At WWDC today, Apple announced iOS 8. iOS 8 does not have as much as a redesign as iOS 7 did when it launched. iOS 8 simply has several added-on features based on feedback from users. Here is a breakdown of some of those features.
Enterprise – iOS 8 has the ability to set up Device Enrollment and lock only certain parts of the Mail app. You can also set VIP threads that can be assigned to certain contacts.
Family Sharing – This service lets you sync up all of the devices into a single family — You can locate people’s devices and sync content across 6 family devices that are tied to one credit card. This is handy for a parent that wants to watch a movie or listen to music that their kids have downloaded. If a kid wants to buy an app, music, or videos, requests for purchases are sent to the parent’s device.
Health – Apple is adding a new app in iOS 8 called “Health.” This will be a central location for the health apps that you have that can plug in on the back end. The back end is being called HealthKit, which can be used by developers to build apps for and could be useful for health providers.
HomeKit – HomeKit is Apple’s new smart home service that lets developers build “Internet of Things” apps. This can be used for tasks like turning off the lights and adjusting the temperature.
iMessage – When you are sending Group Messages, you can name the thread and add/remove people. You can also set a Do Not Disturb on a per-person basis within the thread. You can also add audio messages by swiping left on an icon that will appear on the right of the typing window. That same icon will also provide an option to set up a video message or share your location. You can also set up the audio messages and video messages to self-destruct after a certain number of minutes. These new features sound very WhatsApp-like and Snapchat-like.
Mail – There are new Mail features that let you use gestures that let you mark messages as unread. There is also a gesture to quickly pull up your inbox by swiping down so you can check on incoming messages while you are still drafting. As you compose messages on your phone, you may notice an icon on your computer that lets you continue drafting that same message and finish it off there.
Notifications Center – A new feature has been added that lets you swipe down to easily respond to messages. You can also respond to pings from Facebook and calendar events.
Photo Stream – Currently the Apple Photo Stream allows for 1,000 photos to be stored at a time. Now Apple is letting you store all of your photos and videos in iCloud that can be accessed from any device similar to the way that iTunes works. Photos also has new Smart Editing features. There is a new advanced search within the Photos app that includes auto-suggestions so that you can pull up content based on searches for the location of the photo that you took or more recently taken photos.
QuickType – There are new keyboard features built into iOS. The keyboard supports keyword auto-suggestions. For example, if you are writing a message to a colleague that says “The meeting has been…,” QuickType may show you options like “Cancelled,” “Rescheduled,” etc. The more you use this feature, the more contextual it gets with your contacts.
Safari on the iPad – There is a new “Tab View” button in the top right corner of the iPad. This gives you a bird’s eye view of the tabs that you have open.
Siri – Siri has been updated so that you can activate the service without touching the photo. You simply just have to say “Hey Siri” and it will activate. Siri also has Shazam integration and 22 new dictation languages.
TouchID – TouchID is now opened up to third party developers and keyboard builders can now be submitted to the App Store. This means that we may soon see Swype with the same functionality as the Android version of the app hit iOS. Apple is also providing APIs for Cameras to give more manual controls to third-party apps.