The Number 8 Is A Lucky Number… And Apple Is Feeling Lucky With iOS 8

Apple fans  have a lot to get excited this coming Spring as Apple will officially release iOS 8, the next mobile operating system upgrade for iPhones and iPads. Apple gave its fans plenty of excitement at its Worldwide Developers Conference last June 2nd. The operating system upgrade will present new features  like the HealthKit that tracks the user’s fitness data and the HomeKit that integrates smart home applications directly into the iOS that also includes Siri support.

Apple Senior Vice president of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi at the Worldwide Developers Conference last June 2, 2014.

According to Apple Senior Vice president of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, the updated iOS 8 will deliver few new improvements which includes:

1. Interactive notifications

Apple is now promising a notification center that is more customisable with third party widgets that ranges from eBay to be on top of the bidding game to ESPN for updated sports scores. These widgets  will let the users do certain tasks right from the IOS’s “Today” screen. Points!

2. Improved keyboards

For the first time, iOS will open itself to third party keyboard apps, which we all know, Android has been doing for years. Among the third party application is Swype. Swype, as the name goes will let users use their fingers to swipe across the keyboard in typing out words. The updated iOS will also be coming with QuickType. QuickType is a predictive typing feature that is new to iOS but it is an old feature among Android fans.

3. Integration with OSX.

The time has come when the desktop, OSX and mobile iOS will be integrated. With the future release of OSX 10.10 Yosemite and the iOS 8, users will be able to call and send SMS text messages using the Apple desktop or laptop remotely through the iPhone. Although some apple fans and experts are a bit skeptical about because the integration of the iOS messages with the OSX did not go well previously. We hope that this thing is already fixed in the new update.

3. Muting conversation

Surely this has happened to most of us – trapped in a boring message conversation with people you don’t have time to chat with, but you’re too nice to bolt out of the conversation. With the updated iOS 8, the user can now mute those unwanted chats, which means the user will still get the message but no message alerts to bother them.

4. Brand new photo app

The new photo app will let the user edit and view images from across the many I-Devices. The OS will also accept third party camera apps that will allow more access and manual control. In this case this improvement will cross over the new iPhone.

5. Siri

Siri will be voice activated. This is good news for lazy people. Nuff said.

6. Family app sharing

App purchase can be shared to up to 6 family members across their different Apple devices. To take advantage of this, the purchase should be linked to the same credit card. No password swapping just like in Netflix. This sharing feature will also mean that apps like the calendar can be shared  across the devices.

7. Phone calls through WI-Fi

If you’re stuck somewhere with a really crappy mobile phone, do not fret because you can make phone calls over WI-Fi, although the future will depend on the carrier. Think of Skype & Viber although it’s a native iOS feature.

From The Other Side Of The Fence

When the news broke out and some of the features are presented, Android fans and users called the iOS 8 a rip off of Android. Although they have presented the features are brand new, it has been in use on Android for years. Interactive notifications will let users respond faster to messages, like Facebook post and others without opening the app. Android has offered these actions since 2012. iOS will also put a line of word predictions above the software keyboard, just like the Android keyboard and again as mentioned, it will also support third-party software keyboard which Android has done since. Apple will also extend the cloud to support all file types. This will also let users  access their folders and files across their different Apple devices. This is almost the same to the Google Drive integration, which is a feature in Android 4.4 Kitkat and Chromebooks. The Apple App Store will allow previews of videos, same as Android’s Google Play Store. App sharing will be more open instead of the usual Apple-approved ones. The Android’s share button already allows this to any applications that supports it. iOS and Androids have their diehard fanboys, just Mac and Windows aficionados and Star Wars and Star trek fans.

Apple Senior Vice president of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi showing teh 3rd party keyboard software Quicktype. Image courtesy of
Apple Senior Vice president of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi showing the 3rd party keyboard software Quicktype. Image courtesy of

If you’re an Android fanboy, you will surely get a kick at how Apple is lifting some tested Android features, although expert opinion states that saying iOS 8 is an android rip-off is quite not right. For one, iOS are not copying Android features as exactly as the original. Apple is putting their own spin to it. Taking some inspiring concepts from the rival Android and enhancing them is not a new thing for Apple. Android allowed multitasking, but Apple’s version provided much control on how the apps run in the background that eventually saved system resources and battery life. Android first introduced copy/paste, but the Apple version was better-executed when it was released. In return, Android further tweaked the feature further.

When you look at the whole picture, it doesn’t matter what mobile OS you choose. When you think of it, mobile operating systems for both camps seem stagnant with just only minor enhancements on how we use the mobile devices. The eventual release of the iOS 8 will shake up things and Android will surely make their own improvements to be ahead of their competition. Let’s get ready to rumble!




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