Developments and Device Divergence at Apple’s WWDC

June 7, 2014
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By Shannon Perry

On June 2nd, Mac nerds swarmed the keynote “special event” at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco – the annual trade show for Apple developers. Anticipation marked the event, which had the potential to deliver the latest iPhone, a brand new iWatch, or some other currently unknown device. While the event did not disappoint most Apple fans, the keynote demonstrated a new desktop operating system, OSX (nicknamed Yosemite), and an updated mobile operating system, iOS 8, without dropping any bombshells.

With iOS 8, Apple did not completely overhaul its previous mobile software, but there are impressive improvements abound; interesting additions include interactive notifications, improvements to group and video messages, a new HealthKit application for physical fitness and activity monitoring, some neat predictive typing capabilities, and a new HomeKit app for controlling devices at home. (HealthKit suggests that an iWatch is coming soon.)

With Yosemite, Apple stated it aimed for continuity from Maverick, and indeed most changes appear minimal – like changes to tabs and sidebars, different application icons, and more consistent typography.

The biggest takeaway from Monday’s event is what it says about the direction of consumer electronics. The biggest improvements to Yosemite make integration across Apple devices easier than before – developments in iCloud storage, a sharing feature called Handoff, and the ability to make phone calls from Macs are among these improvements.  The changes evidence the increasing divergence of consumer electronics. While desktops, tablets, and smartphones still have their (important) differences, the lines between the different devices continue to blur. Apple certainly revealed its anticipation of this technology trend; it appears to be betting on it.