technology iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite: All the Features You May Not Know
While Tim Cook’s WWDC keynote on Monday failed to deliver any of the hardware some WWDC attendees had hoped for, it packed the event with a wealth of major software announcements.
In fact, CEO Tim Cook and senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi had so much software news to present that some of the details were either delivered too quickly for attendees to process — or are only just becoming apparent now that developers have their hands on the beta versions.
We looked into the dozens of new features packed into both OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, and compiled a list of the more interesting tweaks that weren’t prominently highlighted during yesterday’s presentation.
Safari Desktop Option
In iOS 8, the browser will give you an option to see the desktop version of a website instead of the mobile version, a handy tool already found on the iOS version of the Chrome browser.
T-Mobile has confirmed that the ability to make calls over Wi-Fi only — even if you don’t have a cell signal — will be enabled on devices running the iOS 8 update.
In iOS 8, after you tap the screen to set the focus in the Camera app, you’ll also have the ability to adjust exposure using a tiny slider right next to the onscreen focus icon. The updated app also includes a self-timer option, allowing you to put yourself in the photos you’re taking, as well as a time lapse option that delivers a high speed compliment to the existing Slo-Mo option.
In the sharing panel in the Photo app you’ll be able to rearrange or disable the app icons and rearrange the activities icons (such as Copy, slideshow, Assign Contact). Also, the Panorama photo option will also be available on the iPad.
The updated version of Siri will integrate Shazam music recognition, giving you the ability to hear a piece of music and say “What song is this?” and get an accurate answer. After Siri delivers the answer, you’re also presented with a “buy” button, allowing you to purchase the song on iTunes.
And in case you missed it, Siri will offer hands-free functionality — all you need to do to bring the assistant up in iOS8 is to say “hey, Siri.”
In Messages you’ll have the ability to set how long you want to save your messages: forever, 30 days or one year.
The update will give users the ability to apply a greyscale effect to the entire phone in the Accessibility panel. Currently, the closest equivalent is the “Reduce White Point” option. Zooming has been enhanced by a magnifying glass option — one that effectively gives you a resizable virtual loupe you’ll be able to move across the screen.
The updated OS will be able to show you your current battery usage by individual app. The amount of energy being used by each app is represented in number percentages. Battery hogs beware.
Virtual Currencies Welcome
Although Bitcoin isn’t specifically mentioned, Apple’s updated developer guidelines indicate that it plans to offer support for virtual currencies: “Apps may facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions.”
Location-Based App Suggestions
Several users have reported that in iOS 8, when you have Location Services enabled, apps on your phone will be suggested on the lock screen via a tiny translucent version of the app logo. For example, if you’re near a Starbucks the company’s app may show up on your lock screen as an option.
OS X Yosemite
Bing Takes Over Spotlight
The new version of Spotlight offers web search suggestions from Bing as the default instead of Google, yet another subtle slap at Google as Apple continues to divest itself of the search giant’s influence. Despite the fact that Google results still showed up in the iOS 8 version of Spotlight at WWDC, a Microsoft spokesperson told SearchEngineland that Bing will be “the default web search provider in the redesigned Spotlight search feature for the next generation of iOS and OS X.”
The new OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 has added Duck Duck Go, the upstart search engine touted for its privacy features, as an option for searching in Safari.
The Bad News
Unfortunately, the iOS 8 update won’t be available to all: Owners of the iPhone 4 or earlier won’t be able to take advantage of the iOS 8 update. The new software is only available for iPhone 4s/5/5c/5s, the iPod touch 5th generation, and iPads going all the way back to iPad 2.
By Adario Strange