Apple primarily talked about two major upgrades at the WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) this year. Most of us don’t have time to sit through a 2 hour keynote speech so here’s a wrap up of the most anticipate features among the new Mac Operating system called Yosemite and the Mobile Operating System iOS 8.
OS X Yosemite
Apple’s new operating system will be released this fall to the general public after it has worked out its major bugs. If you’re anxious to try it out, you can sign up to be a part of the first time public beta testers for OS X Yosemite.
iOS SIMILAR LOOK
The latest version of OS X includes a major visual overhaul prompted by its mobile cousin, iOS. A flat looking design and translucent panels can be found throughout OS X 10.10. The flat look is coming into play more and more in all of Apple’s operating systems.
SPOTLIGHT: TAKE 2
Spotlight received its first big update in years with a brand-new launcher and a search box that appears in the middle of your desktop. It will be used to quickly launch apps by typing the first few letters, searching for local documents, and even search Apple Maps to contacts and events, all from within Spotlight.
MARKUP YOUR MAIL
Apple has been spotty on updating it’s Mail app but has now released a new feature called Markup. Markup is Mail’s new built-in editor for image attachments, completely separate from Preview. This means you no longer have to save an attached file, open it in a separate program, save the file, then reattach the file if you want to do minor edits like adding text or signing a contract. Beyond small edits, Markup is also smart enough to automatically transform your scribbly handwriting into clean, steady lines. Have you ever tried to send an email that was too large to go out? Apple has a new solution for you: MailDrop, a feature that lets you store attachments up to 5GB in size in iCloud and send recipients a link to download it on their own. No more returned mail or not being able to send more than a couple pictures at once to a friend.
iCloud drive is a very Dropbox-like file system for storing your documents in the cloud. iCloud Drive will be a folder that sits in the sidebar in your Finder window. You can also add your own folders and tags to iCloud Drive, and everything syncs across your Macs, iPhones, iPads, and yes… Windows too!
AIRDROP BETWEEN IOS AND MAC
A long awaited feature has been introduced, you can now share files between mobile devices and Macs using AirDrop. Previously, you could only share between mobile devices or between Macs.
NO iMESSAGE, NO PROBLEM
Yosemite overhauled iMessage to include SMS messages from all Apple and non-Apple devices. You can also now send and receive phone calls from your Mac as long as your phone is in close proximity.
NOTIFICATIONS WITH ACTIONS: iOS STYLE
Apple now lets you respond directly to messages from the Notifications view and lock screen. As a heavy text user, this will save lots of time without having to go into the full Messages app to respond to a quick text. Along with responding to quick texts, Apple has allowed us to respond quickly to Facebook comments and even bid on an eBay item without having to open up the website.
AUDIO AND VIDEO CHAT MESSAGES
Messages is the most-used app on iOS, and it’s getting a much-needed update in iOS 8. The Messages app will allow quick audio and video messages, self-destructing messages, and temporary location sharing, among other features. The temporary location sharing of which will be my favorite new feature in the Messages app. Lastly, we are getting the very long awaited ability to add and remove certain recipients from group text messages. Many will rejoice over this feature!
Family Sharing is a new feature that will let up to six members of a family share iTunes purchases across devices, as long as each account is linked to the same credit card. Family Sharing also enables the sharing of calendars, reminders, photos, and Find My Friends locations across devices. And it lets parents approve or deny purchases made on their childrens’ devices, making it more difficult for kids to run up large bills from in-app purchases. This is the perfect solution to many of our clients’ issues of having separate Apple ID’s with purchases on unknown devices. The ability to link all of the family devices, approve/decline purchases, as well as other main app features will be a great solution to a number of problems.
Along with iOS 8, Siri has some new tricks like learning how to listen better. Some other features would be dimming your lights or turning up your thermostat through the new smart home enviroment. There are other supporting changes too, like streaming voice recognition and improved language support, but the big news is that you’ll be able to get Siri’s attention without even touching your phone. Just speak the words “Hey, Siri” and it’ll appear almost immediately.