Welcome to the new iOS 8! As well as a bright new user interface update, iOS 8 will bring to our phones a new level of sharing – between family members, between app developers and between iDevices and Macs.
We’re pretty excited about the new software functionality this operating system is promising, and below you will find a comprehensive outline of everything ( that we know of so far) that iOS 8 will bring to your lives with it’s release in the Fall.
The search function in iOS is called Spotlight, and with iOS 8 it brings a much broader ability to search, both on your iDevice and on the internet. For example -type in a term and you can see a part of a Wikipedia article, including a picture and a short summary. Tap it, and Spotlight takes you to the full article.
Spotlight will also show you search results like trending topics, popular websites, nearby restaurants with phone number and hours of business that can connect you to maps, search results within the iTunes Store or the App store, and search results for movie times.
It seems like there is a slight crossover with Siri’s functionality in the new Spotlight, but making things easier all round can only be good!
Messaging gets a lovely new overhaul with iOS 8! Starting off impressively is the new ability to add video and audio messages. Simply touch and hold the new microphone button to record your message, and swipe to send. on the other end, to hear a message, you can now hold your iPhone to your ear and listen or just tap the play button next to the message.
All messages, text, video and audio, will now have the option to be deleted automatically, or within a time period ranging from a year to forever.
With iOS 8 you will be able to create larger and better controlled group conversation threads where people can be added and can leave at their leisure. Group conversations can be named for an event or experience, the attachments can be seen all in one place rather than opening them one at a time, and you can put the conversation on ‘Do Not Disturb’ so you can read the thread when you want without being, well, disturbed.
A new option with messaging which I’m sure teenagers are just going to love is the new location services within the messaging app. It is of course just that – an option – to show others that your are messaging where you are ( and if you really are studying in the library with Rachel, why do you have your location option switched off? HUH? uh oh).
Other than that, we can see this addition promising to be very useful. You can show your location with individuals or everyone for an hour, until the end of the day, or indefinitely.
Finally, a small but lovely touch is the new ability to send multiple photos and videos at once through messaging. YAY Let’s bombard EVERYONE WITH SO MANY CAT PHOTOS AND PHOTOS OF THOSE SWEET MOUNTAINS WE SAW ON OUR VACATION!
The new Health app gives you an easy-to-read dashboard of all of your health and ﬁtness data (Think heart rate, calories burned, blood sugar, cholesterol etc) . This data can be collected ( if you choose) from 3rd party sources and apps such as Nike, Fitbit, FitnessPal, medical devices etc and shown here consolidated for you and others ( again, if you choose) to access. This can mean that your Doctor or fitness specialist can be notified when something is wrong, or if you’ve hit a certain metric or met a goal.
Apple has been working with the Mayo Clinic working towards what they say will ‘bridge the gap between patients, doctors, and health-tracking devices…with ‘the potential to revolutionize how the health industry works.’
With health in iOS 8 you can create an emergency card with all of your vital medical information ( think blood type, allergies, medications) that’s accessible from your Lock screen.
Despite all of the focus on Apple’s health related initiative before WWDC, the company spent very little time going over the Health app. It is likely we’ll see an additional focus on Health in the coming months as it is likely to also integrate with Apple’s much-rumored wearable device, the iWatch.
Siri gets several updates with the ability to be invoked hands-free with the phrase “Hey, Siri” along with Shazam song recognition, 22 new dictation languages, as well as streaming voice recognition to show you guys search results as you speak. In order to preserve battery life, Apple requires that the device be plugged into power for “Hey Siri” to work.
When a notification comes up on your phone, from Facebook, Skype, Messages, Calendar – whatever- you will now be able to respond those notifications without leaving the app you’re already in. Hoo- RAH! Such a small thing, that will make it so incredibly less frustrating than before!
Now from your inbox, you can swipe to mark an email as read or flag it for follow-up. Jump between a draft email and an email in your inbox super easily, and when you get a reservation, flight confirmation or phone number in an email, a notification appears. Just tap to add an event to your calendar or a phone number to your contacts.
