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Wednesday, June 04, 2014

iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite: All the Features You May Not Know


Apple CEO Tim Cook on stage at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Calif., June 2, 2014.

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

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.

WWDC 2014

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.

Wi-Fi Calling

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.

Camera App

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

Photo App

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

WWDC 2014

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,


In Messages you'll have the ability to set how long you want to save your messages: forever, 30 days or one year.

WWDC 2014

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.

Battery Usage

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.

WWDC 2014

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.

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