Today, at the WWDC 2014 event, Apple unveiled its latest operating system iOS 8 for iPhones and iPads with new features like Family Sharing and updates to apps like iMessage and Siri.
The iMessage app has been added with new group messaging options, add or remove people, turn off notifications similar to WhatsApp. Photos can now be shared easily by a press and release on the camera icon with an option to delete the messages like in Snapchat. However the new features would can be used only between iPhones. iPhone and iPad users will be offered more customization abilities as the company has opened up its operating system to consumers and developers.
Siri will be able to recognize songs automatically with Shazam song recognition and will tell the name of the song that is played. Apple’s Homekit has been integrated with Siri for controlling home appliances like thermostat, closing garage doors, locking doors and many more. An “Always-on” functionality for Siri will wake up the assistant with the command “Hey, Siri” similar to Google Now. Siri will support 22 new languages and content from iTunes and App Store can be purchased directly.
Touch ID fingerprint scanner which was earlier used for unlocking the phone will now be integrated into third party apps and will provide a major scope for developers. Multitasking has been made easier for iPhones and iPads as double tapping will open up contacts, notification lists and messages without having to open apps manually.
The main focus was on the announcement of Healthkit which can integrate with numerous fitness related apps and monitor heart rate when synced with devices like Nike band. The data in turn can be shared with a doctor through Mayo Clinic app for real-time monitoring remotely and compiling data.
iCloud Drive feature can sync with iPhones, iPads, Mac and Windows to access stored files and will appear in a new folder on the computer. iOS users can use cloud enabled apps to edit or create a document. Purchases from the iTunes store can be shared using the “Family Sharing” feature including music, apps and music. However the it is applicable to six members and must share the same credit card number. Parents can add passwords and restrictions for their children’s devices for purchases from the store.