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

We all knew it was coming, and now it’s here. Apple CEO Tim Cook just put months of breathless speculation to rest by pulling back the curtain on iOS 8 during the company’s WWDC 2014 keynote address in San Francisco. It doesn’t look like the sort of quantum leap that iOS 7 was, but Apple’s head honcho assures us that it interacts in some fantastic ways with the new version of OS X and that it pairs great end user features with great developer features. Well, we’ll be the judges of that. The big keynote is still underway, but here’s what we know so far.


We’ve all been there — you get a message while you’re doing something else, and you just can’t be bothered to switch apps.

With iOS 8, you can pull down from that notification shade and respond from right there. It’s not limited to messages, either — you’ll be able to like/comment on Facebook messages or handle your calendar events.


Apple has introduced Mailbox-style actions to its stock Mail application, too. You can easily tag or dismiss certain missives without even having to open them up, and all it takes is a quick swipe on the contents of your inbox.


The company made a big to-do about how much better Spotlight is in OS X Yosemite, so it’s only natural the iOS version gets an upgrade as well. Among other things, it’ll let you search for apps you haven’t even installed yet, songs in the iTunes store, movie times and locations and more. Media isn’t the only focus here, though. It’ll also show directions to locations you type in to even news.


At long last, iOS is getting an improved on-screen keyboard. In short, we’re looking at an improved recognition service that can more accurately predict what it is you’re trying to say. Hopefully this means an end to all the “ducking” typos going on out there.


Facebook just bought Whatsapp for an obscene amount of money, but that hasn’t stopped the folks in Cupertino from replicating some of the app’s most-used features. Among other things, you can send audio and video messages from within the app — in the old days, you’d have to pop out into the camera or Voice Memos to create your content and then send it over. Even better: you can respond to one of those audio messages right from the lock screen if you just raise your iPhone to your face.


We’ve touched on this elsewhere, but the newly announced Continuity between iOS and OS X is a very, very welcome shift for Apple. You’ll be able to pick up and initiate phone from within OS X, even when your iPhone is across the house. Is someone calling you? You’ll get a caller ID notification, and a quick touch lets you use your Mac as a speakerphone. And if one of your non-Apple pals shoots you a plain ol’ text message, your iPhone will relay it to all your other iDevices.

QuickType for iOS 8 adds SwiftKey-style predictive typing

Apple has just announced QuickType, a new predictive typing keyboard for iOS 8. The system appears similar to SwiftKey, a popular third-party keyboard for Android; it predicts the next word you’re going to type based on the sentence context and your past history.

“It does all this learning on the device and it protects your privacy,” said Apple’s Craig Federighi onstage at WWDC 2014. QuickType does not, however, appear to include any swipe-to-type functionality as seen in Android and Windows Phone.

SwiftKey released a note-taking app for iOS in January. Apple appears to have been working on a feature like QuickType for quite some time, with traces of it appearing as early as iOS 5.

Apple HealthKit announced: a hub for all your iOS fitness tracking needs

Apple just unveiled HealthKit, a new app bundled with iOS 8 that’s designed to help users keep better track of their personal health and fitness data. HealthKit provides an easy-to-access hub where iPhone owners can monitor important health metrics on a daily basis, while also stepping back to examine their fitness trends over a longer period of time. But simply calling HealthKit an “app” may be underselling it somewhat. Health apps have proven tremendously popular with consumers, and this represents Apple’s attempt to seize that market — at least among iOS users. It’s also been speculated that HealthKit will work in tandem with the fabled (and still unannounced) iWatch.

Until now, Apple has shied away from making its own fitness software. Instead, the company has for years provided a mobile platform — iOS — that’s allowed companies like Fitbit, Jawbone, Nike, RunKeeper, and MapMyFitness to showcase their apps. It’s also made strides to improve the iPhone as a fitness tool by adding specialized hardware like last year’s M7 coprocessor.


But apparently Apple has decided that it’s time to jump in with iOS 8 and Healthkit. At the very least, that decision is likely based off of strong data. Apple sells devices like the Jawbone Up24, Fitbit Flex, and Nike Fuelband in its own retail stores; the company is perfectly aware of how popular they’ve become.

