Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage today for WWDC 2014 in the company’s first big press event since the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina launch last fall. Because WWDC is an event for developers, the keynote traditionally focuses on unveiling the next big software updates headed for the iPhone, iPad and the Mac. It’s all about connectivity & continuity in the iOS eco-system (Sorry, no news about the Beats acquisition). Finally you can get more out of owning your iPhone, iPad and Macbook… check out a few of the announced upgrades below.
1. iOS 8 – Lock Screen Productivity – You can now respond to texts, meeting requests and other notifications directly from the lock screen (no need to open up the app in order to be productive.) Swipe – You will be able to take advantage of predictive text and the option to download different keyboards for your device . Messaging – You can mute a chatty conversation, and access all the attachments from the conversation in one place, you can add a video message in-line and save individual messages for future use.
2. HealthKit / Homekit – It’s the Passbook version for all of your fitness wearables and home automation devices. Keep all of your data collected from your fitness devices such as FitBit, Jawbone UP, Witherings and more accessible in the HealthKit app. You will find all of your home automation information from iHome, Honeywell, Philips and more locked inside of your Homekit app.
3. iCloud – Storgage Gets An Upgrade. First 5 GB free. 20 GB for $0.99 per month. 200GB for $3.99 per month. (Sidenote: iCloud drive is coming to Windows)
4. Photos (formally iPhoto) – All your photos AND videos can be edited in app and the edited content will be stored in the iCloud and available to all your iOS / Mac devices. (But it will use up your 5GB of free iCloud storage.) Photos for Mac is set to launch next year. It’s not clear yet whether it’ll be a free download or part of an upgrade to the newly announced OS X 10.10 Yosemite.
5. OS X 10.10 will be known as Yosemite. Yosemite features a flatter, modern design, with slightly translucent windows. Safari now offers a detailed tab view, so you can get a quick glance at all of the sites you’re browsing. You can now receive iMessages and SMS messages on any Apple device you own. If you own an iPhone, your calls will be shared too, with your Mac serving as a great big speakerphone. (Bonus: Yosemite lets you draw a signature to sign documents on your laptop, tracing your finger on the trackpad.) The update will be available to developers today and to the general public in the fall as a free update.
Other huge notables… With photo a surge in photo sharing, now every photo you take is available on all devices. Family sharing, which lets you get to everything any member of your family has purchased (it also eliminates issues of unauthorized in-app purchases by kids.) Hands-Free Siri will now allow you to reach out to Siri without the press of a button. You can also utilize Shazam song recognition, purchase iTunes content and more using Hey Siri.
These are just a few answers that consumers wanted to make the use of iOS and Mac products work better together. Which of these updates will improve the way that you use your devices? Are you looking forward to the new upgrades? Share your thoughts below.