Today marked the beginning of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, CA.
This is the conference’s 25th year and has grown leaps and bounds since its inception in 1990. The first WWDC started with 1,300 developers in tow and this year’s keynote had approximately 6,000 in attendance. The keynote address is where Apple announces its newest software and hardware developments for the upcoming year. This year’s keynote focused on the rollout of OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 along with new tools for developers.
OS X Yosemite is a completely redesigned interface. Apple developers sought to ‘elevate the experience’ of the using a Mac for the end users. Some of the biggest enhancements highlighted during the Keynote included:
- Today view in the Notification Center
- Spotlight revamp
- Streamlined toolbars in Safari
- Mail Drop – allows users to send large attachments in Mail messages
- Greater iPhone integration with Messages
- iCloud Drive – File storage accessibility on any device
Probably one of the biggest developments is what Apple is calling “Continuity.” Continuity refers to the integration between Apple devices and how the recognize each other. Apple announced the following developments that go along with Continuity:
- AirDrop between iOS and Mac devices
- NEW Hand Off feature – automatic device detection allows users to start a project on one device and continue it on a different device.
- SMS will now include ‘green bubble’ friends (those not using an Apple device to send SMS)
- Hot Spots will automatically be detected from the Mac – no need to turn it on from your iPhone
- Users can make and receive phone calls from any iOS or Mac device – the call still goes through your iPhone, but you use your Mac as an extension and can dial out easily from contact information or even from webpages where phone numbers are displayed
OS X Yosemite is available for developers today and will be released to the public in the fall. Plus, Apple is doing a first-ever public Beta test of Yosemite over the summer. The update to Yosemite will be free for all users.
We have downloaded Yosemite onto one of our machines and must say the update was flawless and easy to complete. So far, it has been a little buggy, but the new design and features are lovely to work with.
Apple CEO, Tim Cook, announced some interesting statistics about iOS during the Keynote, too. He reported that over 130 million people were new iOS users over the past year and that every iOS device has set significant records within the past year, too. With the success of iOS 7, Apple decided to build upon it and announced the release of iOS 8 to be in the fall. The features for iOS 8 included:
- Cloud-based photo editing – all edits become available on all devices
- Voice and video messages are now integrated into the Messages app
- Health and fitness apps are more integrated and communicate with each other, trainers and even doctors to create a more complete picture of a user’s health
- Family Sharing – share content with up to 6 members of your family
- Improved Spotlight search
And, because Apple has such love for its developers, they also rolled out a brand new SDK that includes options for developers to take advantage of iCloud, TouchID, SpriteKit, SceneKit and Metal. Plus, Apple rolled out a brand new developers language – Swift. Swift is built for Cocoa and Cocoa Touch code. It’s syntax is con side and expressive, plus lightning fast. Developers can use it along side Objective-C when writing code for new apps.
iOS 8 is available today as a Beta with the full version being released in the fall. Swift is available to begin working with today.
For more information on WWDC, Apple or any of the announcements from today’s Keynote address, visit apple.com.