Apple opens up iOS, struts Mac-iPhone-iPad integration

At WWDC reveals pieces of iOS 8 and OS X 'Yosemite' to developers, trumpets health and home, touts 'Continuity'

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As has been par for WWDC, Federighi highlighted only a handful of the new features in Yosemite, many of them changes throughout Apple's first-party applications, including Mail -- which will get an encryption option -- Maps, Messages, Contacts, and the built-in calendar. He also introduced iCloud Drive, which lets OS X and iOS users view documents created and stored by their respective apps, and even upload third-party files to online storage.

Yosemite
OS X gets a new name this year: Yosemite.

Safari will also be updated alongside Yosemite to add a new tab view that stacks tabs for each site. And Apple wedged its way between its customers and Google by offering Spotlight-driven alternatives to standard browser-based searches. "Safari will suggest search results before you go to Google. So what? Well, it means Google doesn't suggest them any more," said Jonny Evans, Computerworld's resident blogger, in a tweet today.

Developers will receive a pre-release version of Yosemite today, with a public launch "this fall." Customers who have registered with the recently-revealed Beta Seed program will also get access to pre-launch copies.

OS X Yosemite will be free.

No shows during the keynote included Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, the co-founders of Beats Electronics, which last week Apple said it would acquire for $3 billion. Some had speculated that the two would make a brief appearance on stage today, but that didn't happen, although Federighi phoned Dre during part of the presentation.

Also AWOL was any mention of Apple's iBeacons technology, which debuted at WWDC a year ago. The Bluetooth-based micro-location and proximity system was thought to be a key part of today's talk, but that, too, did not pan out.

Nor was hardware mentioned, not even a Mac refresh of some kind. Since 2011 Apple has made a habit of introducing new Macs at WWDC, giving the company's oldest platform some stage time after shifting iPhone releases to the fall.

But there was plenty to assimilate.

"This is, after all, a developer's conference," noted Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research. "And Apple's empowering developers to sell more stuff and make the platform more appealing."

A replay of today's WWDC keynote can be viewed on Apple's website.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at  @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

See more by Gregg Keizer on Computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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