Apple announced iOS 8 and OS X Mavericks at WWDC 2014 in San Francisco, showing off new Siri features, a better keyboard experience, health tracking, family sharing and much, much more. This is just a peak at what Apple is willing to show us about iOS 8. The rest will likely come this fall when Apple announces a new iPhone and any exclusive iPhone 6 features.
Even if you followed along as Apple announced iOS 8 on stage there are things you probably missed. Apple only added some iOS 8 features on as a bullet point on a slide as they wrapped up the event.
Here is a closer look at some of the most exciting iOS 8 features that will come to your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch this fall.
51 iOS 8 Features You’ll Actually Use
- Instant Hotspot – When the iPhone is near your Mac it will auto-connect to the iPhone for connectivity.
- Calls on Your Mac or iPad – When your iPhone is near the iPad and Mac you can use the Mac as a speaker phone or take a phone call on your iPad no matter who is calling.
- Texts on Mac and iPad – Apple goes farther than iMessage with a new feature that will relay text messages from the iPhone to the iPad or Mac.
- Interactive Notifications – Swipe down on a notification and you can quickly reply to a message or accept an invite.
- Fast Access to Contacts on Multitasking – The multitasking menu now shows your recent contacts and favorite contacts for faster access to the people you communicate with.
- Safari Tab View for iPad – Apple delivers a new Safari Tab view on the iPad that is similar to the iPhone tabs, with faster access in a nicer layout.
- Safari Sidebar on iPad – The Sidebar from OS X Yosemite with fast access to information like RSS feeds and more.
- Mail Gestures – You can now Swipe to flag a message or to delete it, making it much easier to use Mail.
- Mail Improvements – You can now swipe down a message you are writing and see your email to reference another message.
- Spotlight – Spotlight in iOS 8 offers fast access to news, Wikipedia, nearby search, the App Store, iBooks, iTunes, Website and more. And it’s built-in to Safari as well.
- Better Group Messages – If you are in a group message you can now leave a message and you can also add and remove others from a message. If you are in a lot of group messages this is great news, and you can also name threads.tk
- Better Do Not Disturb – Instead of using Do Not Disturb on every notification you can turn this on for a single message or group message to stay sane.
- Continuity – Apple now lets users quickly switch between iPhone, iPad and Mac. Working on an email, Numbers or Pages document? You can quickly jump to another device with ease.
- Quick Type Keyboard – The new iOS 8 keyboard offers personalized predictions that go beyond just predicting what you will say next. It personalizes based on the contact so it will suggest serious replies for co workers and more relaxed ones for friends, based on the style you use.
- Send a Voice Message – When using iMessage you can quickly send a voice message, making it easier to keep the conversation going without switching to a full on phone call.
- Send a Video Message – You can also quickly send a video message from Messages to share an experience or an important moment without getting everyone on to a FaceTime call.
- Auto Play And Respond – Along with the audio message feature is the ability to quickly listen to an audio message by lifting the phone to your head. You can also reply from this mode as well.
- All Your Photos Backed Up – Apple now offers a Photos app that combines with iCloud Drive to put all of your photos online so you don’t need to worry about backing up. This puts full resolution photos and videos online with affordable backup pricing.
- iCloud Drive – Access your files of all kinds on your Mac, Windows, iPhone and iPad. This includes data from in apps, documents and more. It’s something that users have been asking for, for a long time.
- HealthKit – Apple is making it easier for existing health tracking apps and accessories to tie into the new Health app for a better overall picture of your health.
- Health App – The new Health app tracks your fitness, health, medicine and more all in one location so that you can know what’s happening. Apple says, “It just might be the beginning of a health revolution.”
- Family Share – Finally you can share movies, music, and apps among family members. You can add 6 family members on the same credit card to make this work. Another iOS 8 feature that is way overdue.
- Notifications for Kid Purchases – You can set iOS 8 up to make kid devices request parental permission before buying an app. If you do this the parent device will get an alert to approve a purchase.
- Family Sharing Calendars, Photos and Reminders – In addition to the content sharing you can also easily share photos, calendars, reminders and more with Family Share members. You can also find their devices and see where family members are.
- Widgets in Notification Center – Add third-party widgets like ESPN SportsCenter and more to your Notification Center to stay on top of sports scores and other information you care about.
