Apple WWDC 14: Just the basics

Apple unveiled updates to OS X and iOS overnight — and that’s all. Here’s the simple rundown of what was announced at the WWDC 14 keynote.
Apologies to those who were hanging out for a new iPhone, iMacs or an iWatch. Didn’t happen, although why I’m apologising to you eludes me. Go blame Apple!
In any case, what Apple did announce were the headline features of iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, now formally “Yosemite”. Both will be available in “Spring” for free for existing users, unless you’re on an iPhone 4 or earlier, because that’s the new cut-off point.

OS X “Yosemite”

  • New visual design: Well, sort of new. As expected, Yosemite will look at lot like iOS, with plenty of flattened icons and transparency to play with
  • iCloud Drive: Apple’s play to the Dropbox/Box/Drive crowd, with a permanent folder in Finder for what is now cheaper iCloud storage
  • Safari redesign. Including, oddly enough, support for privacy-minded search engine DuckDuckGo
  • AirDrop support between iOS/OS X
  • Continuity: A feature that allows for simple data handoff between Macs and iOS devices, so if you’re working on a document on an iPad, you can quickly switch to the same document on a Mac. It’ll even let you take and make calls on an iMac, which technically means Apple just announced the 27″ iPhone. Battery life isn’t much to speak of, mind you.

iOS 8

  • Voice activated Siri. Google’s had this on selected devices for a while.
  • “Quicktype” keyboard. Think Blackberry keyboard, but on iOS. Within the keyboard space, developers will also be able to incorporate third-party keyboards into apps, which means we could see Swype-style keyboards on iOS.
  • Healthkit and Homekit. As predicted, Apple’s launched its health platform, although it didn’t launch any hardware to go with it. Instead it’ll use third party sensors, as will its home automation play, Homekit.
  • Family Sharing. This allows you to set up sub-accounts for up to six family members from a core Apple ID, tracking device position and authorising IAP on a per-case basis.
  • Improved Photo app. With iCloud Drive support and automatic straightening tools.

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