iOS 8 will allow users to install systemwide third-party keyboards

Screenshot 2014-06-02 14.33.38

Apple has just announced at WWDC 2014 that as part of its iOS 8 extensions capability, users will be able to install systemwide keyboards, such as the popular Swype system. The keyboards will run in a secure sandbox and not have access to anything except text input, though they can ask for permission to use the network in order to provide more features.

These keyboards can be installed through third-party apps on the updated App Store.

Apple announces new Siri features, including Shazam integration and “hey, Siri” always-on mode

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 11.22.18 AM

As expected, Apple has announced new Siri features for its iOS 8 mobile operating system, including the ability to analyze and identify songs automatically with recognition powered by Shazam. You can also purchase iTunes content directly from Siri, and dictate text in 22 new languages.

Also included is a feature that recently hit the iPhone through a jailbreak tweak that allows you to summon the iPhone’s assistant by saying “Hey, Siri.”

Read more

Apple debuts new Family Sharing feature for iOS 8

Screenshot 2014-06-02 14.13.06

Apple debuted a new Family Sharing feature during its WWDC keynote today. The feature allows family members who use the same credit card to also share a variety of other information, including iTunes purchases, photos and photo streams, location, reminders, calendars, and more.

One incredibly useful feature for parents included with this update is the ability to approve (or disapprove) purchases by minors. When a child in the family sharing account attempts to make a purchase, a notification will be sent to a parent asking them to approve the purchase. Parents will be able to review the item being purchased and decide whether or not to allow the charge.

Read more

Apple officially introduces iOS 8 “Healthkit” platform & “Health” app

Following our reports earlier this year that exclusively revealed details and screenshots of Apple’s Healthbook app, Apple today just officially announced the app confirming the details of our reports. Apple’s new platform, codenamed Healthbook, will be officially known as ‘HealthKit’ on the developer side of things, and will come with an accompanying app for iOS 8 called ‘Health’. Read more

Apple brings iOS SMS and phone calling to the Mac

In addition to announcing new integration between iOS and Mac OS X with AirDrop support and its new Handoff feature, Apple announced today that it’s bringing SMS and phone calls to the Mac. That means that you can now have your SMS text messages and phone calls from your iPhone arrive as notifications on your Mac. Users will be able to respond to messages and even use the Mac as a speaker phone in order to complete a phone call. Previously iOS users only had access to iMessage messages and FaceTime on the Mac. Read more

Apple adds WWDC channel to Apple TV for live streaming the keynote

As promised, Apple has added a WWDC channel to Apple TV for viewing the live stream of the conference’s keynote today. The keynote can also be streamed from Apple’s website using Safari on OS X or iOS or QuickTime 7 on Windows. We’ll be live blogging the keynote and posting major news as it is announced for those who cannot view the live stream so stay tuned for full coverage. As a primer, read our complete roundup of what to expect Apple to announce today.

Read more