What’s new in iOS 8?

iOS 8 has been finally released and is full of new functionalities. It can be downloaded right now and you can enjoy its latest features.

What should be born in mind before downloading iOS 8 and what new functions should be paid attention to? Below is our attempt to pick out some points that are really worth mentioning.

1. Compatibility. iOS 8 is compatible with almost as many devices as iOS 7 but what comes to iPhone 4, that is left behind the list. An iPhone 4S or newer and iPad2 or newer are required to update iOS 8 software. You should also remember that iDevices use Bluetooth 4.0, thus iOS 8 is not compatible with the iOS 7 compatible device without Bluetooth Low Energy but works with Fitbit Flex, Jawbone Up24, and Nike FuelBand SE.

2. New phone and SMS-functionalities. That`s definitely a pain to look for your phone for a single SMS for an Android user, especially when in front of you there is a Mac. iOS 8 SMS will finally appear on iPad and Mac computers as long as your Mac is upgraded to OS X Yosemite. Integration between iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite enables a Mac or an iPad to make or receive phone calls. You can see the caller`s name, number and profile picture. Apart from it, one can send and receive SMS and MMS messages from a non-Apple device on both iPads and Macs.
Please, take a note that some continuity features with SMS Relay among them are still not possible. Apple promises to make it available in October.

3. Let us move on to messages. Start a conversation and easily drop people or add them, leave conversations whenever you want it. One can also enjoy location sharing just right in the middle of the conversation. One thing more: you can turn on do-not-disturb-mode and look through messages when you have time for it. Apart from it, one can make voice or video recordings for one single message as well as hear or watch them directly within the Messages app. The Messages includes new details section to review all the attachments of a conversation (it is assumed that you have not deleted the communication history).

4. Camera. It is hard to believe but iPhone is the most used camera in the world. iOS 8 offers something just perfect. The iOS 8 camera is equipped with a new time-lapse mode. It enables to capture extended moments by snapping photos at dynamically selected intervals. iOS  time-lapse mode is considered to be the opposite of the slow motion video added to iOS 7 last year and even Slow Mo240pfs in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

5. Multitasking interface. While tapping twice on the home button to access the app switcher remains the same, Apple introduced a new section just above open apps where recent as well as favorite contacts are listed.

6. The smartest keyboard ever as Apple has put it. Are you fed up with constant typing of long messages? With iOS 8, one can suggest contextually appropriate words to complete the idea. The iOS 8 keyboard even takes into account one`s different writing styles for SMS and Mails. Apple claims that the smart iOS 8 keyboard adapts to the person it communicates with.

7. New photo functionalities. Apple introduced a new iCloud Photo Library. The iCloud Photo Library stores photos in their original formats, keeping them organized into Moments, Collections and Years. To find your memorable photos iOS 8 offers smart search tools by date, album name etc. One can also hide some videos and photos from the folders if necessary.
Moreover, iCloud enables downloading the libraries from any device. One can also take advantage of smart adjustments as light, exposure, brightness and contrast.

8. Details that make experiences – interactive notifications. iOS 8 introduces convenient interactive notifications as there is a possibility to respond to messages, reminders, and calendar invitations without leaving the app one works with.

9. One more feature that makes user`s experience brilliant, so Apple, is a Mail time-saving feature, to be more accurate, iOS 8 offers new swipe gestures to mark an email as read or flag it for a follow up. One can also add an event or phone number from email to calendar or phone number list.

10. Safari. If you have an iPad, now you can easily enjoy the Tab view on it as well. It presents all your open web pages and tabs from the same site are gathered together. There is also a new Sidebar that displays bookmarks, Shared Links and Reading List. One more peculiarity of iOS 8`s Safari is that it can scan the credit card number for online purchases instead of entering the number manually.

11. A new health app that includes Diagnostics, Fitness, Lab Results, Medications, Sleep, Vitals along with an Emergency Card showing medical conditions and allergy. One can access the Emergency Card directly on the lock screen. The main idea behind the Health app is to make an overview of a person`s current health in one available spot.

12. Continuity. Handoff and Wi-Fi hotspot. These features enable starting a project on an iPad and finishing it on a Mac without an overlap and a need to rewrite the text on the computer. If there is no Internet access, the HotSpot will help you. However, please bear in mind that Handoff is not compatible with Macs that predate Bluetooth 4.0.

13. A new way to bring harmony. Family Sharing. The perk of the app is that now parents get more control over their kids` purchases by receiving a request for permission to buy something from iTunes, Apple Store or iBooks. Another novelty is a possibility to make purchases on the same credit card among a total of six people in a family.
As an advantage of the new Family Sharing, one can also mention a feature that allows finding the lost device and having it play a sound even if the ringer is off.

14. New iCloud Drive. Previously, it did not seem to be of much convenience to use free 5 GB of the iCloud space. With the new iOS 8 space more than 5 GB still costs money but one can take advantage of storing different types of documents as PDFs, images, presentations, spreadsheets and accessing them from any iDevice.

Finally, we saved some hidden features of iOS 8 for the last. We can`t but mention the touch ID for all. All the apps are able to apply biometric scanning home button instead of passcodes. However, be attentive: this feature is available only for the iPhone 5S and is expected to come to the iPhone6, iPadAir 2 and iPad mini this year.

Moving on, iOS 8 displays battery usage by app and there is an option to send your last location before the battery dies. iOS 8 can make Wi-Fi calls instead of cellular when connected to a Wi-Fi network. Apart from it, the new system randomizes the Mac addresses of iOS devices when searching for Wi-Fi networks that makes much more difficult to track the user.

In addition, one more peculiarity, if one still has some questions or troubles regarding iOS 8 beta 4, Apple proposes them a new tip app, that is designed to offer information about all the new features in the new operating system.

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Industries and Technology Areas:

Industries: IT

Technology Areas: software development, mobile application development

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