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WWDC 2014 - iOS 8
June 4, 2014 - Dave Hecei
It seems that I upgraded to iOS 7 only a few months ago. Just a few months from now, Apple will be releasing their next mobile operating system, iOS 8. During the WWDC 2014 keynote event, Apple previewed both Mac OS X 10.10 and iOS 8. Here is just a bit of what the new iOS has to offer.
There are a bunch of new features and other improvements that makes it hard to know where to start. From the demos during Monday's keynote, the big winners are Siri, Notifications, and Messages. Siri now has a handsfree mode. While Android users have been shouting 'Okay Google...' for a little while now, we can now yell at our iOS devices 'Hey Siri...'. While this might seem like a minor thing, but combine this while driving, or even when you dream about a mythical Apple wearable device, it could be very powerful.
Messages will allow more interactivity. You will be able to easily add in photos and video to a chat. Leaving a group is now there too. The cool part of the demo happened when a notification popped up on an iPhone showing an incoming voice message. With iOS 8 you don't have to log in, (you do have auto lock enabled on your iPhone?) you just hold it up to your ear and it will play the recording for you.
Talking about notifications, the Notifications part of iOS 8 is also much improved. This was improved in iOS 7, but in iOS 8 there you can do much more right in the notification itself. Getting notifications while the iOS device is idle is no big deal. Getting them while you are working in an App is another. Now you can deal with a notification without leaving the App you are working in. It also looks like Widgets can be added to the Notifications slide down window giving it even more flexibility.
Another huge improvement in iOS 8 is the keyboard. While most of us have a love/hate relationship with auto-correct, it does work well, most of the time. Apple claims that the new keyboard system can actually learn how you type. It will not only predict the word you are trying to type, but it will offer word combinations or phrases too. If that isn't enough, in iOS 8 you will have the ability to load up different keyboards.
So that was the improvements, on to what's new. There are several new features coming to iOS. Health is going to be huge in the near future for Apple mobile devices. While Nike and iPods were collaborating long ago, Health is going to go far beyond this.
Family is also going to be big. Sharing on multiple devices, Mac-PCs-iOS, will really come together. Apple defines the family as up to 6 memebers though, so if you have a big family with lots of devices (which means you must have lots of money too) you'll have to do a bit more work. Sharing among all these devices will require they all are linked to a single credit card. Now when your 8 year old tries to buy something on their device, you get a notification on yours asking for permision. You can say 'Yes' or 'Maybe Later'. Of course this is Apple, we don't want to say no the the kid, just a maybe.
The new iOS 8 is stated to be available sometime this fall. It will likely be released right before the new iPhones and iPads start shipping. This will likely be sometime in September or October this year.
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