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Monday, June 2, 2014

Apple announces iOS 8 with widgets and OS X Continuity

 Apple on Monday announced an all-new iOS 8 for iPads and iPhones, and OS X Yosemite, the next version of its desktop operating system for Mac range of computers. However, it disappointed by not announcing any new hardware as was being expected.

Calling it 'the biggest release since the launch of the App Store, giving users new features and developers the tools to create new apps', the Cupertino giant listed out a number of new features that mark a virtual overhaul of the iOS to suit its new mobile devices that will get launched later this year.

Visually, iOS 8 isn't very different from iOS 7. But Apple said the OS delivers a simpler, faster and more intuitive user experience, and comes with new features like iCloud Photo Library, allowing users to access their photos and videos more easily across their devices.

Interestingly, using the new Messages feature a user can easily share voice, video or photos a la Whatsapp.

There is also an entirely new Health app that gives users a clear overview of their health and fitness data, all in one place. But Apple lovers were left disappointed as the company failed to announce any fitness device as of now.

iOS 8 also includes predictive typing for Apple's QuickType keyboard, and option of SWYPE-like keyboards.

Another nifty and much-demanded feature called Family Sharing has now been introduced.
Using Family Sharing, a iOS user can share all purchases, photos and calendars within the same household; and use iCloud Drive, so users can store files and access them from anywhere.

"iOS 8 offers simpler, faster and more intuitive ways to use your device with incredible new features like iCloud Photo Library, a new Messages app, the QuickType keyboard and an entirely new Health app," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering.

"We're also giving developers amazing new tools to make managing your health and your home from your devices an integrated, simple and secure experience."

The new iOS, as also the new OSX, come with a slew of new features and some that indicate Apple is keen to catch up on the ground it has lost to rival Android from Google.

The announcements were made at the WWDC 2014 (Worldwide Developers Conference), Apple's ongoing annual developer conference.

OS X Yosemite comes with a new, overhauled user interface, new apps and new continuity features that make working across Mac and iOS devices virtually seamless.

Apple will now offer iCloud Drive (which will be located in the Finder) to store files of any type. Basic plan for free iCloud storage, however, stays the same at 5 GB. But 20 GB onwards, the more affordable rates indicate Apple is keen to fight it out with Google in cloud storage arena for its users.

The new OS X offers a new Today view in Notification Center that gives a quick look at everything users need to know in one place, just like Notifications in iPhone. But it is doubtful if Mac users would want to use Notifications the way they use them on iPhone.

Safari has a new design that puts the most important controls at the front, but not much seems to have been done to it. Apple did, however, claim the tweaks have made it the fastest browser in the world.

OS X Yosemite also has Handoff that lets users start an activity on one device and pass it to the other. This means they can continue with that activity while on the move with their iOS device like iPad or iphone.

Instant Hotspot is another interesting feature that makes using the iPhone's hotspot as easy as connecting to a Wi-Fi network. Yosemite now also offers users the ability to make iPhone calls on your Mac.

Source: TOI

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