Apple’s new software for iPhones and iPads is officially out, and there’s a lot to look forward to. With iOS 8, Apple has introduced new apps, features that make it easy to switch between your Mac and your iPhone, and more.
Apple took the wraps off iOS 8 back in June, but now the official version of the software is available for download.
Here’s a quick look at what’s new in iOS 8.
iOS 8 looks the same as iOS 7, but there are some small tweaks throughout the interface. For example, you can now reply to messages directly from the notification drawer.
The Control Center also looks slightly different. The colouring is slightly changed, and it looks a bit cleaner.
The multitasking interface has also been changed. When you double tap the home button, you'll see people you've recently talked to above the apps you use the most.
The new Photos app makes it easier to find photos and videos on your library. You can now search by date, location, or album name.
There are some new editing tools for taking photos, too. Now, you'll be able to adjust colour and lighting after you've taken a photo.
One of the biggest camera additions, however, is the ability to take time-lapse videos. The camera snaps photos at intervals to compile a video that shows how the image changed. Here's an example of what those videos will look like (via iTwe4kz/YouTube)
The Messages app is getting some useful updates too. You can now record a sound and send it as a message by tapping the microphone button.
Apple is cleaning up group text messages, too. You can now name group conversations (for iMessage only) and add or delete people as you please.
And, if you're tired of getting too many notifications, you can turn on 'Do Not Disturb' and read those messages later.
If you need to tell someone you're on your way, you can send your location on a map through the Messages app.
You'll no longer have to scroll through Message threads to find old photos. iOS 8 organizes all attachments (documents, photos, etc.) in a thread in one place.
A new tweak to the Mail app makes it easier to manage your inbox with one hand. Swiping to the right lets you mark a message as read.
If you get an email for an appointment or from someone not in your contacts, Mail will ask you if you'd like to add it to your calendar or contact list.
The new keyboard is also going to be a big deal in iOS 8. Word suggestions have gotten a bit smarter. The keyboard will suggest more casual language when you're writing to your friend versus a colleague, for instance.
The new Family Sharing feature allows you to share your iTunes purchases, photos, and calendars with other members of your family, while keeping other aspects of those accounts separate.
Apple is implementing some new parental controls for the App Store with iOS 8. You can set it up so that a child needs to ask permission before buying an app.
iOS 8 also introduces iCloud Drive, which will finally store all of your photos in the cloud so they don't need to clutter up your phone. Don't use it yet though, since its designed to work with Apple's upcoming version of OS X, and activating this feature early could screw up other apps that rely on synchronisation, like Dropbox or Google Drive.
Here's what Apple's new Health app looks like. From here, you'll be able to see your heart rate, calories burned, blood sugar, and more.
You can even create an emergency card with information about your allergies that's accessible from the lock screen.
Apple is making it easier for you to seamlessly switch between Mac and different iOS devices. With a feature called Continuity, incoming calls will also appear on your iPad as long as you're using the same iCloud account on both devices.
Here's the notification you'll see when you sign into your iCloud account on both devices after upgrading to iOS 8.
Spotlight Search is much improved, too. It now uses your location to pull up places nearby in addition to trending news topics and content on your phone.
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