Apple opened its 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on June 2 with a bunch of new product announcements and updates, which will be available in the fall to the general public.
In his keynote address, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook together with Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi unveiled updated versions of Mac OSX operating system, named Yosemite, and iOS8 software for iPhones and iPads. The new OS software is about bringing Macs, iPhones and iPads closer together.
Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite has a major aesthetic redesign with the flat look of its user interface making it look like iOS, including complete redesigns of Safari, Calendars, Mail and the Spotlight search service and a revamped Notification Centre. The redesign makes users to easily switch from Mac to iPhone and vice versa.
A major new feature is iCloud Drive, which gives users full control over files they store in iCloud and making it more like a traditional cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive. Apple iCloud Drive can be accessed on iOS, Windows, and any Mac devices. The iCloud Drive costs $0.99 monthly for the 20 GB storage and $3.99 monthly for the 200 GB storage.
In addition, Apple also presented AirDrop, which now also works between iOS and the Mac. It allows users to easily continue to work on the same document or application between the desktop and mobile device.
The new version of iOS, which will come to iPhones and iPads in the fall, and has several standout features, including interactive Notifications, predictive keyboard, and upgraded Group Messaging.
The updated iOS 8 has a larger emphasis on fitness through an app simply called Health,supported by a service called HealthKit, which lets gives health and fitness app developers a centralized place on the iPhone to integrate their software with. Apple is also working with health providers to get the most out of the service.
“The Healthkit has the most potential for the future,” said Nils Kassube, a director of development at Newscope, a Germany-based consulting firm. “Those of us that are interested in health need a platform for sharing information.”
iOS 8 also includes Family Sharing, which finally adds a long-requested feature: linking Apple IDs. The new feature allows up to six family members to share any iTunes content that any of them has purchased, and if one family member tries to buy an app or in-app purchase, the credit-card holder will get a notification, allowing them to grant or deny the request, says Mashable.
Apple also introduced HomeKit, the home automation platform that supports lights, thermostat, cameras, and will allow users to handle “scene management”. The company asserted that HomeKit allows users to lock doors, shut of lights, and other capabilities so they can “get ready for bed.”
Finally, there is Swift, a new programming language. Designed to be the successor to Objective-C, the primary language programmers use to write software for OS X and iOS, the new language will supposedly make coders’ lives easier by making the process of developing software faster and less-painful.