iOS 8’s key features
While iOS 7 was mostly about the looks, the next version will focus on expanding iOS’s capabilities. There are great new features for everyone, but what’s most exciting is the thousands of new developer tools. Released this autumn, iOS 8 will support everything from the iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and later.
A new part of iOS 8 is ‘extensions’ for developers to make their apps accessible from other parts of the OS. This allows for custom sharing options, actions in other apps, third-party keyboards and interactive widgets in Notification Center. The possibilities for new useful apps is huge.
Interact ive notifications
When some notifications come in, you’ll be able to take action on them without leaving whatever app you’re in. For texts, for example, you can type and send a reply right in the banner notification at the top, or mark reminders as completed or push them to later. Third-party apps will be able to add options, too.
Apple is getting serious about iMessage by adding some handy new features. You can quickly record and send video or audio snippets to people, you can share your current location in a conversation and you can manage group conversations easier. No word on whether you’ll actually get all your messages yet, though…
A new feature for families lets you tie up to six Apple accounts to a single credit card, so stuff bought on those accounts (books, movies, apps and so on) is shared between everyone. Best of all, though, is if one of the kids wants to buy an IAP, you get a permission request sent to your device, for approval (or not).
Apple revealed iOS 8 will come with a new Health app, which developers and fitness/ medical accessory makers can tie into using a system called HealthKit. The Health app will make your health data available at a glance, but can also send the data out, to an app for your hospital, say.