Little Ryan, our resident tech expert, takes us through the coolest new features on Apple OSX and iOS.
On Tuesday, at Apple’s WWDC event, they announced a new operating system (OS X) and iOS for mobile. Being a technology kinda guy, I thought I’d tell you about some of the new features so you can see what’s coming from Apple in the future.
WWDC14 is an event held by Apple strictly talking about software for their devices. This year was their 25th WWDC event. Seriously, if you’re into tech you should watch the live event, it’s funny. Apple know how to do a presentation and they make some very funny tech jokes. I refer to Tim and Craig in this article. For those who don’t know who they are, Tim is the CEO of Apple and Craig is the lead designer of iOS and OSX.
iOS 8 & OS X Yosemite
(iOS is the iPhone operating system and OS X is the Computer operating system, X being 10. OS10 Yosemite – Yosemite is a beautiful national park in the US).
Let’s start with iOS and OS X together. Apple have updated both bits of software to work in sync with each other better than ever before.
If you’re an Apple fan, you’ll know they like to rename everything for the Apple ecosystem. For example, every non-Apple device uses a USB cable to transfer data to a computer and the latest USB is called USB 3.0, this allows for supper speedy transfers. Apple being Apple created a new wire for Apple products and called it “Thunderbolt” so everything with a wire is called a “Thunderbolt “such and such”.
Rather than continuing to use the word ‘sync’ they have decided to call the function ‘continuity’. This allows for your iPhone, Mac and iPad to work with each other like never before. Within Continuity they have an umbrella of specific things that have roles in order to complete the name continuity. Here are some of the top features that I thought was cool.
Hand Off allows you to be working on something on your iPhone and a little prompt will pop up on another i device and will allow you to continue on your iPad or Mac. Craig demonstrated this by writing a email on an iPad, getting halfway through it and then continuing the email on his iMac. When he switched, there was a prompt already on his iMac… he simply clicked the prompt and continued where he left off. This also works in reverse.
Air Drop allowed people to share files with each other but it was always limited. Before, you could only “Air Drop” between Macs and only Air Drop between iPhones. What I mean is, it would be Mac-on-Mac crime and iPhone-on-iPhone crime. You couldn’t Air Drop between Mac and iPhone. You could only Air drop via specific platforms. This totally baffled me and I never understood why Apple would do such a thing, but now, with the new updates to iOS and OS X, you can now Air Drop between any device. Hooray!!
Have you ever had it when your iPhone is across the room while you’re sat on your Mac? Well have no fear, this new feature allows you to answer your phone from your Mac… That’s not it, you can even make phone calls from your Mac… That’s right, Apple just pretty much turned your computer into a working phone. How they demonstrated this was amazing. Craig said, “Let me just call a new employee” (from his iMac). He goes into his emails and boom, Dr Dre’s number was there and he calls Dr Dre from his iMac and has a conversation with him. – If you don’t understand the “Let me call a new employee” reference, let me just fill you in… Apple have just bought Beats by Dre for $3billion. Nope you didn’t read that wrong. I did just type $3BILLION (roughly £1.5b in Sterling) … Yup.
The same as your phone being able to receive and make phone calls, if your iPhone is on the other side of the room and you get a text, you’ll be able to read that text on your Mac and reply from your Mac.
Let’s talk about iOS 8
Tim starts off the iOS talk by doing iOS vs Android. They compared iOS to Android stating that 130 million people have moved from Android this past year. They also claimed that 89% of people with iPhones have iOS 7 whereas Android’s latest OS is only on 9% of its latest phones. Tim said, “People are running Android from 4 years ago…That is ancient history”. This made me lol as I am a Android fan and it is true, however I’m a Nexus user so I’ll always have the latest and greatest software updates from Google directly, unlike Samsung, HTC, LG and many more non-pure Google Nexus Android users. Apple then went below the belt and claimed that Android dominate the mobile malware market at 99%. Which I thought was loooow. It’s funny seeing Apple slate Android. Since their revamp of iOS with iOS7, they have taken the greatest things from Android and they have done even more so again with iOS8. The only reason why iOS8 appeals to me is because they have made it a lot more like Android features-wise. This is probably the reason why they got 130 million people leaving from Android and will get a lot more this year due to its similarities to Android. A lot of people who have never owned an Android don’t realise that these features are from Android and that’s because Google don’t rave about them. Android is years ahead feature-wise, and Apple is playing catch up, but they are coming back slowly but strongly. It’s a great step forward, and I’m really feeling what they have done with iOS8.
You can now activate Siri without touching the phone just by saying “Hey Siri”…Sound familiar? “Okay Google” anyone?
