iOS 8: how will it change my iPhone?
iOS 8 contains a raft of new features for iPhone users, designed to make integration between multiple Apple products even easier
Apple has revealed its latest operating system for iPhone and iPad - iOS 8.
While not the radical aesthethic departure iPhone users saw with the previous upgrade to iOS 7 (the first masterminded by recently appointed senior vice president of design Sir Jony Ive), it contains many new features that will radically change the way we use and interact with our iPhones.
The new system highlights a renewed focus for the company on the way we live our lives and how to make everyday tasks easier, faster and more streamlined.
Improve your health
iOS 8’s most significant offering is the introduction of HealthKit, which aggregates numerous healthcare and fitness apps, such as blood pressure and heart rate monitors through partners including Nike, and allows them to communicate with each other.
The data each of these apps could then be shared with a physician app, such as the Mayo Clinic app, allowing your doctor to remotely monitor your health through their phone.
This release could have huge implications for the ways in which we track and compile data about ourselves, and the ways in which we can use it to improve our lives.
Digital assistant Siri has had an iOS 8 makeover and been given a role in HomeKit, Apple’s new connected home app.
In a similar vein to HealthKit, it will streamline your smart devices to control them in one place.
One method of control will be via Siri - for example, you could tell Siri you were “going to bed”, “going to bed” and it could dim the lights, lock your doors, close the garage door and set the thermostat.
Being able to use your phone as a remote control for home appliances and accessories further cements Apple’s desire to integrate its products into all areas of our everyday lifestyle.
Siri will also soon be able to tell you the name of the song played in that advert through new Shazam song recognition, which seems a natural progression for the voice-controlled system.
Whether Siri will offer its opinion on the song of your choice remains to be seen.
Better use of your fingers
Introduced with the release of iPhones 5c and 5s last September, Apple's Touch ID fingerprint scanner was previously used to unlock the phone and as identity verification when making purchases through the App Store. Now with iOS, Touch ID will be integrated into third party apps for the first time.
While Samsung's Galaxy 5S fingerprint scanner has been largely criticised for its lack of sensitivity, Apple's version allows to to unlock with ease and most importantly - speedily.
Being able to use such technology for other apps will be a great use of an already excellent feature.
Access all your documents, everywhere
The iCloud Drive has been designed to encourage you to work on any document - be it pdf, slideshow, text document or photo - from anywhere.
Through this new storage system, you can access these files via iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or even Windows PC by starting a new document using an iCloud-enabled app on your iOS device. This cross-platform approach means edits will appear on all versions across all devices, in highly convenient collaboration.
Other new features include double tapping the iPhone or iPad’s home button to summon up the contacts most recently interacted with, interactive notifications through which users can respond to messages without having to open and close apps.
The company demonstrated, for instance, that users would be able to increase offers on eBay items from within the same notification that told them if they had just been outbid. In the email app, flagging and marking emails as read will now be possible through a ‘flick’ system.