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

Gregg Keizer | June 3, 2014
At WWDC reveals pieces of iOS 8 and OS X 'Yosemite' to developers, trumpets health and home, touts 'Continuity.'

As expected, Apple also spent considerable time trumpeting OS X this year. At the beginning of the keynote, which was webcast live, Federighi unveiled a refreshed visual look for OS X, the desktop operating system, that was reminiscent of last year's iOS 7 with a "flatter," more minimalist feel.

The Healthkit dashboard aggregates health info from a variety of apps.

Federighi again demonstrated his comedy chops by first suggesting that Apple considered OS X "Oxnard," then OS X "Rancho Cucamonga," even OS X "Weed" after northern California's reputation for growing marijuana, as potential names. Last year, Apple changed its naming convention to label its next decade of desktop OSes after prominent locales in its home state.

"Saner heads prevailed," Federighi joked about OS X Weed, then announced OS X 10.10 as "Yosemite" after the national park in central California.

The new look of Yosemite relies heavily on translucency, especially in the Dock, where frequently-used applications are displayed, and in the recrafted and expanded Notification Center.

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.

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.

 

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