When the dust settles on Apple’s WWDC keynote, the fun really starts. Developers get a whole week of sessions, labs and events designed to help them to get to grips with the new versions of iOS and OS X. Unfortunately for the rest of us, the rest of the week is kept under strict embargo, preventing any of our developer friends from leaking details of unannounced features of iOS 7 and OS X 10.9 Mavericks that may have cropped up.
At least twice during this year’s keynote, it was mentioned that there was plenty more to show off in iOS 7 and OS X 10.9 Mavericks, but there simply wasn’t the time do so. So, we just wait for the full public releases to find out about all these secret, unannounced features, right? Oh no! We delve into the few slides in every keynote that give some clues away as to what else we can expect from iOS and OS X. Behold, our guide to five iOS 7 features you might’ve missed in the WWDC Keynote!
Let’s start by tackling a few of the non-developer-specific features that were shown off (these tend to be a little easier to decipher):
1. Turn-by-turn walking directions
Ever feel like Apple’s Maps app was a little biased towards everyone who wanted to travel using a gas-guzzling car or bus, but had no time for environmentally-conscious ramblers like yourself? Not any more. Turn-by-turn walking directions are here, baby. Now you’ll never be taken along the motorway when there’s a far safer-looking footpath that’ll get you there much quicker and with a lesser chance of being squished by a vehicle.
2. Notification sync
iOS power users, rejoice! If you’re an owner of more than one iOS device, you’ll know how annoying it can get when you dismiss a notification to take your turn on Writer Something! 2 HD+ Advanced Edition SE on your iPhone and it’s still sitting their on your iPad, blissfully unaware that you’ve already dealt with it elsewhere. Notification sync should change this, by having the information about how you deal with different notifications synced between every device you own. Three rounds of your iMessage tone every 30 seconds will be a thing of the past…
3. Scan to acquire Passbook passes
This is a clever move by Apple. Adoption rates for Passbook are, arguably, a little on the low side. Particularly here in the UK where there’s relatively few services that make use of it. As the name suggests, this new feature enables you to scan barcodes or QR codes to add passes, coupons, vouchers and loyalty cards straight to your device. It certainly takes the pain of having to sign up on a website or download an associated app out of getting your Passbook app filled.
And now, on to that developer SDKs slide to give us a couple more clues as to what we’ll see in iOS 7:
4. Inter-app audio
We’re big fans of third-party solution, Audiobus, which enables audio to break out of the iOS sandbox and be routed to, from and between different music-making apps, but this new addition to the iOS 7 SDK seems to take that functionality and turn it native. Although it’s not likely to be exactly the same, built-in inter-app audio support is the kind of feature that would’ve done Gorillaz a huge favour when Damon Albarn and co recorded The Fall.
5. Peer-to-peer connectivity
Last, but by no means least, Peer-to-peer connectivity. Like inter-app audio, this is another feature that seems to be aiming straight for the heart of third-party apps like Bump which let you connect and share data from iPhone to iPhone. Presumably, this particular addition to the SDK makes iOS’s AirDrop functionality possible, but we’d certainly expect to see it picked up by developers and used in their own apps for gaming, information sharing and more.