Apple today announced iOS 8 beta, the newest operating system that runs iPhones and iPads. The release of iOS 8 starts a summer of building for Apple developers, culminating in the release of the new iPhone later this fall.
iOS 8 is full of new features and functions for users and developers centered around health and fitness, messages and notifications and iCloud integration.
HealthKit And Fitness
iOS 8 includes a bevy of new health and fitness features for consumers. Health is a single place on an iDevice that is a composite of all your health activity. The Healthkit comes with a new iOS app called “Health” that aggregates all of your health data, including third-party fitness apps like RunKeeper or Nike. Apple has also teamed with the Mayo Clinic
Notification Center And Mail
The dropdown notifications in iOS 8 now work in the lockscreen on iPhones and iPads as well as in-line reply straight from the Notification Center from any app that you are using at the time. Apple described the new user experience as “actionable notifications.” Frequently used contacts will also be shown in the new Notification Center.
Apple also changed the Mail app so that you can both compose a mail and see the rest of your inbox at the same time. New mail experiences include the ability to swipe to delete or mark as read as well as an easier email delete function.
See also: 6 Things Apple Should Fix In iOS 8
Group messaging has been improved in iOS 8 with the ability to name messaging threads and the ability to kick somebody off a messaging thread. Messages also has a “Do Not Disturb” mode for specific threads.
Messages will be able to know your location and will be able to show images from those specific threads. Messages also has new push-to-talk Walkie Talkie-like audio message capability along with video and “selfie” messaging capabilities.
Spotlight—traditionally a Mac OS X feature—is not much more robust on iOS 8. Spotlight “suggestions” are now available iOS 8.
Apple’s new iCloud Drive personal online storage feature comes to iOS 8 in addition to Mac OS X Yosemite. Users can save documents from apps across Macs, iOS devices and Windows devices.
The keyboard in iOS 8 has been improved with a new predictive typing suggestion feature. QuickType will be able to suggestion responses to questions in your messages. QuickType learns how you type and how you respond to specific individuals and will suggest certain words for certain people.
Enterprise Device Enrollment Program
Apple has introduced a new authentication program for enterprise business users that will automatically set up all your corporate accounts and apps when unboxing new iOS devices. iOS now supports S/MIME messaging, third party device management.
iOS 8 now has the ability to share content like apps, books and movies between family members. So, if you buy an app once, you can share it among up to six family members (that all share a common credit card).
Family sharing also allows for parents to track their kids devices and integrates the “Find My Friends” feature introduced in earlier versions of iOS.
Apple is bringing its Photos app to iCloud so that you can share your pictures among your other Apple devices like a Mac or an iPad. If you edit a photo on an iPhone, that edit will be saved through iCloud to your Mac as well. New editing controls like cropping, straightening and lighting are also available in iOS 8 Photos.
Photos also has new search capabilities for time, location and albums.
Siri has new voice-activated car capabilities as well as new voice streaming recognition. Siri now has 22 new dictation languages along with Shazam music streaming recognition.
Mobile Safari now has a new browser tab user interface that is much like the new card-like tabs introduced in Mac OS X Yosemite.
Airdrop, Handoff And Continuity
Apple’s wireless document sharing function is now compatible between Mac computers and iOS devices like iPads and iPhones. If you are working on one device, like an iPad, you can swipe and send it to your Mac and keep working from exactly where you were. Apple also announced a similar feature called Handoff that will switch mail, documents and phone calls from an iOS device to a Mac.