Apple Unveils IOS-8, HealthKit & More at WWDC 2014

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Apple’s WWDC 2014 keynote introduced the future of iOS, the Mac, and more. Apple says iOS-8 is the biggest release since the launch of the App Store, while OS X 10.10 Yosemite will make working across your Mac and iOS devices more fluid.

Live coverage is available from C/Net, 9to5 Mac, Macrumors, Engadget and The Verge.

Some highlights:

  • Apple’s HealthKit is a new app bundled with iOS 8 that’s designed to help users keep better track of their personal health and fitness data. The initiative works with companies like Nike to bring all your health information into one place, under the Health app in the next update to iOS.
  • Apple’s HomeKit is an SDK for controlling your home from your iOS device. It is working with a number of home automation developers, including Honeywell, Philips, Withings, Haier and more. Unfortunately HomeKit doesn’t work most of the systems already on the market and won’t be available until iOS 8 launches this fall.
  • iOS 8 has a ton of new features for end users and new capabilities for developers. Starting with the user side of things, you can now respond to incoming messages directly from the notification drop-down, and you no longer need to exit the app you’re already in. Notifications can now be actioned directly on the lock screen as well. Messages, the most-used app on iOS, have been improved and audio and video messages can also be added. Family Share on iOS 8 will let families share iTunes purchases.
  • Apple expanded AirDrop to let Macs and iPhones share files, and phone calls. Apple devices can also use proximity sensing to tell when you may want to finish a message from a computer instead of a mobile device, and your Mac can detect an iPhone and allow you to set up a mobile hotspot from it. This system is a more native solution that goes beyond iCloud Drive, Google Drive and various web apps and syncs documents across machines.
  • Apple announced OS X 10.10 Yosemite with a refreshed design, available for free this fall. It follows in the footsteps of last year’s OS X 10.9 Mavericks with a cleaner design and more features inspired by iOS.
  • Apple’s iCloud Drive service integrates all files stored in a user’s iCloud account into the Finder file browser. Users can browse their files stored in the cloud and organize them into folders and tag them like any other types of files. Apple says that all iCloud Drive files will sync across Mac computers and even Windows PCs.
  • Siri now features “Hey Siri” to start her up. Music recognition Shazam is now built in; you can make App Store purchases; and she now does streaming voice recognition.

Many of the fancy new features in iOS 8 aren’t new to Android users who have those features for years, notes Lilliputing.

Here are some key Apple stats mentioned at Apple’s developer conference.

  • OS X: Apple has shipped 40 million copies of OS X Mavericks since releasing it in October 2013. 51 percent of the OS X install base now runs on Mavericks.
  • Developer community: Apple now has over 9 million registered developers, up 47 percent from last year.
  • iOS devices: Apple has sold “well over 800 million” iOS devices since the launch of the first iPhone. This number includes over 100 million iPod touch units, over 200 million iPads and over 500 Million iPhones.
  • iOS 7: 89 percent of iOS devices have iOS 7 installed. In October, that number was at 64 percent.
  • App store: Apple’s app store now offers more than 1.2 million apps. iOS users have downloaded more than 75 billion iOS apps, and 300 million people visit the app store every day.
Posted by Sam Churchill on Monday, June 2nd, 2014 at 10:43 am .

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