Apple has made a lot of announcements at the ongoing Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2014, the most prominent ones being the unveiling of the new iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite operating systems for iPhones, iPads and Macs (MacBook, iMac, Mac Pro, etc.) respectively. In addition, the Cupertino-based company also unveiled a new Health app that provides users with a clear overview of their health and fitness data all in one place.
The company also revealed that it has sold over 800 million iOS devices till date.
"With more than 800 million iOS devices sold worldwide, the opportunity for developers is huge," said Craig Federighi, senior VP of software engineering at Apple. "This is the biggest iOS release since the launch of the App Store. The iOS 8 SDK delivers more than 4,000 new APIs including new frameworks, greater extensibility and a new programming language."
Here is a low down on all things Apple at WWDC 2014.
According to Apple, it is the biggest iOS release since the launch of the App Store, and provides users with new features and developers the tools to create new apps.
iCloud Photo Library: In iOS 8, the Photos app and iCloud Photo Library give you access to all of your photos and videos anytime, anywhere. The Photos app can automatically straighten horizons and with smart editing tools, you can quickly adjust light and colour or access individual tools for deeper fine-tuning. With iCloud Photo Library, every adjustment and effect is automatically updated across your devices.
Messages: Taking a cue from WhatsApp, users can now communicate with just a swipe. Tap to Talk allows you to share your voice and the same gesture also works for sharing videos and photos within Messages. Group messaging gives you the ability to add and remove contacts, leave a conversation and the option of 'do not disturb'. Users can also share multiple photos and videos at once, and choose to share their current location.
Health app: Gathers the information you choose from your various health apps and fitness devices, and provides you with a clear and current overview in one place. The new operating system also offers developers the ability for health and fitness apps to communicate with each other. With the user's permission, each app can use specific information from other apps to provide a more comprehensive way to manage your health and fitness.
QuickType keyboard: Offers predictive typing that is smarter and more personalised, and intelligently takes context into account, such as who the recipient is and in which app you are typing. QuickType understands the way you communicate and also suggests favourite phrases so that you can write entire sentences with just a few taps.
Family Sharing: Enables users to communicate and share purchases, photos and calendars within the same household. Family members can browse and download each other's iTunes, iBooks or App Store purchases. Up to six members can participate, each with their own Apple ID. Parents can also create Apple IDs for children, which include Ask to Buy, requiring parental permission for purchases.
iCloud Drive: Enables documents of any type to be safely stored, accessed and edited across your devices. Make edits on one device and the most up-to-date version of your documents will be available across all devices.
Additional iOS 8 features include interactive notifications (can directly reply to a message without leaving the current app), quick access to key contacts, and the ability to quickly switch back and forth between the inbox and drafts in Mail, among others.
It will be available this fall as a free software update for iPhone 4s and newer models (tough luck iPhone 4), iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina display, iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad mini with Retina display.
OS X Yosemite
With Yosemite, OS X has been redesigned with a fresh look where controls are clearer, smarter and easier to understand, and streamlined toolbars put the focus on your content without compromising functionality, at least that is what Apple claims.
Today view: The new Today view in Notification Center gives you a quick look at everything you need to know with widgets for Calendar, Weather, Stocks, Reminders, World Clock and social networks. You can even download additional widgets from the Mac App Store to customize your Today view. Spotlight now appears front and center on your desktop and adds new categories of results, so you can view rich suggestions from Wikipedia, Maps, and Bing, etc.
Safari: Has a new streamlined design that puts the most important controls at your fingertips. A new Favourites view gives you quick access to your favourite websites, and a new Tabs view displays thumbnails of all your open web pages in one window. Safari also gives you more control over your privacy, with separate Private Browsing windows and built-in support for DuckDuckGo- a search engine that doesn't track users.
Mail: With Markup you can quickly fill out and sign forms and even annotate images and PDFs from within Mail, while Mail Drop allows you to easily send large videos, images or files up to 5GB from the Mail app to any email address. Messages have a new look and deliver even more options for communicating with friends and family.
In addition, continuity features in Yosemite make your Mac and iOS device perfect companions. When your iPhone or iPad is near your Mac, Handoff lets you start an activity on one device and pass it to the other. Instant Hotspot makes using your iPhone's hotspot as easy as connecting to a Wi-Fi network. Also, SMS and MMS messages that previously only appeared on your iPhone appear in Messages on all your devices.