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Apple Reveals iOS 8

Apple has unveiled iOS 8 at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.
The new version of iOS, which will soon come to iPhones and iPads, includes many new features.

iOS 8 brings Active Notifications, enabling users the ability to respond to notifications without launching the app it comes from. Swiping notifications will bring up a pair Accept/Decline buttons.
Apple is also bringing an enhancement to the multi-tasking app screen, accessible by double-clicking the Home button. In addition to showing all apps running, the screen shows a scrolling strip of favorite contacts, identified by photos, along the top of the screen. Tap one, and you'll be able to call, message or FaceTime the contact.

Mail is enhanced, too, letting you pull down an email draft so you can perform another task while composing email. Similar to notifications, swiping an email in to the side will delete it.
Apple added some enterprise features in iOS 8. Users can subscribe to specific message threads called VIP threads, calendars can share "busy" information with an organization, and iCloud can work with third-party storage providers like Box and OneDrive.

The keyboard in iOS brings an upgrade that Android users will find familiar: predictive typing. As you type, suggestions for what you may type next appear above the keyboard. The suggestions can adapt depending on who you're talking to — for example, the sentence "The meeting was..." could get suggestions like "rescheduled/cancelled" for one contact and "epic/awesome" for another.
Messages have a set of upgrades, including location sharing, the ability use of the iPhone's Do Not Disturb feature to mute notifications from a specific thread, and a new feature called Tap to Talk, which lets you speak and send an audio message the recipient can play back (but doesn't convert the speech to text). Details of the contacts you are talking to within a conversation are a tap away in the new "Details" button in the top right of any screen.

The Messages app also takes advantage of the iPhone's sensors: You can reply to a message — either with a call or an audio message — by simply raising the phone to your ear.
iCloud Drive, a new feature in OS X 10.10 Yosemite, also comes to iOS. Storing and editing documents in the cloud — with different kinds of apps — is enabled through the service, and it's compatible with Windows devices, too.

iOS 8 has a larger emphasis on fitness through an app simply called Health. It's supported by a service called HealthKit, which lets gives health and fitness app developers a centralized place on the iPhone to integrate their software with. Apple is also working with health providers to get the most out of the service.

iOS 8 also includes Family Sharing, which finally adds a long-requested feature: linking Apple IDs. With family sharing, up to six family members can share any iTunes content that any of them has purchased, and if one family member tries to buy an app or in-app purchase, the credit-card holder will get a notification, allowing them to grant or deny the request.

Apple unveils new software for both its mobile (iPhone and iPad) and desktop (Mac) platforms every June at WWDC. Rumors about the introductions have circulated for the past few months, including a dramatic design overhaul for OS X and a possible smart home initiative. The new software typically launches in the fall, alongside new hardware.



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