Apple unveils OS X 10.10 Yosemite, iOS 8
June 3, 2014 // 10:42 a.m.
While the majority of the PC world is drooling over the latest product unveiling ceremonies at Computex, Apple announced its latest operating systems at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) late last night: OS X 10.10 Yosemite and iOS 10.8.
The successor to recently-released OS X 10.9 Mavericks, OS X 10.10 Yosemite is - as is usual for the company - exclusively available for use on Apple's own hardware, with no plans from the company to break with long-held tradition and offer it as a licensable package for third-party systems. As well as the usual collection of bug fixes, the new OS X release includes a redesigned interface which borrows heavily from rival operating systems: the Maximise button which never actually manages to truly maximise a window has been ditched in favour of a Full Screen button, the in-built Spotlight search system can now search the web as well as local content, and a Dropbox-like iCloud Drive system has been integrated into the platform.
For iOS users, the two operating systems will work hand-in-hand: a new system called Handoff allows a user to begin a task, such as responding to an email or browsing a website, on a mobile device and then continue it on the desktop or laptop, while an updated Messages app allows incoming text and multimedia messages to be displayed on the Mac as well as the iPhone and make phone calls hands-free via the built-in microphones of Apple's desktop and laptop ranges. A redesigned Notification Centre rounds out the redesign, offering a more attractive view as well as customisation via widgets downloadable from the App Store.
Apple's latest revision to its iOS mobile platform, meanwhile, offers one feature that has been available to users of Google's Android OS for some time: it's now possible to replace the stock keyboard with a third-party option such as Swype. The voice assistant Siri system has also been improved, while notifications can be directly acted upon - again, a feature of rival Android. Apple has also integrated two new platforms into the OS, HealthKit and HomeKit; the former offers health tracking which integrates with existing apps such as Nike+ and Apple's upcoming iWatch, while the latter offers home automation capabilities.
Apple is to launch a public beta of OS X 10.10 Yosemite later this year, but has not announced the same for iOS 8. Both updates are available to registered Apple developers now for testing purposes.