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Well folks, its been a crazy Week. Apple kicked off its World Wide Developers Conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco on Monday June 9, 2015 and previewed a lot of new software updates, enhancements and other goodies that will be making their way to your Mac, iPhone and iPad later this year. So, in case you missed any of the news from the conference, here is a quick rundown of everything that was announced for iOS and OS X.
OS X Software
Apple previewed OS X 10.11 “El Capitan” for the first time during the keynote presentation. The new release comes with an increased focus on stability and faster performance, smarter search features in Spotlight, pinned sites in Safari, updated mail interface and window management, and possibly best of all, the ability to truly multitask with “Split View Window Management”
El Capitan also includes feature updates to Photos, Apple’s new photo management application for the Mac. Among the new features is the ability to support third-party tools that will be available from the Mac App Store and accessible right in the Photos app. Use multiple editing extensions from your favorite developers on a single photo, or use a mix of extensions and the editing tools built into Photos. From adding subtle filters to using beautiful texture effects, you can take your photo editing to a whole new level.
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Apple also gave us a look at iOS 9. Just like OS X 10.11, Apple is touting iOS 9 will have greater stability and improved performance. iOS 9 is slated to have an increased focus on proactive intelligence – a new service that will allow Siri (iPhone personal assistant) to anticipate your needs and display relevant information before you realize you need it.
Being proactively intelligent continues with the iPhone now gaining the ability to be aware of transit times depending on your current starting location and the ability to alert to leave early if, say, traffic is horrible.
A new search window in iOS 9 will have you swiping to the right of your home screen to access the search bar at the top (reminiscent of iOS 6, anyone?) and other options such Nearby Places and Transit Times. This too is part of Apple proactive intelligence for the iOS platform.
Healthkit (Apple’s hub for all of your health information) will gain a few new features like the ability to track hydration levels, UV exposure, how long you’ve been sitting, and best of all, reproductive health (think ovulation cycles).
- Multitasking has finally made its way to the iPad. Rejoice! With “SlideOver”, Now you can open a second app without leaving the one you’re in. So you can quickly browse the web, respond to a text message, or jot something down in a note, then slide that app away and get back to the one you were using before. SplitView takes things a step further and allows you to have two apps open and active side-by-side so that you can focus on what matters most: getting things done. With Picture-in-Picture, you’ll now be able to scale down the size of that Youtube or FaceTime video so that you can continue watching you favorite content even while your browsing others apps.
- The foundation for iOS 9 has been redone with a major focus on stability and improvement. Updates to iOS will now be smaller in size, which Apple hopes will entice more users into embracing iOS 9. In addition, updates in version 9 will be able to be installed while the device is not being actively used, such as when you’re asleep. iOS 9 also focuses on battery life and may extend your battery life by up to an hour. And remember those days when your battery would get below 20% and you’d start to pull all the levers and switches you knew to conserve what precious juice you had left? Well, all of that will now automated with “Low Power Mode” that will activate battery saving features on your iOS devices once they dip below the 20 percent mark. With foundation improvements, Apple put a renewed focus on security by incorporating six digit passcode to unlock your device and deeply integrating two factor authentication into iOS.
- Notes has been redesigned for iOS 9. With a host of new features such as in-app checklist creation, one-touch access to your camera, Safari share sheets integration and more, notes is now a premier app for keeping track of the little or big things that come your way.
- Maps. Apple’s, most notable flub, seems to have recovered and now supports Transit View which provides directions for public transportation like buses, trains, subways and ferries on top of the already existing Maps architecture. Transit View will be launching in the most traveled cities around the world including, Baltimore, Berlin, Chicago, London, Mexico City, NY,Philly, San Fran, Toronto and Washington D.C. And if you’re planning a trip to China anytime soon, fear not, for Apple will be supporting over 300 cities in China in the months to come. Apple is expected to expand the Transit View service to more cities in the future.
- Apple’s Newsstand app is no more. Redesigned from the ground up and simply dubbed “News”, the new app offers you all the news you want, right where you want it in a centralized app. The News app will feature curated selections of articles based on your interests that will be displayed in a very simplistic, yet visually appealing, interface that is complete with updated typography, new photo galleries and the ability save all of the news, topics and genres you care to know about in one place. Support for content publishers such as New York Times, TIME, ESPN, Conde Nast and more was also announced.
- The default iOS QuickType keyboard on iPad is getting a major update in version 9. With an all-new Shortcut Bar, you can now shape up your text in no time. The shortcut bar includes convenient editing tools, and a handy new way to select text with Multi-Touch gestures. And now, when you use a wireless keyboard with your iPad, you can enjoy even more keyboard shortcuts to make your workflow with iOS more streamlined.
- Switching from Android? There’s an app for that. Yep, Apple has created an app for the Google Play store that will easily facilitate your move from Android to iOS.
So, there you have it folks. In terms of the evolution of iOS and OS X, Apple has given us a lot to look forward to in the coming months. Be sure to stay tuned for more WWDC announcement coverage.