Apple’s WWDC 2014 liveblog!

Welcome to Elie Chahine’s Live WWDC 2014 Blog.

Full Post: All features in details:

Apple announces iOS 8, OS X 10.10 Yosemite, iCloud Drive and more!

_________________________________________________________

  • The End!
  • Thank You!
  • He’s wrapping up all the announcements now…
  • “It’s been an incredible morning.”
  • “That’s iOS 8 — thank you!” Federighi about to go chug a beer now.
  • Demo time on Swift.
  • Swift code can live right beside C and Objective-C in the same app.
  • “You know how many people at home are going ‘what the heck are these guys talking about?'”
  • “When it comes to speed, Swift is great.”
  • “It’s called Swift, and it totally rules.”
  • “Now I want to move from high end 3D gaming to casual gaming with SpriteKit.”
  • There are about 5,000 petals here being physically simulated. They made a koi pond where each fish has its own AI.
  • A tree just had petals dragged onto it like a paintbrush, a cherry blossom with petals blowing in the wind and off the tree. Stunning, really.

  • “An order of magnitude increase in detail.”
  • “We’ve had the opportunity to work with Metal, and we’ve created a zen garden.”
  • “To show you live what can be done with Metal, Tim Sweeny from Epic Games.”
  • EA is bringing Frostbite engine to mobile.
  • 1.3 million triangles on the screen at a time on Plants vs Zombies. EA is using its Frostbiteconsole engine to run this thing.
  • “We’ve been working with premium developers. What they’ve done is stunning.”
  • Big graphics booster here, focused on gaming.
  • Next up… ha — Metal.

  • CloudKit lets your access iCloud auth, storage, and search for web apps. And it’s “free.”
  • Next — CloudKit.”
  • Siri integration — you can say “get ready for bed” and your house will respond by locking doors and dimming lights.
  • Home automation certification from Apple.
  • “Next, Cameras.”
  • TouchID for devs!
  • “And that’s a quick look at extensions in iOS 8.”
  • The new sharing features have been a long time coming. Very welcome.
  • Widgets inside of Safari will allow inline translation. Think Chrome extensions?
  • “Third party apps can define widgets.”
  • Photo filters inside of photos — VSCO inside of the photos app!
  • “This enables some great things — in addition to sharing options, an app like Pinterest can offer sharing.”
  • “To handle extensibility in the iOS way, extensions live in app sandboxes, but apps can reach out to those apps.”
  • “I want to start with something I think is most profound. Extensibility.”
  • “Now that brings us to the SDK.”
  • Everything available in the fall.
  • “We’re also introducing a new beta test service called TestFlight.”
  • New editors choice logo for “the best apps.”
  • “We’re making finding your search even better by adding a continuous scrolling list.”
  • 75 billion apps downloaded.
  • “And these people aren’t just browsing — they are downloading.”
  • “The marketplace around these apps is incredibly vibrant.”
  • “But there’s a lot more.”
  • “If we ended the keynote now, it would be a giant release.”
  • “So that’s a look at the consumer part of iOS 8. To tell the other half, I’m handing it back to Tim.”
  • “Greatly improved Maps in China.” That’s very specific.
  • Shazam integration with Siri. That’s helpful.
  • He’s showing cross device syncing — favoriting a photo with realtime updates on devices.
  • He’s about to show off some editing on a dark photo.
  • Craig is checking out some pics.
  • “So here I am in my large photo collection.”
  • “Now we’re bringing together photos with iCloud — every photo you take available on all your devices.”
  • Next up, photos.
  • “In the home we’re used to sharing physical media, but increasingly our media is in our devices. Now you can get at not just your purchases, but the purchases of everyone in your family.”
  • “We’re also working with the Mayo Clinic.”
  • “We carefully protect you privacy…” Third party apps will plug into HealthKit.
  • Enter HealthKit.
  • Craig is pointing out how the iPhone has been applied to many health apps and devices, but there’s no centralized place to see the data.
  • Next up… “Let’s talk about health.”
  • “98% of Fortune 500 companies use iOS. And we’re going to get those other 2%.”
  • “So this is super duper easy. You notice it said it would expire in a few minutes… these will auto destruct.” Oh people will eat that up.
  • Do not disturb by thread, and you can leave the thread.
  • “Messages is the most frequently used app on iOS.”
  • “I think we’re all going to be typing a lot faster.”
  • “It does all this learning on the device and it protects your privacy.”
  • It will guess the next word you want, and learn from your habits. Very much like Google Keyboard or SwiftKey.
  • “In iOS 8 QuickType supports predictive suggestions.” Not Apple’s idea, but a good idea.
  • Craig is talking about the difficulties of all the new features of keyboards.
  • “Next is the keyboard, and something we call QuickType.”
  • This is basically Siri, but without Siri!
  • Search for apps, points of interest, news, songs — even on iTunes.
  • “So let’s talk about Spotlight.”
  • “We’re all going to love doing mail this way.” I’m in love already.
  • Craig is showing off the swipe feature so you can open another message in your inbox and then get back to the message you’re working on.
  • You can add events to calendar from within mail with a dropdown contextual menu.
  • The new quick access to contacts from task switcher is very smart.
  • You can like Facebook right from notifications.
  • Demo time for iOS 8…
  • New action to swipe down a message you’re working on in mail and open your inbox. Interesting tweak.
  • New mail gestures for flagging and marking for later in Mail.
  • Tab view in Safari for iPad, and the Yosemite sidebar.
  • “In iOS 7 we gave quick double tap access to multitask — now you can use it to get at the people you contact the most.”
  • Works on the lockscreen as well.
  • Reply directly from a notification — a la Android.
  • “With iOS 8 we’ve refined notification center — but I love our interactive notifications.”
  • “It builds on the design of iOS 7.”
  • “Let’s talk about iOS 8.”
  • “I missed you guys.”

