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Digital Life

Apple unveils OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 at annual developer conference

Published on Jun 3, 2014 3:27 AM

SAN FRANCISCO - Apple on Wednesday took the wraps off its latest desktop operating system, OS X Yosemite, and the next version of its mobile operating system, iOS 8, at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

The new OS X 10.10 Yosemite — named after Yosemite National Park in California — sports an updated user interface with translucent elements, a flatter design and cleaner icons. One of the highlights of OS X Yosemite is iCloud Drive, Apple's cloud storage answer to Dropbox. The new feature will not only support Mac and iOS devices, it will also be compatible with the Windows platform.

In addition, the new operating system will allow seamless transitioning between the desktop and mobile devices. For instance, the updated AirDrop now lets users transfer of documents between a Mac and an iPhone. Previously, users could only transfer documents between iOS mobile devices. A new proximity feature called Handoff will let also users tap on a Mac desktop to handle calls and messages recieved via their iPhones.OSX Yosemite will be available to the public in the Fall.

The new iOS 8, which is also slated for a Fall release, will sport several new features including interactive notifications. This allows users to reply messages directly from the Notifications Centre without leaving your current app or directly from the home screen. Another new feature is QuickType - a predictive context-sensitive messaging function on iOS keyboard.

The tech giant also unveiled HealthKit, a mobile application that can collect and analyse users’ health data. It will pull together data such as blood pressure and weight, collected by a growing plethora of healthcare apps on the iPhone or iPad,

Apple executives told developers the company will work in tandem with Nike Inc, a major player in fitness tracking, and the Mayo Clinic on the new feature, which will be included with the latest versions of Apple’s mobile software.

“That information lives in silos,” said Mr Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering. “You can’t get a single comprehensive picture.” Apple, which will discuss new software features with the thousands of developers gathered in San Francisco this week, did not elaborate on HealthKit’s features and capabilities though.

Apple's digital voice assistant, Siri, also got an update with Shazam song recognition, iTunes content purchase and streaming voice recognition.

When released, iOS 8 will be available as a free software update for iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina display, iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad mini with Retina display.

RECAP: Highlights and announcements from the WWDC 2014 live blog