Geek Girl Report: Better iMessage, Better Keyboard, Better System – A Quick Look at iOS 8
Another year, another new version of iOS. Apple kicked off their annual Worldwide Developers Conference yesterday, and one of the biggest announcements to come out of the conference was the newest iteration of iOS: iOS 8. While iOS 7 introduced a completely new look and feel for Apple's mobile devices, this new version appears to build on top of the new layout and adds some much-needed features that Apple fans have been clamoring for quite some time. Here's a quick look at just a few of the new features iOS 8 will be rolling out.
One of the most requested features in this new installment is Family Sharing. Families will now be able to sync all of their Apple devices together and share photos, events reminders and other such items privately. More important, Family Sharing will be tied to a single credit card, meaning that if the kids want to purchase a new app, they must first get approval from their parents. There's been a growing problem of younger kids purchasing new apps on their parents' phone without their knowledge, so it's good to see that Apple is finally addressing this little issue.
Speaking of new apps, Health is an entirely new native app for iOS 8. Just like the Passbook app brings all of your ticketing and travel apps together, Health aims to put all of your health-related apps in one place. Calorie trackers, step counters, blood pressure monitors, if an app had to do with your health, it will go here. And it's not just for keeping your apps in one handy place. Doctors and hospitals will also be able to access the app to keep track of your health, but the specifics on this remain to be seen.
it's clear that Apple is trying to catch up to Google with this new upgrade, and one of the biggest telltale signs of this is in the keyboard upgrade. Android phones have long had "predictive texting," where Google will suggest words for you to use based on the message you're typing. This handy and long-overdue function is now finally coming to Apple devices. What's really cool about this is not only will it finally open up Apple to a lot fo third-party sharing options, but Apple's QuickType will even offer suggestions based on who you're talking to, whether that be your boss or your best friend.
The keyboard isn't the only feature getting some much-needed upgrades. iMessage is by and large the most used app on the iPhone, and it's about to get even better in iOS 8. For starters, Group Messages will now allow you to add and drop people from group conversations, as well as silence those non-stop message notifications with a group-specific Do Not Disturb toggle. In addition to these useful features, you can now share your locations with your friend via iMessages, as well as respond to texts with an audio message.
Apple did not give an official release date, but Apple users should expect iOS 8 to be available to download this fall.
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