WASHINGTON — Apple users can now look forward to new iOS and Mac features — coming this fall — with Monday’s announcements at its 25th annual developers conference in San Francisco.
A lot of what Apple announced is very similar to stuff already offered by other companies.
Apple is promising a lot of free stuff, a lot of new-ish stuff and a lot of not-so-new stuff for iPhone, iPad and Mac owners.
Free stuff from Apple
There will be a free public beta for the new Mac OS X Yosemite operating system starting this summer; click here to sign up.
Everything new that was announced by Apple on Monday will be free to most Mac, iPhone and iPad users when released in the fall.
Not-so-new stuff announced by Apple Monday
Android-like widgets on your iPhone and iPad Just like on an Android phone or tablet — or maybe just a little bit better.
Finally, better Android-like keyboards on iPhone and iPad: Finally, Swype and SeifKey on iPhone and iPad, and Apple has developed its own predictive keyboard as well.
Better texting from Apple: Many of these new features are offered by companies we’ve talked about before, such as ZipWhip and MightyText.
Better Apple iCloud Drive: Think Dropbox, but by Apple.
Better Apple Search: Think Google search, but by Apple.
And, some new-ish stuff that was announced by Apple, too
Health Kit: Your iPhone and/or iPad will track your personal health metrics like blood pressure, sleep, calories consumed. Then if, for instance, your blood pressure reading is too high, your iPhone or iPad can alert both you and medical professional.
Home Kit: As more and more of our appliances and systems in our home are connected and automated, Apple’s Home Kit will let ou control them all with an iPhone and/or iPad.
For instance, you could tell Siri that “It’s time for bed,” and Siri could:
Make sure all the doors are locked.
Turn off the water boiling on the stove.
Turn down the thermostat.
Alert you that you forgot to set the alarm to wake up in the morning in time for your first meeting at work.
Handoff: A new feature available for Mac computers, iPhones and iPads, this feature instantly and automatically syncs whatever you’re doing on one device with all the others. This means, for instance, that if you are surfing the Web or writing an email on one device, you can pick up another device and what you were looking at or working on will already be there waiting for you.