There were no major hardware announcements at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco on June 2nd, however Apple CEO Tim Cook announced two new operating systems – OS X “Yosemite” for Macs and iOS8, both due in the fall.
Some of the key changes you can expect from these new operating systems are listed below.
- iMessaging will be available across devices with iOS 8 and OS X “Yosemite.” The new Apple technology, called “Handoff,” sends your iMessaging texts and iPhone calls straight to your computer where you can answer them. You can even initiate calls from your computer.
- Apple’s iCloud service will have a clearly visible file system where you can find and organize stored files and open them in apps on both your Mac and iOS device (iCloud will also be available on Windows as a web service and experts predict this could provide direct competition for Dropbox).
- Apple announced “app extensibility" where third-party apps (widgets) can provide new functionality and sharing of data with built-in iOS apps while also allowing you to use third-party keyboards (similar to the functionality that has existed in Android for several years).
- iOS 8 will include a "Health app" to organize data from fitness and health devices in a single place and your “HomeKit” will essentially be a remote control for your home controlling your garage door, thermostat, lights, etc.
- Apple's Spotlight Search is being revamped for both iOS 8 and Yosemite so you can still search for content stored locally on your device, but now searches will also include Wikipedia, maps, news, movie showtimes, and iTunes and App Store content.
One takeaway from this year’s WWDC is that Apple may be learning some tricks from Android. In a recent New York Times report (6/3/14), Farhad Manjoo explains, “But today, as you say, we are seeing a big shift in Apple’s thinking. It would be too simplistic – and wrong – to say it is aping (aping?) the Android model. But the company does seem to be trying to offer developers the power of Android while still preserving the ease of use we associate with Apple.”
If you use a variety of Apple devices, you may find they work better together in this round of updates, however, it seems clear that Apple still sees mobile and desktop as separate. According to a Washington Post report (6/2/14), “There's a lot of synergy between devices, but these are still very distinct systems. Apple has been clear in the past that while it wants all its devices to have the same look and feel -- and be able to work together, to encourage buyers to buy only Apple products -- it's not interested in making a unified tablet and desktop operating system. That's something that its chief rival, Microsoft, has toyed with in designing Windows 8 as a system that works with a mouse and keyboard or a touchscreen.”
As we have mentioned in a previous blog, with technological innovation comes obsolescence. Since not all of Apple's iPads, iPhones, or MacBooks will support the update coming this fall, it is important to start planning if and when you need to replace any hardware. (A list of Apple devices supported by iOS8 and OS X “Yosemite” is published in this report by Business Insider.) Please contact your Sinu account manager if you need help with a hardware replacement plan.