The rumor mill is now pacified as Apple has finally released the official features of iOS 8 with more goodies and overhauls in store for developers and end-users.
At the WWDC event, which started June 2, 10:00 AM Pacific time (June 3, 1:00 AM, Hong Kong time), Tim Cook and the other Apple executives took charge while armed with the keynotes, as users worldwide were able to watch the event in real-time via Apple live stream.
So, for our roundup, here are the iOS 8 features:
New camera features
Apple beefed up the iOS 8 camera with Time Lapse photography, an interesting feature, which developers can take advantage of since there’s a new programming kit for the camera app that will allow third-party sources to access the camera features and integrate extension that weren’t possible in current software version.
The Photos app includes editing options that will allow users to make necessary changes of images with a simple thumb gesture. The features are quite similar with the iPhoto, but simpler. It has smart image analysis on the changes (seen in the demo) and post-edited photos will be synced with the iCloud. With Photos app in iOS and Apple’s plan of building a Yosemite version, there’s a possibility that the iPhoto will be ditched.
We’ve heard rumors and seen leaked images with native fitness and health integration (dubbed as Healthbook) in the upcoming iPhone and iOS 8. Apple provides the Healthkit API for developers to start building apps that will allow them to link apps and unify users personal health data to a single database. As Apple has shown, the data will be available to medical platforms and applications where you can privately store the data, or even better, show them to your doctor(s). Apple showed the list of healthcare companies and institutions, too.
Better and seamless syncing—that’s what Continuity is all about. It’s a group of features that automatically integrates your iOS and Mac devices activities, files and more.
Seamless iCloud drive sync
Aside from the mail and documents backed up in your iCloud, your photos will now be synced automatically in iCloud with free 5GB storage. Other storage plans start at $1 per month.
Files are merged; there’s no difference between local and cloud files. What’s stored in your device operates like a cache on what’s in your iCloud. We just hope that there will be more security on this turf.
Improved Mail app
Apple also deployed a few tweaks on the Mail app that allows users to mark a message as “Mark as Read” with a single swipe gesture, and more actions for “Trash, Flag, and More” (right to left) with another swipe, or entirely pull it to delete the message.
Spotlight features are also beefed up where users can access it (swiping downward) on a locked screen with more results and suggestions from a number of sources, aside from the native database of the device, such as Wikipedia, News, iBooks store, iTunes store, music, suggested websites and many more.
New interactive notifications
Users can interact with the notifications without leaving the current app. This can also be done on a locked screen (tap and swipe) where it won’t require users to unlock it. Got a new message? You can type reply (downward swiping) without closing or leaving the app.
This feature allows iOS devices to interact seamlessly with the OS X Yosemite. From the name itself, your iPhone knows what your Mac is doing and likewise. If you’re working on a Mail message in the PC and would like to take a break, you can pick it up where you left it and continue what you’re working on your iOS device.
New keyboard features
This is one of my favorite features—the iOS 8 keyboard comes with QuickType, a context-sensitive predictive typing that provides users words they can use by tapping the suggested words instead of typing. What’s more, the iOS keyboard will welcome third-party apps such as Swype or SwiftKey.
Siri is getting beefed up, too, with Shazam built-in integration and automatic interaction once you plug it in your car (just say, Hey Siri! Without touching the home button). It will also allow users to purchase apps in iTunes. It has 22 new dictation languages in its database and streaming voice recognition.
Touch ID with apps
The Touch ID feature will allow users to access their account via bank app and useful for authorization.
It’s easier to share all files with your family with this new feature—from family calendar to photos and locations—with each member updated. They can also share e-books, music, movies, and share the same credit card. What’s more, the credit card holder (e.g. Dad) will receive a notification for permission if one needs to purchase an app.
Extensions for developers
There are a lot of goodies in store for developers, such as extensions and the ability to integrate widgets just like in OS X. From Safari widget, to eBay widget, and extensions of custom keyboards, the new iOS ecosystem provides opportunities for developers and users to make the mobile experience more interactive and engaging.
Unannounced, but confirmed…
DuckDuckGo in Search features
Apple is also expanding Safari’s search engine features with DuckDuckGo, a startup, which is allegedly known as an anti-Google, that doesn’t track users for advertising purposes.
And many more…
You can send text messages and videos whether via keyboard or voice messaging. The Enterprise features are tailored for corporate end-users with built-in self-configuration functions and stronger encryption.
We know you’re very much excited to test the iOS 8. But for now, the goodies go to the developers, as Apple seeds the beta version. The official iOS will be available in the fall for free.