The upcoming OS from Apple is already available in Beta version and with the official release coming in early- to mid-September, by all accounts, we thought it was time to give you a brief rundown of the expected iOS 8 release. For the time being, only registered Apple developers have access to iOS 8, but they have been able to glean some important upgrades already. Here are the biggest features and updates you can expect from the new Apple signature OS; don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments section if there’s any particular one you’re excited about or looking forward to.
· The iOS 8 release will come with a health app
Apple is massively taking on a health-focused approach, as the release of their coming iWatch is nearing. Since an adapted version of the iOS 8 will also likely be used by the iWatch, it only makes sense that the iOS 8 will feature a ‘Health’ app. This is actually a dashboard of sorts, where users will be able to access all the data collected by health and fitness apps at a glance. There will be several sections like Lab Results, Nutrition, Sleep, Vital Signs, Diagnostics, and so on. In the latest beta version available to registered Apple developers (iOS 8 beta 3), Health was able to natively display the number of steps taken, as the M7 coprocessor of the iPhone 5S was integrated into it.
· In terms of design, it will look much like iOS 7
The iOS 8 will look quite a lot like its predecessor, but there are several function and form updatesto the new version that add up to subtle differences. For instance, the app switcher interface will feature a whole-new section on top of the open apps, which will allow you to access recent and favorite contacts, making it easier for users to initiate a voice call or a FaceTime call.
· Notifications get interactive
The new notification center of the iOS 8 release will be interactive. In concrete terms, this means users will be able to do a lot of things, simply by clicking the notification banners that pop up on their devices. In other words, you will no longer have to leave an app you were using, in order to text, write an email, send out an invitation via the calendar, or set a reminder. Some third-party apps, such as Facebook, are also supported for this new feature.
· Siri and Shazam will be integrated
Ever dreamt about firing up Siri with the casual command “Hey, Siri”? Well, the new iOS 8 release will allow you to do just that. What’s more, a voice command request to Siri, for the iPhone to identify a song, will open Shazam and deliver. Siri will also support streaming voice recognition, iTunes content purchases, and 22 new languages for its dictation feature.
· (Over)share with your family
In the new iOS 8 release, you’ll be able to create a family group of up to 6 people – if they all have iTunes accounts, they’ll have access to the all-new ‘Family Sharing’ feature. This feature lets up to 6 family members access purchases made with the same credit card, such as apps, iBooks, movies, and music. Even more interestingly, children will be able to initiate purchases off their own devices, which will then need to be confirmed by a parental device. And, of course, the members of a family group will be able to stay connected through sharing photos, videos, calendar reminders, and more. Location sharing will enable parents to track their children’s whereabouts and also locate lost iPhones and iPads.