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Apple's WWDC: 8 Innovations to Improve Your Workday

Apple is ready to change your workday with innovative new features for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
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Apple is at it again.

At the WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) held in San Francisco today, the tech titan came out shooting from the hip to dispel the naysayers (including yours truly) who have wondered whether the company has any bright ideas left. Apparently, they do.

The big announcements: the new iOS 8 operating system will power your iPhone and iPad starting this fall. And, Mac users will also get a major new OS update called Yosemite. Rather than bore you with the nitty-gritty details, here are eight new innovations that will make your business day a little more bearable when the OS updates arrive this fall:

1. Your Mac will answer your iPhone.

I'm going to be all over this one. If you own a Mac, you'll be able to take calls that were meant for your iPhone. The idea is a more unified voice communication, so if you're sitting at your desk working hard, you can just click a button to take a call without picking up your phone.

2. Apps will now use fingerprint identification.

The current iPhone 5S includes a nifty feature where you place your thumb on a reader to gain access to the phone itself. With iOS 8, you'll be able to use this security method to gain access to apps like Mint (a budgeting app) and many others.

3. Swipe through your e-mail.

Kudos to the brainiacs behind the Mailbox app for inventing this, but now the built-in e-mail app for iOS 8 will let you swipe through your messages. For example, you can quickly discard all of those messages from your old business partner with just a flick.

4. Pick up where you left off.

Here's one for those who have to make sudden exits to an investor meeting. Say you are typing up an e-mail on your Mac. If you jet out of the building, you can use your iPhone to continue typing the message. The feature is called Handoff; you'll just click an icon to use it.

5. Better stock notifications.

One of the bigger announcements at WWDC has to do with the notifications that pop up on your iPhone screen, usually in a drop-down menu. You can now see bright colored indicators that show stock tickers, weather reports, and your upcoming meetings.

6. Third-party storage integration.

This is good news for companies like Box and Dropbox. Apple's latest operating system will now let you pick your cloud storage provider and apps will integrate with them through the operating system. That means not relying only on the Apple iCloud infrastructure if you or your employees use a different service.

7. Voice mails will go away on their own.

This might seem minor, but Apple announced a cool new voice mail feature. when you listen to your messages, you can enable a feature that deletes the message automatically after you listen. This saves time when you just want to get through your messages quickly.

8. Searching the Web through your desktop.

You'll be able to search the Internet through your Mac's Spotlight desktop search feature. So if you type in the name of that bistro where your investor wants to meet, it will pop up the location so you can find out more information about it. Before, search was mostly about file look-ups.

IMAGE: Getty Images
Last updated: Jun 2, 2014

JOHN BRANDON | Columnist

John Brandon is a contributing editor at Inc. magazine covering technology. He writes the Tech Report column for Inc.com.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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