Articles: WWDC 2014 Recap - It’s All About Communication
Apple did something on Monday that will revolutionize our communications... all without introducing a single new piece of hardware. While many of the techno pundits are disappointed that Apple didn't introduce an iWatch or a new giant iPhone, I for one couldn't be more excited about what they announced.
I’m not going to just go down the list of all the features announced in the upcoming OS X Yosemite and iOS 8; Apple has already detailed all the changes right on the front page of apple.com.
Instead, I want to focus on what I really think this means for us in the coming years, because what Apple announced on Monday is just the beginning of a different way to be connected. I don’t mean what happens when we’re staring at our screens. Instead, what I see is Apple making it easier for us to be even more mobile by making it easier for our devices to talk to each other.
For example, Apple introduceda new feature called Handoff. Handoff allows your iPhone to talk with your Mac and your iPad in ways that I never thought possible. Sure, we’ve been able to Airdrop files from the iPad to iPhone, and we can sync our contacts, music, and photos, so what’s the big deal?
Handoff makes all our Apple devices aware of our other Apple devices. It allows them to communicate in ways that will make it easier for all of us to communicate and work. With Handoff, when your iPhone rings, your iPad and your Mac will also ring. You will now be able to take those calls on almost any Apple device you want. No more fumbling for your iPhone or having to look away from your Mac while you’re working. Phone calls are no longer dependent on your iPhone. It’s sounds so simple, and as far as we can tell, it will be. It’s exciting to think about taking any call through the device we happen to have in front of us.
But this is just the beginning. With Handoff, when you’re texting someone, you now have the ability to text them from all your devices. I’m not just talking about Apple devices; you’ll be able to text with anyone on just about any device they’re on. This means you’ll be able to keep group messages going across all your devices, or keep a chat going with your friends who are using Android phones or even basic phones, from all your Apple devices.
Email is another area I’m very excited about with this new concept. I know I can’t be alone when I say creating and working with large emails is a pain on the iPhone. In fact, when I travel, I have a tendency to send extremely short emails because it’s just too hard to type them on the small keyboard. Now I will be able to start typing an email on my iPhone, and then Handoff that email to another device. That means I can just pull out my laptop and pick up right where I left off without missing a beat. Pretty awesome!
Handoff also makes this available for Apple apps like Numbers, Pages, Keynote and so on. We will now be able to start a document on our iPad or iPhone and then pick it up our Mac and work on it from exactly where we left it. Not only that, but we can then just send it back from our Macs to our iPads, all with just a slide of a finger.
Handoff also allows us to share our iPhone’s data connection to our WiFi iPad and Mac without all the setup that currently goes along with it. I don’t know about you, but when I attempt to create a WiFi hotspot with my iPhone, it often doesn’t work right the first time. I end up having to turn it on and off numerous times before my Mac actually sees the signal and allows me to connect. It’ll then disconnect if I let it stay idle for too long.
With Handoff, your iPhone is always available as a hotspot when it’s near your Mac or iPad. Just click on your WiFi icon and join your Mac with no configuration needed on your iPhone. Talk about making it easy to access the world on your Mac when you're away from the home or office!
One of the things I do the most on my iPad is surf the web; for me, it’s an almost perfect device with which to view the web. With Handoff, when I’m on my Mac or iPhone, I can just turn and pick up my iPad and with a flick of my finger I can view the same page as I was on those devices, making it easier than ever to enjoy the web the way I like best.
One of Apple’s core strengths is their ability to control their entire ecosystem. Because of this ability, they’re able to unite my devices as if they were one, making it easier than ever to seamlessly move from one device to another. It makes the user the focal point, not the devices, which is another dose of pure Apple genius. That feature alone makes all of their software announcements on Monday a rousing success!