Every year Apple hosts their developer conference where they introduce new software, the latest versions of iOS 10 and OS X, and highlight new features of both iOS and OS X. This always leads to speculation about the hardware Apple has in store on which to run these operating systems. If Apple stays true to their release schedule, when iOS 8 is released in the fall a new iPhone and iPad as well as new Macs will be released as well. Until then, all we have to tide us over is a pack of cool new features we can expect to have available this fall.
I have written about The Internet of Things quite a bit. Well Apple has jumped on the bandwagon with a new developer tool that will make creating apps for home automation easier. This new tool kit is called HomeKit. With its release you should start seeing a lot more native and integrated apps for your iPhone and iPad hit the market by this fall. Apple also released iCloud Drive. iCloud Drive is intended to be a direct competitor to Google Drive and OneDrive. iCloud Drive is cloud storage that can sync your documents across multiple devices including iOS devices, Mac OS X computers, and Windows Computers. For me, one of the most exciting new features for iOS 8 is Family Sharing for iTunes accounts. Family sharing links up to 6 accounts to the same credit card. It allows parents to approve or block purchases via notification on their own devices. This lets me set my sons up with their own iTunes accounts for their devices and lets me use one credit card for my entire family’s purchases, and when my boys want to download an app I can get notified and choose to approve the purchase or not. Family Sharing also allows me to share Find My Friends locations across devices, share calendars, share photos, and share reminders. This is going to be a great feature for parents of teens and grade school age kids. Finally, there are some cool continuity features that are great if you are both a Mac user and an iOS device user. Now you can start and receive calls on your Mac. You can start an email on your iPhone and finish it on your Mac. Airdrop now also works between Mac and devices running iOS 8.
These are just a few of the really cool new developments that came out of the conference. Since the test or Beta release of iOS 8 a host of new features has been shared with the public and we have not yet scratched the surface. For most of us, we will have to wait till the fall to get our hands on the new devices expected to be out with the new operating systems on them or to download them to our current generation devices.