    Craig is back up!

    “We want to start by talking about the user features.”

    “So you can extend your experience and build apps you couldn’t do before.”

  • “iOS 8 is a giant release. And it’s really two stories not one. It has great end user features, but it also has dev features.”
  • “Today we’re announcing iOS 8.”
  • “We could not be happier with iOS 7.”
  • “They can’t get security updates… which is particularly important for these users because Android dominates the mobile malware market.”
  • “Android […] dominates the mobile marlware market.”
  • “Many users are running an OS from 4 years ago. That’s like ancient history.”
  • “This is in stark contrast to Android.”
  • “And if you look at what’s happened with iOS 7, almost 9 out of 10 people are running the latest version.”
  • “One of the reasons why customers say they love iOS is that we make available our software updates for as many customers as possible.”
  • “Changewave recently measured it at 97 percent. These are customer sat ratings that no one gets.”
  • “Nearly half of our customers in China switched from Android to iPhone.”
  • “They decided to check out iPhone and iOS.”
  • “Now many of these customers were switchers from Android. They had bought an Android phone by mistake… and then had sought a better experience, and a better life.”
  • “This is incredible — but what’s even more impressive is how many new customers to Apple these devices have brought to us.”
  • We’ve now sold over 800 million iOS devices.iPod touch has passed 100 million unitsiPad has passed 200 million units.iPhone has passed a half a billion units.
  • “Each device has set its own sales record in the past year.”
  • Tim is out. “Next up is iOS.”
  • “You can sign up on the web and receive access to Yosemite through the summer.”
  • “Now we’re doing something a little unusual this summer — we’re doing a public beta.”
  • “It’s available to devs… today.”
  • “So that’s Yosemite.” Craig is wrapping it up now.
  • “Dre it’s been great chatting with you, I’ll see you around campus!”
  • “Talk soon.”
  • “I can’t wait to get working with the team at Apple.”
  • “I’m glad you called. I heard Tim gets in early — what time should I show up for work.” Ha.
  • “You’re on speakerphone on my Mac with all our devs.” Large cheers.
  • “Hey how you doing, this is Dre.”
  • Oh boy — he’s about to call Dr. Dre.
  • Contextual menus pop up when you’ve selected a number.
  • “I would like to show you how you make phone calls.”
  • “This is my space.”
  • Federighi just denied a call from his mom. The audience AWWWWED hard!
  • The location awareness and the fact that Apple has a dedicated desktop OS to speak to is notable.
  • Keep in mind Google has been pioneering this kind of placeshifting with Gmail and its web apps, but this is a much more complete approach in some ways.
  • A Continuity demo… of course.
  • Now this is very smart and innovative stuff. Demo time!
  • “It’s also a great way to dial the phone. Even on a webpage. You can call it right from your Mac.”
  • “We’re able to do the same thing with phone calls. You can accept the call on your Mac and use it as a speakerphone. And this works even if your phone is across the house.” Huge applause.
  • It also works with Phone calls. You can accept the call and use your Mac as a speakerphone.
  • “Your phone acts as a relay.”
  • This is kind of awesome and amazing.
  • “But they don’t show up on our other devices… until now.”
  • “We love iMessage, but we have these green bubble friends. You know they have inferior devices.”
  • “The next thing we wanted to handle was SMS.”
  • You can start a hotspot on your iPhone from your Mac. It just recognizes your phone is nearby and lets you set it up.
  • It will pickup mail you’re writing on your phone, see that it’s near your computer using proximity awareness, and prompt you to finish the mail on your Mac.
  • You can swipe your work from one device to another to pick up your activity in realtime.
  • It’s a new lock screen icon on the lower left. If you swipe up on it, it lets you continue with your work on the iPad.
  • “It starts with AirDrop — it now works between iOS and the Mac.”
  • My god, Apple has created the Continuous Client.
  • “We want the transitions between devices to be as natural as possible.”
  • “I hope the rope is multithreaded.” Nerd humor alert.
