Stuff just got real! Apple has kicked off WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference) with the expected keynote and boy did they have stuff to share. They have gone nuts and finally started doing things no one ever thought they would! Let’s go into more detail and show you Apple’s new stuff.
Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite
Mac OS X 10.10 has finally been unveiled, officially named after California’s greatest national park – Yosemite. Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite is all about bringing simplicity and connectivity. The design has become flatter and much more visually appealing.
The new design highly ressembles the improvements we saw in iOS 7, making the dock flatter, along with its icons. The Notification Center also assimilates the one from iOS 7. With this update also comes iCloud Drive, which allows you to manage files and devices between your Apple/Windows computers and your iOS devices. Airdrop now also works between iOS and Mac, which is an important step for the connected future.
If those updates were not enough, Mac users are also getting access to free internet calls. Yes, even to non-Facetime users. This feature is now working and was tested by calling Apple’s Dr Dre.
This and more is to be released during the Fall, but developers get it today.
Apple allows for widgets and third-party keyboards
Here is where the interesting stuff starts happening. It seems Apple has gone ahead and allowed some features that so far have only been seen in Android, its sworn enemy. We never thought we would see this day, but Apple is finally allowing widgets and third-party keyboards on iOS 8!
Widgets and third-party keyboards are possible thanks to Extensibility – a feature that let’s apps share some of their abilities with each other. We have always wanted to see keyboards like Swiftkey and Swype reach iOS, and it seems now we will!
New Photos app
Another improvement in iOS 8 is the improved Photos app. This app includes new editing tools as well as syncing capabilities. All edits and images will be synced via iCloud, making them available and editable from any of your Apple devices.
It’s important to note these files and edit will count against your 5 GB of free iCloud storage, so you may want to upgrade if you are a heavy photo shooter.
Here’s another rather familiar feature. Apple has improved Siri and it can now handle voice searches with no contact. Simply use the trigger word “Hey, Siri” and get searching. This is very similar to Google’s “OK, Google” hotword.
In addition, Siri now supports 22 new languages and supports iTunes content purchases. Music recognition is also made possible through Shazam, which is now included in Siri’s software.
HealthKit and HomeKit
Among other support for developers to work upon, Apple has announced HealthKit and HomeKit. These allow developers to tap into different aspects of your life and how you use technology. HealthKit takes information from other health apps and aggregates it into a single app.
This is great for the health-conscious, but there is something the geeks may like even more – HomeKit. In short, HomeKit could be what makes the smart home possible. It will allow you to control your lights, appliances and other electronics.
Apple has partnered with manufacturers like Honeywell, Philips, Withings and Haier to bring HomeKit products to the market. With Apple’s power and reach, we believe this could be what the industry needed to make the smart home idea take off.
If you are a developer, you may want to take a look at Apple’s new coding language, Swift. This is meant to replace Objective-C, while keeping the experience smoother and faster. It will support Cocoa and Cocoa Touch.
As mentioned above, these features will all come with Maco OS X 10.10 Yosemite and iOS 8. These are to be released in the Fall for the general consumer, but if you are a developer you can start testing them today!