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Apple has officially announced iOS 8, the next version of the iPhone and iPad mobile operating system, at its developer conference in San Francisco. The update includes some noticeable user interface and design changes from iOS 7 while maintaining the same design language. Continuity between the Mac and iPhone has already been previewed at length during the OS X Yosemite demo prior to iOS 8’s unveiling. Specific features and press release below:

Quick Reply: iOS 8 features the ability to quickly respond to messages from Notification Center as well as the lock screen

Favorite Contacts in Multitasking: Favorite contacts are now available in the multitasking view

Safari for iPad has new tabs view: The same tabs view from Safari on iPhone is now available on iPad as well as OS X Yosemite’s sidebar

Quick reply for third party apps: This includes apps like Facebook

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Mail gestures and management improvements: Similar to Mailbox, gesture based actions and deeper integration with Calendar and better multitasking within Mail

SpotlightSpotlight now has more advanced features on iOS similar to OS X Yosemite including in-line results from Wikipedia and music on iTunes. Spotlight is also built-in to Safari’s search field as an alternative to Google Search

Quicktype: iOS 8 features a keyboard feature called Quicktype which is an alternative keyboard with suggestive typing with context awareness. Typing learning is private to the device so not shared or accessible by others; securely implemented.

Continuity: Same continuity features demoed under Yosemite.

Messages: Support for naming threads and group message management. This includes Do Not Disturb support per thread and the ability to leave the thread. Sharing is also made easier with the iOS 8 version of Messages including attachment management and voice, photo, and video sharing. Location sharing is also made much easier.

Messaging is very similar to Facebook’s Messenger app in terms of sharing photos and videos quickly as well as voice. Audio and video messages are allowed to delete after a period of time to avoid large files clogging up storage similar to Snapchat and other message apps. Audio messages can be heard from the lock screen using a Raise to Hear feature.

iCloud Drive: iCloud Drive allows users to work with documents across applications on iOS 8 using documents stored in iCloud.

Enterprise: iOS 8 includes a new enrollment program making enterprise device usage much easier.

HealthKit & Health: HealthKit is a feature that speaks with fitness and health apps to pull information from various apps into a single app called Health that centralizes results. The software features integration with the Mayo Clinic. It can present weight, activity, heart rate, and more.

Family Sharing: This feature brings together family photo streams, calendars, reminders, Find My Friends, and even shared purchases up to six family members on iTunes, App Store, and iBooks. This is connected by the credit card.

Photos: iCloud now stores all photos including more than what can fit on the device. Photos also includes advanced search features now with perimeters like time, location, and albums.

Photos also now features advanced editing features within the app. Photos and videos are backed up to iCloud at full resolution, but requires iCloud storage space. New pricing and storage tiers will be available.

Shazam: Siri will support Shazam for music recognition in iOS 8 as well as feature a hands-free mode with the Hey Siri command.

Availability: iOS 8 will be available in beta today for developers and publicly this fall.

You can follow along with our full live blog and analysis from WWDC here.

Apple Unveils iOS 8, the Biggest Release Since the Launch of the App Store

Introduces iCloud Photo Library, New Messages Features & New Health App

SAN FRANCISCO―June 2, 2014―Apple® today unveiled iOS 8, the biggest release since the launch of the App Store℠, giving users incredible new features and developers the tools to create amazing new apps. iOS 8 delivers a simpler, faster and more intuitive user experience, including iCloud® Photo Library, allowing you to enjoy your photos and videos more easily across your devices; new Messages features to easily share voice, video or photos with just a swipe; and an entirely new Health app that gives you a clear overview of your health and fitness data all in one place. iOS 8 also includes predictive typing for Apple’s QuickType™ keyboard; Family Sharing, the easiest way to share purchases, photos and calendars within the same household; and iCloud Drive™, so you can store files and access them from anywhere.

“iOS 8 offers simpler, faster and more intuitive ways to use your device with incredible new features like iCloud Photo Library, a new Messages app, the QuickType keyboard and an entirely new Health app,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “We’re also giving developers amazing new tools to make managing your health and your home from your devices an integrated, simple and secure experience.”

In iOS 8, the Photos app and iCloud Photo Library give you access to all of your photos and videos anytime, anywhere. Your photos are easy to find and are organized consistently across your enabled devices. The Photos app can automatically straighten horizons and with smart editing tools, you can quickly adjust light and color or access individual tools for deeper fine-tuning. With iCloud Photo Library, every adjustment and effect is automatically updated across your devices.

Conversations in Messages become more immersive with the ability to communicate with just a swipe. Tap to Talk allows you to share your voice and the same simple gesture also works for sharing videos and photos within Messages. Group messaging now gives you the ability to add and remove contacts, leave a conversation and the option to not be disturbed. Users can easily browse through all of the photos and videos within a conversation and share multiple photos and videos at once. You can choose to share your current location from within Messages for an hour, a day or longer.

The new Health app gathers the information you choose from your various health apps and fitness devices, and provides you with a clear and current overview in one place. iOS 8 offers developers the ability for health and fitness apps to communicate with each other. With your permission, each app can use specific information from other apps to provide a more comprehensive way to manage your health and fitness. For example, the Nike+ apps using NikeFuel will be able to pull in other key HealthKit metrics such as sleep and nutrition to build a custom user profile and improve athletic performance.

New predictive typing for Apple’s QuickType keyboard is smarter and more personalized, and intelligently takes context into account, such as who the recipient is and in which app you’re typing. QuickType understands the way you communicate, suggesting favorite phrases, so you can write entire sentences with just a few taps. What the keyboard learns is encrypted on your device and never sent to the cloud.

iOS 8 introduces Family Sharing, making it easier than ever to communicate and share purchases, photos and calendars within the same household. Family members can browse and download each other’s iTunes®, iBooks® or App Store purchases. Up to six members can participate, each with their own Apple ID. Parents can create Apple IDs for children, which includes Ask to Buy, requiring parental permission for purchases. Family Sharing automatically keeps everyone connected by creating a shared family photo stream, shared calendar and provides an option for locating family members and their devices.

With iCloud Drive, documents of any type can be safely stored, accessed and edited across your devices. Make edits on one device and the most up-to-date version of your documents will be available across all devices, whether an iOS device, Mac®, Windows PC or on iCloud Drive brings a whole new level of collaboration between apps, providing seamless access and the ability to work on the same file across multiple apps.

For Enterprise, iOS 8 builds on the new IT model for a mobilized workforce by improving the way users are informed of how their devices are configured, managed or restricted. iOS 8 offers expanded security and management improvements as well as new productivity features, including an expanded level of data protection for key built-in apps, the ability to set your out of office response, see your colleague’s availability when scheduling a meeting and support for configurable Thread Notifications in Mail.

Additional iOS 8 features include:
• design enhancements that build off the stunning interface of iOS 7, bringing interactive notifications, quick access to key contacts, the ability to quickly switch back and forth between the inbox and drafts in Mail, as well as intelligent suggestions;
• extended Spotlight® capabilities that give you results beyond what’s on your device, including articles from Wikipedia, findings from the news and results from places nearby; and
• greater continuity between iPhone®, iPad® and Mac, including Handoff to start an activity on one device and finish on another, along with Instant Hotspot and the ability to make and receive calls and send SMS and MMS messages from your Mac or iPad.

The iOS 8 beta software and SDK are available immediately for iOS Developer Program members at iOS 8 will be available this fall as a free software update for iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod touch® 5th generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina® display, iPad Air™, iPad mini™ and iPad mini with Retina display. iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Drive use your iCloud storage with the first 5GB free. Features are subject to change. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.