  • He “drew” a messy cartoon bubble with the trackpad and Markup automatically turned it into a very pretty cartoon bubble.
  • Looks like fairly powerful image editing from within the browser. Very much a Sketch-alike
  • Called Markup.
  • New feature within Safari — image editing a la Sketch for sharing.
  • “Sharing couldn’t be easier in Safari. Now I can use the recent recipients menu to send it to Craig.”
  • Scrolling tabs, and a new “tab view” which looks insanely confusing.
  • “If you use tabs, you’re going to love this.” Hey everyone in the world, you’re going to love this.
  • Google search now named checked on stage.
  • Image
  • Time for a Safari demo. Nothing like a demo of a web browser to get the fires of my heart a-cracklin’.
  • Craig’s now telling us how Safari is standards compliant, and it doesn’t require plugins to play video. That’s a big deal because it can (allegedly) get you up to 2 more hours of battery life when watching video. It also has the fastest JavaScript compiler of any major browser (read: Chrome)
  • Image
  • Image
  • It’s much cleaner, simpler look.
  • Image
  • Now, we’re on to Safari. The favorites bar is not visible by default, because you get your favorites popping up as soon as you click on the address bar. It also delivers RSS feeds in your Safari sidebar, and it’s gotten one click social sharing with a single button in the righthand corner.
  • Image
  • Image
  • Image
  • Image
  • Mail Drop is a new feature that’ll allow you to email attachments up to 5GB in size. How? It automagically separates the file from the email, shoves it into iCloud and forwards a link to the file along with the email. Mac users will get the file without clicking, other clients can get to it through the link.
  • Image
  • Image
  • Image
  • Now, we’re talking about Mail. Reliable syncing, fast message fetching and the new Yosemite look are all a part of the new version.
  • Image
  • Next up: iCloud Drive. All of your iCloud drive files are available in folders from Finder now. Those files are auto-synced across devices and are fully searchable and taggable
  • Spotlight is really getting closer to Google now. Craig just showed us how it can do conversions for distance (feet to meters), and it can give you food recommendations and movie times, depending on what you’re looking for.
  • Craig’s jumping around here… now he’s talking about Spotlight again. Showing us how a person search gives you their contact info and any other documents or other appointments you have scheduled with them.
  • Back to the notification center. Weather, world clock, stocks and reminder widgets are all available (along with several others like ESPN Sportscenter and calculator).
  • Calendar now gets a new day view, along with a right side bar that gives you the details of your appointments.
  • Spotlight is going to be taking center stage, too. Literally, a big search bar shows up in the middle of your screen now, with results popping up beneath it as you search.
  • Notification Center is getting a refresh as well. You get a today view that shows your full day ahead along with a notifications pane. Tabs let you switch between them.
  • Looking at left rail navigation for multiple applications (Facetime, iMessage, etc.) to give it a uniform interface.
  • Yosemite now comes with a dark mode, so you can have dark gray toolbars instead of the white translucent framing of prior versions.
  • Among the new icons: a refreshed trashcan… looks like frosted glass now instead of metal mesh.
  • The focus of OS X design is clarity and usability. The window title bar is now translucent, so you can see doc scroll beneath it, and the finder window changes its color temperature to match your wallpaper.
  • Yosemite comes with a new design. OS X began with a bold aqua design, which has been refined over the years. Now we’ve got a video showing off some reworked typography and iconography.
  • Ultimately, they arrived at OS X Yosemite. Good choice, Craig.
  • Craig’s telling us how Apple’s marketing team searched for the next version name for OS X. Among the discarded ideas: Oxnard, Rancho Cucamunga, and Weed (all real places in California, btw.)
  • But enough about the past, now Craig Federighi is coming up to tell us about the future of OS X.
  • Time to take shots at Windows 8 adoption — only 14% of users have made the jump, according to Cook

