Following the announcement of the latest iPhones and a smartwatch, Apple has announced it will be rolling out the iOS 8 update today. Indian users can start downloading the update tonight after 10.30pm IST.
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are expected to arrive exactly a month later in India, which will ship with iOS 8. If you are an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch user, you can upgrade to the new OS today onwards. Compatible devices include the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S. The 5th generation iPod touch and all iPads except for the original one will also be handed the iOS 8 update.
The iOS 8 update claims to give a simpler, faster and more intuitive user experience with Apple’s new Messages and Photos features, predictive typing for Apple’s QuickType keyboard and Family Sharing. iOS 8 also includes the new Health app, giving you a clear overview of your health and fitness data and iCloud Drive, so you can store files and access them from anywhere.
Moreover, iOS 8 will allow developers to further customise the user experience with major extensibility features and frameworks such as HealthKit and HomeKit, with more than 4,000 new APIs. Here’s an overview of all the new features in iOS 8:
With the new OS, you can simply tap to talk and share your voice. The same gesture also works for sharing photos and videos. It allows users to share several photos and videos at once and browse through all of them within a conversation. Similar to existing messaging apps, Apple has introduced group messaging and the ability to add and remove contacts, and the option not to be disturbed or to leave a conversation entirely.
iOS has gives new editing options within the Photos app. It automatically straightens horizons, and adjusts light and colour with a swipe. For deeper fine-tuning, you can access individual tools to adjust exposure, brightness, contrast, highlights, shadows and more. Developers can tap into the same framework as the built-in Photos app using PhotoKit, and with extensibility APIs, can make their own filters and editing tools available to users within the Photos app.
New predictive typing for Apple’s QuickType keyboard claims to be more personalised and takes context into account, such as who the recipient is and in which app you are typing. It claims to understand favourite phrases, so you can write entire sentences with just a few taps. What the QuickType keyboard learns is kept private – encrypted on your device and never sent to the cloud.
The new Health app gathers the information you choose from your various health apps and fitness devices, and provides you with the current overview in one place. HealthKit APIs offer developers the ability for health and fitness apps to communicate with each other. With your permission, each app can use specific information from other apps to provide a more comprehensive way to manage your health and fitness. Users will be able to gather and monitor their own fitness metrics using apps such as MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper and Strava.
HomeKit connects your home devices to better manage accessories like lights, thermostats, door locks and garage doors. HomeKit securely pairs and allows easy control over individual or groups of devices throughout the house. With Siri integration you can say, “Good morning,” and have the lights turn on in specific rooms, the thermostat adjust the temperature and the garage door open or say “Get ready for bed” and the house lights will dim. Of course you’ll need to have products that are certified for the HomeKit, which are currently not widely available.
Family Sharing with iOS 8 automatically keeps everyone connected by creating a shared family photo stream and calendar, and provides an option to locate family members and their devices. Family members can also now browse and download each other’s eligible iTunes, iBooks or App Store purchases. Up to six family members can participate, each with their own Apple ID. Parents can create Apple IDs for children and, with Ask to Buy, require online parental permission for Family Sharing purchases.
iCloud Drive allows you to store, access and edit documents of any type. Make edits on one device and the most up-to-date version of your documents will be available across all devices, whether an iOS device, Mac, Windows PC or on www.icloud.com. iCloud Drive brings new collaboration between apps, providing seamless access and the ability to work on the same file across multiple apps.