Apple unveils the new and improved iOS for your iPhone, iPod, and iPad devices — iOS 8. The iOS 8 has taken iOS 7’s design to a whole new level, making it the biggest iOS release for both developers and everyone else ever. iOS 8 did not make any major changes in its visual design, instead it adopted iOS 7’s sharper and flatter icons and slimmer fonts. However, it did focused heavily on creating software enhancements that promotes convergence among Apple devices.

As advertised in the Apple page, “Each enhancement has a purpose. Every new feature deserves to be a new feature. Each function is more considered, each next step is more efficient. It all adds up to an even better experience — one that is pleasantly surprising at first and becomes utterly indispensable before you know it.”

Here are the features users can look forward to in iOS 8:

Interactive Notifications

The Notification Center of the iOS 8 has been refined, giving you more information with the swipe of a finger. What’s even better is the active notification, which allows you to reply to messages and calendar reminders within other apps.

New Camera Features

In the age of selfies, the Camera app has become the number one app among smartphones. In iOS 8, the Camera app added new options such as three-second timer and time-lapse capture for videos. Also, photos taken can now be intelligently fine-tuned using the filters and editing tools embedded in the app. What’s more is that it now allows third-party app filters to be accessible in the Photos app.

iCloud Photo Library

iOS 8 users will be able to automatically upload all iPhone and iPad photos and videos to iCloud Photo Library. Every photo and video you take will be in iCloud, giving you freedom to access your Photo library from any device anywhere, anytime. So every photo and every edit is automatically saved across all your Apple devices.

Family Sharing

With the new iOS 8, you can now share your iTunes, iBooks, and App Store purchases without sharing you accounts, to up to 6 people in your family. You can also easily share photos, family calendar, and more. The “Ask to Buy” feature allows parents to set limits to app purchases by requiring children to get permission before making iTunes, iBooks, and App Store purchases.

Apps and Widgets

iOS 8 has introduced Extensibility, a development tool that allows apps to extend their services to other apps. Through Extensibility, widgets were made possible. Widgets allow apps to share data and functions with other apps. For example, you can use Pinterest inside the Photos app. Widgets on the other hand, were added to the Notification Center and Safari.

Message Upgrade

The built-in messaging app in iOS 8 has been revamped, allowing you to send audio and video messages to your friends. Furthermore, you can now set “Do Not Disturb” on specific threads as well as share your location with the contacts you are conversing with.

Continuity

iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite have a new feature called Handoff, which allows you to start working on one Apple device and continue where you left off on another. Now you can browse the Internet from your iPad and continue on the same link with your iPhone. The same thing applies when you write an email from your Mac and continue where you left off from your iPod. This all happens automatically when your Apple devices are signed in to the same iCloud account. And the coolest thing about Handoff is you can answer a phone call on your Mac, iPod, or iPad if your iPhone is charging in another room or is somewhere you have no immediate access to as long as they are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

You can use Handoff with your favorite apps like Mail, Safari, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Maps, Messages, Reminders, Calendar, and Contacts.

Quicktype Keyboards

The keyboard in iOS 8 gets a new upgrade with the Quicktype feature. Quicktype adds predictive typing, which suggests contextually appropriate words as you type. What’s more, Apple now allows you to use third-party keyboards like SWYPE.

Battery Usage Indicator

iOS 8 provides you visibility on which apps and functions are draining your battery. With this guidance, users will be able to selectively change their settings and close the apps to efficiently use their battery.

iCloud Drive

With iCloud Drive, you can now work on any file anywhere on whichever Apple device you are using. You can safely store all your presentations, spreadsheets, PDFs, images, and any document in iCloud and later access them from any of your Apple devices. Like what was mentioned in Handoff, the final edit made on a document from one Apple device will appear automatically to the rest of your Apple devices.

Health App

The new Health app provides an easy-to-read dashboard for all your health and fitness information. It includes sections for Diagnostics, Fitness, Lab Results, Medications, Nutrition, Sleep, Vitals, and more. In addition, it includes an Emergency Card accessible directly from the lock screen, which displays medical conditions and allergies. Apple is also partnering with healthcare providers to bring forth your health and fitness data to your doctors and specialists.

HomeKit

With the new iOS 8, Siri can be used to lock doors, turn off lights, adjust thermostat, and shut the garage door with a simple voice command. Apple’s goal is to tie together smart home electronics with its HomeKit.

Improved Spotlight

iOS 8’s universal search function has now included Wikipedia, Apple App Store, and iTunes results for anything you’re searching for. It even recognizes context and location to provide you with the most relevant information.

Siri

Siri has been revamped in iOS 8 and can now be activated with the voice command “Hey Siri.” As an added feature, it has been integrated with Shazam, so it can identify songs upon request. Furthermore, it now supports streaming voice recognition, can purchase iTunes content, and features 22 new dictation languages.

 

These are just some of the new features in iOS 8 and there sure are a lot more. You can have firsthand account to all these wonderful features when iOS 8 becomes available to the public this coming fall.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 10:53:17 PM and is filed under Sweet Tech.

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