Apple's WWDC Showcase A Software-Only Affair
June 2, 2014 at 6:17 AM (PT)
Those expecting to see the debut of a new iPHONE or iPAD may be disappointed to learn that TODAY's APPLE showcase at the WWDC CONFERENCE in SAN FRANCISCO offered a bevy of improvements in almost all of their software -- but nothing new on the hardware front.
The showcase began with a litany of improvements to its OSX (now called YOSEMITE) and SAFARI. One noticeable improvement is in iPHONE-to-MAC tethering. The latest tweak enables you to receive and make calls from your MAC or your iPHONE; an onscreen notification asks if you'd like to answer the incoming call. What's more, you can highlight a phone number on a webpage and dial it directly from your MAC. As a demonstration, speaker CRAIG FEDERIGHI used the onstage MAC to call DR. DRE and welcome him to the APPLE family.
In the segue to the new iOS version, iOS8, CEO TIM COOK noted that APPLE has so far sold 100 million iPOD Touches, 200 million iPADS and over 500 million iPHONES.
The iOS8 features a new software keyboard with Quicktype an improved recommendation engine. It's context-sensitive. However, if you don't like APPLE's predictive set of keys. there's now the capability to install third-party keyboards. In other improvements:
* iMessage has incorporated a tap-to-talk feature to send voice and video messages directly through the app.
* The new iCloud Drive allows you to work with a single version of a document on all of your devices - even a Windows product
* There were improvements to HealthKit; APPLE's teaming up with NIKE to accrue fitness data and the MAYO CLINIC, so doctors can get real-time information and directly communication with patients.
* A new Family Share feature allows families to share calendars, media purchases, etc. -- and gives parents oversight should a child try to purchase something without permission
* iPhoto has better editing tools and offers easier access.
* New Siri features include streaming voice recognition, with SHAZAM is built in. Siri will also be part of an imminent home automation system to provide remote security
* Touch ID -- which has been implemented for passwords by 85% of its users (up from less than 50%) -- now lets third parties use ... without providing access to personal security info.
* Among a slew of improvements for app developers is the debut of a new programming language called Swift. Faster than both Python and Objective C, it provides a whole list of updates and tools for app developers.