Apple iOS 8: What’s new?

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Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in 2014 marked the announcement of the latest version of iOS, the operating system used on iPhones and iPads.

Apple says that iOS 8 is their biggest iOS release ever. The new software is expected to launch in about three months and will be provided by Apple as a free update to all devices running iOS 7.

During the keynote, Apple unveiled their latest additions to iOS. Here is a compilation of their newest features:

QuickType

The QuickType feature provides an improved keyboard with a more accurate predictive text engine that is optimized for use in 14 different countries. Now, the predictive text engine knows how you type whether casual or formal, and who you are typing to. It also recognises the flow of the conversation and can offer choices such as yes or no if you are asked a question, all while providing more accurate text suggestions.

Also, Apple has finally opened up the keyboard to developers so you will be able to change the stock keyboard to third party alternatives like Swype.

Continuity

Apple’s main focus this year was to provide a seamless experience between iOS and Mac OS X. With the continuity feature, you can receive iPhone calls directly on your Mac, and view your open web pages and documents on both devices. You can start writing a report on your Mac and continue it on your iPad as long as both devices are near each other using the Handoff feature.

Interactive notifications

In iOS 8, you are provided with the option to respond to messages and like or comment on Facebook messages directly from the notification center without having to switch applications.

Improved Spotlight

After overhauling the Spotlight search function in Mac OS X, Apple decided to improve the search in iOS 8. Now, search is not confined to installed apps and the internet. When you use Spotlight in iOS 8, you will get search results from numerous sources like Wikipedia, news, and the app store. Also, if the search term is a nearby place, Spotlight will show information about this place such as its hours of operation and telephone number. Interested in a particular movie, Spotlight will show the showtime of this movie in nearby theaters.

Family Sharing

Family sharing allows a group of up to six people with different Apple accounts to share music, movies, books, photos, calender events, and even app purchase. Using the Find My Friends option, locations of people in the group can also be shared where the location of each individual appears on a map. You can even use the same credit card for all the Apple accounts in the group and set limits on certain accounts like the ones your kids have. These limits force your kids to ask for permission when purchasing an app giving you control of what type of content they are accessing.

Health focused approach

Apple decided to give health some extra attention in iOS 8 through the introduction of a new tool called HealthKit. The new tool allows different health and fitness applications to share information allowing a more comprehensive view of your overall well-being. HealthKit is expected to provide more accurate information about your heart rate, calories burned, blood sugar, cholesterol, and sleep patterns.

Improved Messages and Mail

Using the iMessage application, you can now send voice and video messages, tricks taken from the What’sApp playbook. You can also share your location in the middle of the conversation and send multiple video, photo, or voice files at once.

The mail application has been updated to allow new gestures where you can swipe right to mark a mail as unread or swipe left to reveal various options like flag , move to folder and send to trash.The mail application now recognizes reservations and flight information if they are in a mail that was sent to you. It also allows a notification to appear when the mail is received, giving you the option to add a new calender event for the reservation or the flight time.



Enterprise features

According to Apple, iOS 8 now makes a more powerful business partner with enhanced security, productivity and device management features.

You can protect your applications, messages, and contacts with a password. You can also encrypt your messages for greater security.

Better Photo Apps and a smarter Siri

Every photo or video you capture can now be stored in iCloud so you can access your library from any Apple device. Editing tools in the photo app have been greatly improved as well with smarter composition tools to provide the ideal crop. You can adjust exposure, brightness, contrast, apply built-in or third party filters and more to create the picture perfect photo.

Siri can now be accessed by voice, just say “Hey,Siri” which is convenient for drivers. Siri also features improved voice recognition with more supported languages.

iOS 8 will be applicable to both iPad minis, iPad 2 and newer iPads, iPhone 4s and newer versions in addition to iPod touch 5th generation.