WWDC 2014: Apple’s Future is Looking Bright

By Kia Dargahi


Smell that? It’s the essence of software updates wafting through the air, and today, we will be exploring what Apple had to offer at its annual WWDC conference on June 2nd. Apple played it very safe this year by not announcing anything outside of expected software updates (unlike last year’s breathtaking Mac Pro). This being said, I am more or less optimistic on the matter regardless of nothing “exciting” having been announced. But before I get into that, let’s go over the key features of the software put forth by Apple.

We’ll start off with iOS 8. Looking back to last year’s unveiling of the drastically new iOS 7, Apple had rebuilt its operating system from the ground up and the stability and near flawless performance had seemingly disappeared. That’s where iOS 8 comes in. With it comes a heavy emphasis on user friendliness, security, and synergy between all platforms. While these may sound like words coming straight out of the mouth of an “iSheep”, rest assured iOS 8 is no joke and without further ado, let’s cover the key points.

iOS 8 brought with it a handful of new gadgets for consumers to use and an equal if not larger amount of resources to developers. There wasn’t necessarily a take away feature from the iOS 8 announcement, but Healthkit certainly caught the eyes of many. With this app, all health related information is displayed right in front of you so that you wouldn’t need several fitness apps from different developers in order to maintain health. Interestingly, Apple emphasized the role of wearable health accessories for the use of its consumers without releasing a wearable accessory themselves. I interpret this as a prelude to an imminent iWatch either announced alongside the iPhone 6 (in a similar way that the galaxy gear was announced alongside the Samsung Galaxy Note 3) this fall or a few months later with the launch of refreshed iPads. Finally, a long awaited multitasking on iPad has also notably surfaced.


But I think the meat of the conference is held in Apple’s customer service. Tim Cook himself specifically mentioned reading emails that influenced him to make certain changes to developer APKs and the addition of certain features to the operating system. For example, notification center was made infinitely more useful with the inclusion of widgets and the ability to act with apps without closing the existing one i.e. quick replies to text messages. Moreover, iCloud was updated to become an actual cloud storage with the ability to store more than photos and documents within it. Other minor updates such as that to Siri, touch ID, and improved family sharing shows Apple is oriented towards aiding the consumer experience. Furthermore, the keyboard was massively improved (a long needed update to the archaic keyboard) to incorporate predictive typing with multiple layouts, ensuring a more pleasant typing experience. This, coupled with the almost 100% confirmed increase in screen size to the iPhone 6 will make for a successful keyboard experience overall. Speaking of keyboards, developers can now create different keyboards for users to download with iOS 8 (which brings me to the developer’s side of things).

There really is a lot to say about all the improvements that Apple has done on the developer’s side of iOS 8 (this is a developer’s conference after all…) but I’ll try to condense it to the main features that the consumer’s will be able to notice. For example, with metal, Apple has removed a layer of processing so that the full power of the A7 processor would be able to be tapped into, making operations more rapid and rendering of any kind snappy. The huge update here was with the extensibility of iOS. Further blurring the lines between Apple and Google’s respective operating system, Apple has opened up its OS to the developers (who are at this point jumping with glee waiting for the official release to be proud of their new creations). Third part apps now have similar access as stock apps to things like Touch ID (custom app opening) notification center (widgets) keyboards, and this is only glazing the surface. Furthermore, Apple has created a new coding language by the name of swift and it looks promising. In their usual Apple-esque fashion, they have shown the percentages of productivity with different benchmarks and shown how tantamount their improvement really is. All in all, iOS 8 is a very bright step towards a stable and satisfying OS.



Arguably the underdog of the show, OSX 10.10 Yosemite brings minor but still significant improvements to the desktop OS. At first glance, looks familiar don’t it? That’s right, the full-fledged OSX has taken design cues from its younger brother mobile OS. Once again, this only consists of one of the many improvements Apple has made. It is important to note that this is yet again going to be a free update to anyone with access to OSX Lion and above. Although it may seem that I’m being repetitive, continuity and the overall link between all iDevices is the hallmark of OSX Yosemite. With almost no effort, photos, notes, videos, calls, messages, all important information is synced between the platforms. You can even make phone calls from your mac through a connection to your iPhone as of late. On a final continuity note, you can now airdrop files between mac and iOS, a feature that seemed clearly absent from the previous iteration of the OS. Your typical Safari and Mail improvements are of course included with the upgrade and on top of the expected and design changes, spotlight was made smarter by being connected to the internet and using resources such as yelp and Wikipedia for things like movie times, restaurants, and general information. Although there isn’t much to say about the computer side of the conference, leave knowing that Apple is most definitely heading on a right path to success with these updates. I’ll see you in September when the iPhone 6 will be announced, but until then, keep your hopes high Apple fans, it’s looking to be a great time for the Apple ecosystem.

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