    Over 40 million copies of OS X 10.9 Mavericks have been installed, which is over 50% of Mac users. That’s the fastest adoption in history.

  • We’re starting with Mac and OS X. “We’re shipping the best Macs in history.” The PC industry is shrinking (by 5%), but Mac adoption is growing.
  • Tim’s telling us that this year is all about OS X and iOS, and that they’ll be better integrated than ever.
  • Now he’s regaling us with WWDC’s history, how it began in 1990, and it’s grown incredibly since then. Now over 1,000 Apple engineers are here, and 2/3 of the attendees are here for the first time (me included!)
  • “From all of Apple, thank you very much.” (he’s addressing the devs in the audience)
  • “Good morning. Welcome to San Francisco,” he says. We’re here to celebrate the dev community.
  • In summary: we’re watching an extended commercial for Airbnb, Words with Friends, Tinder, etc.
  • The video’s moved on to testimonials about how much folks love various apps.
  • And we’re starting things off with a video of people on the street explaining what a developer is.
  • Lights are dimming…. LET THE MADNESS BEGIN.
  • 2min folks!
  • T-minus ten minutes if things run according to schedule. GET PUMPED, PEOPLE.

WWDC 2014: What to expect from Apple next week?

wwdc_2014_banner

Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference is easily the company’s most important event each year because, as I’ve noted previously, it serves a handful of key purposes.

One of those purposes is the keynote address given by Apple CEO Tim Cook. That is the only public-facing part of WWDC, and is typically streamed live by Apple and live blogged across many Mac and tech news sites. The keynote provides a preview of the technologies that Apple is building into the next generations of its desktop and mobile OS, new or expanded services, and often includes one or two hardware announcements. It gives Cook and his team the chance to orient Apple’s developers, customers, and the media about where the company is going over the six to twelve months.

Although a key media event for Apple, the keynote is a small piece of the week long conference (most of which is subject to NDA). The rest of the week is devoted to WWDC’s primary function — getting Apple’s developer community up to speed on the new technologies that Apple will be bring to market and providing them the resources needed to integrate the technologies and to further their development skill set.

1401216211-Photo-May-27-11-42-51-AM

Over the years, Apple has shrouded WWDC in varying levels of secrecy. Some years, most or even all of the session titles and descriptions are made public well in advance. Other years, the company has simply identified the key tracks of sessions that it provides for developers. This year, Apple has posted the schedule, in a somewhat redacted form, on its developer site and in its developer-focused WWDC app that anyone can download but only members of Apple’s developer programs can fully access.

The vast majority of sessions and labs are marked with quirky “to be announced” titles and a message that Apple won’t reveal the names or topics of sessions until after the keynote on Monday:

The title and description of this session will be revealed after Keynote on Monday, June 2nd. Check back to view the updated schedule and favorite the sessions and labs you would like to attend.

The unnamed events are spread across each of the six tracks that Apple offers — Frameworks, Services, Tools, Graphics and Games, Media, and Core OS — and include both lecture-style sessions and interactive labs.

The sessions that are listed tend to skew toward informational and design rather issues like “Designing Intuitive User Experiences,” “Ensuring Continuity Between Your App and Web Site,” and “Optimizing your Earning Power With iAd” rather than more technical topics.

wwdc_2014_banner

That implies that Apple is planning major announcements about upcoming products, OS features, apps, and services. It also implies that these announcements will directly impact many of the underlying foundations of iOS and OS X. Perhaps, most importantly, it indicates that whatever products, services, or future OS versions Apple announces, it will need the support of its developer community to ensure success.

