All of the tech world has been abuzz today because this day marks Apple’s yearly Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). As per tradition, Apple dropped some fairly big announcements – at least for Apple customers and developers. While the coming days will surely be filled with in-depth discussion after in-depth discussion about each and every feature, here’s your primer for everything that went down today.
In general, there were two major announcements in and of themselves: iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite debuted. Beyond that, several other new features to the Apple ecosystem were introduced, such as HomeKit, HealthKit, and iCloud Drive. Let’s run down the cool stuff.
- Will automatically devise various shortcuts, especially frequently used contacts.
- Refinements to Messages, allowing you to capture sounds and videos to send to contacts.
- Photos will be synced to iCloud and automatically accessible via all iDevices.
- Notifications be acted upon without entering apps – for example, tap out a quick reply to a text without entering Messages.
- A new context-aware keyboard with predictive auto-completion features.
- Swype, Swiftkey, and other third party keyboards will be allowed.
- Actionable and third-party widgets will be allowed in addition to the old “here are all of your apps” interface.
OS X Yosemite
- A new interface that looks a lot more like iOS.
- Bing is the new default search provider for Spotlight.
- Other Spotlight tweaks, like scrollable results, live previews, and Wikipedia results.
- Safari’s interface becomes even more minimalistic and comes with speed and interface improvements.
- Mail allows attachments up to 5GB in size and has a new instant mark-up function to fill out forms sent to you via attachment and send them right back.
- iMessage allows video and audio messaging, along with new integration with iPhone.
- Notification center greatly enhanced with more information, widgets, and third-party app integration.
- Now any file can be stored in iCloud.
- Moving files to iCloud is just a drag-and-drop operation.
- iCloud can be fully integrated into Windows 8.
- Live versioning works across devices.
- Prices drastically reduced – 99 cents for 20 GB upgrade, $3.99 for 200 GB
- Apple won’t be making any home automation hardware.
- Mainly an iOS 8 feature.
- Encouraging various home automation devices to integrate into HomeKit.
- Hopes to make automation simpler – ie, tell Siri “I’m going to work,” and lights turn off, A/C is less aggressive, Mac goes to sleep mode.
- More geared toward uniting the plethora of smart devices out there than adding unheard of functionality.
- Similar to HomeKit, designed in part to unite the various services that you use to monitor health.
- You can create an emergency health card, with information like your medication allergies, health problems, and contact info.
- There are plans to make safe and private sharing with certain third parties possible, such as healthcare providers.
- No talk of GPS-enabled iWatches or the like – not yet.
- New “Handoff” feature allows you to pick up where you left off from one device to another. The half-written email from your iPhone can be finished off on your iMac.
- Answer phone calls and send SMS/MMS/iMessage messages from your MacBook or iMac, so long as you have an iPhone.
- AirDrop documents from Mac to iOS or vice versa easily, even if the recipient isn’t you.
- Activate and use your iPhone’s mobile hotspot feature from your Mac.
- iCloud integration made more seamless, easier to use.
- A new programming language called Sprite that is a step toward making apps on iOS and OS X cross-compatible, since it will be the language for apps on both platforms.
- Family Share makes it possible to share documents and, more importantly, iTunes and App Store purchases, among family members.
We will certainly be hearing even more soon. Stay tuned to GeekSided for more coverage of these features, their arrival times, and how they might be affecting you.