iOS 8 is here! Well, it's not - you won't get it on your phone or tablet until later this year but Apple has at least outlined what goodies you can expect come fall.
The release has enhancements for both iPhone and iPad. There is a refined notification center for iPhone, but even more impressive are interaction notifications. These let users stay within an app while replying to texts and other alerts from within the app just by swiping down.
In iPad, users can peak a bird's eye view of all their tabs as well as enjoy a side bar within Safari.
Managing Mail has also become easier; swiping slightly on a message will let users flag it with color-coded indicators while swiping all the way deletes the message. Conveniently, users can also now access other inbox messages while composing an email.
iOS 8 will be available as a beta for developers starting today, with a full consumer release slated for the fall.
Healthkit and Health apps
The "Healthbook" name didn't come to fruition, but Apple did include some health-related applications in iOS 8.
Healthkit is a place where all your health-related applications can live to create a composite profile of your well being.
The Health app is a separate source that gathers activity metrics. Third-party applications will have access to Health, but Apple assured users can choose which apps can access your health info.
With iOS 8, Apple is making it so photos are available across devices, making sure you never loose edits or access to images when you switch from iPhone to iPad.
There are also new photo editing features. When lightening up an image, the new iOS 8 photo app will automatically adjust other settings to create an all-around improved picture. Edits will stick from iPhone to iPad thanks to iOS 8's iCloud Photo Editing access.
While images can be shared from iPhone to iPad, Apple is also working on a photo solution for Yosemite on Mac that will be available later this year.
Siri gets smarter
Siri as been improved as well; now, you can just start talking and she'll start working.
Message and keyboard improvements
Messages is smartening up as well. Now, users can set Do Not Disturb alerts in group messages, and leave a thread whenever they like.
Users can share their location within a thread as well, and a map becomes visible if you want to see where your friends (really) are. Attachments are also easier to view at a glance.
iOS 8 comes equipped with a tap to talk feature, cutting out the steps needed to vocalize what you're virtually trying to say.
An improved Spotlight now offers suggestions when you type in a place, event or whatnot. Now, instead of a straight search result, you may be shown part of a Wikipedia page, directions and more, depending on what you're looking up.
A more predictive Quick Type keyboard with support for a string of native languages will also find its way to iOS 8.
No, it's not part of some US-carrier data plan. iOS 8 family sharing lets people on the same account share data between their devices. This goes for everything from photos to credit card info.
More to follow...