Apple announces iOS 8: Lots of ‘Kits’, New App Store and New Programming Language

WWDC iOS8

Apple has today unbundled its latest mobile iOS8. The Apple CEO said  that each device has set its own sales record in the past year for iOS, and one thing we notice is that it has in most areas played catch up with other operating systems and stealing more features from 3rd party apps. Tim Cook said that the company has now sold over 800 million iOS devices, iPod touch has passed 100 million units, iPad has passed 200 million units and iPhone has passed a half a billion units.

Over 130 million customers in the past year bought their first Apple device and most of these customers were switchers from Android according to Apple. Apparently, they had bought an Android phone by mistake… and then had sought a better experience, and a better life.”

ANDROID BASHED AGAIN

WWDC OS8_1“And if you look at what’s happened with iOS 7, almost 9 out of 10 people are running the latest version” Time cook said, “Many users are running an OS from 4 years ago. That’s like ancient history.”  The company has dubbed the new iOS 8 as a giant release. And it’s really two stories not one. It has great end user features, but it also has dev features.So you can extend your experience and build apps you couldn’t do before.” It builds on the design of iOS 7.

 

REFINED NOTIFICATION CENTER

With iOS 8 Apple has refined notification center — you can now reply directly from a notification — a la Android. It works on the lockscreen as well. In iOS 7 were you would  gave quick double tap access to multitask — now you can use it to get at the people you contact the most. There is a tab view in Safari for iPad, and the Yosemite sidebar. There is a new action to swipe down a message you’re working on in mail and open your inbox. Interesting tweak. You can like Facebook right from notifications. The new quick access to contacts from task switcher is very smart.

THUMBS UP TO 3RD PARTY KEYBOARDS

Next is the keyboard, and something they call QuickType. In iOS 8 QuickType supports predictive suggestions. Of course this is not Apple’s idea, but a good idea. It will guess the next word you want, and learn from your habits. Very much like Google Keyboard or SwiftKey. “It does all this learning on the device and it protects your privacy.” Its will available in many languages. You can install 3rd party keyboards across the OS like Swype.

Apple knows that Messages is the most frequently used app on iOS and has improved it. With Group messaging — you can name threads or remove people from conversations. Do not disturb by thread, and you can leave the thread. One other feature is Apple’s new Tap to Talk, something you already have in WhatsApp. You can make an audio recording or video recording and send to recipients.

THE HEALTH KIT & FAMILY SHARINGWWDC OS8_6

Going deep into Health, the company has introduced health Kit. HealthKit will allow healthcare providers in the US to receive and transmit reading data from checkups.

Once you’ve set up your family as a unit, you automatically share photos, calendars, reminders, or find my friends. Or find your kids devices, which I do every day.In the home we’re used to sharing physical media, but Apple knows it’s increasingly our media is in our devices. Now you can get at not just your purchases, but the purchases of everyone in your family.” You have to share a credit card, however. A new feature in the app store will ask parents for permission via a pop up when their kids try to buy something. Clever.

PHOTOS AND SIRI

WWDC OS8_10Apple is now we’re bringing together photos with iCloud — every photo you take available on all your devices. Not only are they preserving the edits, but your device has access to more photos in the cloud than you can store locally. Now of course if you have this many photos, you have great search. The new photos app has i-Movie-style sliders to tweak photo contrast and brightness. This is almost like post-HDR, given the logic it’s using. Very smart, for real. Apple is  working on a new ground up photo solution for the Mac — it’s going to ship early next year. When it comes to Siri there are several new updates — you can start talking to her without having to touch the phone. Shazam integration with Siri. That’s helpful.

THE NEW APP STORE

WWDC OS8_1275 billion apps downloaded on the app store and today Apple has made it even better  and they are rolling out a number of new features. This release is the biggest release since the launch of the App Store. They added an explore tab, top trending searches,  better search by adding a continuous scrolling list. There  is also App bundles where many developers can bundle their apps into one price package.  Just like on the Google Play Store, they introduced App previews — short videos of apps. Not a trial… a video. They also introduced new beta test service called TestFlight.”

Over 4,000 new developers APIs. Wow, that’s a lot of APIs. They have introduced Extensibility, where Apps will be able to extend the system and offer service to other apps. This is huge.It will be used to handle extensibility in the iOS way, extensions live in app sandboxes, but apps can reach out to those apps. Now, third party apps can define widgets.  Apple is opening Touch ID access to developers. The company also brought other Kits, Home Kit, Sprite Kit, Scene Kit, etc.

 

MEET SWIFT THE NEW PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE

WWDC OS8_17The company has  used Objective-C for 20 years, and its high time for a change. They have now introduced a new programming language.When it comes to speed, Swift is great. Swift code can live right beside C and Objective-C in the same app. Swift is super fast and basically builds and runs your code in realtime, and Objective-C is about to die a horrible horrible death. Maybe.  The new OS will be available in beta for devs today and  the public in Fall.

 

 

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  • Ellz

    “Many of these customers were switchers from Android. They had bought an Android phone, by mistake, and then sought a better experience. And a better life. And decided to check out iPhone and iOS.” <– Gotta admit, Tim was kind of right here, we , in the android community beg for Android updates, or install a la force via rooting.

    • roger bambino

      they really out did themselves, lets see how Google I/O goes later this month.