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Apple has announced the new version of its mobile operating system for iPad, iPhone and iPod - iOS 8.
The new version of the mobile software, iOS 8, boasts a new way for users to interact with notifications — text messages, calendar updates or Facebook posts — without launching individual apps.
Here are top feature highlights in Apple's iOS 8:
A new platform that would enable people to control all the items in their homes with the iPad or iPhone. That means iOS 8 will let people manage their lights, cameras, door locks, switches, plugs, thermostats and other connected devices.
The app will monitor users' heart rates, sleep, weight and blood pressure among other health-related information. HealthKit will allow clinicians at the Mayo Clinic to send health information to a user's app, which can in turn send that data to a user's primary physician. It also syncs with third-party fitness devices and apps.
With iOS 8, Apple is making it so photos are available across devices, ensuring you never loose edits or access to images when you switch from iPhone to iPad.
There are also a number of new Photos editing features to be found. When lightening up an image, the new iOS 8 Photos app will automatically adjust other settings to create an all-around improved picture. Edits will stick from iPhone to iPad thanks to iOS 8's iCloud Photo Editing access.
Siri received a couple small updates, including Shazam song recognition integration, the ability to purchase songs from within the software, and streaming voice recognition. Other small updates include the ability install system-wide third-party keyboards and enhanced communication between apps.
This is a big one. Apple is opening Touch ID to developers, meaning a whole range of products and services will be a finger swipe away. Expect to see your favourite online retailers allowing fingerprint authorised purchases very soon indeed.
Message, Spotlight and keyboard improvements.
Now, users can set Do Not Disturb alerts in group messages, leave a thread whenever they like and drop other participants from a conversation.
Users can share their location within a thread as well, and a map becomes visible if you want to see where your friends (really) are. Attachments are also easier to view at a glance.
iOS 8 comes equipped with a tap to talk feature, cutting out the steps needed to vocalize what you're virtually trying to say. Taking a cue from Snapchat, iOS 8 also introduces self-destructing in-line voice and video messages for those times you don't want to leave a trail.
Apps & Widgets.
For the first time, iOS will also feature widgets in the notification center. Widgets will allow users to view app information at a glance, including sports scores and weather data.
Widgets are added to the notification centre and Safari. Apple is also enabling third-party keyboards just like Android - Swype on iOS!
Apple also explained its new "Metal" developer API, a set of tools designed to unlock the power of the A7 chip for games developers. It will essentially take gaming on iOS to the next level with incredible physics and graphics.
Apple iOS 8 will be available as a beta for developers starting today, and will arrive in the fall for consumers.