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Apple iOS 8: What's new

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Posted at 11:40 AM, Sep 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-22 12:35:19-04

After a dazzling product launch announcing the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iOS 8 and Apple Watch on September 9, Apple launched its newest operating system, iOS 8, last week. 

The new iOS 8 is available as a free download.

iOS 8 includes many new features compatible with not only the latest iPhone models, but also with iPhone 4s and later, the iPad 2 and up, both iPad minis and the fifth-generation iPod touch.

Apple has billed the release as “huge for developers, massive for everyone else.”

According to Apple, they set out to create the most natural, useful experience- one that is surprising at first, and then becomes “utterly indispensable.”

Ignoring the eerily controlling bent of that statement, here’s a look at highlights of what iOS 8 will offer, and whether it’s worth the download.

Photos

  • New search feature enable users to search for photos by place, and smart albums automatically organize photos.
  • New photo editing tools provide crop suggestions, photo composition tools, light modification, and new photo filters.
  • Time-lapse video as a new camera option.

 

Text messaging

  • Users can add voice to a text message by tapping the microphone button to record, then sliding to send.
  • The ability to leave group texts and and enable “Do not disturb” and respond to messages later is available on iOS 8.
  • Users can share their exact location while text messaging via GPS.
  • Users can send multiple photos at once.

 

Wi-Fi phone calls
Users will be able to make phone calls over Wi-Fi in areas with poor cell reception, which can lead to clearer (and also cheaper) calls.

Family sharing
Up to six users may share content from iTunes, iBooks and the App store without sharing accounts, on iOS 8.

Spotlight search improvements
The Spotlight search function already available on Apple devices now checks the internet and Wikipedia automatically, as well as local restaurants and places of interest, based on user location.

Developers
Developers will have access to more than 4,000 new APIs that enable new features, capabilities and tools for gaming development. This means great new apps, and great new updates to existing apps, are likely coming soon.

Though iOS 8 certainly offers some attractive new mobile tools, there are security concerns.

Click here for tips on keeping personal information safe while using iOS 8. 

Several tech sites including The Daily Dot and The Verge are reporting that Apple will have another product announcement to make October 21, which will unveil the latest iPads and OS X Yosemite.