iOS 8 Beta Released To Developers, Public Launch Later This YearDale Wright
Apple released the developers’ preview of its newest mobile operating system, iOS 8, at WWDC 2014 on Monday (2 June), with the full version to launch to the public this fall.
In the keynote speech, Apple CEO Tim Cook told the audience that iOS 8 would be the biggest release for developers since the launch of the App Store, but that it would also be great for users too.
For its users, Apple hasn’t done too much to the design but it has added a host of new features. New app HealthKit will allow you to monitor various fitness and health statistics over time, as well as alerting you to doctor’s appointments. It’s a comprehensive personal health manager, but we think it will really make sense when Apple releases its iWatch device.
Other features on iOS 8 include Handoff, a really cool way to jump between your Apple devices. If you’re working on an email on your MacBook and want to switch to your iPhone, your devices will remember what you were doing. Click the icon and you’ll be able to resume your email on any other linked device.
The Notifications tab has been updated so you’ll be able to reply to texts and other messages directly from your Home screen, without having to open the specific app. Photos and keyboard have also been revamped, with the latter now being able to suggest what word you’ll type next, depending on who you’re texting or emailing. iOS 8’s new HomeKit means that users will be able to control smart devices in their home, such as being able to switch lights on or off by Siri.
The changes that have been introduced to iOS 8 for developers are also pretty exciting too. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor API has been opened up to developers, as well as the ability for third party keyboards to be used on the operating system. Perhaps the most interesting development though is Extensions. This means that developers will be able to offer support for other programs through their apps. For example, you could add Instagram filters to your images while they were open in the Photos app, potentially leading to a lot of promising crossovers between apps.
iOS 8 will be released this fall, probably around the same time as new iPads and iPhones. It will run on iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina display, iPad Air, iPad mini and the iPad mini with Retina display.