Apple’s Biggest Announcements at Worldwide Developers Conference 2014

We?re in the middle of Apple?s 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference, but the biggest buzz still stems from Monday?s keynote. Tweeters across the web may have been bummed that no new devices or products were announced, but it?s important to keep in mind the target audience of the event: developers. In its keynote, Apple focused on operating system software updates and announced a new programming language for coders to learn. Below is a summary of the biggest announcements made during the event:

Spotlight is now useful

The new version will be integrated everywhere on both desktop and mobile devices?in Calendar, mail, and on the OS?making search efforts quicker and easier. Search results also appear mid-screen, instead of tucked away in the top left corner.

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iCould will function much like Dropbox

Previously, iCloud was criticized for not actually being a cloud storage drive. The new version will be, though, and it will be compatible with Windows. Another perk? You?ll be able to send larger email attachments?up to 5 GB. Some folks are bummed that Apple?s free storage in iCould is still only 5GB, but others are willing to overlook that detail in appreciation of lower prices for larger plans. 20GB will now only cost $0.99/month and 200GB will be $3.99/month.

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iOS 8 offers efficiency tweaks?

There are many small but effective changes seen in iOS 8. Click here for a full list of the changes. Some of the major updates include:

  • Third party keyboard support, including Swype
  • HealthKit will aggregates your vitals and can share the data with fitness apps or with your doctor.
  • Reply to messages or ?like? things on Facebook without needing to open the app
  • Touch ID for third-party logins
  • Family-wide sharing of purchased apps and purchase permissions on a parent?s phone

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OS X Yosemite will look more like iOS 7

Updates include a flatter design with smoother and thinner fonts, translucent icons, and a ?dark? mode with light text on dark panels. Changes to Safari include a unified search and address bar, minimal buttons, and an increase to browsing speed and the Macbook?s battery life. Consider yourself a tech-adventurer? Test the new browser here instead of waiting for its official release.

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Continuity across devices?

This announcement was definitely the most important for multiple-device users. Instead of relying on plugins and third-party apps as they have in the past, Apple has now built continuity features within its OS. As its name suggests, this effective update will connect your devices now more than ever. If you?re visiting a website on your Macbook and need to walk away, you can pick up your iPad and the same website will automatically appear. When a call comes in, you can answer it from your phone, or from your Mac?even if your phone is charging in another room. Phone number on a webpage? One right click and your phone will dial.

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Apple describes its new coding language as faster, more modern, safer, and more interactive than any other currently on the market. The language will allow app creation for both iOS and OS devices. According to Apple, Swift blows Objective-C and Python out of the water. The best part is that developers can use Swift as they please, because it can fit alongside Objective-C and C, meaning mixed-language apps are an option. The second best part? Easy debugging and eliminating unsafe code. The best, best, best part? You can already download the Xcode 6 beta and check out the language guide.

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