- Better Photo Search – You can search photos bases on location, album name and more. This is even more important when you consider access to all of your photos is coming in iOS 8. You’ll also get smart suggestions for photos taken nearby and a year ago today.
- Smart Photo Editing – Photo editing is easier on iOS 8 with smart straightening, smart adjustments for many adjustments like exposure, brightness, contrast and more.
- Siri Always Listening – Say “Hey Siri” when the iPhone is connected to power and it will launch Siri without any need to touch the phone.
- Siri can Identify Music – Ask Siri what’s playing and Siri uses Shazam’s technology to figure out what is playing and let you purchase it from iTunes.
- App Bundles – With iOS 8 you will be able to purchase a bundle of apps. This will allow developers to package several apps together to sell at a discounted rate.
- App Previews – Developers can now add App Previews, which are short videos, to iTunes in place of the first screenshot. This is long overdue and an easy way to understand what an app can do. This is especially helpful for paid apps.
- Better Sharing – iOS 8 lets you put third-party apps like Pinterest and others into the built-in sharing service of iOS. You can also re-order the apps so that you don’t need to scroll to find your apps.
- Safari Extensions – Safari also supports extensions. Apple showed off Bing Translate for Mobile Safari. If you are on a page in another language tap on Bing Translate and you’ll see the translated text right in Safari.
- Apps in Photos – Developers can create filters and editing tools that work right inside the new Photos app. This means more creativity and easier access to making your photos look better in one place.
- Swype and Third Party Keyboards – If you want more than just a better iOS keyboard you can now install a system wide keyboard. Apple showed Swype for iOS 8 on-screen and there will certainly be others. Apple prevents network access by default for higher security, but keyboards that need access can communicate.
- Time Lapse Videos – If you want to take an amazing time-lapse video to show a sunset, flower blooming or a busy street just press record and let the iPhone do all the work.
- Home Automation – Apple didn’t share all the details, but expect a more connected home with scenes or actions to control the experience. You could program bedtime to dim the lights, make sure the door is locked and the garage door is closed and you can tell Siri, “I’m going to bed,” or a similar command and all the actions will take place.
- Better Gaming with Metal – Apple developed a new method for games to gain more power from the Apple A7 processor that offers 10x the power for incredible gaming on the iPhone and iPad. Demos looked incredible on-screen and EA brought the console version of Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare over to the iPad for this demo.
- Braille Keyboard – In iOS 8 there is a new braille keyboard with support for direct 6 dot braille input.
- Instant Burst Photos – Apple includes a faster way to take burst photos with Instant Burst. There are few details, but we love Burst Mode already and expect something fun.
- WiFi Calling – If you are in a building with poor reception you should be able to use WiFi calling. Apple did not go into details, but showed WiFi Calling on a list of iOS 8 features.
- Panoramic Photos on iPad – Finally users that love to take photos on the iPad can take panoramic photos with the iPad and iPad mini.
- Battery Usage By App – If you need to know which app is draining your iPhone battery, iOS 8 will show battery usage by app. This lets you figure out why you have bad iPhone battery life and
- Lunar Calendar Support – Apple hopes to make a big inroad in China with iOS 8, and possibly an iPhone 6. With this release they are adding Lunar calendar support right into the OS.
- Camera Timer – Take a better selfie with time mode, or just make sure you are in the photo too. Choose from three seconds or 10 seconds.
- Travel Time Notifications – When you are setting an appointment you can choose the travel time it will take to get there and that is included in your notification to leave. This also shows on a calendar as time you are traveling so you don’t overbook.
- FaceTime Call Waiting – If you use FaceTime Audio you’ll appreciate the ability to use call waiting to jump between FaceTime Audio calls or possibly between FaceTime Audio and a normal call, which would hang up on FaceTime Audio on iOS 7.
- In Case of Emergency Card – You can put a ICE contact on the emergency lock screen with your allergies, prescriptions, medical notes and an emergency contact.
- Rich text Editing in Notes – If you use Notes to take a lot of detailed notes you can now format more like a regular Word or Pages document. You can change Bold, Underline, add a photo and more.
- Duck Duck Go Search Provider – If you don’t like using Google or Bing, you can now pick DuckDuckGo as a search provider. For more read DuckDuckGo vs Google.
- Touch ID for Apps – Touch ID will now work with other apps. This means you can use the fingerprint reader on the iPhone 5s to login to other apps.
Want to know what else to expect this fall, look at our iPhone 6 rumors.
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