Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past weeks, chances are you’ve seen all the hysteria that came with the launch of the Apple iPhone 6 on September 19th. Along with the new devices, Apple also brought to the spotlight a new operating system for its mobile segment: iOS 8. The new operating system is no major breakthrough, but it does come with some nice features to go with the new devices.
Apple Pay is the new way to pay
While the new iOS 8 can also be installed on older iPhones such as the iPhone 5 models, and even the iPhone 4 family of devices, one of its most hyped features targets the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models only. Yes, we’re talking about Apple Pay, the upcoming payment system developed by Apple set to hit the market in October.
The magic behind this feature isn’t necessarily new or revolutionary, relying on the NFC technology in order to make the authorization of payments a quick and easy process. Something similar was already available on Android for quite a while, but considering the fact that Apple has a far greater market influence power and that they have been closing deals with renowned financial institutions all around the world means that the technology has a higher chance of success now that Apple is boosting it.
iPhone 5 and iPhone 4 users that upgraded to iOS 8 will be able to use Apple Pay only after they purchase the upcoming Apple Watch, as the mentioned iPhone models don’t come with NFC technology.
Texting just got better
iOS8 didn’t boast a whole set of new features, but rather focused on improving the existing ones. As a result, the iMessages app got a significant upgrade. Inspired from all the third-party messaging apps out there, the new messaging platform now allows you to share your location, attach voice messages and scroll through the multimedia content shared within the messages easier.
The keyboard also got an upgrade that iPhone users were expecting for quite a while: the ability to install third-party keyboard styles. Be that as it may, the stock keyboard is not so bad either, coming with a smart predictive system that learns your texting habits and changes style depending on the recipient of the message. So, when you’re talking with a friend you might get slang-like suggestions, while when texting a business partner all the sugestions will be formal.
Notifications got better
The notification center got a major upgrade in terms of usability. First, it now allows you to perform quick actions such as reply to a message directly from the notification area. Second, you can customize the area with widgets from the installed apps, thus making it easier to check out the weather, latest news or sports scores.
A welcomed change in terms of security is the possibility of using the Touch ID feature with 3rd party apps, thus increasing the overall protection of your data and improving the overall user experience.
Integration with iCloud was also improved, but as it turned out shortly after the release of iOS 8, the changes came with some security holes that made the iCloud platform unsafe. Even though Apple was quick to release a fix to this issue, there are still some rumours that the security issues are still there, so you might want to hold off using iCloud just yet, until things clear out.
Getting in line with the fitness and health trend, Apple put together the Health app, which is quite an impressive place to keep track of all your fitness and health-related details. What makes the Health app even more awesome is the fact that it can integrate and exchange data with other health apps, giving you the possibility to stick to your app of choice if you desire so.
Behind the scenes, Apple made a major change to how 3D graphics are handled, including a new 3D graphics system known as Metal. While there isn’t a lot of data available on this yet, according to Apple this change should improve the 3D experience both throughout the operating system, as well as through games.
Will these features be enough to boast iOS 8 as the most popular iOS version yet, or does Apple need to come with some breath-taking enhancements in the next release? Only time will tell.