Apple used its 2014 Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) to introduce Yosemite, the newest version of OS X; iOS 8, its newest version of its mobile operating system; rumored and expected applications for managing users' homes and health-related information; and so long a list of additional new offerings and added features that anyone hoping for a bit of hardware news is likely to still feel sated.
Hardware news will wait for the fall, was the message repeated several times by CEO Tim Cook and Craig Federighi, Apple's vice president of software engineering and the clear star of the show. Federighi did most of the introducing, grinning and audience charming. (One Twitter user asked if Federighi's silver hair had its own Twitter account just before Apple's live feed showed a spoof video—in service of a new feature in Messages—that put Federighi's enviable locks in danger.)
The keynote will certainly be remembered for establishing that Cook—who has been called on to step down, and who at one point during the two-hour event called Federighi "Superman"—has an invigorated and highly competent right-hand man.
OS X Yosemite
The newest Apple OS features design improvements, including updated icons and more translucent application windows that "take on the personality of your desktop," said Federighi, or at least show a bit of the color underneath, for a calmer, more blended appearance.
Other new features within the OS include:
— MailDrop: To prevent users from receiving a message saying that a recipient can't receive a message because of its size, MailDrop encrypts it, sends it to the cloud and sends the recipient a link to click to access the content. Now Mail users can send files up to 5GB in size.
— MarkUp: Users can mark up documents, or sign them, using the trackpad.
— Safari improvements include a single, thin bar that leaves more space for content, a search bar that pulls up a user's favorites and improved energy efficiency to the point that a user can stream Netflix for up to two hours longer before running out of battery.
— Proximity awareness offers continuity between Apple devices. You can start an email on your iPhone, decide you'd rather type on your iMac, and when you walk over and click on Mail, the half-written email is right there, ready to be completed on your desktop.
— The idea of continuity also extends to calls. If your iPhone rings in another room, you can pick up the call on your iMac. Calls can also be placed on the iMac.
— Spotlight has also been improved. Instead of just an on-device search feature, it's been grown to include tentacles into so much of what a user does. Users can perform searches within it, for example, and more easily share that information with recently accessed Contacts.