It was about this time last year my interest in all things tech took an upward turn. Having just started ‘blogging’, I was keen to find ways of improving my writing workflow, and given my use of Apple’s iPhone and iPad, looked forward to hearing about the changes looming in iOS 7, which I would be viewing on these devices quite often from that point onwards. Overall, despite a few bugs and crashes, I have been happy with what iOS 7 brought us.
Expectations for the announcements at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) this year? To be honest, nothing specific other than a keen interest in what Apple has planned for the future. After buying a Mac late last year, my entire (personal) digital existence now lives within this ecosystem.
OS X – Yosemite
Having tuned in early this morning (Australian time) to the live stream of the Keynote presentation kicked of by Tim Cook, the main focus was on both consumer and developer updates to both the OS X and iOS platforms.
We saw the introduction of OS X 10.10 “Yosemite” (available as a free update later in the year), continuing the new naming convention after Mavericks was introduced last year. Featured were a redesigned interface (translucent background, new app icons and sidebars); updates to Safari, Mail, Calendar and Spotlight; a today view in an expanded Notification Center which now has support for widgets; the ability to make phone calls and SMS from your Mac, along with improved interaction with iOS devices. The improvements to iOS communication include having AirDrop now active between Macs and Mobile devices (finally), and iCloud drive with the ability to sync folders on the Mac to iOS and Windows (think Dropbox).
As far as iOS 8 is concerned, as expected, no great change to the interface itself, however some interesting updates were evident to text input, in the form of Quicktype predictive typing and the ability to add system wide third-party keyboards. Also seen were improvements to Spotlight search and Notifcation Center, in line with the changes in OS X; better gestures for Mail; new Message thread features; a Family Sharing feature (to include Apple IDs) and the integration of iCloud drive as note above. Other features that seem very promising include “Handoff” which allows you to pick up on your Mac exactly where you left off on your mobile device, and the “Extensions” feature, allowing developers better access to inter-app communications. Two other areas Apple were rumoured to be exploring were confirmed, with both HealthKit (Personal health and fitness monitoring) and HomeKit (home automation) also shown to developers.
The above is just a small sample of what was presented this morning however I’m looking forward to seeing how these changes might improve the way I do things on both platforms, in particular, how the new integration features will assist in communication between the mobile and desktop operating systems.
A great roundup of this mornings events can be found at the The Unofficial Apple Weblog, and I believe the boys on the Reckoner Podcast will be discussing what was unveiled further this evening.Follow @petedenison
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