There’s certainly no shortage of speculation, rumors, and alleged plans floating around the web about Apple’s potential announcements. Here’s a list of the most likely and why they would require developer support:

  • A next-generation iPhone available in two sizes larger than current and previous models at 4.47″ and 5.5″ respectively. Apple would need to train developers to support these new screen dimensions, which may not be an easy task.
  • iOS 8’s anticipated Health Book app that can track fitness, lifestyle, and chronic diseases as well as provide emergency information for healthcare professionals. This could require a new device from Apple or a way to aggregate data from existing Bluetooth LE devices like fitness trackers, blood pressure cuffs, and blood glucose meters. It’s well known that Apple has gone on a healthcare hiring spree. Developers and device manufacturers would need to know how to integrate this feature in products.
  • The long-rumored watch. If Apple is planning to release an iWatch with support for its own apps, this would be the place to get developers up to speed on creating them. Even if Apple doesn’t open the iWatch to third-party apps, it will need to teach developers how to handle data captured by the device and/or how to send information like notifications to it.
  • A next-generation Apple TV with support for apps or games. This seems like something Apple will need to address as it is now the only major device in its category, which includes offerings from Roku, Google, and Amazon, without some form of app support. Even if Apple just releases the ability for developers to create “channel-style” apps like those it has added for cable networks and other services as opposed to true native apps, Apple will likely want some developer support.
  • Advances in CarPlay. Apple’s nascent in-dash system currently supports just a few apps, though the company has said it will be adding to that list. Advising developers how to create CarPlay appropriate apps and interfaces, perhaps with a CarPlay-specific review process, could be a boon to Apple’s automotive ambitions.
  • A smart home platform. This is a late addition to the list of possible announcements, but it makes a certain degree of sense. Last month, I described ways in which iBeacons, or similar Bluetooth LE solutions, could be used for home and family security and monitoring. If Apple expanded on that premise, it could easily create such a platform, but it would need developer buy-in to succeed on the part of both app creators and hardware/accessory companies.
  • Map and location advances. It’s no secret that Apple has been building a comprehensive location and navigation team through targeted acquisitions ever since the disastrous rollout of its own Maps app in 2012. The companies Apple has purchased (or hired executives from) range from those offering mass transit directions to indoor positioning and navigation. Combined with iBeacons as a location service, Apple could offer a lot of value in general and could provide developers with a great range of options for integrating that type of data.
  • Expansion of Touch ID. Apple is now expected to be building Touch ID into all future iOS devices. That’s a pretty big feature in itself, but with Touch ID incorporated into every iPhone and iPad, the company might expand the technology to allow developers to rely on Touch ID as an authentication and authorization option.

Beyond these specific items, there are of course more general announcements that we can expect Apple to make. iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 will definitely be announced with a range of new features and, for OS X, likely a new user experience similar to the aesthetic of iOS 7.

 Apple’s enterprise push at WWDC

In addition to all this, Apple will almost certainly introduce more enterprise-friendly features to one or both of its platforms.

WWDC-2.0-for-iOS-app-icon-smallApple has been on a roll of responding to enterprise needs since the announcement of iOS 7  and Mavericks last year. The iOS 7.1 update included support for easier mass enrollment and deployment of iOS devices in enterprise and education and coincided with the release of major IT-focused information about Apple products.

With Microsoft now in the enterprise mobility game and Google positioning itself tomake Android enterprise-friendly, Apple needs to keep this momentum going and there are strong signs that the company will. Tim Cook has identified enterprise as akey market for Apple.

More importantly, although the company hasn’t restored the IT track that used to be a part of WWDC, it has expanded enterprise-related programming. Included in the un-redacted items on the WWDC schedule are four enterprise-specific events – there are sessions on “Managing Apple Devices,” “Building Apps for Enterprise and Education,” and “Distributing Enterprise Apps”; labs related to “Developing Apps for Enterprise and Education” and “Managing Apple Devices”; and an “Apps for Enterprise Get Together” event.