9to5Mac first broke word that Apple was preparing its own push into fitness tracking earlier this year. Soon after, the site published “recreated” screenshots revealing “Healthbook.” Those reports, which came months ahead of today’s WWDC keynote, effectively spoiled one of the major additions to iOS 8 — and there aren’t many. The upcoming software update is largely an iterative progression of the brand new user interface and design style that Apple introduced with iOS 7 last year.

Apple introduces new iPhotos app for iOS with shared editing across all devices

Apple has just announced some changes to the way iOS handles photos that will hopefully make things a lot more convenient for users. iOS 8 will come with a new Photos app that lets users access every photo they’ve taken across all of their various devices. It’s not just the images themselves either; the new app will also share edit states, so you can tweak an image on your iPhone, then dive into the same photo on your iPad and revert and tweak those same changes.

Siri now identifies songs, works without touching the phone

Apple is trying to make Siri smarter in iOS 8. The redesigned version of Siri can be activated without touching the phone — in other words, “Hey, Siri” is the new “Okay, Google.” Siri was already plugged into pop culture, but now, it will also tell you what song you’re listening to. Apple has announced a partnership with music recognition service Shazam that will let Siri do what its popular app has been doing for years. The feature was rumored before the event, and it’s a useful and obvious addition to a digital assistant

Apple will bring third-party widgets to iOS 8

While introducing OS X 10.10 Yosemite, Craig Federighi showed off a new widget system for the Mac notification center, allowing users to pin small apps right in the “Today” view — and now we’re learning that the iOS notification center will have a similar feature, as well. In iOS 5 and 6, users could access weather, stocks, and Twitter / Facebook post buttons, but those were removed in favor of the Today view for iOS 7.

However, now users will be able to add widgets to the iOS notification center — and it sounds like 3rd party apps will be supported, as well. It’s a major change to iOS, giving it perhaps the most comprehensible glanceable information setup that we’ve seen on iOS yet, and gives the OS something that can compete with Android’s widget system and the Windows Phone live tile system.

Apple’s HomeKit turns the iPhone into a remote for your smart home

Apple wants to make the smart home a whole lot smarter. With a feature called HomeKit that’s coming in iOS 8, iPhones will be able to start controlling smart devices, such as garage door openers, lights, and security cameras. It’ll all be controllable through Siri too, so Apple says that just by saying, “Get ready for bed,” your home can automatically dim its lights and lock its doors.

HomeKit will allow iPhone users to control individual smart home devices right from their phone, though Apple hasn’t said whether that’ll be done through an app designed for the device or through an interface on the phone itself. Homeowners will be able to put their smart home devices into groups, allowing them to control a series of items at once — perhaps an entire room’s worth of appliances or an entire floor’s lighting.

This is Apple’s first step into the burgeoning smart home market, and it should help to make these new home products begin to look a lot more appealing. Smart home products have been grappling with major incompatibility issues, so ensuring that products all work together is a huge boon for buyers. “There are great apps and devices on the market, but we thought we could bring some rationality to this,” Apple software chief Craig Federighi said today, at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference.

Initial partners include August, which is known for its beautiful smart lock, Philips, which makes the Hue connected lightbulb, and other including Honeywell, iHome, TI, and about a dozen more.

Apple has a new programming language called Swift, ‘and it totally rules’

Apple introduced a boatload of new consumer features for OS X and iOS today, but one of the biggest announcements for developers could be its new programming language, Swift. Craig Federighi just announced it, saying that Apple is trying to build a language that doesn’t have the “baggage” of Objective-C, a programming language that came from NeXt that has formed the basis of OS X and eventually iOS. Coders will be able to see the results of their programming in real time as they write the code, and it should definitely be faster than Objective-C as well.

To enable developers to easily keep working on their apps, Swift code can live right besides C and Objective-C code in the same app. We’re a ways off before seeing the results of this new code, but it’s something that developers have been waiting a long time for — it got a bigger cheer than any other announcement made so far today.

