If there was a common theme for WWDC 2014, Tim Cook articulated it at the end. He said what's great about Apple products is that their operating system, devices, and services work together in harmony, creating a seamless experience for users. And that seamless experience was expanded in dramatic fashion today, with the announcement of new technologies such as HomeKit, HealthKit, iCloud Drive, and Continuity. Apple also announced a ton of new features for built-in apps in iOS 8 such as Mail, Messages, Photos, and Safari.
Touch ID has been very successful on the iPhone 5s, increasing both security and convenience. It's rumored that Touch ID will now be on all new iOS devices, including the forthcoming iPads.
Apple made two significant announcements related to the iOS keyboard today. One is predictive capability, called QuickType. Depending on context, iOS is now smart enough to predict words as you type.
Siri will have a couple great new features in iOS 8. One is hands-free operation, such that you can simply say "Hey Siri" and Siri will respond. This, of course, will be especially useful if you're in your car.
Apple announced their new HealthKit platform and Health app. The main idea is that HealthKit is a single comprehensive repository for all your health and fitness information. The announced platform goes far beyond the rumors.
Big changes to Messages in iOS 8. You can now reply to SMS messages within the lock screen or within an app.
Apple's vision is stunning. A new feature being demoed right now is Continuity. You can make a call on your phone and then as you sit at your Mac, you can continue the phone via your Mac.
Apple's stock continues to jump up, and there's a tremendous amount of enthusiasm as everyone looks ahead to Apple's keynote on Monday at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Stock analysts and fanboys have been wondering if Apple still has its mojo in the post-Steve-Jobs era, and CEO Tim Cook has continued to promise that new product categories are coming. Everyone seems to be anticipating we will indeed get something new on Monday—if not hardware, then almost certainly a new platform or two. Let's take a look at what we know is coming, what seems likely, and what's rumored.
As my fellow blogger Todd Bernhard discussed in this post, there was a report out Monday from The Financial Times saying that Apple will be announcing a new Smart Home platform during next Monday's keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Apple has been working on an integrated home system for at least several years, with a number of patent applications indicating what they have in mind. In this post from January of 2012, for example, I pointed to a patent application that described a single device that would automatically detect appliances available for it to control. This would include TV, video disk player, stereo, computer, and home device controls, such as security, lighting, thermostat, and a wide range of other devices that are now Internet connected, such as the intelligent thermostat from Nest and smart light bulbs from Hue.
Verizon's LTE network was already pretty speedy, and now the company has rolled out XLTE in 250 cities in 44 states, which delivers faster peak data speeds and a minimum of double the bandwidth. Wow, this is what I like to hear.