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iOS 8 vs iOS 7

We take a tour of all the new features soon to be available on the iPhone and iPad
Tue Jun 03 2014, 15:20

APPLE UNVEILED iOS 8 during its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) on Monday, and while it isn't a drastic overhaul like iOS 7 it will bring lots of new features to the iPhone and iPad.

We've stacked up iOS 8 against last year's release to see what features you can expect.

Notifications
Apple has made some fairly major tweaks to Notification Center, a feature which was first introduced in iOS 7, and therefore somewhat limited.

Chief among these tweaks is the addition of interactive notifications, a feature which lets you reply to messages or "Like" a Facebook post, for example, without having to leave the app you're already in.

Notification Center has also been beefed up with widgets. No, hell hasn't frozen over - Apple has in fact introduced Android-style widgets, which developers can start building to appear in the drop-down menu. Apple's Craig Federighi showed off an eBay app that's already available, which will allow users to bid on items from the notifications screen.

Compare this to iOS 7 and Apple's tweaks will be welcomed by most, with the feature presently limited to viewing notifications and tapping to jump into apps.

Messaging
Apple's most interesting iOS 8 updates arguably relate to messaging, with the firm introducing a number of new features.

iOS 8 on an iPhone 5S

First off, Apple introduced Quicktype, a feature that could signal the end of Autocorrect. This is a smart word-prediction service, which Apple claims will quickly learn how you talk and what words you're likely to type next, depending on who you're talking to. Support for third-party keyboards was also announced, which means iPhone users can soon opt to replace Apple's proprietary offering with Swiftkey, for example.

Apple also announced that with iOS 8, users will be able to use Do Not Disturb on specific group iMessage conversations, in order to silence frustrating notifications. The firm has also introduced a Snapchat-style Destruct feature, allowing users to send images, videos or audio messages that will be automatically deleted, unless a user has specified otherwise.

These features likely will be welcomed by current users of iOS 7, although the firm has been criticised for "ripping off" features from Snapchat and Whatsapp.

Siri
Apple's voice-activated digital assistant, Siri, will see a fairly major update in iOS 8. Mimicking Google Now, users will be able to say "Hey, Siri" to activate the feature, which will soon be capable of recognising songs (thanks to Shazam) and will be able to recognise streaming voice recognition.

Healthkit and Homekit
iOS 7 didn't introduce many new apps from Apple, with the firm instead focused on touting its redesign. iOS 8, however, sees the arrival of Healthkit and Homekit, which sees Apple looking to challenge the likes of Samsung while making its mark in the Internet of Things (IoT).

iOS 8 features on iPhone 5S

Healtkit is similar to Samsung's S Health feature, allowing users to track data such as the number of steps walked, calories burned and so on. Unlike the app found on the Galaxy S5, however, Apple's Healthkit app supports third-party apps, including Nike+.

Homekit is Apple's rumoured smart home application, allowing users to easily control internet-connected devices, such as Philips Hue lightbulbs, from their iPhone or iPad.

Next: Camera, Mac continuity, enterprise.

 

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