Need the skinny on Apple’s WWDC Conference 2014?

As the name suggests, World Wide Developer’s Conference, is an annual meeting held by Apple to unveil its latest and greatest advancements in the software department, or what I like to refer to as “what’s going on behind the selfie”- department.  I watched while Tim Cook, CEO and Craig Federighi, Senior VP of Software Engineering, explained the ins and outs of Apple’s new releases on Monday. Techies sat googly-eyed. But what does that mean for us “business people” who might never understand how this enables our daily activities? Seven of the key features of OS X and iOS 8 that improve your everyday functions are highlighted here just for you.

1. Apple’s New OS X Yosemite

Apple unveiled a new operating system for its Mac laptop/desktop users.  This new software boasts a visual renovation from the previous Mavericks with a modern, sleek look inspired by Apple’s iOS software. Safari now offers a birds-eye overview of all open tabs, creating more efficiency for organization while you’re toggling all of those tasks that suddenly appeared on your desk this morning.

OS X Yosemite Safari

2. iCloud Drive

iCloud Drive IconIf your office uses Google Drive or DropBox, you might want to give the new iCloud Drive a thought. This file hosting hub syncs all of your documents, images, and videos across all of your Mac, iOS, and Windows devices. All your company’s documents could live in one place, easily accessed, giving you ultimate efficiency in locating important files.

3. Handoff

Apple Handoff IconThis new feature could be one of Apple’s most useful improvements. Handoff allows users to begin a document (email, spreadsheet, etc.) on one device and move to another device seamlessly. So that email you frantically began to write on your desktop at the office but couldn’t finish because of your kid’s soccer game that started in 10 minutes is now not a concern with Apple’s Handoff that prompts you to finish that email as you get situated in your bleacher seat. No more missing the huge goal your kid is about score!

4. SMS and Phone Calls Available on All Devices

Ever feel like you’re toggling back and forth from your phone to your laptop all day? Yosemite eliminates the need for both with its incorporation of SMS on laptop/desktop platforms (previously just iMessage).  iOS 8 & OS X will now facilitate standard voice calls via Wi-Fi. Apple has negated the need for 3rd party apps like Fringe or Viber used for international calls and makes room for more productivity in the work place by housing these functions on one device.

OS X Yosemite Desktop SMSms

5. New Messaging & Keyboards

Annoyed with Apple’s current state of group texting? iOS 8  allows users to name their group texts so that beer festival you invited your friends to doesn’t get accidentally sent to your boss. Although here at Brown Bag, our President Doug Brown would be all about that beer festival. QuickType, a predictive texting keyboard that analyzes your typing history and context for a message (casual chat with friends vs. formal conversation with boss) even answers questions for you. It really is the icing on the cake.

6. Interactive Notifications

Staying focused on one document or task is made easier. Comment on a Facebook post and never leave that important email you’re typing. Don’t switch between apps. Add 3rd party widgets to your notification screen. And the score of that Braves game? View your ESPN widget on the notification screen without your boss even knowing. – Oops! Did we say that?

Interactive Notifications

7. HomeKit

Undoubtedly one of the coolest new features of iOS 8 is the HomeKit application. Apple worked with 3rd-party companies to integrate at-home functions such as thermostat, lights, and security systems on any iOS device via the new hands-free Siri. Crazy, rushed morning? Forgot to turn off the lights? While on your way to work you can say, “Hey Siri, please turn off the lights.” BOOM. Need we say more?

Which feature are you most excited to try out? Let me know!