This week in San Francisco, Apple engineers and some 5,000 developers gathered together to attend Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
As the 5-day event comes to an end, we’re left with some significant insights into the future of iOS and Mac. Let’s take a look at 3 notable takeaways from the conference.
1. This Year’s Keynote Was Very Revealing
The conference kicked off Monday morning with a special keynote speech. During the two-hour long event, led by CEO Tim Cook and SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi, the next-generation of iOS and OS X was unveiled.
The latest version of OS X includes a complete overhaul—giving the software a new user-friendly interface modeled after the modern-looking iOS 7. Some of the new features of OS X Yosemite include:
- Redesigned applications
- A “dark mode” that can make the interface less bright
- upgraded notification center
- New place for widgets
- Redesigned and updated Spotlight
- New Mail Drop feature makes it simple to send large files via email
- New Markup feature allows you to “mark up” emails
Equally anticipated, the new iOS 8 software for iPhone/iPad was unveiled at WWDC, and some of its new features were highlighted:
- Changes to the iPhone Mail app
- Access to the contacts you frequently communicate with by double tapping the home button
- New Quicktype feature
- Improvements to Spotlight Search feature
- Built in song recognition software
- Added smart editing features
2. Continuity is the Future of Apple
We’ve all been there: switching between our Apple devices as we perform the tasks of our busy lives. Sometimes it can be maddening to keep track of all of our devices—from iPhones to iPads to iMacs to MacBooks.
Fortunately, Federighi announced that the new “continuity” features in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite are designed to bring the iPhone, iPad, and Mac together. The next-generation software is aiming for superior communication that will make it much easier for users to interchangeably use Apple devices.
The “continuity” feature I found most interesting is Handoff. Quite simply, Handoff allows users to easily pass emails, presentations, etc back and forth between their nearby Macs and iOS.
Additionally, users will now be able to connect their iOS devices directly with their Mac. This integration will allow users to make and answer phone calls on their Mac, without having to touch (or see) their iPhone.
So now instead of frantically searching for your ringing iPhone, you can answer the call right from your computer.
3. Apple is Starting to Embrace Third-Party Developers
Apple has always been restrictive in their developer agreement. But this year at WWDC 2014 it seems like Apple is defying this tradition a bit by “opening up” the next generation of iOS and Mac software features to third-party developers.
Perhaps one of the most exciting things about iOS 8 is that Apple has unlocked the ability for developers to make their own personalized keyboard. This opens up a new niche where developers can create awesome new keyboard apps.
In addition, Apple made some changes to the iOS Developer Program License Agreement. In an article from The Mac Observer, Jeff Gamet said:
Apple is taking a less restrictive stance on secrecy surrounding the upcoming releases of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite by letting developers talk more openly about the operating systems instead of clamping down with a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) that stops them from saying anything at all.
This means that developers can actually discuss the things released during WWDC. The less restrictive regulations could help facilitate collaboration between developers, and provide greater opportunity for innovation.
iOS and Mac app developer Ole Begemann suggests:
I am not a lawyer, but if I am reading this correctly, it means that beta version of the operating systems and SDKs are still under NDA, but Apple allows developers to discuss new APIs and features that have been introduced at WWDC in public. That should cover pretty much all the new stuff in iOS 8, Yosemite and the Developer Tools.
This is great news for developers (and app users), which hopefully will result in some awesome new apps!
Wrapping Things Up
This year’s WWDC provide some great insight into the next generation of iOS and Mac software.
This years events seemed to be geared towards appealing to developers (which is incredibly exciting news, in my opinion). In the niche of iOS and Mac app development, this creates some awesome new opportunities for developers, and I personally can’t wait to see the innovation it will bring!
What did you find most notable about WWDC 2014?
Marie Dodson is an assistant editor at Torque. She graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Biology and Society. She enjoys wine, good books, and travel.