New Apple operating systems improve consumer experience

This is part one of a three-part series that will look at Apple's announcements from the Worldwide Developers Conference Keynote presentation as well as the rumors that are still just talk. Today we look at the operating systems.

Yesterday, we covered Apple's introduction of the latest version of the Mac Pro. The heavy duty computer will surely be popping up in a number of different companies once it gets released later this year. However, it is far from the only product or service announced that will impact the business world.

WWDC is traditionally the time when Apple unveils its latest operating system for developers and consumers to get excited about. This year was no different, as the company debuts both a new computer operating system and mobile platform.

OS X Mavericks

While iOS 7 was all over the promotional material for WWDC 2013, the computer OS surprised many. Abandoning the "Big Cat" name scheme, the latest incarnation will be called OS X Mavericks. The specific updates to the platform will improve the customer experience and make it much easier to use.

The updates include:

  • Improved Finder with tab and tag integration
  • Multi display support
  • "Supercharged" Mission Control
  • Upgraded Safari, Notifications, Calendar and Maps
  • iCloud Keychain
  • Creation of iBooks for OS
  • Run 1.5 times faster than Mountain Lion

Each one of these features is exciting for businesses to think about as they make it easier for companies that have a Mac integration to run daily operations. The keychain upgrade is particularly interesting. It will allow users to save not only passwords for their applications on the Mac but also personal information on websites. It will be encrypted with a 256-bit AES to all but guarantee security.

iOS 7

The biggest rumor going into WWDC was the redesign of the mobile operating system iOS 7. Apple unveiled a banner prior to the show that had a stylish numeral 7 on it to send confirm the system would be part of the presentation, and boy was it.

The biggest change of this version when compared to previous models is the overall look. The interface is completely revamped. Everything from the color scheme to the application icon design is new.

"The interface is purposely unobtrusive," Jony Ive, Apple's SVP of industrial design, said in a promotional video. "Conspicuous ornamentation has been stripped away. Unnecessary bars and buttons have been removed. And in taking away design elements that don't add value, suddenly there's greater focus on what matters most: your content."

The design also has a parallax effect which provides layers and a 3D version of the screen.

There are several additional features added which include:

  • Improved Control Center
  • Multitasking for all applications
  • Improved Notification Center
  • Upgraded Siri with new voice
  • Car Integration
  • New streaming music iTunes Radio application
  • Updated Photo and Camera Apps with filters
  • AirDrop for improved group sharing

Another interesting addition is a security feature that will be big for companies that have an iPad deployment or bring-your-own-device policy. Known as activation lock, the feature makes it so even if a thief is able to steal your device and wipe it clean, it can not be activated without the username and password of the owner.

Still in the beta stage

Both of these operating systems are still being tested, and final versions will not be available for a few months. During this time, businesses that rely or plan to roll out Mac devices to improve daily operations should partner with an IT consulting firm that specializes in Apple devices and training to make sure they are able to hit the ground running.