So its that time of the year again where everyone from hardcore bloggers to opinion-passing tweeters get Apple-ified (if I may say so). The WWDC held on 2nd June was live streamed across the world on all Apple devices. Apple has been criticised for being a laggard by not making their software as extensible as Android. So, did they deliver ? Lets find out.
At the event, the main topics of discussion were Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite and iOS8.
Yosemite (the final choice after dismissing many options including ‘Weed’) is the all new OS 10.10. One look at it and all you can think of is iOS 7. Yes, all the icons have been modified, translucency has been added and the whole look is flat. Notification center gets neater and more interactive thanks to the ability to add widgets. Spotlight has got smarter and has the ability to search for people, mail, events, etc. Apple has also introduced a Dark Mode for those who detest the default bright appearance. AirDrop works between the iPhone and Mac now, finally. The other feature is the new cloud storage service from Apple for iOS, OS X, Windows and web which is called — iCloud Drive (competition to Dropbox, Google Drive, etc). Many of the built-in apps are getting a couple of feature updates. For example, Mail has got a new inline image editing feature. Besides that, most of the basics remain unchanged. But all-in-all, this is the biggest visual refresh after probably OS X Leopard.
Apple CEO Tim Cook addressing the media during the WWDC 2014
Now, coming to iOS 8 – Expectedly, Apple has maintained the same overhauled design of iOS7 for this version. But there’s a truckload of changes under the hood — they have finally listened to their customers and got “a bit more open”. The Keyboard has gotten better. It not only suggest words above the QWERTY as you are typing but also analyses the type of conversation and suggests words accordingly (after all, you wouldn’t tell your boss that the presentation was EPIC). Thanks to actionable notifications, you can now quickly type a reply, accept a calendar invite or like a Facebook Status message by simply pulling the notification down; all without having to leave the app. TouchID can now be used by third party apps for user authentication (this is amazing because you’ll have to type in passwords lesser than ever before!). The ‘Health’ app helps you view your recent health/fitness data in one dashboard (pathway to pitch the iWatch, maybe?). Gestures in the mail app have been changed. One can also view their “recents” by double tapping the home button; they’re shown right above the multitasking app thumbnails.
But the most important feature that links the above two (OS X and iOS8) is by a feature called ‘Continuity’. Click on compose on the Mac, continue typing on the iPhone and send it through the iPad. Yes, its that easy. Each device prompts you to pick up where you left something off on the other device. One can change their device without having to bother to save or sync the data, its all done automatically.
So thats it. The most important news from the WWDC 2014. But remember, this is just the first look, and there may be some other feature additions by the time they launch to the public in the last quarter of this year.