WWDC 2014

WWDC 2014 Quick Hits

These are my quick and dirty thoughts after Apple’s keynote from WWDC 2014. I’ll give my full thoughts after I’ve had time to sift through all the details.

Tim Cook alluded to this being the mother of all releases, and Apple didn’t disappoint:

New, cleaner icons
Dark mode
Windows that adapt to your desktop wallpaper
iOS-like Notification Center, includes widgets (ESPN SportsCenter was shown as a third-party example) and customization options
iCloud Drive: iCloud Document Picker in iOS?

iOS 8
Actionable notifications, including on the lock screen
Improved mail
Spotlight search will have App suggestions

Opt out of group texts
Mute any text thread or set to Do Not Disturb
Can add people to a group thread
Share current location
Photo collections in thread
Dictate, send and play voice messages in iMessage
Listen and dicate voice messages from the lock screen just by raising the phone

iCloud Drive
Access to files between applications

Lots of new features for enterprise

Takes info from third-party apps and Health to create a composite picture

Family sharing
Shared photo streams, calendars, Reminders, Find My Friends, apps (Up to six members, but you have to share the same credit card)

New photo editing controls
Light meter
Color enhancing
Smart controls

Cloud Photo Library
Mac’s photo solution won’t be shipping until early 2015

iCloud space
Still just 5GB for free
20GB for .99 a month
200GB for $3.99 a month
Tiers available up to 1TB

Hey, Siri: Hands-free when it’s plugged in
Shazam song recognition
Purchase iTunes content
Streaming voice recognition
22 new dictation languages

App Store
Explore tab
Trending searches
Related searches
Editors choice logo added to the best apps
App bundles
App previews: Developers can make short videos of their apps
TestFlight: Developers can invite users to beta test apps for free

Biggest release since the launch of the App Store
4,000 new developer APIs
Extensions: Offer services from one app to another. Widgets in Notification Center. Showed off eBay, Pinterest and Bing Translate in Notification Center
System-wide third-party keyboards
Touch ID: API open to developers without exposing your actual fingerprint

Locks, lights, web cams, doors, thermostats, plugs, switches
Secure pairing
Control individual devices
Group devices into scenes
Siri integration: Program voice commands to take action across multiple devices

Reduces interface between game graphics and hardware
Amazing 3D demonstration, Zen Garden, by Epic Games, maker of the Infinity Blade series. It’ll be free on iOS 8.

New programming language

iOS 8 Beta available to developers today. Available in the fall on these devices:
iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod Touch 5G, iPad 2, iPad with Retina display, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad mini with Retina display. Sorry iPhone 4 users.

About Chris Cox

I love technology, but I could do without the tinkering. I'm a firm believer in technology that just works. If it's intuitive, that leads to greater adoption, which leads to more advances, and that benefits us all. That said, a little tinkering on the front end that helps you every day is worth the effort. I'm all for simple solutions that keep me -- and you -- from reinventing the wheel every day.