Apple Reveals iOS 8 at WWDC

by Joshua Ho on 6/4/2014 7:00 AM EST


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  • CZroe - Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - link

    "Apple launches iOS 8 at WWDC"
    Though this is the title of the Pipeline news story, it is completely incorrect.
    They *revealed* it. They did not launch it. The beta is still closed.
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - link

    No, they launched it. Anybody can create an Apple developer subscription today and download iOS 8. Reply
  • extide - Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - link

    Launch is correct. They still have yet to release it, though. Reply
  • CZroe - Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - link

    "Launch is correct. They still have yet to release it, though."
    The fact that the article was changed to say "Apple Reveals iOS 8 at WWDC" tells you that you are incorrect. Knowing full well that I was confident enough to make a correction in the first place, what makes you confident enough to contradict me with such a stupid and incorrect assumption? A videogame "launches" when it is "released" and so does OS software. Get a clue.
  • uhuznaa - Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - link

    Hotwords with Siri seems to be there ("Hey, Siri!") even with the screen off, but only if the device is plugged in. Surely a workaround for the lack of in-hardware voice recognition in current devices, but probably still somewhat useful for use in a car. I'm curious about the iPhone 6 here though.

    What I'm also curious about is iCloud Drive which finally seems to give something like a file system on iOS. It seems as if third-party apps can serve as storage providers, examples were OneDrive, Box and WebDAV. This could actually fix one of my major gripes about iOS...
  • name99 - Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - link

    Note that Tim Northover (works at Apple) has recently been making changes to the LLVM M4 target. (Recall that M series is ARM's lowest power series, basically the sort of chip you'd use for always-on.) We know that Apple, last year, branded and called out the low power coprocessor in the iPhone 5S (even though that was a 3rd party chip).

    I expect Apple have gone the logical next step and designed their own low-power coprocessor based on an M4 (maybe just using the ISA and electrical interface but redesigned internals, or maybe using the entire M4 cell, perhaps with some physical optimization). An obvious task for that sort of part is precisely this sort of always-on sensing.
  • uhuznaa - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    I'm not sure if the M4 is enough to run voice recognition on.

    Anyway, I'm curious about the iPhone 6 now. There's lots to be improved over what is possible now with the Moto X (and others). I would wish for custom hotwords ("Computer!") and of course for some level of voice biometry so that your device obeys only you. It's a bit harder to implement, but I could imagine exactly Apple being the right company to double down over that.
  • Scott66 - Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - link

    When they release a new updated Mac Mini with server installed and My household will be enjoying the new features in Yosemite and IOS8. The only PC I will still need is my gaming machine.

    Home automation will be awesome, if Apple and the Device Makers can get along.
  • tipoo - Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - link

    When *is* that Haswell Mac Mini coming out? When Broadwell is out? Reply
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - link

    Steam in-home streaming could really help there, if only they could get the latency down...

    I can imagine the scenario where I use an ultrabook (like my mac air) as my primary computer, with a small form-factor gaming PC shoved in a closet somewhere, and then all my Windows games would seamlessly show up in Steam on my mac, and run with beefy-desktop-class performance...

    Right now, the latency for Steam streaming is ~70ms, a little over 4 frames on a 60Hz display... If they could get that down to one or two frames, the ability to get native-feeling desktop games on a notebook like a mac air would be really valuable.
  • eanazag - Friday, June 06, 2014 - link

    It seems to me that they could afford to refresh the Mac mini more often as it is not a complicated device. Simple refreshes would suffice. It doesn't need the typical launch fanfare that Apple tends to do. Reply
  • name99 - Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - link

    "This sandboxed system means that it's difficult for one application to pull data from another. Apple has introduced a host of new features that will solve this problem."

    I think this very much misunderstands what Apple has been trying to do in the past and what they're doing now.
    The issue with iOS was never that Apple couldn't technically allow for shared code, or for sharing through traditional OS mechanisms (shared file system or shared memory). The issue was that these traditional mechanisms impose no discipline and no control, which means they are very easily abused (and, those this is not quit so important, they're also a source of bugs and failures).

    If one is willing to get past one's knee-jerk Apple hatred, it's quite clear that these are real problems --- they're the same problems, pretty much, that drive enterprises to use VMs.

    Given this background, the issue is, again, not providing merely the technical capability for one app to communicate with another, or to provide 3rd party plugins within apps --- we've known how to do that for 50+ years. The issue is how to provide a communications channel that does what is wanted, but is also controlled and not susceptible to abuse. This is akin to the way VMs work, where the usual communication channel between VMs is TCP. But of corse just "TCP" is not enough --- one also needs to define a network protocol for each type of network sharing one cares about.

