WWDC 2014: Apple Unveils iOS 8 With HealthKit, Touch ID, A Smarter Siri & More
Apple has finally taken the covers off of its much awaited operating system for iPhones and iPads at its annual WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference).
The tech conference started with Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, giving a short history on its iOS progress. He claimed that the firm has shipped nearly 800 million iOS devices to date. The impressive number is broken down by 100 million iPod touch devices, 200 million iPads and 500 million iPhones. He even revealed that they were able to convert 130 million Android users thanks to their iOS.
Tim Cook said: “Many of them had bought an Android phone–by mistake–and then had sought a better experience and a better life.”
Apple CEO’s bold statements and hard facts give insight on why exactly they want to upgrade their iOS every year — to stay ahead of the game.
The project which was led by Jony Ive and his crew took on board previous feedback in order to design the iOS 8 which is based on the same simplistic iOS 7 design with no new interface overhaul, however, it comes armed with a plethora of powerful features which end users and developers had been asking for.
Previously, we speculated regarding what Apple would most likely unveil but now that it has spilled the beans on what it’s been working on since last year, we can start discussing some of the more important ones.
As expected, Apple has revealed a health application called HealthKit which brings together all health monitoring applications on a single platform which record variables such as heart rate, blood pressure, nutrition, exercise and many more. Furthermore, the iOS 8 allows these apps to communicate with on another to provide in-depth analysis on the users fitness.
Update for Siri:
Siri received a massive update. Apple’s voice assistant will now have its own persona which will change based on the user’s mood.
Furthermore, her code has been tinkered with so that users will be able to interact with her purely based on voice commands, which would definitely be a plus point when driving on the road. On top of that, Siri will have Shazam’s song-recognition feature incorporated so that she can detect what songs are being played.
Apple has also revealed that Siri will be the center piece for controlling their HomeKit which intends to act like a home remote control for all devices. Quite fascinating! Are we in HALO yet?
Apple has taken a trick out of Android’s book and has implemented it in the iOS. Users will have the ability to be able to respond to things such as text messages, Facebook post, Twitter tweets or any media content in which they’re tagged in without leaving the app they are currently using.
Apple noticed that iMessage was its most used app, so it decided to kick things up a notch by giving people more control over the way they interact with that app.
With Group Messages, users will now be able to set contacts to “Do Not Disturb” on a case by case basis within a group thread.
Furthermore, Apple has added the possibility to create and send audio messages by simply swiping away.
Another function Apple has decided to port over is from Snapchat which is “Ephemeral messaging” – you can set up audio and video messages to destroy themselves after being viewed.
Touch ID will act much more than an ordinary security tool for unlocking the iPhone. Reports suggest that it will serve to act as a medium by which online transactions can be carried out.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Eddy Cue, Apple’s iTunes and App Store chief, has been busy meeting with other tech industry top guns to talk about Apple’s fascination with handling payments for goods and services via its own device.
On top of that, there has been news that Apple relocated Jennifer Bailey, its online store’s Executive, to a brand new role to deal with facilitating, such a mode of transaction which will involve its Touch ID technology.
Apps & Widgets:
Apple revealed that it had created a developed tool called “Extensibility” for the sole purpose to enable apps to communicate and offer their services with one another.
App developers will be able to make “app sandbox” environments and test how applications will interact with each other. To round it off, Apple has decided to introduce Widgets something, which it has been working hard to develop since iOS 2.
The iCloud Drive will function exactly like DropBox; a place for users to dump all their files and pictures on the go. It will be hardwired into the iOS 8 allowing users to access all their pictures on all their Apple devices. Regarding document editing, users will most likely be using Apple’s free iBooks and iWorks apps.
The company in a bid to support its developer community has announced a wide array of new tools and services, and said that the iOS 8 will be available for developers much earlier compared to end users. The company confirmed that the iOS 8 will be available in the coming fall for all its iPhones starting from he 4S.