Just a few hours ago at the World Wide Developer Conference 2014 in San Francisco, USA; Apple made quite a lot of important announcements. We decided to compile the top 10 announcements you ought to know and the ones that really matter. If you missed the WWDC 2014, don't worry; we've got you covered. The theme for this conference was pretty straightforward "Write The Code. Change The World"; and Apple clearly hinted at focusing the entire conference on developers. There were no hardware announcements and the entire event revolved around new features and upgrade to the existing software ecosystem that Apple's building. Let's take a look at what was announced-
1. OS X 10.10, Yosemite
Apple began the conference by stating that while the PC markets globally were going down, Apple's desktop business surged. Which means the company is serious about the future of OSX. The new OS X 10.10 Yosemite gets an overhaul with iOS style interface. Check out Satya's piece on latest features in OS X Yosemite.
2. Spotlight In OSX Is Way Better In Yosemite
You no longer are restricted towards the corner of your screen when entering stuff into the Spotlight search bar. Click on the search icon and OSX will display the spotlight search box right in the middle of your screen - a la Google Search. The spotlight has access to the Internet as well as all of your files and is capable of making intelligent suggestions. If you want to search for an event, just type calendar and the spotlight will quickly show a snapshot of your events and also let you open the app quickly.
3. Safari : Inching Towards Awesomeness
The Safari browser's getting a complete makeover in OSX Yosemite. The bookmarks bar is now hidden and all the important controls now appear in line with the search bar; which itself occupies the center position in the title bar. Clicking inside the search/URL bar opens a preview of your bookmarks for quicker access. There's a share button that makes it tad easy to share stuff via social networks and through mail.
4. Apple Mail - Now With Markup Editor
One of the best updates to Apple Mail ever! It finally seems that we'll be able to ditch the Sparrow Mail app and switch over to the default email program Apple offers. If you attach an image to your mail; the Apple Mail app will quickly show a markup editor so that you can put arrows, circles, speech bubbles in your images right within the compose window. There's one minor improvement with a huge impact. You'll no longer have your mails rejected because they had huge attachments. The mail app will automatically store big attachments in the 'MailDrop' (powered by iCloud) and include a download link instead of attachment in your mail. The recipient will be able to download the attachment using the link.
5. iCloud Drive - Beware Dropbox!
Apple's finally beginning to address the threat from Dropbox. The iCloud drive is similar in functionality with that of Dropbox and is tightly integrated with OSX; and of course works with iOS and Windows too. This means all your files will be instantly available across all the devices that you use. Apple's going gung-ho with the pricing as well. The initial 5 GB will continue to be free and additional 20GB will be sold at 99 cents/month and 200GB for $3.99/mo. Apple's said that they'll also offer terabytes of space for higher costs; but did not reveal the details.
6. Apple Continuity - It's A Connected World
Yet another exciting announcement from Apple at WWDC 2014. The Continuity feature lets you share your work accross your iDevice empire. It lets you start your work on your iPad and finish it off on your iMac; without having to worry about synching. As a part of Continuity, the Airdrop feature now works on iOS too; which means sharing files between iPad, iPhone and your Mac is easier than ever before. The feature also lets you create instant hotspot and also let you answer your phone calls or text messages right from your Desktop or Laptop! Quite cool, isn't it?
7. iOS 8 - Changes Computing!
The iOS 8 makes notifications interactive, allowing you to reply directly from within the notification panels. The keyboards are now power packed with 'QuickType' feature that guesses your typical responses in various situations and suggests them so that you can type a lot faster. Plus, Apple's now allowing installation of third party keyboards and iOS fans had to fight really hard to get this permission from Apple. As you'd expect, the iCloud Drive is fully integrated with the iOS 8. The iOS 8 also introduces HealthKit that will track your important health parameters and share them with institutions like the Mayo Clinic and Nike. The doctors will be able to take proactive steps to ensure that you're in the best of your health all the times.
All the iTunes accounts (max 6) linked to the same credit card will become a part of 'Family Sharing' feature. The parents will be able to approve or deny the purchases made through their kid's devices. The feature also lets the family share photos, videos, calendar events quickly.
8. Messages - Better Late Than Never!
The widely used messages app now supports audio and video chat, a la WhatsApp and gazillions of other messaging apps. You've got self-destructive messages (like SnapChat), location sharing and ability to 'DnD' a thread or removing people (and yourself) from group chats. We believe that Apple's trying to play a war it's already lost to WhatsApp (aka Facebook).
9. Swift Programming Language For iOS+OSX Development
We don't know whether the world needs another proprietary programming language, but Apple's decided to launch a new one, called 'SWIFT'. Apple promised that Swift is way faster than Objective C and can co-exist with C and Objective-C code in the same app.
10. HomeKit: Home Automation With Siri
This one was one of the most rumoured announcement. Apple's iOS will now allow you to command 'Siri' and have her control all your home's appliances for you. For example, if you say "Get Ready For Bed", Siri will quickly dim all the lights in your home and also ensure that the doors are all locked. You may also have it play your favorite lullaby, in case you need it.
Those of you, who missed the live Keynote but do not have the time to watch it all again; we've a 10 minute quick-view for you: