Apple has announced its brand new mobile operating system, iOS 8 at WWDC 14!
With 130 new million customers joining iOS in the last year, 89% are now currently running iOS 7! Furthermore, 50% of new Chinese customers switched over from Android in the past year, with only 9% of all Android customers currently running its latest software. Tim Cook was happy to tear into Android, which now controls 99% of the mobile malware market. Nevertheless, iOS 8 is upon us!
iOS 8 builds on the design of iOS 7, with some great enhancements for both devices. Notifications centre has been refined, and there are new interactive notifications, with quick reply available for loads of your notifications, either in the drop down bar on your screen, or in your lock screen.
Apple’s double-tap feature for multitasking also takes you to your most frequented contacts, as well as your open apps. Safari has some great new features, such as a new tab overview and a sidebar, reminiscent of OS X Yosemite.
Mail has some awesome new features, such as some new control gestures. Composing messages can now be put on hold, swiping down to allow access to the rest of your mail, without interrupting your composition. WWDC demos showed off the brand new quick reply, which works for Facebook and other third party apps, allowing you to Like and Comment on Facebook notifications simply by swiping down on your notifications drop down. Mail also works better with Calendar, which can be used inside Mail to update your schedule without leaving the Mail. Gestures allow quick flagging of messages, and even quicker deleting. All in all, these initial refinements look like a great start to updating iOS.
Spotlight on iOS has also been updated, making suggestions, showing points of interest, directions, news and different apps, songs, nearby movies and content that can be purchased and stream, again reminiscent of OS X Yosemite.
Composing messages and typing is now improved with Quicktype, which has an improved recommendation engine that claims to be context-sensitive, gone are the days of telling trespassers to “Get the duck off your lawn”. Quicktype makes suggestions based on how you normally speak with a particular person, perhaps making distinctions between more professional and more casual messages, learned behaviour is stored on your device to protect your privacy. Group messaging has also been updated, allowing you to name threads, adding and removing people. You can also set Do not disturb options on a thread-to-thread basis, with access to all the media shared in that thread available in one place. There’s also an iMessage tap-to-talk feature, which allows you to send voice and video messages directly from messages to a recipient.
iOS has a couple of great features to make using your Mac and your iDevices even smoother. For example, if you edit a Keynote on your Mac, and then bring your iPad into proximity with your Mac, you can simply swipe upwards to continue to working on that Keynote using your iPad. Likewise, typing an email on your phone, you can continue that email on your Mac seamlessly. Macs can also use your iOS device to create an instant hotspot. You can also answer phone calls on your iPad or your iPhone, and you can even see SMS messages on your Mac or your iPad. For more information on Apple’s continuity feature, check out Mallorie’s piece here!
Now to Health. Apple’s brand new Health app brings revolutionary health monitoring. It features sleep tracking, calorie monitoring and great integration with third party apps and health care. Apple’s developer tools, Healthkit, can be integrated with all manner of third part apps, such as Nike and the Mayo Clinic. The latter allows users to upload patient data to an app, so that doctors can get real-time patient information from patients, providing more timely care on the go.
Apple’s new Family Sharing allows you to share all of your Apple purchases with up to 6 family members (on one credit card), as well as your calendar dates and more. This also includes notifications for parents when children try to make purchases on the App Store, so no more unwanted Plants vs Zombies bills.
There’s improvements to be found in iPhotos, which syncs all of your photos across all of your devices, with full access across iOS. Now, your device can access more storage space in the cloud than is available on your device. There’s also some new sorting features, and a search feature to help you find the photos you want with ease. There’s new smart editing controls for light, color and auto-straightening, which should make basic photo editing and management a whole lot simpler. Demos of Apple’s new photo editing showed off some impressive awareness and analysis to make some great changes to shots with real ease.
Changes have been made to Siri, which will respond to your voice whilst plugged into a car, and brand new Shazam song recognition built into Siri, which will recognise songs and offer purchases options within Siri!
Finally, we have third-party widgets! This allows you to place Widgets from all your favourite apps inside your notifications centre, with hundreds of possibilities, including eBay bidding inside of your notifications centre! There are also some new Safari extensions, such as Bing translation, this will allow users to install Safari extensions on iOS, enhancing their browsing experience.
iOS 8 also supports third-party keyboards, so finally, Swype and friends will be available on iOS!
iOS 8 will be available for Beta testing today, and for consumer release in the fall!