by Shane Roberts
Yesterday was a great day for Apple fans! The WWDC keynote with Tim Cook and others laid out the future of both Mac OS X and iOS.
In this post we are just going to discuss iOS 8 and all of the new additions you can expect to come to both your iPhone and iPad.
Photos and iCloud Photo Library give you access to all your photos, anytime, anywhere. Your photos are easy to find and organized consistently across your devices. Photos has all-new editing tools for adjusting light, color, and more, and the ability to use third-party editing tools. This takes Photo Stream, which is existing already in iOS and iCloud, and augments that with a more robust service.
Use Tap to Talk in Messages to share your voice with just a swipe. And send photos and videos using the same simple gesture. Group messages lets you add and remove contacts, leave a conversation, and turn on Do Not Disturb. Share your current location from within Messages.
The new Health app gathers information you choose from your health apps and fitness devices, and provides you with an overview. HealthKit APIs give health and fitness apps the ability to communicate with each other, giving you a better way to manage your health. No longer will you have to jump from health app to health app just to get the info you are wanting to track. All of your health info will be located in one central location with Health.
The new QuickType keyboard includes predictive text, which understands how you communicate and provides personalized suggestions, so you can write entire sentences with just a few taps. iOS 8 also allows developers to create keyboards for system-wide use. That is a huge addition, because for years people have been asking for new keyboards, like a “Swype” or something similar.
Safely store documents of any type in iCloud so you can access and work on them across your devices. Your apps can now share files so you can work on the same file across multiple apps. No more making copies or importing documents from one app to another. For those old time Apple users out there, this is essentially iDisk reborn. This may replace a service like DropBox for a lot of people.
iOS 8 extends Spotlight’s capabilities to give you suggestions beyond what’s on your device, including information from Wikipedia, news, and nearby places.
Your iPhone, iPad, and Mac work better together with Handoff to start an activity on one device and finish on another, the ability to make and receive calls and send SMS/MMS messages from all devices, and the ability to create an Instant Hotspot. We will dig more into Continuity in a laster post.
iOS 8 delivers interactive notifications, fast access to key contacts by tapping the Home button twice, the ability to quickly switch back and forth between your inbox and drafts in Mail, and intelligent suggestions. The ability answer messages, or really any notification for that matter, within another app will be a welcome, streamlined addition to iOS 8.
iOS 8 is the biggest release for developers since the introduction of the App Store. It opens up new areas of iOS, allowing developers to extend the reach of their app content and functionality. With more than 4000 new APIs, developers can customize the user experience with features like widgets. You can now have widgets like ESPN on your Notification Center. Also services like HomeKit, which is the ability to increase and improve home automation equipment like smart thermostats, will be available as well. iOS 8 also includes Swift, a powerful new programming language that will improve app development, and Metal, a new graphics technology that maximizes game performance on A7-powered devices and will make games on iOS 8 devices more graphically impressive.