Alas, Apple fanatics have yet another thing to blog and rave about. After the keynote message at the annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference (dubbed “WWDC”), everyone watching took to their respective devices to tweet about the newest additions to the Apple Ecosystem. For some, it was improvements in OS X, and the revealing of Yosemite. For others, it was the debut of Swift and other developer’s improvements. For most, however, it was the long-awaited announcement of iOS 8.
To be perfectly honest, we were not too surprised with iOS 8. Although it was a good release for consumers, it was not a phenomenal release. Things like this are the reason as to why critics say Tim Cook is not, and never will be a Steve Jobs. Jobs was a revolutionary. Jobs captured our attention and wowed us with every word uttered from his mouth. Cook? Not so much. Truth be told, he still has not had anything huge come out under his tenure as CEO. Luckily, however, all of that will likely change within the next 6 months. Why is that, you ask? Because of the implied promises made (More so with OS X and Macintosh, but I digress).
Again, iOS 8 was nothing that blew us away. However, it was a good step forward. The primary reason why it is okay for iOS 8 to be, at this point, just okay, is because we can still hope. I, for one, am still hoping that maybe they have not yet shown off too much of iOS 8 due to its implications on what the iPhone 6 and other iOS devices will feature. For example, if you announce that your store will be importing hot dog buns starting next week, it is likely the store will start selling hot dogs next week as well. Knowing Apple, and how they love to keep their developments under wraps, there is still a possibility that they are waiting to deliver that knockout punch for later on in the beta stages. As of right now, there is no new headlining feature. But that could change soon. If you happen to be wondering “Well then what the hell is new with iOS 8?”, here we go.
iOS 8 promises to be that mega-pack of well-needed and well-deserved upgrades for individual Apple apps. What is most special about iOS 8, in my opinion, will only be able to be felt by those of us who own iOS products and MacBooks or iMacs. Continuity is a huge part of iOS, but since it is more of a Mac OS X perk, I’ll save that for the Mac OS X article. Anywho, the Messages app saw a couple improvements. Say hello, or goodbye, to group chats.
With some new additions to settings, users are able to have more control over their messaging experience, in adding or removing people from group chats, sharing locations, and even sending sound clips, which can be lots of fun. Also featured in iOS 8 is something I personally have been dying to see implemented: quick replies. Did your wife just send you a time-sensitive text message, but you don’t want to, or currently can not switch apps? No worries. With a simple swipe down from the banner that shows up, you can respond to the message without leaving your app. Voila.
The camera app now features effective on the fly photo editing, panorama pictures on newer iPads, and a nifty new time-lapse camera setting. Multitasking now also features quick access to those you contact the most, all on the multitasking screen, giving users a quick way to contact Mom. The keyboard now features predictive text that is much smarter than what was on your Blackberry in 2004, and gives developers the option to make their own keyboards, which will inevitably lead to Swype text-input on the iPhone. iOS is now officially supporting your diet,
The ability to use Touch ID with third-party applications has also debuted in iOS 8. Now you’ll be able to access your banking and finance apps with your fingerprint, and only your fingerprint, which can be extremely useful for those of us who frequently misplace things, and want to keep our financial information private all of the time. Safari finally gets a makeover, with cool new stacked tabs. Mail also receives an upgrade, with nifty features like swiping to dismiss new emails, either deleting, flagging, or marking as read in a swipe.
For some of the upgrades discovered by users, ones that were not mentioned in the keynote, look below:
- Auto night mode in iBooks
- Panoramic photos on iPad
- Battery usage by app
- Travel time notifications
- 24 new dictation languages
- Camera timer
- Instant burst mode
- Separate focus and exposure in Camera
- RSS feeds in Shared Links
- Improved zoom for accesibility
- In Case of Emergency card
- Purchase iTunes content with Siri
- Rich text editing in Notes
- Touch ID to exit from Guided Access
- Indian Tagalog, Irish Gaelic, and Slovenian keyboards
- Private browsing per tab in Safari
- See your books as a series in iBooks
- DuckDuckGo support in Safari
In closing, you can definitely see the litany of upgrades is significant, but as previously mentioned, there is no major headlining feature. It is still a solid upgrade, and something users can be excited about. The majority of the hype surrounding WWDC, however, comes from the other areas discussed during WWDC.