    And that's what we have seen Apple do basically since iOS was opened up. Every year the equivalent of new TCP protocols are added to the OS. The first and most obvious one was a cut&paste type protocol, then, for example, some that allowed for (controlled) access into the photo and music libraries. What Apple provides today is more of the same.

    For example, there is no way in hell those third party keyboards are going to be written like traditional plugins (and the way I assume Android keyboards work), as some blob of random code that is allowed to run in the address space of any app. They're going to run as a separate process, and there's going to be a specific protocol they follow whereby they give characters to some OS entity (the equivalent of a socket) and the OS then gives those characters to the app that's using the keyboard. I expect there will also be particular restrictions on "keyboard apps" to prevent the most obvious types of abuse, for example as aggressively as possible trying to ensure that these "apps" have NO communication channel to the outside world --- no network connection (so can't send back to Russia the passwords that are being type) but also no USB connectivity when connected to iTunes (can't save the passwords and smuggle them out when the user charges the device) and so on.
    You have similar sorts of things you have to worry about for all the other new sharing protocols that have been introduced in iOS8.

    This is obviously going to cause the usual whining and complaining (and the usual insane complaints about how Apple is doing this because they hate freedom) but if you're more interested in understand the engineering problems that Apple is trying to solve than in ranting about your tribe vs my tribe, there is very interesting stuff going on here which is (IMHO) more intellectually challenging than replicating the sorts of plugins and IAC that were being provided with MacOS and Windows 95, which is where the other mobile OSs seem to be stuck.
  • easp - Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - link

    Yup, and it helps to understand that Apple's motivation is generally figuring out what is best for the user *in the long term*. That may mean that users don't always get the new shiny feature before Android, but when they do get it, it won't, oh, I don't know, siphon off their passwords and sell them to the highest bidder.

    Apple is also arrogant/confident enough to feel that sometimes what's best for Apple is, in the long term, best for the user, because profitability allows them to innovate, provide excellent customer service, etc. For the last several years, I've been happy to play along and I can't complain.
  • vortmax2 - Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - link

    3rd party keyboards!! Finally!!! Reply
  • sl149q - Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - link

    I just picked up my iPhone (running 7.x ios) and ran gmail. Created a draft email, clicked done and save.

    Turned to my non Mac desktop and clicked on Drafts in my gmail tab. Lo and behold there is my draft message!

    I suspect there are some other nice touches to continuity etc. But adding a feature that the competition has had forever is called catchup.

    I don't use it but I suspect similar comparisons to Google Voice for sharing calls etc can be made.
  • taylorh - Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - link

    Clearly you're just trolling so I don't know why I'm wasting my time but this isn't catchup. Apple Mail does the same thing with drafts and their suite of office apps as well as 3rd party apps have all leveraged iCloud for document syncing already similar to using Google Docs. Continuity isn't that and I suggest you read more about it to understand that.
    With Google Voice, this is catchup with answering calls specifically. But the way they calls hand off and SMS is now synced actually goes even further and is seamless, but only within the closed hardware ecosystem of Apple which is the unfortunate part. While I have one, I don't sit on a mac all day as I'm using windows, Linux, including Google services half the time.
  • uhuznaa - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    Yes, you also could have saved it to an USB stick and load it on another machine. Just the same, isn't it?

    No, it isn't. Picking up an iPad and just carry on where you stopped on the Mac is a different thing from saving a draft, going on the other device to the mail app, digging out the draft folder, selecting the saved draft and continue on it. Same with other apps. Yes, it's "only" much more convenient, but using a browser instead of telnet to port 80 is also just more convenient. All fscking modern computing is about it being more convenient and I bet you're using a lot of what came out of that as a matter of course every single day.
  • erple2 - Thursday, June 05, 2014 - link

    Well, sort of. Since gmail autosaves every email that you start typing into a the Drafts folder its a little bit more convenient than you make it sound. However I agree that the sync texts or phone calls is pretty nice. While there are plugins for the Android market that can sync SMS and phone calls (provided you're also using the chrome browser), they're clunky and only one direction. They let you know that you've received a phone call or text message, and that's about it.

    As a die hard Android fan, I find what Apple is doing very interesting, and if this is implemented and works the way I think, then it's a great addition to Apple's ecosystem. Now if only there were some decent sized screens from Apple's phones... :-)

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