Apple has announced updates to both their major platforms, iOS and OS X, at WWDC 2014. The new updates bring a lot of new features and shows Apple’s surge into third party acceptance, cloud storage growth and a unified flat aesthetic that syncs between iOS and OS X.
The day started with Apple announcing OS X Yosemite, the newest release to Mac devices. The update brings a new look to the OS similar to iOS7, changes to Spotlight, Safari, Mail, Photos and a new feature called Continuity.
Starting with the design, Apple has made the font more readable, made the menus translucent to the background, focused on making icons and apps flat instead of having chrome and hints of skeuomorphism, they also added a dark mode.
Spotlight now has Internet and people searches, Safari has been redesigned to look cleaner with less clutter on the toolbar, users can now doodle on images in Mail and sign for PDFs easily and Apple previewed their new Photos app, coming with tons of customisable features.
Continuity was the biggest announcement for OS X Yosemite, allowing iOS and OS X users to switch between devices and finish their tasks without closing the app. This also means users can tether their iPhone and send messages, make calls and use wireless Internet on their Mac device.
iOS8 split the audience between consumers and developers, the first half showed off some of the new features coming to iOS8 and then the second half introduced a whole lot of new stuff for developers to sink their teeth into, over 4000 new APIs.
Apple has changed Group Messages to include do not disturb and the ability to leave a thread, Mail and Safari have been updated on iPad to take advantage of the extra room, multitasking now includes favorite people and users can now reply to messages without leaving the app.
A new predictive keyboard was announced for iOS8, which will work from contextual information depending on the recipient. Family Sharing is finally here and allows families to share content with one another without paying twice, it also allows parents to make sure kids cannot buy apps and in-game purchases without permission.
Health and HealthKit were announced, the app allows users to take in heart-rate and other health information and share it with applications, allowing the user to gather information from various different outlets that are all connected with one another.
iCloud Drive was announced as well, this is a Mac, iOS and Windows release and will allow users to save files and folders into the cloud, storing them and being able to tag them. Apple announced new prices for iCloud storage, 20GB for $0.99 and 200GB for $3.99, aggressive moves against DropBox and Google Drive.
This wasn’t it though, Apple then went on to announce HomeKit for smart home developers, connecting all of the devices to the iPhone hub. CloudKit was announced as a new cloud storage system for server side, allowing developers to access it for free, as long as they don’t take up too much room.
Apple revealed the Notification Center and various areas on Apple’s apps would be open to third parties and third party keyboards were now permitted on iOS8. This is the first time Apple has really opened up to developers and allowed them to work on the platform.
The last two bombshells included a new graphical rendering tool named Metal, which will take over from Open GL|ES and Swift, a new programming language, which will take over from Objective-C and allow developers to create specifically for the iOS platform.
No hardware was announced at the event, but OS X and iOS8 will be available in the fall!