Apple iOS 8: Release date, news, apps and design

Apple have unveiled their new operating system, iOS 8, and we've rounded up all the latest news and features in one place.    

 

Apple's new operating system has been drumming up rumours all year, and it's finally been announced at Apple's WWDC. Apple has taken another step up from iOS 7, further streamlining the Apple experience, especially with integration and syncing between iOS devices. Here's a rundown of the top iOS 8 new features revealed at WWDC.

If you want to see exactly what's new in the latest iOS upgrade, head on over to our iOS 8 vs. iOS 7 preview.

iOS 8: Notification Center

You can still pull down notifications from the Today view, but iOS 8 allows you to respond to banner notifications as you receive them by swiping on the notification at the top of the screen and typing a quick response, no matter which app you have open.

This also goes for notifications in the lock screen, so you can quickly respond to messages or notifications that need immediate attention.

iOS 8: Spotlight

Moved to the top of the screen with iOS 7, Spotlight has been made even more intelligent with iOS 8 – it now not only searches on your device, but also searches the internet and offers suggestions based on what you've typed. Spotlight will now pull up apps in the App Store, content from iTunes, Wikipedia definitions and movie listings in your local area.

iOS 8: QuickType

Taking a leaf out of Android's book, iOS 8 introduces smarter word suggestions appearing just above the keyboard. Messages suggests its language based on the conversation you're having, so it won't come up with casual language for a conversation with your boss.

iOS 8: HealthKit

This serves as Apple's hub for health tracking and fitness apps. It hosts Apple's own monitoring app, Health, which is working with health organisations including the NHS to sync your health data when you add a new reading and alert your doctor if there's anything out of the ordinary, for example unusually high blood pressure.

HealthKit will also group together other health and fitness apps, such as Nike+, which is adapting to fit into the new health hub, making HealthKit a one-stop-shop for your personal fitness and health data.

iOS 8: Messages

Incessant notifications from group message threads are set to become a thing of the past, as iOS 8 enables you to set message thread notifications to 'do not disturb' on individual threads. You can also name threads, add or remove people, share your location with thread members (either for an hour, a day or indefinitely) and easily view all the media shared in the thread.

You'll also be able to quickly reply to messages with an audio message, by recording a voice message and sending it as an audio file within the thread.

iOS 8: Mail

When composing a new message, you can swipe down to hide the message, access the rest of your inbox and mail, and swipe up on the email to retrieve it and finish composing. Apple has also introduced single-swipe moves for deleting messages and marking them as unread. 

iOS 8: Family Sharing

Up to six devices can be set up as a family unit, all sharing a common photo stream, calendars, reminder lists and purchases from the App Store. Find My Friends will also be configured to help the family unit keep track of each other, and although the family unit will be set up with one shared credit card, parents can rest easy, as kids will have to send a request to their parents' device before they're allowed to make any purchases.

iOS 8: Siri

Siri gets even smarter on iOS 8, with Shazam integration so any song will be identified and you'll be able to purchase the song with iTunes immediately. You don't even have to touch your device to activate Siri, and in a move that earily apes Google's search command, you just need to say "Hey Siri" from the homescreen and it'll spring to life.

iOS 8: Continuity

Working across devices just became much easier, with apps automatically syncing between devices and alerting you if any changes are made, so you can pick up from exactly the same spot on another device with the same programme. You'll be able to pick up and make phone calls using your iPad and Mac, as long as your phone is nearby. There'll also be no need to configure personal hotspots between devices. 

iOS 8: HomeKit

As tech creeps ever-further into our homes, Apple get ahead of the curve with HomeKit, that brings all your automated devices in one place and allows you to sync them to certain scenes and settings. Devices such as your lights, garage door, and door lock can be grouped and set to certain situations, for example to lock or turn off at 'bedtime'.

Companies such as Honeywell and Philips have already been consulted to ensure compatibility with their products, with surely more to come.

iOS 8: Photos

Apple have thrown in even more editing features, with autocropping, autostraightening and smart editing for light and colour all on the Photos app. 

iOS 8: App Store

Finally, the app store just became a whole lot friendlier, using a scroll system to view different apps, a much more natural alternative to the current swiping. 'Trending searches', 'related searches' and 'explore' tabs will be added, making it easier and quicker to find and download new apps.

 

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