Last week we looked at what we might see announced at Apple’s WWDC 2014. The keynote speech took place last night which you can watch in full on the Apple website here; if you haven’t got two hours to spare though, here’s a handy roundup of the biggest announcements from last night.
We all expected it, the eighth iteration of iOS was launched last night. As predicted (by just about everyone) the design has stayed almost exactly the same, it was unlikely they would do another complete overhaul after the iOS 7 change.
The biggest changes were some quite neat UX improvements, things like active notifications which allow you to respond to notifications without leaving the app you’re currently in; keyboard enhancements, allowing third party keyboards and suggesting the next word you’ll use in a sentence; Siri improvements, including direct integration with Shazam; more gesture controls to Mail and enhancements to Messages to give features provided by What’s App etc.
What we didn’t see was any mention of improvements to Apple Maps, something which people were really quite keen to see. Also missed out was any mention of Textedit or Preview coming to iOS, although we did see iCloud Drive announced which will allow you to share your files between mobile and computer through a Dropbox style interface.
For full details of what you can expect to see in iOS 8, take a look at the official Apple page.
Mac OS X Yosemite
Launched last night, Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite has a much cleaner, sharper look than previous versions of OS X, bringing it into line with the flat style of iOS 7 / 8.
The most impressive features launched last night were the ability to make a call directly from your Mac and receive text messages from non-iPhone users (green bubble friends as Apple called them). Other improvements include an update to Safari, Notification Centre and Spotlight Search.
Health & HealthKit
Stepping into the health tracking market, Apple have launched an app called Health. This will work in a similar way to the Passbook app, by integrating with third party health & fitness apps then storing all of the information in one place. Developers will use a service called HealthKit to make the integration easier.
The HomeKit platform is for making it easier for users to turn on and off light, lock doors, control thermostats and switches via one iOS 8 app, rather than having a number of apps to control each device.
Revamped App Store
It’s something that people have been calling for, for some time now. The App Store is having an overhaul, new features include; allowing developers to sell their apps as a bundle with a single price; uploading videos to show how an app works and flows and the ability to publish Beta versions of apps for trial before actual release to iron out any bugs.
Swift & Xcode
Probably one of the biggest announcements for developers, Xcode is being updated to version 6 and Apple are introducing their own new programming language called Swift. It claims to remove all of the baggage associated with the Objective C language and allow apps to be built and for developers to see changes happen live. Swift is available now and for anyone keen to get to grips with it, a Beta version of Xcode 6 can be downloaded from the Apple Store.
Those were the biggest announcements at day 1 of WWDC 2014, the publically available editions of OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 will both be available this Autumn, presumably along with the iPhone 6 and potentially a couple of new Macbooks.
Photograph: Jeff Chiu