The iPhone, iPad and iMac are getting a whole lot better thanks to some new software from Apple. The tech giant has announced their new mobile operating system iOS 8, and their new desktop operating system Mac OS X Yosemite.
The biggest new feature in iOS 8 is a new health app, along with a redesigned messenger app, better predictive typing for Apple’s QuickType keyboard, and an updated iCloud Photo Library so you can access any of your photos and videos anytime, anywhere. It will be available for free this fall, and run on the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina display, iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPad mini with Retina display.
As for Mac OS X Yosemite, that includes plenty of its own new features, but the most noticeable change is a redesigned user interface that incorporates many of the design elements introduced in iOS 7. Apple hopes this will make the experience more streamlined and elegant, with the most important controls at your fingertips. There’s also a cool new feature called Handoff, that makes it easier to start an activity on one device like the iPhone, and then and pass it to another device like the iMac. Best of all, Yosemite even gives you the ability to make iPhone calls on your Mac. It will be available this fall, with a beta test starting this summer.
Here’s the official write-up from Apple about both announcements:
iOS 8 delivers a simpler, faster and more intuitive user experience, including iCloud Photo Library, allowing you to enjoy your photos and videos more easily across your devices; new Messages features to easily share voice, video or photos with just a swipe; and an entirely new Health app that gives you a clear overview of your health and fitness data all in one place. iOS 8 also includes predictive typing for Apple’s QuickType keyboard; Family Sharing, the easiest way to share purchases, photos and calendars within the same household; and iCloud Drive, so you can store files and access them from anywhere.
In iOS 8, the Photos app and iCloud Photo Library give you access to all of your photos and videos anytime, anywhere. Your photos are easy to find and are organized consistently across your enabled devices. The Photos app can automatically straighten horizons and with smart editing tools, you can quickly adjust light and color or access individual tools for deeper fine-tuning. With iCloud Photo Library, every adjustment and effect is automatically updated across your devices.
Conversations in Messages become more immersive with the ability to communicate with just a swipe. Tap to Talk allows you to share your voice and the same simple gesture also works for sharing videos and photos within Messages. Group messaging now gives you the ability to add and remove contacts, leave a conversation and the option to not be disturbed. Users can easily browse through all of the photos and videos within a conversation and share multiple photos and videos at once. You can choose to share your current location from within Messages for an hour, a day or longer.
The new Health app gathers the information you choose from your various health apps and fitness devices, and provides you with a clear and current overview in one place. iOS 8 offers developers the ability for health and fitness apps to communicate with each other. With your permission, each app can use specific information from other apps to provide a more comprehensive way to manage your health and fitness. For example, the Nike+ apps using NikeFuel will be able to pull in other key HealthKit metrics such as sleep and nutrition to build a custom user profile and improve athletic performance.
New predictive typing for Apple’s QuickType keyboard is smarter and more personalized, and intelligently takes context into account, such as who the recipient is and in which app you’re typing. QuickType understands the way you communicate, suggesting favourite phrases, so you can write entire sentences with just a few taps. What the keyboard learns is encrypted on your device and never sent to the cloud.
iOS 8 introduces Family Sharing, making it easier than ever to communicate and share purchases, photos and calendars within the same household. Family members can browse and download each other’s iTunes, iBooks or App Store purchases. Up to six members can participate, each with their own Apple ID. Parents can create Apple IDs for children, which includes Ask to Buy, requiring parental permission for purchases. Family Sharing automatically keeps everyone connected by creating a shared family photo stream, shared calendar and provides an option for locating family members and their devices.
With iCloud Drive, documents of any type can be safely stored, accessed and edited across your devices. Make edits on one device and the most up-to-date version of your documents will be available across all devices, whether an iOS device, Mac, Windows PC or on www.icloud.com. iCloud Drive brings a whole new level of collaboration between apps, providing seamless access and the ability to work on the same file across multiple apps.
For Enterprise, iOS 8 builds on the new IT model for a mobilized workforce by improving the way users are informed of how their devices are configured, managed or restricted. iOS 8 offers expanded security and management improvements as well as new productivity features, including an expanded level of data protection for key built-in apps, the ability to set your out of office response, see your colleague’s availability when scheduling a meeting and support for configurable Thread Notifications in Mail.
With Yosemite, OS X has been redesigned and refined with a fresh modern look where controls are clearer, smarter and easier to understand, and streamlined toolbars put the focus on your content without compromising functionality. Translucent elements reveal additional content in your app window, provide a hint at what’s hidden behind and take on the look of your desktop. App icons have a clean, consistent design and an updated system font improves readability.
The new Today view in Notification Center gives you a quick look at everything you need to know with widgets for Calendar, Weather, Stocks, Reminders, World Clock and social networks. You can even download additional widgets from the Mac App Store to customize your Today view. Spotlight now appears front and center on your desktop and adds new categories of results, so you can view rich suggestions from Wikipedia, Maps, Bing, App Store, iTunes Store, iBooks Store, top websites, and news.
Built right into the Finder, iCloud Drive stores files of any type in iCloud. iCloud Drive works like any other folder on your Mac, so you can drag documents into it, organize them with folders and Tags and search for them using Spotlight. With iCloud Drive, you can access all your files in iCloud from your Mac, iPhone, iPad or even a Windows PC.
Mail makes editing and sending attachments easier than ever. With Markup you can quickly fill out and sign forms and even annotate images and PDFs from within Mail. Mail Drop allows you to easily send large videos, images or files up to 5GB from the Mail app to any email address. Messages has a new look and delivers even more options for communicating with friends and family. Now you can add titles to ongoing message threads so they are easy to find, add new contacts to ongoing conversations, or leave those conversations you no longer want to follow. With Soundbites you can create, send and listen to audio clips right in Messages.
Continuity features in Yosemite make your Mac and iOS device perfect companions. When your iPhone or iPad is near your Mac, Handoff lets you start an activity on one device and pass it to the other. Instant Hotspot makes using your iPhone’s hotspot as easy as connecting to a Wi-Fi network.³ Now the SMS and MMS messages that previously only appeared on your iPhone appear in Messages on all your devices. You can even send SMS or MMS messages directly from your Mac and make or receive iPhone calls using your Mac as a speakerphone.⁴
Yosemite delivers platform technologies that make it easier for developers to create amazing new Mac apps. SpriteKit makes it easier to incorporate realistic motion, physics and lighting in games, and integrates with SceneKit to bring 3D casual gaming within reach of any developer. Storyboards for Yosemite and Xcode 6 take advantage of the new View Controller APIs in AppKit to make it easier to build apps that navigate between multiple views of data. New APIs allow developers to integrate Handoff into their own apps and create Today view widgets for distribution through the Mac App Store. Share Menu extensions add new destinations to the Share Menu, and new APIs let developers create custom Share Sheets.