by Mark Ollig
“Write the code. Change the world.”
This was the theme for the 2014 World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), hosted by Apple.
It’s the 25th year Apple has met with the software developers (programmers) who create the applications (apps) used on Apple’s operating system (OS) computing platforms.
In 1990, 1,300 developers gathered to talk about the Apple computer System 7 OS.
Today, Apple has 9 million registered developers.
More than 1,000 Apple engineers were available to talk with the developers who came from 69 countries.
These app developers came to get an in-depth look at the latest in Apple’s iOS and OS X operating systems.
They use this to create new and improved apps, which will be of benefit to those of us who use devices containing these operating systems.
Last week’s 2014 WWDC included more than 100 conference breakout sessions for app developers and Apple engineers.
The WWDC allowed programmers to check out Apple’s newest software designs and applications.
They also brought their own programming code to review with Apple programmers.
App developers took advantage of the 120 labs available, for working with Apple engineers in improving their software coding techniques.
This year’s keynote address began with a smiling Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, taking the stage to loud applause from the folks in the capacity-filled Moscone West, in San Francisco.
Cook pointed out the youngest app developer in the audience was 13 years old.
He also noted the current installed base of Apple Mac computers is now 80 million.
Craig Frederighi, Apple’s VP of software engineering, later addressed the audience about the new Mac computer operating system.
It is called OS X 10.10 Yosemite.
Laughter erupted from the audience, when Frederighi jokingly said they almost named the new operating system “OS X WEED.”
Yours truly imagined this could have turned out to be a real “smoking” operating system for Apple.
Some of the features in Yosemite include a new translucent design, providing a distinct visual appearance of depth, and transparency.
Another is its system font, Sans Serif, which is optimized for Retina displays. It’s thinner, rounder, easier on the eyes, and very clean looking.
This version has translucency; meaning, the images, toolbars, content, and the applications in the background, will faintly show up through the desktop wallpaper.
Using Dark mode, a user will see the menu bar change into a translucent, black shade in the background, instead of the brighter white theme normally seen.
The translucent background is a way to keep a computer user focused on their current program application.
The Notification Center will better utilize the calendar, allowing customization for weather and other apps, such as the ESPN ScoreCenter.
An improved Spotlight was featured. A single keystroke launches this search tool.
Spotlight appears in the middle of the screen; you then type what you’re searching for inside the search bar within Spotlight.
Search results come from Bing, Wikipedia, the iTunes Store, Apple Maps, and other sources.
AirDrop works between the mobile iOS and desktop OS X computers using Continuity, which is a proximity awareness technology.
Features of this technology include a user wirelessly transferring documents, and phone information between an iPhone and Mac.
It allows the iPhone caller ID information to be seen on your Mac. You will be able to answer a phone call ringing on the iPhone from your Mac computer.
The Mac could also be used as a speaker phone.
A new user cloud-based storage medium, iCloud Drive, works with Apple’s iCloud.
The iCloud Drive is integrated into Finder, allowing a Mac user to browse through and add or remove files as if they were on the Mac’s physical hard drive.
The iCloud Drive will even be available to users of the Microsoft Windows OS platform.
Apple’s new Mac Yosemite OS has improved integration with their mobile devices using iOS, making for a more seamless use of applications between the two.
Yosemite will become available to Mac users this fall at no cost – it was available to the app developers last Tuesday.
Frederighi also presented Apple’s new iOS 8 for its smart mobile devices.
Here is the list of the Apple mobile smart devices iOS 8 can be used on when it becomes available this fall:
• iPhone 4s
• iPhone 5
• iPhone 5c
• iPhone 5s
• iPod touch 5th generation
• iPad 2
• iPad with Retina display
• iPad Air
• iPad mini
• iPad mini with Retina display
The HomeKit app, installed on an iPhone, uses Siri to control the connected smart devices within a home.
There’s also a Healthkit app, which partners with the Mayo Clinic.
This app monitors a person’s vital statistics as collected by third-party wellness apps.
The information Healthkit collects can be forwarded to your healthcare provider; if you choose to do so.
Healthkit also comes with the Health app, which includes a virtual dashboard where you can monitor all of your own pre-defined health metrics; and obtain informative feedback.
The iOS keyboard texting app was also overhauled using QuickType; a predictive typing suggestion feature.
QuickType is personalized. It learns “how” you type; suggesting words while you are texting.
Apple continues its journey of slowly transitioning itself from the Steve Jobs era.
For more, visit https://developer.apple.com/wwdc.