The skinny on iOS 8

With the release of the iPhone 6 this fall, it will also be time for a new operating system update from Apple as well. As an overview, there are no groundbreaking differences with this new update. This may be because the iOS 7 catastrophe. The last operating system update to iO7 was so starkly different from the previous iOS; it had a lot of Apple users in a state of panic. People were purposely not updating their phones because the update was received so poorly. There were a lot of changes last time, so this time around it appears that Apple played it safe; and only made small improvements that won’t shake things up too much. That’s not to say that there aren’t some cool changes made though.

The update that I’m most interested begins with the photos. Apple added some Photoshop-like features to their picture editing. You have the choice of applying a filter; adjust brightness, color saturation, exposure and vibrancy. There is also a new timer built in to the camera app.
HomeKit is also a big change added to this update. This Apple app has so many features, it’s a little dizzying. With this feature you can control different aspects of your home through 3rd party apps. You can do things like control the temperature in your home, lock doors virtually, control lighting and even check the internal temperature of the food you are cooking on your barbeque.

Some other new features include the new “zoom” button that magnifies at a higher resolution than the current ‘double tap” in iOS 7 that allows you to make a picture bigger. You can now magnify words, pictures or anything that passes on your screen.
Text messaging got a slight overhaul with this update. Now, instead of the annoying auto-correct, there is a bar underneath the text window that will learn and predict your words and also spell check and allow you to correct the word yourself. This new feature is called “Quick Type.” This is a pretty nifty feature considering how often the current auto-correct fails us and can distort messages. Although I will miss all of those “auto-correct fail” posts that are so popular nowadays.
In that same vein; if we don’t feel like texting, we will now have the option of sending an audio message. There will be a microphone button in the text screen that will allow you to capture a voice message and send it through text. This will also learn your way of speaking and most commonly used words. This can also be used for “talk-to-text.”

One of the coolest Siri updates is happening with iOS 8. Have you ever heard of Shazam? This was a music app released a few years ago that could listen a song and tried to identify it digitally. Now this exact feature is being built directly into Siri. I’m pretty excited about this, as I am constantly hearing music and wondering who sings what, and where I can download it.

There is a laundry list of other little updates and tweaks to iOS 8. This is scheduled to be released around September.

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