With the yearly launch of Apple’s latest smartphone we also get an update of the operating system iOS. This year Apple introduces iOS 8 and according to them it is “the biggest iOS release ever — for developers and everyone else”. Many would argue that the release of iOS 7 last year was the biggest change since the original, but iOS 8 does seem to bring a lot of features to the table. iOS 8 is officially available from today, although you might run into some errors as the most people will be rushing to be the first in line.
The iOS 8 update will be available for iPhone 4S and up, iPad 2 and up as well as 5th generation iTouch. Let’s see what Apple has in store with the new iOS 8…
Apple are notoriously late adopters of new trends, for example the health craze that hit the smartphone industry about a year or more ago. Although because they arrive a bit late at the party they usually bring the best gifts. Apple states that “we simply set out to create the most natural, most useful experience — one that is pleasantly surprising at ﬁrst and becomes utterly indispensable before you know it.”
Here are some of the highlights of new features found in iOS 8 (descriptions from Apple’s site):
Photos - The new Photos app makes it simpler than ever to find and rediscover your favorite photos with new search features and smart albums that organize your photos for you. And you can make every shot look even better immediately after you’ve taken it with powerful new editing tools, no matter your skill level.
Messages – Now Messages lets you connect with friends and family like never before. Tap to add your voice to any conversation. Send a video of what you’re seeing the moment you’re seeing it. And easily share your location so they know right where you are.
Keyboard - iOS 8 makes typing easier by suggesting contextually appropriate words to complete your sentences. It even recognizes to whom you’re typing and whether you’re in Mail or Messages. Because your tone in an email may be different from your tone in a message. You can also for the first time install 3rd party keyboard apps like Swype and Swiftkey.
Family Sharing - Family Sharing is a new way to bring harmony to your family’s digital life. Up to six people in your family can share purchases from iTunes, iBooks, and the App Store without sharing accounts. 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.
Health - The new Health app gives you an easy‑to‑read dashboard of your health and ﬁtness data. And we’ve created a new tool for developers called HealthKit, which allows all the incredible health and ﬁtness apps to work together, and work harder, for you.
Spotlight - Sometimes you’re looking for a contact or an app. Sometimes you’re looking for answers. Spotlight now gives you suggestions from Wikipedia entries, places nearby, trending news, and more. It’s even smart enough to recognize context and location to offer you the most relevant information.
These are just a few of the changes coming to iOS 8. A lot of these features may be available to some degree on Android platforms already but Apple has a knack to perfect features they lay their hands on. Whether or not they have succeeded we will just have to wait and see. If you have updated to iOS 8 already let us know what you think!
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