iOS 8 Announced: Features, Release Date, Compatability Chart And More [DETAILED]

Apple has finally and officially taken the wraps off iOS 8 – the next-generation mobile operating system for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad – at annual WWDC 2014. Details regarding features, compatibility and release date are covered below.

Features

Newly announced iOS 8 is designed more clean and polished that its predecessor, iOS 7. Got Interactive Notifications. On iOS 7, the only way to interact with notifications is by tapping o the notification itself, which will in return launch the app and then you can go further. But iOS 8’s interactive notification system, allows swiping left or down on the notification – let you reply to a text message, tweet, etc. No need to re-launch the whole app itself.

The interactive notifications extend to the lock screen as well.

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Frequent Contacts in Multitasking View

Double tapping the Home button will take you to the multitasking view area. Instead of getting a glance of the apps that are running in the background, iOS 8 now lets you go through contacts on your iOS device which used to interact with.

Safari Tab View Mode

Apple has taken iOS 8 integration between its desktop OS a step further. And on iPad, you get the same Tap view mode in Safari, allowing you quickly accessing your bookmarks, history, etc, just under one window.

Spotlight

On iOS 8 now does a lot more than merely searching your device for messages, contacts, emails etc. Now, you can search for apps, news, songs, you name it, and Spotlight for iOS 8 will find it for you.

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New Mail Gestures

The new Mail app in iOS 8 gets a simple tweaks littered throughout the UI. With simple swipe gestures, you can now Trash, Flag and see More details regarding an email. This features was previously limited to deleting an email and seeing more details of it. A small change made, but a notable one for those who find themselves a lot using Apple’s mobile Mail app.

Messages

The latest, tweaked Messages app min iOS 8 allows you to add or remove people from a group conversation. Also allowing you to enable ‘Do Not Disturb’ thread-wise, and share location with your contacts.

Tap to Talk is a new feature enabled in Messages in iOS 8. It works exactly like how you’d expect it to; tap the little mic icon right next to the text box, speak, record a message, and let go of the button to send it to the recipent. It’s that simple!

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QuickType Keyboard

Major alteration made in iOS 8. QuickType now shows you suggestions for words as you’re typing right above the keyboard in a small bar. Supported by productive suggestions, and will, as you expected, guess words as you’re typing a sentence. It will learn your typing habits and will throw you suggestions based on your actions and how you type in.

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Extra features

Animations

Apple has finally took a serious action from it’s user-base with the original release of iOS 7 in the system animation department. Issues were addressed with iOS 7.1, but iOS 8 well and truly addresses this issue even more.

By reducing the number of animations throught the OS, Apple has spend things up a little. Giving the whole iOS a more speedy feel to it.

HealthKit and HomeKit

Apple has taken the wraps of HealthKit. Alos centralized hub for all your health related alerts and notifications. How HealthKit actually works? It allows third-party apps to hook into the native Health app on iOS 8 and then show you all your progress in one place in a gorgeous UI.

Alterantively, if you have a FuelBand, or one of those health trackers from Jawbone, then instead of launching a specific – or supporting app – launch Health app and all your progress is there waiting for you. Awesome.

Magically, the HealthKit added support for HomeKit, which enables iOS devices to control home automation devices using Siri.

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Family Sharing

iOS 8 grants the user to set up their whole family as one unit, after which iOS 8 will automatically share photos, calendar events, reminder alerts etc. Family Sharing on iOS 8 also allows you to define your kids and their gadgets, and using Find My iPhone, you can see where your kids are. Pretty handy.

Family Sharing also allows you to share music, movies and TV Shows with one another. You can also share apps and even an iTunes account as well. But you’ll need permission to buy apps from your parents. Right choice!

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iCloud Drive

Integrated in iOS 8, iCloud Drive allows you to work across applications and in lot of places. And as we explained in our OS X Yosemite article; it allows you to access your files on different platforms, all thanks to Apple’s iCloud infrastructure.

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Photos

Apple has taken Photos to a whole new level with the release of iOS 8. You can now have more photographs in the cloud than you can on your device alone. Editing is also geeting a boost with iOS 8, which will now sync edited photos across devices, a feature which Apple is doubling as Smart Editing.

New editing controls and sliders truly gives the smart power of editing in the users’ hands itself. All videos and photos are stored in iCloud in full resolution. First 5GB of storage is absolutely free of charge, 20GB for $0.99 per month, 20GB for $3.99 going all the way to 1TB.

Maps

Maps on iOS has always been a disaster for a lot of places, and Apple this time have agrip to make things perfect. And for user in China, Apple has announced that Maps have been greatly improved.

Siri

Siri has also received a fair update in iOS 8. And now, she constantly listens to your voice and the simple ‘hey, Siri’ hotword wakes her up, ready to take your queries. Siri now also features Shazem song reconition, purchase content from iTunes, streaming voice recognition and 22 new ditection languages as well.

TestFlight

A new section integrated in to iOS 8, which allows users and developers to try out beta apps, and has been announce by Apple for the App Store. Best paret here is, it’s absolutely free to try it and use it.

Extensibility

Apps made for iOS 8 have been granted new superpowers by the folks in Cupertino, and can now talk to different apps installed on the device and share information.

Third-party Widgets

iOS 8 brings its top feature to the fold which many users have been crying about for many years: Widgets! Now live inside Notification Center, and not on the home screen, which might prove to be a bummer for some. Apple has finally granting us something that wasn’t expected for a long time now.

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Touch ID and Camera APIs

Touch ID is finally getting more useful in iOS 8, apart from being just a phone unlocking mechanism, allowing devs to harness ist power in one of their apps using the official Touch ID API.

The Camera API is also being opened up a little more to developers, giving them access to things like exposure controls, white balance et al.

Third-party Keyboards

iOS 8 from now will allow users to install custom-keyboards and they can be used system-wide. In short: keyboards like Swype, SwiftKey etc. will soon make their appearance on your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch!

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App Store

It has been remained uncahnged for years, except for some UI tweaks here and there. But in iOS 8, Apple decided to make App Store more unique and wants to make app discovery more genuine and with the introduction of trending searches, a new explore tab and continuos scrolling when you’re browsing through a long list of apps.

Apple has introduced App Bundles, which as the name suggests, allows you to purchase a bundle of apps, negating the need of making multiple purchases for a large number of apps. Hard process for those of you who are a serial app buyer.

Developers now have the opportunity to add App previews, which is a small video showing off how the app works. Mind it not, this isn’t a trail, but a mere video clip.

iPhone, iPad and Mac connected all together

With iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, you can now share files via AirDrop. Send and Receive SMS and phone calls on Mac via iPhone.

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Compatibility Chart

Unfortunately, iOS 8 doesn’t got support for iPhone 4.

iPhone supported list:

  • iPhone 4s
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 5c

iPad:

  • iPad 2
  • iPad 3
  • iPad 4
  • iPad Air
  • iPad mini 1
  • iPad mini with Retina Display

iPod touch:

  • iPod touch 5G

Release Date

iOS 8 beta available today to developers, will be available to public for the above mentioned iOS devices in Fall 2014. Stay tuned!

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