Safari in iPad
Just like above, you can now see all your tabs on your iPad, just like on your iPhone. You can see all your open web pages with tabs from the same site grouped together. There’s also a new Sidebar that slides out to reveal your bookmarks, Reading List, and Shared Links.
From any screen, press the Home button twice to see the multitasking interface which now comes complete with a few friendly faces. These are the people you’ve recently talked to and if you swipe to the right — your favorite contacts as well. Just tap one to call, text, or start a FaceTime call.
QuickType is the new predictive text and something we’re sure will change the way we communicate. We can also see it being comedian’s late night fodder for sure, but until then – it’s a clever and useful feature of iOS 8. As you use the new keyboard over time, it will learn the way you communicate, get to know your favorite phrases, and suggest options for the logical next word that adapts to the current context with the caveat that those words change, depending on who you are talking to. The iOS 8 predictive text engine is optimized for 14 countries.
Apple is also going to allow users to install third-party keyboards for the first time, which means keyboards like Swype can be used natively on the operating system.
Family sharing is pretty cool. Up to six people in your family can share all kinds of things across their devices. This includes: calendar information and purchases from iTunes, iBooks, and the App Store, (with the ability to pay for family purchases with the same credit card and approve kids’ spending right from a parent’s device.) You will be able to automatically set up a family photo stream where you can share photos, videos, and comments. And everything stays up to date on everyone’s devices.
Family Sharing can automatically share your location with your family members and show you where they are. You can hide your location too… because that’s not suspicious or anything.
You can safely store all your presentations, spreadsheets, PDFs, images, and any other kind of document in iCloud, access them and work on them live from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC.
Using iCloud Drive means you’ll always have access to the latest version of all your documents from any device.
What’s really cool is that now your apps will be able to share files, which means you can access and work on the same file across multiple apps. The example Apple gave is this: you can create a drawing in a sketching app, then open it in a paint app to color it in. Or create a chart in one app and place it in a slideshow using a presentation app. No more making copies or importing documents from one app to another. It’s a whole new level of collaboration between apps.
Cross platform interaction
Um, what? You can do what now? Yass. Now you can make and receive phone calls on all of your devices and your Mac as long as your iPhone running iOS 8 is on the same Wi-Fi network. Incoming calls show the caller’s name, number, and profile picture. Just click or swipe the notification to answer, ignore, or respond with a quick message. It all works with your existing iPhone number, so there’s nothing to set up.
PERSONAL HOTSPOT WHAT. If you’re out of Wi-Fi range but your iPhone is close by, your iPad or Mac will now be able to connect to your phone’s new personal hotspot to surf the interwebs and all that cool internet type stuff.
This is a new programming language that Apple has introduced, which for developers, is pretty dope. For the general population, it’s also pretty dope, but on a different level. What it comes down to for you guys – apps for iOS 8 will be better. Which we like.
Extras We’ve learnt about since the WWDC keynote !
iPads will gain the ability to take Panoramic photos like the iPhone, while the Camera will gain an instant burst mode, a timer mode, and separate controls for focus and exposure. iBooks will support an auto night mode and the ability to organize books by series, while notifications will include travel time.
A mysterious Tips app, which was first depicted in an early screenshot of iOS 8, is also mentioned, though it is unclear what this app will do. It is possible Tips will provide iOS users with information on lesser known iOS features, serving as a tutorial app for those who want to learn the ins and outs of their devices.
So there you go, guys, iOS 8. Overall we’re really quite impressed, and very much looking forward to it’s release in the Fall. Apple developers have access to iOS 8 and will be working on creating awesome apps for the update so we can use the operating system precisely how Apple planned. It will, of course, be free.
The only downfall of iOS 8 – Those of you who have an iPhone 4, it doesn’t appear as if iOS 8 will be compatible. . Soooo… you guys…. have you heard about the new iPhone 6 that’s coming?
Stay tuned for our comprehensive outline of OS X Yosemite – and let us know if you have any questions about iOS 8 and we’ll try and answer them as best we can!!