All The WWDC News You Missed: iOS 8 And OS X Yosemite

WWDC 2014 iconApple's WWDC address aired on Monday, but in case you missed it, here's all the news you need to know. No fresh hardware was unveiled during Apple's two-hour stage show, but here's a recap of the upcoming features found in the OS X and iOS updates arriving this Fall.











Apple's WWDC address aired on Monday, but in case you missed it, here's all the news you need to know. No fresh hardware was unveiled during Apple's two-hour stage show, but here's a recap of the upcoming features found in the OS X and iOS updates arriving this Fall.



Introducing Apple OS X Yosemite



In accord with Apple's recent name shift to California locations, the 10.10 update to OS X is called Yosemite. Probably the most obvious aspect about this particular version is that it includes a totally redesigned interface to match the aesthetic of iOS 7. The new concept features flattened graphics, minimalist icons, and a more rectangular dock than what's seen in previous builds. A few system fonts were also changed to provide greater OS continuity as well. Craig Federighi placed lots of emphasis on translucency as the centerpiece behind this UI overhaul.



OSX Yosemite2



In addition to looks, an improved Spotlight search was also a focal point of the discussion. When users tap for Spotlight in Yosemite, the search box occupies much larger screen real estate than before. As always it can be used to open apps and search for documents, but now it also integrates web results from sponsored pages as well. If you want to look up an article on Wikipedia or find movie showtimes, you no longer have to leave the desktop do it. These benefits are capped off by a dual-pane design that allows you to preview results and make new searches at the same time.


If that's not enough for you, here are some smaller Yosemite details in bullet format:

  • Notification Center: Like iOS 7, OS X's Notification Center now features a Day View that can be customized with third-party widgets. It's suggested that the days of OS X's Dashboard may be coming to an end.
  • Mail: In Yosemite, you can send attachments of up to 5GB using a new feature called Mail Drop. You can also draw on attachments and write signatures with a tool referred to as Markup.
  • Safari: Apple's default browser has an updated tab view, a slim menu bar, improved video streaming codecs, improved private browsing, and full use of Markup as well.
  • Supported Devices: iMac (mid 2007+), Macbook Air (late 2008+), Macbook (late 2008 Aluminum+), Mac Mini (early 2009+), Macbook Pro (mid 2007+), Mac Pro (early 2008+), Xserve (early 2009)


Beyond Yosemite, Apple also revealed a new platform called iCloud Drive. Get more info by clicking ahead!












Organized File Storage With iCloud Drive



To buttress the less than stellar adoption rate of iCloud, Apple announced a brand new file storage system called iCloud Drive. If you've ever used Dropbox or OneDrive before, it's essentially the exact same thing. You can upload and store files in a browsable folder format. All contents can then be viewed and accessed on a myriad of platforms including iOS, OS X, Windows, and seemingly anything with a working web browser. As far as cost tiers are concerned, the first 5GB is absolutely free. After that, it's a dollar a month for 20GB and $3.99 a month for 200GB. These somewhat reasonable fees situate iCloud Drive squarely amongst the competition.



iCloud Drive2



In addition, AirDrop is finally supported across OS X and iOS devices. If you want to send a photo from your phone to your computer, that can now we done in little more than an instant.


iOS and OS X integration doesn't end there either. Click to the next page to see more about Apple's new continuity initiative.












Cross-Platform Continuity



Beyond files, there's a lot more that your iPhone and Mac will be able to share once they're both updated. With a new feature called Handoff, it's possible to start a task on one Apple device, and then resume it on another. If you start composing an email on your iPad for example, finishing it up on your Mac is as easy as clicking a notification icon that appears on your monitor. The reverse is true for Mac to iOS transfers as well. When there's an incomplete task to be finished on a mobile device, you can access it simply by swiping up on the lockscreen.



OS X continuity2



Want even more continuity? Syncing between devices is also true for phone calls and text messages as well. If you receive a new call, a full Caller ID window displays on your desktop. What's more is, you can even answer it using your Mac as a speaker phone. Making calls is also possible on your Mac with a little help from Safari. As far as texts are concerned, both SMS and iMessages are carried between devices too. You can reply on any platform you want, and the conversation stays up to date no matter which hardware you're using. This is the kind of pairing that only Apple can accomplish. With wildly successful mobile phones and computers, iOS and Mac will be closer than ever before.



