Thanks to Our Supporters!
Before we get into all Apple all the time, I want to take a quick moment to THANK YOU! You guys are so amazing and supportive of the new Geek House. We’re working hard to make it Disney World for Geeks, and a place that you guys will want to visit! Because we love meeting you! Thanks to the latest donors who have tagged the Geek House Donor Wall of Fame with their names and personalized messages!
Thanks to Mark Gibson, John Wilkerson, Dennis Aharanwa, Simon Wetz for joining the Wall!
You can get your name on the Geek House at here.
Big Stuff Out of WWDC
All this week we’ve been covering Apple’s announcements at its 2014 World Wide Developers Conference. For those who write the programs that drive iOS and OS X devices, there’s a lot of mindblowing stuff, chiefly having to do with a new programming language called Swift.
If you’re among the majority of developers who did not score a ticket to WWDC don’t despair: Apple has released a free Swift iBook that gives you a tour of the language; a detailed guide into each language feature; as well as a formal reference for the language. At 500 pages, you might want to clear your calendar to get through it.
OS X Beta Available Now
But what does WWDC mean for those of us who AREN’T programmers? You’ll have to wait until iOS 8 & the Yosemite OS are rolled out to the public this fall – UNLESS you’re adventurous and sign up for the OS X Beta program. It’s limited to the first one million users who sign up to receive and install pre-release software. Hey, did we mention that iOS 8 is available in pre-release form as well? You have to be signed up as an Apple Developer for that though.
Long-Awaited Features Arrive
When OS-X lands on your Mac, or iOS 8 lands on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch come fall you’re going to have a bunch of bright shiny new features to play with!
Several of you have said you were underwhelmed by the announcements, but I was pleasantly surprised. Even though they were small things, and a lot of them should have been done a long time ago, there were several good features, and I was glad to see Apple moving it along in certain ways.
Especially…. third party keyboards!!! They’ve been available on the Android platform for some time, and my one MAJOR complaint about iOS devices is the fact that you are stuck with their keyboard. No Swype. No SwiftKey. I can’t stand having to pick my fingers up to type on a mobile device anymore. So the fact that they’re adding the ability to have these keyboards… well, it almost was enough to get me back. But I think they’re going to have to come out with a Note 3-sized phone before I do that!
Okay, moving on. If you’ve envied your co-workers on Android or your friends on Google Chrome who can summon voice search by saying “OK, Google..” iOS 8 has you covered: just say “Hey, Siri” and you, too can put the power of your mobile platform to work without ever touching your keyboard. And, while Google voice search triggers results via Wolfram Alpha, Apple iOS voice search appears to default to results from Wikipedia.
Siri Music ID
Want something cooler? OK – how about “Name that Tune, Siri-style?” Simply say “Hey, Siri – what song is this?” and you iOS device will sample the audio you’re listening to and analyze the results courtesy of “Shazam”!
Camera Software Upgrades
Are you a camera buff? iOS 8 will include an exposure setting, controlled by a slider AND will allow you to take time-lapse videos! That doesn’t do anything about the quality of the lens they put in there… but that’s beside the point….
Family Sharing is also a long-overdue feature that will allow up to six users sharing the same credit card to share apps, photos, calendars, albums, and media content. Beyond the convenience factor there are also notifications to parents that allow control over their children’s app purchases and media consumption.
iOS 8 messaging is also improved: Audio and video can be shared within messages, and responding to notifications or event invitations no longer requires you to leave the app you’re in at the time.
OS X Goes Flat Design
Moving on to OS X Yosemite, there’s also a lot of goodies for desktop and laptop users: You’ll first notice that it looks a lot like Apple’s iOS mobile interface: with a flat design and translucent panels.
There’s been a lot of talk about why Apple spent so much time talking about the design, but remember – this is a DEVELOPER’S event, NOT a consumer event. We all like to pay attention because we get a sneak peek at what’s coming, but it’s important for developers to understand the look and feel of the OS’s so they can match it with their designs. Anyway. That’s my soap box.
More Common Interfaces Between OS X and iOS
Notifications also behave a lot more like your iOS device as well, complete with a “Today” view, with calendar events, reminders, and a weather forecast.
The common user interface extends to the Safari web browser that now comes with a “share” button like that in iOS and a smart address bar that suggests Wikipedia entries as you type.
Work Across Devices
Besides a common interface OS X Yosemite also helps you share your work across devices. Move away from your laptop to your iPad and Yosemite will prompt you to finish your project there.
SMS Messages and Phone Calls in OS X
And, just as iOS8 makes it easier to message, OS X Yosemite also has you covered as well: iMessages also include SMS messages as well as those sent via apple.
-And if your iphone is charging, and someone calls – No Problem! – OS X Yosemite allows you to receive (and send) phone calls from your Mac!
Anticipation and Disappointment
All that and more coming in the fall, once Apple unleashes all those developers who have just spent the week learning about these new features at WWDC 2014!
Disappointments? Sure! Where was Apple TV (-AGAIN?-) in all of this, for instance – but considering the features we just outlined that will benefit most users — there’s plenty to look forward to!
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