Apple’s WWDC 2014 was the much awaited conference for developers worldwide. With expectations of the iPhone 6 and Healthbook, everyone was buzzing about what the WWDC could bring to the developer community.
However, this year, WWDC was all about software. No new hardware was announced as expected but a whole host of features was introduced. The iOS 8 SDK has more than 4000 new developer APIs and Changes. Tim Cook calls this the “the biggest release since the launch of the App Store”.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the conference:
Health : The Health app is a single dashboard which aggregated information from other health and fitness app. It includes sections for Diagnostics, Fitness, lab results, Vital and much more. It is supported by the HealthKit tool, which developers can integrate into old and new apps which will then share the information to the Health App.
HomeKit: Apple has ventured into home automation with HomeKit. The tool can be paired with other apps & devices and work with Siri to control home automation apps & devices.
Swift Programming Language: Swift, is the new programming language for iOS and OS X apps. The new language provides access to all Cocoa and Cocoa Touch features of Objective-C. It also uses the same LLVM compiler and runtime as Apple’s Objective-C implementation, so Swift and Objective-C code can live side-by-side in the same application. The language guide is available on iBooks and can be download here : https://developer.apple.com/swift/
Interactive Notifications: Users can now respond to messages or other notifications without leaving the current app. Interactive notifications allows users to pull down the notifications and complete actions without leaving the current open app or can complete them from the lock screen.
Keyboard : QuickType is a new feature in the keyboard that provides predictive typing. This feature can guess the next word and provide suggestions based on whom the user is talking to. Apple also has introduced third party keyboard supports so users can now use apps like Swype.
Messages: iMessages will now include Video and Audio messages. Along with this, users can also name conversation threads, add or remove people from conversation thread and put a Do-Not-Disturb notification on messages.
Family Sharing : Families with a maximum of 6 people using Apple accounts registered with the same credit card can share apps and download books. This feature implements stronger parental control and security. Parents will get an alert when their kids are buying items from the app store. Remote blocking of app purchases is also possible.
Other features updates includes Touch ID access to developers. They can now access the Touch ID which can be used by third party apps for security. Siri got major updates which includes 22 new dictation languages, purchase content from iTunes via voice commands,and voice activation with just “Hey, Siri”
To try out all new features, Developers will have to wait. iOS8 will be available this fall to developers.