Good news to all the Apple mobile device (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) users out there, Apple has released the latest version of its mobile OS, iOS 8 at WWDC 2014. iOS 8 is a great leap forward from iOS 7 and packs in a lot of awesome features. With the latest update, iOS gets almost all the features the users have been wanting.
With iOS 8, Apple forays into a lot of critical fields like health and fitness tracking, connected devices etc. Apart from the new features, Apple also vastly improves the existing iOS features giving its competitors a run for their money. iMessage with its updated features competes fiercely with both WhatsApp and Snapchat. Overall, iOS 8 is a great offering and we list below 15 awesome iOS 8 features you should definitely know.
15 Awesome iOS 8 Features You Should Definitely Know
1. HealthKit: There are already a lot of health and fitness tracking devices and apps in the market. HealthKit is Apple’s first foray into this highly competitive field. Apple has launched Health app which gathers all the data from various apps and fitness tracking devices and displays it all at one place.
2. HomeKit: Connected devices are becoming more and more popular with every passing day. iOS 8’s HomeKit feature provides a framework for developers to create apps for their devices. Users could use those apps to discover, configure and create actions to control their devices. Siri integration is also supported.
3. iMessage: iOS 8 adds lots of new features to iMessage. Apple has added group messaging feature as well as audio and video messaging to iMessage. It has also added SnapChat style self-destructing messages. All you need to do is set the timer and your messages will vanish from the recipient’s device after preset time.
4. Family Sharing: iOS 8 App Store lets you share your paid apps, songs and movies with upto 6 family members. All the users need to have the same payment details for this to work. One more interesting feature is that you receive notifications about your children’s app purchases which you can choose to accept or decline.
5. Receive iPhone text messages and calls on Mac: You can now view and reply to text messages as well as answer phone calls right on your Mac. This feature is very handy when your iPhone is not near, like say when it is charging.
6. Touch ID: Apple has taken Touch ID a bit further by letting you authenticate apps using Touch ID.
7. Siri: On iOS 8 loaded devices, you can say “Hey, Siri” to launch Siri just like “OK, Google” on Android. Siri also gets the music identification feature with iOS 8. Ask Siri “What song is playing?” and it will connect to Shazam‘s database and return the name of the song.
8. Mail: iOS 8 brings Mailbox like interactions to the Mail app. All you need to do is swipe on the email to perform different actions like flag, trash etc.
9. Camera App: iOS 8 adds new features like separate focus and exposure controls, instant burst mode and camera timer to its Camera app.
10: iCloud Photo Library: All your photos are automatically backed up on iCloud and you can view them on your iPhone, iPad, iPod or iMac. Any editing you do to the photos on a device is reflected across all devices.
11. QuickType and third party keyboards: QuickType brings word predictions to iOS 8. You will now get word predictions as you type. The word predictions are personalized and QuickType will learn your typing habits over time. All the information is stored locally on your iDevice rather than on Apple’s servers. Third party keyboards are also supported on iOS 8.
12. Widgets: Apple still doesn’t let you place widgets on your home screen, but interactive widgets can be placed in the notification center.
13. Inline Responses: You can now reply to text messages or respond to app notifications right from the notification center instead of having to open the app.
14. Wi-Fi Calls: iOS 8 lets you make phone calls over Wi-Fi networks. This feature is currently only available on T-Mobile carrier.
15. DuckDuckGo: DuckDuckGo is a privacy focused search engine that doesn’t track its users. iOS 8 provides you with the option to choose DuckDuckGo as the default search engine on Safari.
iOS 8 Compatible Devices
iOS 8 is compatible with iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, upcoming iPhone 6, iPod Touch fifth generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina Display, iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad Mini with Retina Display. If you have any of these devices, go ahead and install iOS 8.
iOS 8 Beta is available for download to registered developers. It can be downloaded from here. The update will be pushed to all users with iOS 8 compatible devices sometime in the Fall.
Do comment on the iOS 8 features you like the most.