and iPads become the preferred mobile devices for its employees around the world, but the company will also give a brand-new Mac computer to any of its employees who simply want to ditch their Windows PC.
Free Mac computers is an interesting move, however it would appear that GE is merely taking a note out of IBM’s playbook on this one. As noted in a report from The Register, a few years ago, IBM allowed an estimated 100,000 of its employees to transition from PC to Mac — a move that ultimately saw the computing-giant save between $273 and $534 per Mac in support costs over a four-year period.