Apple iOS 8's Health app is a new, easy-to-read way to view your health and fitness data.
Apple announced iOS 8 at the Worldwide Developers Conference (better known as WWDC) in San Francisco on Monday, June 2 for Apple users and their mobile devices, as well as OS X Yosemite for MacBooks and iMacs. Despite the rumors circling around the highly anticipated iPhone 6, there were no new iPhones announced during Apple’s keynote presentation, but iPhone and iPad users are about to see quite the update with iOS 8 come this fall.
Some of the highlights for the mobile devices of the conference included Home Automation, updated Messages, Health (integration of activity tracker, heart rate monitor and other health and fitness apps that can talk to each other) and the keyboard, among other things.
Home Automation helps to consolidate all those light dimming apps to be accessible from within one new Apple hub on the iPhone or iPad. The use of Siri, Apple’s digital personal assistant, is going to be there for one to voice their commands.
iMessage, Apple’s form of texting come fall of 2014, has the added bonus of being able to record one’s voice and send a voice attachment to other iPhone or iPad users. Apple is allowing users to be connected like never before and makes it easy to capture any sound. The users can simply touch and hold the new microphone button that is part of iOS 8 to record the message. Once done, simply swipe to send it.
The keyboard takes Android’s “Swype” and expands the concept with iOS 8 making typing easier by suggesting contextually appropriate words when composing a text or e-mail and the device able to complete sentences.
Another new update that Apple introduced with the announcement of iOS 8 is the “most frequently used” contacts setting that has the user’s most contacted people at the top of the screen and can be found by toggling the home button with a short double-click. Prior to iOS 8, users had to sift through apps to get to the phone app that had users’ “Favorites.”
Although both are fairly even within the U.S. market, Apple is looking to make a push to the global market with this update to their mobile devices, as Google’s Android market currently makes up for around 78 percent of the devices and Apple pulls 17.8 percent.
Those interested in getting the iOS 8 update early can pay an annual fee of $99, and the software will be readily available for download from Apple. The downside is, it’s still only a beta release, which means it’s much more useful for developers than regular users and likely contains software bugs and other errors.
For anyone else, the official release will be later in the fall of 2014 and will be free to download to a user’s portable device.