Apple held their annual Worldwide Developers Conference yesterday in San Francisco and kicked off the event with their keynote which unveiled an updated operating system for both iOS and Mac OS X.
If you missed the live-stream of the keynote and would like to watch the 2 and a half hour video from the event, you can do so via this link. If you want a quick, humorous spark-notes of what went down at the event, watch this comical video entitled ‘WWDC 2014: The Musical':
For a brief summary of the major announcements and changes that were brought forth at WWDC 2014, scroll down for a summary in text form.
The keynote started with an interesting video title ‘Apps We Can't Live Without' (embedded below) which showcased how Apple Developers and their apps have changed the world around us. The production quality was stellar and Apple was able to truly emphasize how far their technology has come to play a major role many people's daily lives.
Apple made the switch from naming their OS X updates' names on big cats to focusing on names of beautiful California locations. Last year, they chose OS X 10.9 Mavericks and this year they went with OS X 10.10 Yosemite.
Here's a brief summary of what you can expect from Yosemite according to the keynote:
- Redesigned UI with a cleaner, sleeker look
- iPhone owners can now make and receive calls right from their Mac (automatically ports call through iPhone)
- iMessage now supports non-iphone users (also automatically ports texts through iPhone
- Notification Center has been updated with widget functionality and a new ‘Day View' which shows you what is on your agenda for the day
- Continuity allows Mac owners with iOS devices to finish off tasks like web browsing or email writing seamlessly from both devices, picking up exactly where you left off
- Spotlight has now been moved to the center of the screen with built-in searches for Wikipedia information, movie listings, etc. as well as autocomplete guessing
- New dock menu icons with a stylistic flair to them
- Safari offers a new slimmer menu bar which shows favorite sites when clicking on the address bar
- Safari's performance also said to increase and outperform any modern browser
- AirDrop is now offered for file transfers from iOS to Mac as well as Mac to iOS
- iCloud Drive integration as you can now store documents in the cloud using your free 5GB storage plan that comes with every account, you can increase this storage size as 20GB now runs $0.99 per month and 200GB for $3.99 per month (Apple previously charged over $8 per month for 50GB)
- MailDrop is a new feature that will allow you to send files up to 5GB via email, Mac users will be able to view the file in their Mail client whereas PC users will be given a link to download the file via iCloud Drive
- Mail client now supports editing files like PDFs, photos, and documents straight from the Mail app without needing to use Preview or any other program
- Yosemite is available for developers starting today, it will be available to all users in the Fall for free although they are launching a limited beta program for non-developers in the near future
As we expected, Apple unveiled the yearly refresh of their iOS platform entitled simply iOS 8.
Here are the new features that were discussed at yesterday's keynote:
- Updated look and feel to the UI
- Vast keyboard improvements including predictive functionality and support for 3rd party keyboards
- As rumored, Shazam has been integrated within iOS and functions via Siri commands
- Mail app will offer new gestures similar to the widely popular 3rd-party Mailbox app
- iMessage has been improved to support sending of audio snippets, location sharing, quick-reply, and you can finally edit group messages to add recipients, mute group notifications, or leave the group at any time
- iCloud Drive is also being pushed for iOS, with support for sharing files between Mac, iOS, and Windows platforms
- Family Sharing is a new feature from Apple which will allow up 6 family members (who share the same credit card) the chance to share purchased apps with one another so you won't have to buy the same app twice if you and your family member both want to use it
- Additionally, family sharing will include parental controls that will allow kids the chance to digitally ask permission to purchase an app of which the parent or guardian can approve or deny through their iOS device
- New app entitled Health sets out to revolutionize the fitness industry by creating a one-stop huge for all health-related information with data taken from third-party apps such as Nike
- HomeKit is Apple's effort to support smart-home technology natively without the need for an excess of apps to control each device, this means you'll be able to control certain smart locks, lights, doors, security camera, outlets, switches, and thermostats all within the iOS 8 interface
- iOS 8 beta is available immediately for developers and it will launch for all users this Fall (most likely the same day the new iPhone 6 is released)
This was a big keynote for developers as Apple introduced several new beneficial tools for app developers to help them become more successful in the future.
- Developers can now offer multiple apps bundled under a single discounted price
- New apps that are still in beta can be made available to the public via Apple's new free hosting platform TestFlight
- Developers can now choose to upload a short preview video of their app which can highlight any features or functionality to help convert user downloads, these videos will be shown on their App Store page
- A new App Store tab called Explore will offer greater functionality for finding an app you desire with related searches and trending searches there to help find a suitable app for your needs
- Metal has been introduced as a new graphics platform offered to allow high-end gaming on iOS devices
- Apple is straying away from Objective-C and has created their own programming language called Swift, it is aimed to make iOS app programming easier and less buggy with much less baggage than Objective C
This sums up the brief rundown of Apple's WWDC 2014 event. If you seek more information, I highly recommend watching the keynote in its entirety via Apple's website as it was an exciting show filled with lots of great information and new features previews as well as a bit of humor mixed in.
Oh yeah, before I forget! Apple did not discuss the Beats acquisition in any detail like I thought they might although Dre did make a virtual appearance in an awkward, pre-planned conversation with Craig Federighi while he showcased Yosemite's new ability to make phone calls. Dre made some jokes about showing up for “new-employee orientation” which was funny though clearly read from a script.
As a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and our Managing Editor, Colt loves testing out the newest tech products/services. His goal is to help better educate other consumers to ensure the most satisfying purchases decisions on consumer electronics and services. When he is not working on creating new content, Colt enjoys spending time with his two Australian Shepherds, Mia and Zoey.