You can also use Siri to find a song for you and you can buy it from the iTunes store, and it’s powered by Shazam… Sound familiar? “Okay Google, what song is this?” *info of song comes up and buys from Google play store*
This is Apple’s new keyboard, it’s even smarter than before. It learns how you talk to different people and then predicts what you are going to say next. The demo had Craig viewing a email, and the email said something along the lines of “How was the meeting” and before Craig could type a reply, suggestions came up on the keyboard saying “Awesome” “Good” “Canceled”. For you, it would be words you’d say. So if my friend Louie asked me how the meeting went, I’d say “Sick” “Crusty” “Iyte”. Those would be the suggested words for me since it has learnt my slang. Bear in mind, this is where the keyboard learns how you speak/type. You don’t have to add it to your keyboard dictionaries, it will automatically autocorrect itself to a word that you consistently say, or a sentence.
Again, this has been taken from an Android-based app. All Apple needed to do is put the swipe function in. I’m sure Apple will do this for iOS9 and every Apple fan will rave about it saying how rubbish Android is. Android has had this function for a couple of years now. Apple has also added access for third party keyboards to be used instead of the standard Apple keyboard. The smash hit third party keyboard Swype on android is going to be one of the third party keyboards… which allows for people to swipe while they are texting. Again, it’s only a matter of time before Apple put this into their stock keyboard.
At the moment, if you want to use your iPhone as a Hotspot for your Mac, you have to manually set it up and make a password and that. But your Mac will now realise it’s your phone and it can hook up without setting anything up. When you’re out and about and you need the internet, you just click the wifi button in the top right hand corner and your mac will automatically connect to your phone as a hotspot.
Apple have pretty much made their iMessage like WhatsApp. you can now send videos and voice notes. Of course, its not called voice notes, it’s called “Tap To Talk”. It’s a pretty cool feature. If you receive a Tap To Talk and your phone is locked, you don’t have to unlock your phone, you just raise the phone to your ear and it will automatically play in your ear. If you want to reply, raise the phone to your ear again and speak your reply and it will send. Remember this is all from the lock screen. This is defiantly a one-up for Apple compared to Android. Apple also made a joke about how on iMessage, “when you receive a green bubble from one of those people, they are using an inferior device” – For those who don’t get this joke, on iMessage, you know if someone has a iPhone, because the message will come in a blue bubble, and if you don’t have a iPhone, it will show up in a green bubble.
I think it is a great step forward for Apple. They are allowing third party apps and widgets. I think the messaging feature is such a one-up. It’s like they have seen the light and are opening up a little bit and being more chill. I’m starting to feel like I’m a long-lost Apple fan.
When Apple was talking about Yosemite, they kept on going on about how fresh and clean and translucent it was. All the windows are partly translucent so you can really see your wallpaper through a open window when you scroll or move it. The dock is also translucent. They are right, it looks very fresh and clean and translucent. Craig goes onto say how beautiful the new icons look and was very impressed with the look of the trashcan. He joked “You wouldn’t believe how much time we spent crafting a trash can”. They have redesigned the icons and it has the flat look of the iOS7 icons.
One cool change is, at the moment, the theme of the Mac is grey and you can’t change the colour. However, with this new update you can change from the new translucent grey to translucent black, the black bar looks so cool. Of course, the windows isn’t called translucent black, Apple have called it “Dark Mode”.
Apple have updated their search tool “spotlight” significantly. This is not only for the Mac its also for the iOS search “Spotlight”. With the new spotlight, when you click the little magnifying glass at the top right hand corner of your Mac, a sleek search bar comes into the middle of the screen and you can search for things. You can search things from the internet without having a browser open. The demo they showed was of a movie. They typed in ‘Godzilla’ and options from the interment, Wiki, iTunes, and anything ‘Godzilla’ related on your computer. Even suggestions from the closest cinemas near you that were showing the movie would be suggested. It brings up a lot of information.
Apple email has had a slight upgrade. You know when you use the Apple email, and you want to send something but the file is too big? Well, Apple have solved this problem. They have made a cloud where the large file can be uploaded to and it will send that cloud file to the other person. The other person, if they are using a Mac, they can instantly view it from the email app and if they are using a Windows or a different email app, they can download the zipped file and Apple made it clear that it is secure and safe. The cloud can hold up to 5GB worth of files. You can also soft edit photos within the email app. Don’t be silly, of course it’s not called “edit photo” or something like that, its called “Mark Up”.
So this is a notification centre and Apple have called it “Today View”. This just tells you what the weather is like, what the stocks are like and it gives you relevant information to things that you are interested in. You can add third party widgets and add to your Today view.
Overall the event was great. It was funny, fun and chilled out. Apple have taken a lot of things from Google, so if you’re an Android user, you’ll defiantly notice similarities. But aside from that, who’s to say that Google don’t take ideas from Apple? They definitely do, and it keeps the competition on fire, it’s very exciting. It’s nice to see Apple be a bit more lenient and less restrictive, it’s as if they have finally realised that Android has great features and has surpassed Apple and now they are trying to make things more fun again.
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