Apple’s WWDC, which took place over the past couple of days, has been an event filled with surprising introductions, odd exclusions, and interesting updates to the Apple world. We will be summarizing these updates, and stacking them up against our predictions.
OS X Yosemite:
As we predicted, the software update has been named after a place in California. Also, as predicted, this update attempts to make the computers more in line with the tablets/phones.
Here are some of the features to expect in OS X Yosemite:
• The appearance of OS X Yosemite looks like what an operating system would look life it if were iOS-based: translucent, modern, and minimal.
• A more usable notification center and a more powerful Spotlight (but as a friend of mine recommended me a long time ago, Alfred is the best app to use when searching your Mac – I personally use it about 10 times a day).
• iCloud Drive: similar to Dropbox, it will have a pricing scheme that will allow users to buy 20 GB for example (for $0.99 a month) and be able to use them from any device.
• Hands off and Continuity, two features that will allow for simple connection with the iOS devices and OS devices. For example, you can be writing an email on your computer and continue it on your phone. Another major example is being able to answer phone calls directed to your phone from your computer respectively.
OS X Yosemite is expected to be downloadable free-of-charge sometime in the fall of 2014.
As we predicted, the appearance of iOS 8 did not change, but many (and I really do mean many) features were added. Here is a summary of the most notable ones:
• Going back to the connection between the iOS and OS X, if you take a photo from your iPhone, for example, it will appear on your iPad. This will be stored in the iCloud Drive.
• You can now add voice and video to iMesssages, which, to people who frequently use Whatsapp, isn’t a big deal.
• Updated notification system: this is one of my favorite updates, you will be able to react to notification from the home screen, such as liking a comment someone left on your profile picture without actually going to Facebook.
• Family sharing: for those families who are all in the 21st century, this allows for seamless interactions between the devices of each family member, allowing for cross sharing of media (I can definitely see this being abused by cliques).
• There is a new health app that tracks sleep, calories burned, blood pressure, and whatnot. It does sound pretty interesting for those who are conscious of their health, but it will kill many third-party apps in the process.
If you have an iPhone 4S or newer (and an iPad 2 or newer for the tablets), you will be able to update to the new iOS, which will also be available in the fall, free of charge.
Beats by Dr. Dre:
As predicted, the announcement of the acquisition was made (through an example of a phone call being made on a Mac rather than on an iPhone) but there is no other word on it yet. This acquisition will be closely followed in the months to come, to see whether Apple will move towards music streaming or not.
The biggest and most unexpected announcement of all: Apple has announced a new programming language called Swift. Although this announcement is mainly for the developers and not for the consumers, this development will impact both parties immensely.
Apple used to develop their applications in a language called Objective-C, which, in my opinion, is extremely tedious. Swift is less syntactically taxing, which will make a difference in the development process. Also, it is said to be faster (according to Apple) than Objective-C, which is always a plus. Although the average user might not even notice the introduction of Swift, it will be the reason for faster, smarter, and more innovative apps, and Apple has made Swift more accessible. Anyone can head off to iBooks right now and download the introduction to Swift (warning: basic programming knowledge is assumed, as the learning curve in the introduction is pretty steep).
iPhone 6 and Macbook Air with Retina Display
Sadly, we were completely off on the hardware side of the WWDC predictions. We predicted two inclusions to Apple’s hardware line: the iPhone 6 and the Macbook Pro with Retina display. Sadly, neither of them were announced. We can only hope to see them in the Apple annual special event that takes place in September.
Overall, these are just a few of the features that Apple announced in the WWDC. Other features that were announced, such as inter-app communication on the iOS and instant hotspot on the OS X, could possibly be used in revolutionary manners by developers in their apps. Only time will tell how powerful these tools are, as these are tools that the average user will not use, but could affect the overall use of devices.
If you have a couple of hours to spare, watch the keynote presentation: