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WWDC 2014 - What was announced?

So the WWDC Keynote is over, the event probably shattered some people's dreams of an iWatch being debuted but there were certainty plenty of new, cool things announced. We've attempted to wrap together the ones we find the most important.

New Mac OS - Yosmite

The first thing you'll notice is the new design, it's been aligned to the look of iOS7 and it looks great. Spotlight (the search feature) has been enhanced and now includes results from external sources (such as Wikipedia) as well as the usual on your local Mac. Notification Centre has similarly been aligned to iOS7 but now also includes 'Widgets' for 3rd party apps (similar to what Windows Vista did a while ago but seemingly better integrated). And, of course, they've re-designed most of the key apps (Mail, Maps, Calendar, Safari, iPhoto).

Perhaps the most exciting feature for me is that your Mac and iOS are now more connected than ever before. You can now make phone calls, using your iPhone, directly from your Mac or iPad. Meaning if you leave your phone on charge in the bedroom and your Mum is calling while you're chilling in front of the TV on your MacBook, there's no excuses not to answer!

iCloud Drive

Apple is now competing directly with Dropbox, OneDrive, Box and others of the like by offering iCloud Drive. You can upload any files and as many files as you would like, organizing them how you like and being able to access them from any of your devices, including Windows. The pricing for this seems very competitive with 20GB of space being $0.99 a month, and 200GB for $3.99. I have to be honest this pricing policy has seriously tempted me to make the move.

iOS8

OK, so not a great deal to report on here, mainly refinements in my opinion. You can now reply instantly to messages from the notification bar and they've introduced a 'smart' keyboard that tries to predict what you want to say to save you time typing (where have I seen that before?). Messaging has also been enhanced and now allows you to take short voice-recordings that can be sent as alternative media to a text message. They've also made an interesting 'family' feature enabling parents and children to share stuff between one another, but also enabling parents to have greater control over their children's app purchases.

The one that was the 'biggy' was the announcement of the new Health app. This will seamlessly bring together third party app data into one central app and gives you an instant snapshot of your health. Apple are clearly trying to change an industry here as they're working with a top US hospital and this app will report anything that seems abnormal back to your doctor to investigate and call you back. I can't see that functionality entering mainstream for a few years yet.

Developers

This really seemed to be the focus of the Keynote. In short, Apple have re-thought Objective-C, and ditched the C. They've created a new programming language called 'Swift' which should make it much easier to program things for iOS. The jury is out on that one but from the demonstration it certainly did seem easier than before. Improvements have also been made for gaming, with the introduction of SceneKit and a new gaming engine. Developers have also been given the opportunity to integrate more into the core OS, with developers being able to submit custom actions to the main apps and also support for third party integration such as Widgets into the Mac OS and access to CloudKit. All in all, this should allow developers to make more money, which of course means Apple will make more, too.

You can check out the full keynote here. Any comments are welcome!

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