Foreword: If you want the plain facts, just watch the keynote HERE -
This article will be my personal feelings about what these upcoming Releases mean.
And in keeping with my Apple Developer account’s user agreement, all I can talk to is stuff that has been publicly disclosed by Apple.
Monday, June 2nd was the 25th World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, and Apple used their annual keynote – as usual – to show off the newest versions of iOS and OS X to the world. And what a reveal it turned out to be! iOS and OS X are now going to be aware of each other in real time, and can off load many tasks to each other as you move between devices. You can now leave your phone on the side table in your bedroom and work completely on your MacBook, iMac, iPad or even an iPod. If you get a phone call on your iPhone, you can now answer it on any of your other iOS 8 or OS X 10.10 devices. They’re even forwarding SMS text messages – not just the apple-only iMessages. Your documents and files are available in real time on any other device, your email that you’re compiling on your iPhone can be completed on your MacBook without missing a step. No setup required. Not to even mention all the small tweaks and additions that, when summed up, equal one hell of an update.
All that’s just great. But what does it all actually mean? Why do all these smaller changes make such a big difference in the market? Well, Apple actually sums it up with a great name for what they call the ability for these two separate operating systems to seamlessly talk to each other:
What is Continuity
– noun –
The unbroken and consistent existence or operation of something over a period.
A state of stability and the absence of disruption.
A connection or line of development with no sharp breaks.
In short – Apple has made it matter less where your work is being done, and has begun to focus on simply getting it done. And as seamlessly as possible to boot. They’re using ‘the cloud’ in a completely different way now than they started out using it. They’re leveraging the iCloud accounts everyone who owns an Apple device has to keep their iPhones, iPads, iPods and Macs all in sync with each other. They’re allowing you to have complete access to EVERYTHING you have on your computers (both running OS X and Windows) and iPod/iPhone/iPad devices. They’re even allowing you to natively support third party cloud solutions inside the iOS cloud menu that apps use.
Or in other words, they’re making using your computer as enjoyable as your iPhone, and vice-versa.
Now, if Continuity were the only thing they had showed on Monday, it still would have been a great update. But they’ve turned it up to 11 this year.
What is new in iOS 8
They’ve got a great new email application with fantastic triage actions. iMessages got a huge update and adds in native audio and video messaging among other continuity-based tweaks. Safari has been rebuilt – again – and not only runs much faster, but brings some great tabs and search-related features. The notifications screen gets third party widget support, multitasking was updated to show your recent contacts and favorites, AirDrop between iOS and Macs is now a reality, and WAY WAY WAY more.
What about that Yosemite
Continuity really takes the cake here, but that’s not to say that the redesign on the interface doesn’t make a difference, or that the completely new spotlight search engine isn’t absolutely fantastic, or that the incredibly useful new notifications widgets and updates don’t make you wonder ‘why didn’t they do that to begin with’. No, this update is a 10/10 in my book. They’ve taken Mavericks, which was an already fabulous OS, and made it even better, and I’m still trying to digest all the changes that they’ve made. There are simply hundreds and it’ll be a long time before all of them are really appreciated.
And that brings me to my only issue with OS X 10.10 Yosemite and iOS 8 at this point: Since they’re in Beta, and no one else will really be using the Betas, and I won’t have anyone to share the joy of just raising my phone to my ear to send a text with. Or some of the smaller features that haven’t made this version of the Beta yet :(
Where it matters
Lastly, I just want to point out that I’m a Microsoft technology guy by profession. I get paid good money making Microsoft’s products suck less to use. That’s literally my job. However, I don’t work for Microsoft, or Apple. I don’t have stock in either company (as much as I’d love to be long APPL). And I have no financial gain – whatsoever – in pushing Apple products over Microsoft ones. I just know that from what I do every day, I don’t ever want another personal Microsoft-powered ANYTHING, and I’m glad that Apple is forward thinking enough to bring products like these to the market every year.
Oh, and the competition that I mentioned? Android and Chrome? Windows 8 and Windows Phone? Sure, their respective user bases are large (except Windows Phone), and they offer some of the same features in many ways, but no one – up until now – has come close to the level of ease and refinement that the iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 releases allow.
I fully expect the comments section to be more along the lines of ‘yeah, ok fanboi’, and maybe that’s OK, but I honestly see what they’re bringing to the market as the absolute best option available, or I’d be using something else.