Are you more concerned about what's in store for the iPhone and iPad? The last two pages talk about the large and small changes in iOS 8!












iOS 8's Hallmark Updates 



The changes found in iOS 8 amount to a myriad of small but crucial fixes to Apple's well-known mobile operating system. The first demonstrated feature was interactive notifications. With these, it's possible to see a text notification on your lockscreen, tap it, and reply, without ever having to fully unlock your phone. Quick reply also extends inside the OS as well. When you receive a new text banner, swiping down on it will immediately bring up the iOS keyboard no matter what you're doing. We've seen similar tweaks emerge from the jailbreak community in the past, but now Apple has made their idea its own.



iOs8 2



Speaking of texts, changes were made to how Messages works as well. When engaged in a group conversation, it's now possible to leave at any time. Chats can also be muted as well, so that you aren't disturbed by a barrage of texts while your phone is locked. To round out this group-focus, all attachments in a group thread are stored together for easy access. iOS 8 Messages even includes the ability to send voice and video snippets not unlike SnapChat or Nextel's walkie talkie. In fact, thanks to interactive notifications, you can reply to an audio message without ever unlocking your phone. As you might expect however, these media clips do have a self-destruct feature for your own safety.


Next in the docket is a fresh concept called Family Sharing. It doesn't let users have different profiles on a single device, but it does allow members of your family to link several Apple IDs behind one payment method. As a nice touch, every time your kid buys something from iTunes, the parent account will be asked to approve the purchase via text. Each family also has a dedicated group thread, calendar, and location awareness between devices. It's not something you're kids will love, but at least all iTunes purchases can be used by anyone in the family network. If dad buys a lot of apps, his kids can access copies of them too.


Lastly comes a major revolution to Siri. Instead of holding down on the home button, Siri can can now be accessed at all times by saying "hey Siri." Coupled with Shazam song identification built in, you'll be able to find out what song is playing on your car radio without ever letting your hands off the wheel!



Supported iOS 8 Devices: iPhone 4S+, iPad 2+, iPod Touch Fifth Generation



Those are the major consumer changes, but plenty of small development policy shifts mean big things for the future of iOS. Get the full rundown on the final page!












A Bunch More iOS 8 Features



There's lots more to be found in iOS 8, so let me list some of the less easily grouped features for you.



ios8 widgets



  • Spotlight Enhancements: Similar to OS X, iOS 8's Spotlight will have deeper hooks for web searches and movie showtimes.
  • QuickType And Third-Party Keyboard Support: Like many Android devices, iOS' default keyboard has a panel for predictive text to pick the best word. Essentially this means autocorrect will give multiple suggestions instead of just picking one. Additionally, developers have been given the tools to make their own system-wide keyboards for iOS. This allows apps like Android's popular Swype keyboard can be downloaded from the App Store.
  • New Mail Gestures: Like the popular Mailbox app, greater gesture control has been given to Apple's own Mail suite. A soft swipe gives users the option to reply, while a hard swipe automatically deletes a message.
  • Favorite Contacts: When double tapping the home button, pictures of your most used contacts appear around your application tiles. These can be used for faster SMS and call access.
  • Notification Center Extensions: Third-party developers can also begin making interactive widgets for Notification Center. A live Ebay auction and SportsCenter feed were shown to demonstrate the idea.
  • Expansion of TouchID: Developers can lock portions of their apps behind TouchID instead of text passwords. These means access to your many social services can be locked behind a fingerprint.
  • Tether Your Data: As part of continuity, your Mac will be able to select your phone or iPad's data plan from the list of available connections.
  • Metal: This new graphics API helps make the most of current and past Apple graphics chips.
  • Swift: A new combination coding language that makes app creation easier than ever before.
  • Healthkit: This SDK allows developers to integrate their projects with iOS 8's Heath app. Any app can pull your personal data from Health (if allowed) to provide more accurate readings that are tailored to your personal wellness situation.
  • Homekit: A unified platform for home devices with dedicated apps. Manufacturers can then link several smart products together. In theory, you could use voice actions such as "time for bed" to lock the doors and shut off all devices in your home.


That's all I know, but which of these changes are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments section below!