During the WWDC 2014 conference in San Francisco, Apple unveiled a slew of big updates by unveiling OS X Yosemite – a completely redesigned and refined OSX for Mac’s, iOS 8 with new features and developers tool and Swift – a powerful new programming language for iOS and OS X.
Flatter OS X Yosemite
Apple has completely redesigned and refined the OS X with a fresh, modern look, powerful new apps and amazing new continuity features. It brings many design aspects from the latest iOS to the OS X like flatter look and translucent interface.
- New Dock & Translucent elements – User interface is one of the parts Apple has mastered on, that why in the new OS X Yosemite, they have brought fresh modern look with a clean and flat design where controls are clearer, smarter and easier to understand, and streamlined toolbars put the focus on your content without compromising functionality. The new dock replaces the old shelf look with a simplified translucent elements providing a more consistent look and feel. Further more Translucent elements reveal additional content in one’s app window, provide a hint at what’s hidden behind and take on the look of their desktop.
- Notification Center – Apple has built a refreshed and translucent Notification Center which comes in par with the iOS. With the new ‘Today View’ feature user can get summary of the day’s upcoming events, reminders, and birthdays. In addition it provides quick access to important information with widgets like Calendar, Weather, Stocks, World Clock, Calculator, and Reminders. And one can customize the notification centre by adding more widgets from the Mac App Store.
- iCloud Drive – Like the Windows OneDrive or GoogleDrive, Apple has built its iCloud Drive right into the Finder, just like any other folder on Mac. Users can now drag documents into it, organize them with folders and Tags and search for them using Spotlight.
- Handoff – bringing your Mac and iOS device close, Handoff lets users start an activity on one device and pass it to the other. It offers Instant Hotspot, viewing and sending SMS and MMS messages from all devices and make or receive iPhone calls using ones Mac as a speakerphone.
- SpriteKit & SceneKit -for developers SpriteKit brings an easier way to incorporate realistic motion, physics and lighting in games, and integrates with SceneKit they can bring 3D casual gaming.
The developer preview of OSX Yosemite is already available to Mac Developer Program members. In addition with OS X Beta Program users can get early access to OSX Yosemite and try out the release. Final version of OSX Yosemite will be released this fall and will be available to download from Mac App Store for free.
Polished iOS 8
Apple has got lots of feedback from the release of iOS 7 – a completely redesigned and overhauled iOS. This time they are releasing a much polished version of iOS with new features and new developer tools.
- iMessage – Probably taking cue from other popular third-party messaging apps, Apple has brought a few tweaks to its iMessage. Tap to Talk allows users to share their voice, videos and photos within Messages. Enhancing the group messaging, which now gives users the ability to add and remove contacts, leave a conversation and the option to not be disturbed. One can also share their current location from within messages for an hour, a day or longer.
- QuickType keyboard – iOS keyboard gets more smarter and more personalized. With predictive texting the keyboard now suggests words while you are typing. The new keyboard intelligently takes context into account – for example if you typing in a formal way, the words suggested will be formal in nature too.
- iCloud Photo Library – it offers access to all of your photos and videos anytime, anywhere. The Photos app can automatically straighten horizons and with smart editing tools, one can quickly adjust light and color or access individual tools for deeper fine-tuning. With iCloud Photo Library, every adjustment and effect is automatically updated across other devices.
- Health app – it gathers information from various health apps and fitness devices, and provides users with a clear and current overview in one place. For developers HealthKit API provides ability for health and fitness apps to communicate with each other. For example, the Nike+ apps using NikeFuel will be able to pull in other key HealthKit metrics such as sleep and nutrition to build a custom user profile and improve athletic performance.
- Family Sharing – it makes easier to communicate and share purchases, photos and calendars within the same household. Up to six members can participate, each with their own Apple ID. Family members can browse and download each other’s iTunes, iBooks or App Store purchases. Parents can create Apple IDs for children, which includes Ask to Buy, requiring parental permission for purchases.
- SIRI – improved Siri now gets ability to recognise songs with the integration of Shazam service. Copying from Google, one can start Siri by simply saying ’Hey Siri’, in contradiction to ‘Ok Google’ in Google Now.
- Opening Touch ID – Apple has opened up Touch ID for developers with Touch ID APIs enabling them to securely authenticate users within apps, protect logins and user data, and unlock keychain items.
- bringing interactive notifications, quick access to key contacts, the ability to quickly switch back and forth between the inbox and drafts in Mail, as well as intelligent suggestions.
- iOS 8 update will be available for iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina display, iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad mini with Retina display.
iOS 8 beta software and SDK are available immediately for iOS Developer Program members and final version will be released this fall.
Swift – new programming language
Apple has announced a new programming language – Swift for iOS and OS X that’s designed for Cocoa and Cocoa Touch, and combines the performance and efficiency of compiled languages with the simplicity and interactivity of popular scripting languages.
It offer developers to write safer and more reliable code by eliminating entire categories of common programming errors, and coexists with Objective-C code. In addition Xcode Playgrounds make writing Swift code interactive by instantly displaying the output of Swift code.