Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference is taking place today in San Francisco, and the computing giant has announced a raft of new products and features.
At the core of Apple’s new line up is Yosemite, the next version of the OS X operating system.
Presumably named after the national park rather than the red haired moustachioed rabbit hunter, Yosemite will be available as a free upgrade to existing users this autumn.
Apple’s Craig Federighi took the stage to walk the audience through the new features and design overhaul.
Visually, the new OS has been designed to echo the look of iOS with a “focus on clarity, but also utility”.
The interface isn’t the only way that Apple are trying to merge their mobile and desktop platforms though, and new features bring unprecedented continuity between devices.
With Yosemite installed, users can start writing an email on their iPhone (on the train for example), and be automatically prompted to continue it when they sit down at their Mac.
SMS messages and phone calls will also cross the mobile/desktop divide, as texts and calls will be presented to Macs as well as iPhones.
On the mobile side of things, iOS 8 has also been announced. According to CEO Tim Cooks presentation we won’t be seeing a big design change, but it is a “giant release” in terms of features.
Among the promised improvements is a new text prediction feature called QuickType. Billed as being intelligent and customisable, it aims to speed up texting.
Another interesting feature is the addition of SnapChat style “self destruct” options for picture/video messages.
While this sounds convenient for users, it’s no doubt very bad news for developers of the popular picture sharing app.
Continuing on the sharing front, iOS 8 allows the sharing of purchases with up to six family members. Details on this are still a bit thin on the ground, but it sounds like it might be a great way to share your music collection with the rest of the family.
The new features come after a successful year for Apple, with Cook revealing that the company gained 130 million new customers in the last 12 months.
Significantly for the company, nearly half that number switched from Android, Apples main competitor in the smartphone and tablet arena.
What do you make of Apples announcements? Let us know in the comments!