The company unveiled an array of new and revamped features that will be coming to OS X and iOS — many of which may have looked a little familiar to those already used to popular third-party apps and services.
From messaging to fitness tracking to Google searches, here’s a look at some the apps and services Apple seems to be taking head-on with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.
Cloud storage platforms
Apple announced iCloud Drive, a cloud-based file management system that will be available on iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, which will also work with third party apps and will run on Windows 8. Files stored in iCloud Drive can be viewed across devices and edits are automatically synced to the cloud do you can easily pick up where you left off.
Sound familiar? That’s because the system is very similar to Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, Microsoft’s OneDrive and pretty much every other cloud storage platform, though Box’s CEO, Aaron Levie, seems to be excited about the move. Apple also announced new pricing more in line with its cloud storage competitors— 20 GB will cost $0.99 a month while 200 GB will be $3.99.
Messages, the most-used iOS app, is getting a huge overhaul in iOS 8 that borrows many features from some of the most popular third-party messaging apps. As if Snapchat didn’t have enough to worry about lately, Apple seems to be taking some cues from the disappearing messages app.
Photos and videos will now automatically disappear from message threads, unless actively saved. Additionally, the gesture-based controls for recording audio messages are not unlike those used in the video chatting features that debuted in Snapchat’s most recent update.
Messages is also getting voice messaging and the ability to mute or leave group threads, all of which are features already available in other popular messaging apps, including WhatsApp.
WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum has already expressed his displeasure with Apple over some of its new messaging features, though he did not elaborate on which ones.
Apple is also taking on apps like Google Voice and Skype with the ability to make phone calls from the desktop in Yosemite.
Apple’s new Photos app, includes an array of new smart editing tools. While you can still control things like levels, brightness and contrast independently, the new features allow you to adjust all of these at once to the optimum level with just one swipe.
This is similar to many image editing apps that have features to automatically enhance and correct photos like Camera+, Afterlight and many others. Apple’s version will have an additional advantage though because all changes made within Photos will be synced with iCloud so the edited images will be available in real time across all of your devices.
Though we didn’t see the long-rumored iWatch during the keynote, Apple’s Health app, is still taking on the fitness tracking space.
The app will monitor all of your health-related information in one place, including stats from fitness tracking apps, and work with third-party apps like Nike+.
Google Now, Google searches
Apple’s Spotlight Search is being revamped for both iOS 8 and Yosemite. Not only will Spotlight search for content stored locally on your device, it will search Wikipedia, maps, news, movie showtimes and iTunes and App Store content.
The new Spotlight also opts for Bing over Google for web searches in Yosemite. (It appears Spotlight searches in iOS 8 will continue to use Google, for now.) This change has already caused some to speculate whether Apple may be working on its own Siri-powered search engine.
Of course, whether or not Apple’s versions of these apps will eventually overshadow their third-party counterparts depends on how well they actually work. Apple has been known to epically miss the mark when it comes to launching new apps — Apple Maps is only just now enjoying a comeback, after a catastrophic rollout in 2012. But if Maps has taught us anything it’s that Apple tends to get it right eventually, and when it does, it sticks.