Happy Apple Day 2014
25th Annual WWDC
Today was the start of the 25th Annual World Wide Developer’s Conference, or WWDC. Like every year, Apple kicks off the even with a keynote highlighting the changes they are making to their OS and in recent years, the changes being made to iOS. This year was no different and some major changes were announced that had the developers in tears of Joy, not to mention much of the at home audience. So what were these updates? Lets have a look starting with the new OS, Yosemite.
OS X Yosemite
OS X Yosemite or 10.10 as the numbering goes brought some major changes, updates, and additions to an already powerful OS. Cosmetic changes to the OS are designed to better reflect the look and feel of the current iOS visuals. These changes can be seen in the menu bars, the dock, and the window screens. Giving the entire OS a smooth clean look is a nice update, but like all visual stylings this won’t be to everyone’s taste. What should be to everyone’s taste are the software updates! The software updates seemed to cover everything from the ground up including mail, spotlight, calender, maps, message center and more. I am going to highlight the standouts since these are the ones that really blew me away.
Spotlight now pops up in the center of the screen and has a better integrated search system. Plus when connected to the web, spotlight will also search the internet for solutions to your search. Spotlight has become a one stop search tool for your online and offline needs!
The notification center is now fully customizable. With the ability to add third party widgets you can get all of the notifications that are most important to you all in one place. Add, remove and reorganize your notification center to fit your personal preferences.
Message Center was one of my favorites of the day. What once was a nice step in progress of texting friends and family has taken a huge evolutionary step forward. Message Center now allows you to make calls from your desktop, you heard me right make phone calls! More than that though, it will act as a caller ID with your iPhone, send short video or audio clips, and more. The one feature that will save a ton of friendships though has to be the message “Do Not Disturb” feature. Turn this on and you won’t be notified every time you get a text from that annoying group text session you were added to and just can’t leave. The way this works is all thanks to another new feature.
Hot Spot/Hand Off
These two features go together in my mind because they focus on how your iDevices will interact with your Mac. This is how you will get Caller ID on your Mac and also how your computer will make phone calls. The feature will give you the ability to seamlessly move between any device and pick up right where you left off with whatever you were working on. Browsing a website on your phone and want it on your computer, boom there it is. Working on an email on your iPad that you need to finish on your phone, done! The new interaction between devices looks amazing and promises to be seamless!
There is a lot more that can be said about all of this, but for now we should move on to iOS 8. Of course the one thing that does need to be said is that when it is released this fall, it will be FREE. Only if your computer meets the required tech specs what ever those turn out to be.
Like the main os iOS 8 had some major changes cosmetically and structurally. Some of the changes you already know since they went hand in hand with updates to the mac OS (Hot Spot, Hand Off, Messages) To be honest the biggest thing that hit here in my opinion is the family sharing, but again there was much more than that.
Tired of trying to easily share music, movies, photos, documents and anything else with your family? Apple feels your pain and has created a way for up to 6 family members to share all of their content. For any purchases made on the same credit card all of those items will be available to the other members of the family. No more repeat purchases, and sharing finally made smart. But don’t worry about kids getting out of control with spending on your credit card. If they want to purchase something a message is sent to you the parents to approve the purchase. No parental approval, no purchase! This must have been designed by a parent!
Not to be outdone by companies like Dropbox. Apple is getting back into the Online storage game with the added touch of using it to make emailing large files simple. If you have a huge file, up to 1 GB, you can email it to the recipient using the cloud. Plus through the could any documents you may be collaborating on will automatically update everywhere it is stored. This is a great addition to the OS and you get 5GB for free, 20 GB for $0.99/month and 200 GB $3.99/month.
The improvements to the photo editing and camera also need to be highlighted. With apple giving the keys to camera, new apps will be unleashed that allow users to do things with the camera like never before. Take full control of white balance, focus, exposure and more. Of course once you have these shots you might want to touch them up and that is where smart editing comes in. Apple has put the optional smart editing feature into photos to help make your images really pop. Don’t worry though you can still get in and manipulate the details individually
The last thing that needs to be mentioned are the Kits. Apple is working with developers to produce kits that will localize all the data and processes of all your apps that fit in a certain category. Kits that were announced today include Health and Home were the ones announced today, but as iOS 8 roles out you can expect that more will be coming down the road.
There was a lot more discussed that goes on in the back ground, and the short answer is that it will make your life easier. Whether it is the new SWIFT programming language that will allow for new developers to hit the scene. Or if it is METAL which will allow for more powerful games and apps to be run on your devices. Apple really came out swinging today and has given us a glimpse at some amazing things to come. One note about the presentation in general, Tim Cook was the stoic head of the company we expect, but Craig Federighi was a rock star and completely stole the show. Dr Dre was pretty cool too.
More pics of the event!