Last week, Apple unveiled its newest mobile operating system, iOS 8. It's packed with many new features and comes with important changes to the platform. There's no major redesign to mention, as visually iOS 8 it's almost identical with last year's iOS 7 .
iOS 8 will be available for download this Autumn, and it will be compatible with:
- iPhone 4s,5,5c,5s
- iPod touch 5th generation
- iPad 2, with Retina display, Air, mini, mini with retina display
Here are the most important features announced at WWDC 2014 keynote.
iOS 8 will now let you interact with apps from your home screen or your lock screen. You can respond to texts, emails, calendar reminders, like a Facebook message, without having to leave your application.
Widgets in notification center
iDevices will now support widgets in the notification center, from any applications. For example, you'll be able to access sport scores, calendar, and basically any third party app that has a widget.
Third-party keyboards and QuickType
iDevices will let you install third-party keyboards, which will include features like Swype, Swiftkey, Fleksy and others.
Apple also updated the iOS keyboard with predictive typing. The new feature called QuickType will suggest upcoming words you might want to type. iOS reads and understands your conversations and helps you type faster by giving you personalized suggestions.
Touch ID for all applications
Touch ID will now be available for any application downloaded from the Application Store. This means that you can use touch ID to replace your password from any third party app that will integrate Touch ID.
Spotlight can now search online for information. You can find apps from the app store, maps, points of interest, music, movies, iTunes content, and more.
If you have more iDevices in your family, they can work better together without having to be logged into the same account. Up to 6 family members will be allowed to share media, as long as it's purchased with the same credit card.
Apple introduced a new parenting feature that helps prevent kids buy apps or make in-app purchases without parental approval. When a kid wants to buy an app, a message will automatically be sent to the parent, giving the choice to approve or not approve the purchase.
Siri is now integrated with Shazam and supports song recognition. When plugged into your car, it can be accessed hands-free by saying 'Hey, Siri'.
Siri has 22 new dictation languages.
HomeKit gives you control over your home automation systems. The app works over Wi-Fi. Apple users will be able to turn off the lights, close the garage door, open tv, and do other tasks, using Siri.
We will probably get more details about HomeKit this Autumn.
With iMessages, you can now do group messaging and share your location. New features allow you to tap to talk, record video or take a photo, similar to Whatsapp.
The new iOS 8 application uses some sensors, like the Nike+ fuelband, to help you monitor your most important health metrics. The app lets you access your heart rate, weight, pedometer stats, sleep, calories burned and other information. Third party applications can submit data to your HealthKit. Most likely it will work best with the long awaited iWatch.
Better iCloud integration for Photos
All photos are now synced across iDevices with iCloud. This means all your photos are stored in iCloud, and you can easily access them from any device. Photo editing comes with new features and an overall improved experience.
These are the most important iOS 8 features Apple announced this week at WWDC 2014 keynote. For more information, you can watch the entire event on Apple's website.
According to many developers, the new iOS is the biggest change since iOS 2. What's your take on the new iOS 8? Do you think Apple is heading in the right direction?