Apple held a two-hour keynote today to kick off its weeklong developers conference, WWDC.
The big stories: its operating systems for Mac, iPhone, and iPad are getting updates.
There’s a new version Mac OS X, the operating system for Macs. It’s called Yosemite and features a refined look similar to the colourful design found in iOS 7 for the iPhone. It also has an update to the search function Spotlight that lets you search the internet, Wikipedia, movie times, and more. You can activate Spotlight by typing while on desktop.
Mac OS X is available in beta starting today. The final version will be ready for everyone in the fall. Apple is giving it away as a free download for Macs.
iOS 8 will be the new version of the operating system for iPhones and iPads. It’s not a radical upgrade, but there are several useful new features. For example, you’ll be able to respond to incoming notifications like text messages without having to exit the app you’re using.
Apple will let developers create widgets — tiny programs that update in real time — to the notification center that drops down from the top of your screen.
Other highlights from today:
Apple has a new online file-storage service called iCloud Drive. It’s very similar to Dropbox, and lets you store files virtually from your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or even your PC.
There’s also a new feature that lets your iOS and Mac devices talk to each other called Handoff. For example, you can work on a document on your Mac and pick up where you left off on your iPhone or iPad.
That’s barely scratching the service of what Apple unveiled during the two-hour keynote.
So, in sum, Apple announced:
- A new version of iOS called iOS 8, which launches in the fall.
- A new version of Mac OS X called Yosemite, which launches in the fall, but you can test the beta version now.
- A feature that lets you make and receive calls from your Mac by connecting it to your iPhone.
- HealthKit, an app for iPhone that monitors your health with the help of third party apps and devices.
- iCloud Drive, an online file storage service.
- New features for iMessage. You can send videos and audio clips.
- A home automation system called HomeKit.
- Swift, a tool for developers that will make it a lot easier for them to make apps.
- Metal, a tool for developers that will let them make eye-popping 3D games for iPhones and iPads.
You can also check out the rest of the WDDC news and analysis here:
- WhatsApp’s CEO is angry that iMessage just ripped off his app >>
- Your first look at iCloud Drive >>
- HomeKit will turn your iPhone into a remote control for your home >>
- Apple introduces HealthKit, a fitness app for iPhone >>
- Tim Cook couldn’t resist making fun of Microsoft >>