All you Need to know of iOS 8


The much awaited iOS 8 has finally been revealed. It is fully packed with features and you are bound to love it.

Is was obvious in the keynoted on Monday that there were no hardware announcements, which you may have hoped for, but on the other hand the event was packet with wealth of software announcements. There were in fact much too man of them to keep a track of.  The announcements were made by the Apple CEO Tim Cook and the majors included iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. But this particular article will focus on the features and updates concerning iOS 8.

iOS 8 is going to be legendary. It is faster, smarter, family-centric and has a strong focus on health aspects regarding your daily lives. Some of the features include Family Sharing, using which you can share purchases made by family members amongst each other, iCloud Drive, which will allow you to sync your files between mobile and desktop rather quickly and Handoff. Scroll down to find out what Handoff is including other great features in iOS 8. Another interesting new development is the Quicktype which is a predictive engine for faster and smarter typing. There are many gesture implementations and quite an interactive Notification Center. After the jump, check out All you Need to know of iOS 8. As always, your comments are welcome.

1. Faster Access

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The notification center is now more interactive and dynamic than ever. There is a lot you can accomplish straight from the notification center without having the need to opening applications. This would include replying to text messages, liking a photo on Facebook and even accepting or declining Calendar invitations.

Mail

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As mentioned before, there are a lot of gesture implementation. In the Mail application, you can now use swipes in order to mark a particular e-mail as read, and even delete it. If you are working on a draft, you can swipe down to temporarily save it. The Mail engine has become smarter too. It can now recognize phone numbers, reservations, flight confirmations and much more. Upon recognition of such data, it will generate various prompts in order for you to use that information and that includes adding an event to the calendar.

Spotlight

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While this feature is pretty powerful on the OS X Yosemite, iOS 8 is not lagging behind either. You can use Spotlight search and it would automatically pull suggestions from Wikipedia, news sites, movie show times, suggested websites and nearby places. Spotlight works in conjunction with iTunes, Safari, App Store and iBooks.

Contacts

All you need to do is double tap on the Home Button. This will give you access to your recent contact and favorite people. Using the menu, you can text, call and even FaceTime. You can also contact them via the new features found on the Messages application.

2. Messages

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It is no secret that the Messages application is looking quite a lot like Whatsapp, features wise. You now have the functionality of group messaging and you can remove or even add people from conversations threads. You can name your threads in order to organize them better. Sounds familiar? If you are not a big fan of typing, or are otherwise driving or something you can tap-to-talk, or send an audio or a video message straight from the application. You can send and receive audio messages by holding your phone up to your ear. Gestures! Another interesting but similar sounding feature is the sharing of location. The differentiating factor is that you can choose to share the information for a selected period or otherwise indefinitely. You can also make messages self-destruct. You can choose statuses for a thread, for example, the Do Not Disturb Mode. You will no longer be hearing anything that is going on in that thread.

You also have the ability to set how long you want to save your messages. It can be one day, one year or forever; whatever you wish.

3. Quicktype

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iOS 8 is getting a new keyboard. This keyboard comes equipped with the Quicktype technology. It is a predictive text engine. It does not only predict spellings though, it predicts what you may say next in context of your sentence. It will learn how you type to a particular person, could be a friend or even your mom, and will constantly analyze the data to suggest words based on how you interact with that particular person. It works pretty amazing too. If you are concerned about privacy, know that Quicktype will learn the information solely on the device and will not require an internet connection to function. Whatever you type, will stay on the device and that’s it. Another interesting fact is that the predictive text engine is available in 14 countries allowing your device to learn your native common phrases and words.

4. Heatlh

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While companies are coming up with instruments that you can wear on your body to monitor different aspects of your life, Apple is busy integrating everything into their smartphone that you carry around with you. So they came up with HealthKit for iOS 8. Using this particular application, you can do so much, including storing your blood group and allergies right on the lock screen. You can share vital information about your current health with your family members, doctors and even fitness trainer. All of that will happen in real-time. Developers have the opportunity to integrate their own hardware with the health application. Using this, you may have access to your health report at any given time during the day.

5. Photos

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Your photos are now integrated with iCloud. iCloud is now equipped with a separate library to handle your photos, called iCloud Photo Library. All the photos you take with your iPhone running iOS 8, will now be available on all the other Apple devices running your Apple id. This also includes the edits you make. You can access and download these photos on any device in full resolution. Of course, you can choose whether these photos are uploaded or not. You have access to several smart editing tools in your Photos applications. Some of those include auto-straighten, auto adjustment of light and color levels with very easy controls, and also several cropping options. If you are not comfortable with the presets, you can manually adjust various different controls to get that perfect. All the changes are synced and are readily available for search based on your location, time and name.

6. Family-Centric Aspects

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It’s all about family in the end after all. You can now use family sharing in order to share purchases from the App Store, iBooks and iTunes. If your family member has made a purchase with the same credit card that you are using, you can use that particular item on your device via family sharing. Sharing is allowed between a maximum of six family members. If there is a purchase made using any application by any one of the family members, the owner of the credit card will first be prompted for permission – which is quite brilliant actually. You can also use family share to share calendars, reminders, events, location info and family photos.

7. iCloud Drive

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While there are specific things you can share using Family Share, iCloud Drive gives you the ability to share pretty much everything between the iOS and Mac OS X using the cloud. Even any edits you made are synced freeing you from ever connecting your phone to the computer in order to import, copy or transfer files from one device to another. Handoff is a new feature that is worth the mention here. If you are switching devices, the Handoff feature will let you pick up and continue your work on the new device, exactly where you left it before the switch. This particular feature will work with Contact, Reminders, Maps, Mail, Safari, Messages and Calendar. This means that you can start writing your e-mail on your phone and finish it on your Mac a year later if you so wish.

8. Safari Desktop Option

You know those situations where you open a website and you just wish you had access to the desktop version of the same website. Well, this new option in the native Safari browser will support desktop version on your mobile for any website.

9. Wi-Fi Calling

If you are in an area where you do not have network signal, you will still have the ability to make calls over Wi-Fi. T-Mobile has confirmed this feature.

10. Camera App

There were changes made to the Camera App as well. You tap the screen to set focus, after the picture is in focus you will see a tiny slider right next to the onscreen focus icon, which will allow you adjust exposure etc. You will now be able to set timers to take pictures and you have the time-lapse option which will deliver a high sped compliment to the Slo-Mo option.

11. Siri

Siri has now become friends with Shazam music recognition. This will allow you to listen to a piece of music and simply ask Siri ‘What song is this’? She will ask her new friend Shazam and tell you all about it. Siri will also offer you purchase of the song from the iTunes. Also, Siri is now hands free. You don’t need to tap her for her to listen to you, just call her. Say, ‘hey, Siri’.

12. Accessibility

You can apply the greyscale effect to the entire phone using the Accessibility panel. You also have enhanced zooming capability with the magnifying glass option.

13. Battery Usage

iOS 8 has the feature to show you the current battery usage specific to individual applications. The amount of energy being used by a particular application is shown in percentages.

14. Virtual Currencies

Of course the first thing in your mind would be Bitcoin. Apple did not officially mention Bitcoin, but the guidelines indicate support for virtual currencies.

15. Location-based Suggestions

If you have enabled location services, you may be getting various suggestions on your lock screen. For example, if you are near a Starbucks, the company logo may show up on your lock screen informing you that a café is near.

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