Apple WWDC 2014: the complete recap of OS X Yosemite and iOS 8.
OS X Yosemite is probably the biggest visual update the Mac had in the past years. A close imitation of what iOS 7 has been. With yesterday’s keynote, it’s flatter than ever, based on translucent and opaque color schemes.
OS X Yosemite
The dock is in two dimensions, apps and folder icons have been redesigned from the ground up to be in style with the minimal design. Windows adapt to the background wallpaper, and the same translucent material used across the system adds a sense of infinite scrolling that brings you closer to the files within. This general color scheme applies system-wide to all included apps, ranging from Safari (now sporting a streamlined toolbar), Reminders, Mail, Messages. Spotlight isn’t restrained anymore in the top right corner of the screen, but has a fully-fledged search bar that includes results within the computer, the web and iCloud.
Notification Center now supports widgets, with today view that contains the calendar, reminders and weather forecast as well, same as the one we already have on iOS.
General improvements have been made to integrated applications as well.
Although it remains the same essentially, Mail for OS X Yosemite features Mail Drop. When you have to send a large attachments, that in most cases will have the email rejected from server for the weight, iCloud comes in help. The intended file will be saved on iCloud servers and then reunited with the message. If the recipient is using Mail as well, you’ll see no difference. If he’s using a different client, they’ll receive a link to download it. All of this with an astonishing limit of 5GB per message.
Furthermore, Mail includes Mark up, that allows you to edit an image straight from the compose window without leaving the app to open an image editor, adding texts, callouts and shapes.
The new Messages app now not only handles iMessages, but when your iPhone is nearby it will handle SMS as well. Or send a Soundbite, a short voice audio without typing. Additionally, it features new options for group conversations, including titles.
There’s a new tab in the Finder, and it’s not your WiFi shared hard disk, it’s iCloud Drive. Built in right in the Finder, it works as any other folder. Anyway, whatever you put inside is synced across all your devices.
iOS 8 is really the biggest release ever, especially for Developers, but we’re covering that later.
First of all, Continuity adds a new level of synergy between OS X and iOS, that lets you pick up something you left off on another device. For example, when your iPhone rings and is nearby to your Mac, under the same WiFi network, you may answer the phone call straight from the Mac or iPad, or even make them. Always thanks to the iPhone, both of them can handle SMS as well. Same goes for personal hotspot. You won’t need to toggle it anymore; your iPhone will be detected automatically!
Notifications have become interactive. When you receive a message for instance, just drop it down and have a quick reply options to never leave the app you’re in.
System wide keyboard has become more intelligent, with predictive text. Based on the topic of what you’re writing about. You might receive a text from someone who asks “Wanna go for dinner or movie?”, and have the keyboard suggesting “A movie”, “Dinner” or “Not sure”.
With Family Sharing, up to six family members can share their purchases from the iTunes Store without having to use a unique Apple ID. This enables a new level of security, where parents can make sure that their kids won’t dilapidate their account’s credit with applications, as they would receive an explicit request of purchase on their personal device.
iCloud Drive works on iOS 8 as well, sharing what’s been uploaded from the Mac or any iCloud-enabled mobile app. Start a document, and pick it up somewhere else.
iOS 8 includes a brand new application, Health. It’s based on the new developer tool HealthKit, that groups in a single place all the data acquired by fitness apps you may have running, such as heart rate, running activity, workouts at the gym.
iOS 8 will be compatible with iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPad 2, iPad with Retina Display, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad mini with Retina Display and 5th generation iPod Touch.
Now, let’s speak about Developers. The new SDK allows a new level of capabilities with over 4000 APIs, including new technologies such as HealthKit, HomeKit, CloudKit, PhotoKit.
iOS 8 grants, first and foremost, deeper than ever access to the system for devs. Social apps can now have their own share sheet, and photo editing ones can integrate their effects straight in Photos, that will recreate the UI right from inside without ever leaving the app. Plus, you can show persistent widgets in Notifications Center like the Mac equivalent does.
Particular attention has been given to games. Metal has been built just for those who craft console-level titles, unleashing the full power of the A7 processor by narrowing the layer above it occupied by OpenGL. CPU and GPU work together to achieve astonishing quality of detail and immersion. For less complex games there are SpriteKit, thought for simple 2D, and SceneKit for more advanced 3D environments.
In the end, Apple announced its very own programming language, Swift, for Coco and Cocoa Touch with concise syntax. Designed to be as intuitive and easy as possible, it works perfectly alongside existing Objective-C and C code. If you’re interested in learning your way in Swift, on the iBooks Store’s available a complete guide and may be downloaded from here.
Both iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite will be available this fall; there’s however a public beta for the Mac for non-developers. You may sign up here as long as the one million limit has been reached.