One of the major highlights of the ongoing WWDC is iOS 8, the latest iteration of Apple’s iOS that will power the current and next-gen iDevices. Though the software will be rolled out via Beta cycles over the coming months and reach consumers only later this year, it is already available as a Beta for developers. Moreover, some international tech journalists and bloggers have also managed to get a quick hands on it with the software. Here’s a round-up about what they have to say.
With iOS 8, Apple has decided to break all stereotypes associated with it. Android always had the edge when it comes to keyboard support, and now Apple has ensures to bring the best typing experience with third party keyboards. Moreover, iOS 8 also adds a new QuickType keyboard, for predictive text input. It is known to be context-sensitive and personalized and learns from the way you text. While all this sounds cool, it may not necessarily be smooth to implement.
Stuff’s Marc McLaren reveals, “We’re a bit skeptical, to be honest. Much of its success or failure will presumably depend on how much the language you use varies from person to person and how consistent you are. We’ll see. However successful it is, all the learning it does will be local to the device and won’t ever be uploaded anywhere. And it’ll work with lots of different languages. But that could all be irrelevant anyway – because Apple is opening up the keyboard to third-party apps like Swiftkey and Swype.”
One of the celebrated features of the iOS 8 is Spotlight. Simply pull down from the home screen to access Spotlight Search and start typing. While it may be too early to talk about its success, it seems to have already worked for tech enthusiasts. 9To5Mac’s Don Esposito believes, “Spotlight Suggestions will provide you with Wikipedia results, popular locations near you, movies in theaters (with ratings), music suggestions, App Store results, and more. Since these results are mainly web-based, this type of feature is almost limitless.” He further adds, “We won’t know the full potential of Spotlight Suggestions until later this year when iOS 8 is released, but Apple definitely has a good thing going here.”
Though it didn’t stand out among the host of features Apple unveiled, the company is betting big on the mobile healthcare segment. “The Health app is designed to grab information from third-party applications and their hardware and combine it all into one app. This is will help to give you the best health app experience from several sources like Nike’s FuelBand and the FitBit.” Phonedog’s Marco Hanna adds.
Currently, Apple’s AirPlay media streaming needs an established Wi-Fi network on-the-go. However, with iOS 8, Apple seems to have some other plans on mind. Engadget points out, “One of the many under the radar upgrades to the software is peer-to-peer AirPlay support — you can now share content to an AirPlay-capable device as long as you can make a direct connection. The basic concept is old hat, as you might suspect. DLNA has done this for a while, and third-party apps on various platforms can pull this off.”
In terms of new features, Continuity and Handoff really stand out. However, Apple has made it convenient and easier when it comes to phone calls. “There’s more clever stuff on show when it comes to phone calls. Receive a call on your iPhone and you’ll be able to pick it up on your Mac, using your phone’s connection but your Mac’s mic and speakers. Alternatively, if you see a number on a webpage, you’ll be able to call it from your Mac, using your phone’s connection. There’s also Instant Hotspot, which will let your Mac piggyback your iThing’s data connection on occasions when you don’t have Wi-Fi, and finally, Airdrop will also now work between iOS and Mac, adds Stuff’s Marc Mclaren.
Looks wise, iOS 8 almost resembles iOS 7, and there aren’t any significant changes visually. But Apple has ensured to make notable minute changes wherever possible. Gizmodo’s Ashley Feinberg points out, “One of the biggest changes in iOS 7 (other than the obvious flatness, of course) was the addition of real, live multitasking. This time around, Apple took advantage of the extra space to make one of the phone’s most functional screens even more-so. Just double-click, and you’ll be able to swipe along both your favorites and your most recent contacts.”
Find out what’s new in the iOS 8, here’s all you need to know.