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What to expect from Apple's next desktop and mobile OS

technologyEdward KiledjianComment

At the 2014 World Wide Developer conference, we learned that Apple plan's to release a slew of new integration feature between its desktop operating system (Yosemite) and IOS 8. 

Many of my  "normal" users (less technical) users asked for a simple summary so here goes:

  • AirDrop - This is a file sharing feature that currently works mobile device to mobile device. Apple will open this feature up to its desktop platform making the exchange of files, photos and other digital assets as easy as drag and drop (as long as the devices are nearby on the same network).
  • Continuity - Apple understands that sometimes your phone is just out of reach which causes you to miss important conversations so with Yosemite and IOS 8, you will be able to answer calls from your Mac as well as send and receive SMS' using your phone. The only requirement is that they be on the same WIFI network and be newer model devices with bluetooth 4.0.
  • Handoff - Apple understands that users wants a seamless experience between its various device. Every Apple device you own will be aware of the work you are performing on the others and you will be able to quickly switch devices but continue working on the same file. As an example, you will be able to start creating a document on Apple Pages on your PC, then pick up you iPad and continue to working on it exactly where you left off without worrying about synchronization or copying of files. It will just work. Handoff will work with all Apple default applications (Mail, Safari, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Maps, Messages, Reminders, Calendar and Contacts) but third party developers will also be able to add this feature to their apps.
  • iMessage - A slew of improvement are coming to iMessage including jutting the alerts on iMessages per conversation, a tap to talk feature and the ability to share your location, simple way to see all the attachment in a conversation (instead of scrolling through an interminably long list), and the ability to auto-expire content so your devices storage doesn't quickly fill up with old attachments (voice, pictures, videos).
  • Instant Hotspot - Many of the above features require a shared WIFI network between your phone and laptop but what happens where you are on the move or in a foreign environment? Your Mac will sense that that you are not connected to a WIFI hotspot and will automatically create a temporary one for your phone without requiring any intervention from you (all automatic).
  • Maildrop - Most email systems have a hard cap of 12-20MB for attachments. Considering that most modern dSLR cameras create 15MB files, that cap is starting to create a real problem for users. Apple's new MailDrop feature will automatically transfer files up to 5GB per message using iCloud. If the recipient is on Apple tech then they will see everything as they do today (except they will be able to send and receive attachment of up to 5GB in email). Non Apple recipients will receive you email which will contain a URL to download the large attachment.

All in all I think Apple is making the right moves. Its environment is becoming increasingly powerful and is being simplified at the same time. Apple is trying to convince users that its products are better when used together (Mac, iPad and iPhone).