At the Moscone Center in San Francisco during Apple’s 25th annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Tim Cook and co. today revealed the next generation of mobile software.
The world’s most valuable technology company showed off iOS 8, which builds off its predecessor, iOS 7.
Here are some of the big changes:
• An improved notification center that allows users to reply to iMessages without leaving the app they’re in when they receive it.
• Refined gestures, especially in Mail, allow for super smooth actions (flagging, unread, deleting, etc.).
• Double-tapping the home button launches an upgraded multi-tasking screen that includes recent contacts and actions.
• Like Mac OS X Yosemite, Spotlight has been improved with richer results. This extends to searching in Safari.
• iOS 8 has new keyboard technology called QuickType, which supports predictive typing suggestions (draws closely from BlackBerry 10’s keyboard technology) that varies based on the contact you’re conversing with. Apple promises no keystrokes leave the device, ensures privacy.
• Messages updated with group messaging, Do Not Disturb, and location sharing, as well as photo galleries within threads.
• Using the iPhone’s sensor, users can simply raise their device to their ear to hear new voice messages from the lock screen and send voice messages the same way. Voice messages auto self-destruct to save space.
• Noting that 98% of Fortune 500 companies use iOS in some way, Apple added focus to the enterprise during its keynote, introducing new enterprise-centric features for documents, iCloud, etc.
• iOS 8 introduces HealthKit and its corresponding app Health, which monitors fitness metrics in sync with third-party apps such as Nike+.
• A new feature called Family Sharing allows kids to “ask for permission” before buying apps, which messages the parents’ device. Also allows parents to GPS-track kids’ locations.
• Photos app now allows all devices to access all photos. Searching for photos has also been dramatically improved, via location, time and albums. New smart editing controls enable better cropping and light and colour management.