Apple seeks to bolster sharing between devices

Unveils new features on operating systems for Macs, iPhones

Apple chief executive Tim Cook addressed the company’s developers conference in San Francisco Tuesday.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Apple chief executive Tim Cook addressed the company’s developers conference in San Francisco Tuesday.

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple is expanding into home and health management as the company tries to turn its iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers into an interchangeable network of devices that serve as a hub of people’s increasingly digital lives.

The new tools for tracking health and controlling household appliances are part of updated operating systems that Apple unveiled Monday in San Francisco at its 25th annual conference for application developers.

The revised software won’t be released to the public until this fall, when the company is also expected to start selling the next generation of i-Phones and iPads. A spruced-up line of Macs also could be coming before the holiday shopping season.


Here are the highlights:

Changes to Mac computers

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 The next Mac system will be called Yosemite. Users will be able to search for content on the computer and on the Internet at once, similar to a feature available with Microsoft’s Windows 8.

 Apple is expanding its iCloud storage service so users can store and sync files of any type, not just the ones designed specifically for iCloud. It’s similar to how other services such as Dropbox let users work with the same files on multiple devices more easily.

 A Mail Drop feature will make it easier to send large files. The Mac will create a link that the recipient can click for the full file.

 The Mac’s Safari Web browser will have more privacy controls and ways to share links more easily.

Changes to iPhones and iPads


 Like the new Mac OS, the iOS 8 system will have a universal search tool to cover both the device and the Internet. It will also get the iCloud Drive service.

 The new software will sport interactive notifications, so a user can respond to a message without having to leave another app. It will have new gestures, such as double tapping to see a list of frequent contacts.

 A QuickType keyboard promises predictive typing suggestions. For example, if a users starts typing, ‘‘Do you want to go to,’’ the phone will sug- gest ‘‘dinner’’ or ‘‘movie’’ as the next word.

 IOS 8 will have a built-in health-management tool to track vital signs, diet, and sleeping habits. Samsung Electronics incorporated fitness-related features in its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S5 and has plans for similar management tools.

 Apple detailed new technology for controlling garage doors, thermostats, and other home systems but did not say how the pieces will be linked through what it calls HomeKit.

Working together


  AirDrop, which has let users share files with other devices of the same type, will now let iPhones and Macs share directly with each other.

The iMessage chat service will be broadened to work better with Android and other competing phones.


 Apple didn’t say anything about a long-awaited digital wallet.

  Apple didn’t provide an update on CarPlay, its project for embedding autos with iPhone applications. But it will be possible to tap the Siri virtual assistant without pressing a button.