iOS 8 Features – Health App, QuickType Keyboard, Family Sharing

Like OS X Yosemite, iOS 8 ships with iCloud Drive built in

Available immediately to developers and slated to debut publicly this fall, iOS 8 is the latest generation of Apple’s mobile software that will power new and existing iDevices with features like iCloud Photo Library, conversations in Messages, the Health app, predictive typing, and Family Sharing.

A flagship feature in the new iOS 8, iCloud Photo Library gives you access to all of your photos and videos across the system, while the Photos app now automatically straightens horizons and lets you adjust light and color, as well as access individual fine-tune options and smart editing tools.

The Messages app gains Conversations and Tap to Talk allows you to share voice messages with a swipe-up gesture on the Send button. The same gesture works for sharing videos and photos. Group messaging and location sharing are also emphasized in the new Messages app.

Dubbed Healthbook by the media in its rumor stage, the Health app in iOS 8 was confirmed earlier today by SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi. According to Apple, this tool will aggregate information from various health apps and fitness devices, while developers can enable health and fitness apps to communicate with each other.

The Cupertino giant said today that “the Nike+ apps using NikeFuel will be able to pull in other key HealthKit metrics such as sleep and nutrition to build a custom user profile and improve athletic performance.”

Apple’s QuickType keyboard in iOS 8 offers predictive typing and takes context into account intelligently. For example, it can detect who the recipient is or in which app you’re typing. It will also suggest favorite phrases, and everything that the keyboard learns is encrypted on your device.

Family Sharing allows users to finally share purchases made on one device with other iDevices in a household, meaning mom can use dad’s apps and vice versa. Up to six members can participate, and they can all use their individual Apple IDs, while parents can set restrictions.

Introduced in OS X Yosemite and inherited by iOS 8, iCloud Drive finally offers Dropbox functionality to iOS customers in a native form. According to the Cupertino company, “iCloud Drive brings a whole new level of collaboration between apps, providing seamless access and the ability to work on the same file across multiple apps.”

iOS 8 further packs Enterprise enhancements, new design updates across the system, extended Spotlight capabilities, and greater continuity between devices, including Handoff, which lets you start an activity on your iPhone and finish it on your Mac.

Developers can immediately download the iOS 8 beta and SDK today, while regular customers will have to wait until fall to get the software.


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