WWDC 2014


Just like every year in June, Apple has its WWDC annual conference for developers where millions of people around the world, developers as well as consumers, gather and wait for impatiently. They like to be the first to know and hear from an Apple executive about its new and latest technologies and/or products.

WWDC 2014

If you haven’t already, I strongly advice you to watch Apple’s keynote for WWDC 2014 and learn about the latest Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite, iOS8, and all the extras such as their new Swift programming language.

What’s new?

I will not write about what has Apple released specifically. Tons of websites has done so already and in fact if you watch the keynote itself, you will have a complete understanding of that. However, I’m going to list my favourite ones and the ones I’m really interested in.

Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite

OS X Yosemite has a lot of great and cool new features, yet, I’m more interested in:

  1. Spotlight
  2. Continuity
  3. iCloud drive
  4. Health
  5. Family sharing

1. Spotlight

Spotlight icon

I’m a Quicksilver user and use it a lot in my workflows. I don’t think the new Spotlight can replace it since Quicksilver is really sophisticated, yet, time will tell.

However, I think it is really cool to get online search results as well as take some actions such as calculations and unit conversions immediately. Add to that the ability to search the App Store from within!

Unfortunately we, still, don’t have theaters or cinemas to be able to make use of the show listings and show times for current movies.

2. Continuity

Continuity icon

Continuity includes several new features for the Phone and Messages apps as well as new system features such as Handoff and Instant Hotspot

At last! Yes, I missed this feature since it was available in Mac OS 9. We used to right-click a number on the Mac, click Call, then grab your phone and continue your conversation. We can finally have that luxury back with the new Phone app through the additional magnificence of completing the call or starting it in fact from your Mac!

The beauty of the new Messages app is that it can now send and receive messages from your Mac if you have your iPhone in proximity. This means you can finally send SMSes to your non iMessage (iPhone) friends such as Android users.

I’m not so excited about Handoff like the other apps, however, I still think it will be of great use. Will it improve how you integrate between your iOS device and your Mac, I absolutely think so.

Instant Hotspot instead would be really helpful and beneficiary for a lot of people especially elder ones and seniors. My father personally has a lot of difficulty understanding how to operate or use the existing Hotspot feature in iOS 7! Do you think he would still be facing a hard time with Instant Hotspot in iOS 8, I doubt!

I suggest you visit Apple’s page for Continuity to get more information and details.

3. iCloud drive

iCloud Drive App icon

iCloud is Apple’s way of competing with Dropbox. Some of the Mac users I know still miss the old iDisk that Apple discontinued several years ago.

I don’t think iCloud can quickly replace or kill Dropbox for example, yet, it will once Apple opens up its APIs for other platforms such as Android!

For more information and images, please visit Apple’s page on iCloud drive.

iCloud drive pricing

Apple will give you 5GB of iCloud drive storage for free but if you need additional space (Don’t we all need more?), it is like the following:

Comparing that to Dropbox pricing, you will find Apple is really competitive. Dropbox prices, at the time of writing this post, are like:

4. Health

Health App icon

Although we, living outside of the US, wouldn’t make much use of Apple’s Health app’s integration with hospitals, clinics, and healthcare centres, I still think it will be a vital app for those concerned about their health and fitness levels like myself. We probably wouldn’t have a lot of apps integrating with it once iOS 8 is released beside Nike’s, however, that will eventually change.

The app will be able to store your burned calories, how much sleep are you getting, heart rates, blood pressure, nutrition, medications, and etc.. You will have the option of what to share with other apps, so don’t worry of your medical data being publicly available by any means!

The Medical ID card is also a nice feature especially that it is accessible directly from your Lock screen in case of an emergency. It basically displays your Medical Conditions and Notes, Allergies & Reactions, Medications, and etc.

Check Apple’s page for Health app for more details and images.

5. Family sharing

Family Sharing App icon

I always hated to have more than one account especially when it is used within family members. You used to have an account for your iTunes music purchases or apps. Now, you can share music, books, as well as Apps from the app store on other family members devices without sharing account credentials, how cool is that! I guess it is time to change my password ;)

Another great feature of Family sharing is Photo sharing in an Album. Currently, we are used to taking photos from different devices then either share it with your spouse through WhatsApp or email it. Now, you can simply take a photo and add it to your family album, which is a special family photo stream album, and boom, all your family photos are available on your family member’s devices.

There are other great features of Family sharing such as sharing a family calendar, find your family members locations, as well as find where their iOS and OS X devices are. Visit Apple’s page of Family sharing for more detailed information and images.

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