Apple introduced iOS 8 – a major update to its powerful mobile operating system at the World Wide Developers Conference 2014. The new and the most awaited update brings lots of new exciting features as well as different new functionalities which takes the operating system to a new level of stability. Here’s everything you need to know.
iOS 8 is a giant release that follows the same design principles of iOS 7, but is more clean and polished.
Apple introduced interactive notification feature so that you don’t have to leave the app to respond to the notifications. Whenever you get a notification the only way to respond to it is by tapping it, which will take you to the respective app leaving back the current app.
With Interactive Notifications you can simply swipe left or down on the notification and it will let you reply text message, Like or Comment on Facebook, reply to tweet etc. Additionally, you can even control these interactive notifications for the lock screen as well.
Frequently used contacts in multitasking panel
The multitasking panel now adds frequently used contacts icons in addition to the app cards.
Safari Tab View Mode
iOS 8 offers bird’s eye view to Safari. You can now see all your tabs thumbnails to quickly access tabs, history and bookmarks under the same window.
New Mail Gestures
Apple’s native mail app adds new features for both iPhone and iPad. With a simple swipe gesture you can Trash, Flag and see More details for an email. Additionally, if you’re composing an email you can minimise the compose window and go through the inbox if you wish to without loosing whatever you’ve written.
Spotlight goes beyond your phone’s boundary. Earlier Spotlight search offered you results from your device’s messages, notes, contacts, email etc. Now, Spotlight can go beyond it and find apps, news, maps, movies, songs etc.
Like Android, iOS can now show you suggestions for the words that you’re typing right above the keyboard. It’s even smarter than Android and suggests you words according to your received messages.
Messages functionality is extended in iOS 8. Now you can add or remove people from a group conversation. You can also enable ‘Do not disturb’ mode thread-wise.
iMessage goes viral. It brings some of the widely used WhatsApp functionalities. iMessage now lets you share location with your friends. Also, like WhatsApp you can record a message and send it to your recipient as a voice note.
It also bring Snapchat like self destruction audio and video functionality to iMessage.
iOS integration in OS X Yosemite
With iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite you can now share files between Mac and iPhone/iPad using AirDrop. In addition to this, you can also use your Mac to receive and send text messages without having your iPhone in your hand. Same applies to the calling feature. You can now call from your Mac (the call is placed using your iPhone) without having your phone in your hand. Mac can act as a Bluetooth enhancement device to call.
iCloud Drive is Apple’s answer to Dropbox, OneDrive and other cloud storage services. With iCloud Drive you can now store any kind of file to the iCloud and get access to it right from your iOS device or Mac system.
HealthKit and HomeKit
iOS 8 brings a centralized hub for all your health related alerts and notifications. The hub synchronizes with third-party apps and shows all the details in a beautiful way. If you have Nike FuelBand or any other health tracker, then instead of using the native app use HealthKit and you’ll get the same details in a whole new way.
With HomeKit it is not possible to control your home appliances like bunch of gadgets to lights and security camera using Siri.
Family Sharing is a whole new idea brought by Apple in iOS 8. With this featured turned on, up to six people in your family can share purchases from iTunes, iBooks, and the App Store without sharing accounts. You can pay for family purchases with the same credit card and approve kids’ spending right from a parent’s device. Easily share photos, a family calendar, and more to help keep everyone connected.
Additionally, you can also find where your kid is using ‘Find My iPhone’.
iOS 8 is offering enhanced photo experience. You can now store more photos on your iCloud than your device alone. You get the first 5GB absolutely free, 20GB for $0.99 per month, 20GB for $3.99 going all the way to 1TB.
There’s a new feature called Smart Editing that lets you sync edited photos across devices.
Instead of pressing and holding the ‘Home’ button to wake Siri you can say ‘Hey, Siri’ and it will wake her up. Along with this, Siri now also features Shazam song recognition, purchase content from iTunes, streaming voice recognition and 22 new dictation languages.
App Store gets a massive overhaul in iOS 8. Developers can now create App Bundles and sell them at a discounted rate. You can now see an app preview in a video instead of screenshots alone.
Family Sharing also comes to App Store. With it you can purchase an app and share it with your family. It can also let you approve your kid’s purchases. App Store now adds trending search option. This is a very handy option to know what’s hot right now.
There’s a new feature for developers called Test Flight. It lets developers do native beta app testing.
Third party widgets
iOS was always deprived of widgets, however, with iOS 8 Apple has now integrated widgets into the operating system. These widgets will live in the notification center and not on the lock screen.
Third party keyboards
One of the most awaited features in iOS is the ability to use custom keyboards like Android. iOS 8 brings this functionality and lets you install custom keyboard system-wide. Swype, Swiftkey etc will soon come to iOS devices.
- iPhone 5s
- iPhone 5c
- iPhone 5
- iPhone 4s
- iPad 2
- iPad 3
- iPad 4
- iPad Air
- iPad mini 1
- iPad mini with Retina Display
- iPod touch 5G
iOS 8 beta is available for all developers from today itself. It will be released publicly for all the compatible devices in Fall 2014.