Apple announces OS X 10.10 Yosemite with refreshed, iOS 7-inspired design, available for free this fall

At its annual conference for developers, Apple today announced the next version of its desktop operating system, OS X. OS X 10.10 Yosemite follows in the footsteps of last year’s OS X 10.9 Mavericks with an even cleaner design and more features inspired by iOS. This year, the theme is all “Continuity.”

The flat design, translucent panels, and lack of gradients and textures of iOS 7 can be found throughout OS X 10.10, lending a much more modern look to the desktop operating system. App icons feature new, flatter designs, and the dock and windows of apps have sharper corners. App windows can also adjust their color temperature based on a user’s selected background, not unlike iOS. There is also a new, user-selectable “dark mode” that dims the entire interface for better focus while working. Apple’s Craig Federighi calls it a focus on “clarity, but also utlity.”

The Notification Center has been expanded with a new “Today” view for calendar, reminders, weather, and more, and Apple says that it can be extended even further with third-party app widgets. Apple’s universal search tool, Spotlight, has been redesigned and improved with more functionality, including instant results for web searches.

One of the biggest changes is Apple’s new iCloud Drive service, which integrates all files stored in a user’s iCloud account into the Finder file browser. Users can browse their files stored in the cloud and organize them into folders and tag them like any other types of files. Apple says that all iCloud Drive files will sync across Mac computers and even Windows PCs. MailDrop is a new feature in Apple’s Mail app that lets users attach large files to emails with their iCloud accounts, bypassing the attachment size restrictions many email services have. Mail has also gained the ability to edit attached images with simple text and arrow overlays.

Apple’s Safari browser has undegone a significant revamp, with a cleaner design, less chrome, and better search integration. Safari’s integrated share menu has been expanded with recent people you’ve messaged and RSS feeds, and there is a new tab view that shows thumbnails of all open tabs. Apple says that Safari now runs JavaScript code faster than any other browser on the market.

The theme of Continuity in OS X is greatest seen in its new abilities to interact with an iOS device. AirDrop between OS X and iOS is finally supported, allowing users to transfer images and other data between their mobile devices and their desktop without using a cable. Users can seamlessly transfer the file they’re working on in Pages on their Mac to an iPad or iPhone.

Apple says that developers will be able to access the new OS X 10.10 Yosemite starting today, while a public release will be this fall. As with last year’s OS X 10.9, 10.10 Yosemite will be available as a free upgrade to existing users.

Apple announces iCloud Drive, a Dropbox-like folder to sync files across devices

At WWDC 2014, Apple announced iCloud Drive, a Dropbox-like file system for storing your documents in the cloud. Each app you use with iCloud Drive gets its own folder inside the interface, which you can access through Finder, and files are synced across OS X, iOS, and Windows. Even if you don’t use any iCloud-enabled Macs, you can just drop in files and folders to sync them across your devices.

Steve Jobs once vowed to destroy Dropbox with iCloud. That didn’t happen. Now, a few years later, Apple has finally launched its true Dropbox-killer. However, back in the age of Jobs, cloud syncing apps weren’t nearly as much of a commodity as they are today. Apple fans will love iCloud Drive for syncing files between their Apple devices, but Apple likely won’t convince Dropbox and Google Drive-faithful from switching, especially since iCloud storage costs a lot more than storage on most competitors. Also, while iCloud Drive works on Windows, it remains to be seen if Apple will open up APIs so mobile developers on Android and / or Windows Phone could adopt the storage platform.


Until today, it had been a pretty quiet year for iCloud. In October, Apple killed off local syncing inside iTunes, leaving users to pick iCloud or another cloud services company like Google for contacts, calendars, and email. In September, Apple’s cloud storage and syncing solution saw an iOS 7-style redesign, and in August, Apple rolled out iWork for iCloud, an online collaboration platform that lets you edit documents with friends in real-time. More importantly, Apple has busy upgrading and tweaking iCloud behind the scenes to address mounting developer complaints about reliability and syncing issues.


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
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  • 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?


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.


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.


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.