There were quite a few announcements made at Apple’s WWDC Keynote, they mostly had to do with Apple’s software platforms, iOS and OS X. iOS 8 was officially announced, which still retains the same look esthetic as the previous version, iOS 7. The same flat design was featured in the most recent version of iOS. Most of the new features were not major overhauls but more improvements to the changes made in iOS 7.
Here are the new features in iOS 8. AirDrop and HandOff AirDrop was first introduced with iOS 7, it allowed users to share items on their device and send it to another iOS device that is nearby. Basically if you wanted to share a photo to your nearby iPad, you could just AirDrop it. AirDrop in iOS 8 will now allows you to send items between your Mac and iOS devices. HandOff is a feature that will allows you to continue working from one device to another. For example, if you were working on an email on your iOS device (like your iPad or iPhone) then you can continue and finish it on your Mac. Notifications You can now quick reply and take other actions from the lockscreen and the Notification Center. The Notification Center also adds support for widgets from third-party apps. Spotlight search Spotlight search can now recommend movie theatres, restaurants, web searches and Wikipedia results. You will also be able to search for item on the iTunes Store and App Store for items that you do not currently own. QuickType There are quite a few notable enhancements made to the keyboard in iOS 8. Most notable is predictive word suggestions based on the context of your current conversation. The QuickType row for the keyboard will appear about the keyboard. When you tap a suggested word, it will then place the word in your message. Messages iOS 8 bring some enhancements to Messages. You now have the ability to set individual message threads to Do Not Disturb (so then you can basically ignore any messages that you get in that thread. Photos can also be viewed on a single page, and Messages support voice messages. Family Share Family Share for iOS 8 allows you to easily share calendars, reminders, media and apps to up to six users. Find My iPhone can be used within those six people. This is a great feature for family that may have members that tend to lose their device(s). iCloud Storage There are now more simplified, larger and affordable storage levels. You will still get 5GB of iCloud storage for free. The 20GB storage tier will now cost $0.99 per month, which works about to be $12 per year, which previously cost about $40. There is a 200GB tier which cost about $3.99 a month and Apple has also said that there is a 1TB storage tier. Siri You can now activate Siri hands-free when your device is plugged in. Also Siri has built-in Shazam integration and find out what song is playing. HealthKit With iOS 8, it bring HealthKit which is a single place for all of your health and fitness devices, such as a activity trackers (like FitBit or Nike FuelBand) and heart rate monitors. Devices that integrate with HealthKit will share the data on your fitness device(s) to the respective app, all with discretion. Apple has said that they are working with Nike and the Mayo Clinic to create HealthKit applications. Photos There are new tools coming to iOS 8. Your photos will be instantly be synced across your iOS devices via Apple’s iCloud. When your photos sync, you can use new smart controls to edit the light, colour and alignment of your photos. App Store There are a number of improvements that will be made to iOS 8. Those include, improved searches, new Explore tab and app bundles. Trending searches will show people apps that are popular. The Explore tab of the App Store will give people a starting point for new app discovery. App developers can now make App Bundles which would offer people multiple apps together at a discounted price and are available to them with one tap. This is good for if an app developer wants to have a sale on their apps and also get their apps onto to more people’s devices. Apple will also be making the beta testing service, TestFlight to developers soon. Apple just recently acquired TestFlight back in February and it seenms Apple has not wasted any time trying to integrate TestFlight in to iOS 8. Third-party Keyboards iOS 8 allows developers to create and allow users to install third-party keyboards system-wide. Some notable third-party keyboards would include Swype, SwiftKey and Fleksy, who have all said that they will be bringing their keyboards to the latest version of iOS. HomeKit Apple is getting into home automation by introducing HomeKit. It allows you to connect to a number of connected devices from the leaders in home automation products. HomeKit is a simplified and unified interface to be able to control different connected devices (like lights, wall outlets, door locks, security systems, thermostats). iOS 8 Beta Developers can download iOS 8 beta and try it out on their devices. iOS 8 will be available in Fall 2014. The iOS 8 beta supports the iPhone 4S, 5, 5C, 5S, the iPad 2, 3, Retina Display (aka iPad 4) Air, Mini & Mini with Retina Display, the iPod Touch 5th Generation is the only iPod Touch that is supported.
OS X Yosemite
Apple also announced OS X 10.10 Yosemite (the first thing that comes to my mind is Yosemite Sam from Looney Tunes). It bring a newer look (much closer to iOS 7/8’s look and some new features. New Design OS X Yosemite now has flatter icons, and a new font that is used for every part of the update. The new design of OS X Yosemite is that much closer to the design of the current and upcoming versions of iOS. This leads me to believe that some time in the near to distant future, we will see iOS and OS X merge together as a single platform, with some minor differences. Notification Center It looks like the Notification Center that we see on iOS, including the newly introduced third-party widgets and the ability to expand & take further actions to notifications. Spotlight Search There is now a Spotlight search bar in the middle of the desktop in OS X Yosemite. You can open apps just by typing in the search bar for the name of the certain app. The ability to perform web searches with the Spotlight search is powered by Microsoft’s Bing “decision” engine. AirDrop Just like previously mentioned in the iOS 8 features section of this post, you can now share items between an iOS device and a Mac. It also works vice-versa. HandOff See HandOff in the iOS 8 features, it allows you to continue where you left off, whether that be on your iPad to Mac or your Mac to your iPhone (or other iOS device). SMS & Phone Calls For example if your iPhone is nearby and you receive a phone call, you can then answer it directly from your Mac, this sortof ties-in with the new HandOff feature. You can also continue your SMS message conversations from your iPhone, on your Mac.This feature works just like how you can see your iMessage conversations from your Mac. The beta for OS X Yosemite is also available for download on Apple’s developer center.