With the whirlwind WWDC 2014 conference coming to an end last Friday, Apple has confirmed the upcoming iOS 8 update for the following phones -- iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPad 2, iPad Mini, iPad Mini with Retina Display (a.k.a. 'iPad Mini 2)', and the fifth-generation iPod.
At the start of WWDC, Apple unveiled the iOS 8 software update, which is going to replace the current iOS 7 software:
Absent from the list of devices getting the new update is the iPhone 4 smartphone as well as the original iPad tablet. Both devices were released four years ago, which is old by mobile device standards. Apple users still using these two devices may need to consider getting a hardware upgrade in order to take full advantage of the iOS 8, which brings a number of improvements.
The first notable feature that sticks out is 'quicktype' which allows users to respond more quickly in text conversations. The feature works by analyzing the content of an existing conversation. When the user receives a response, the 'quicktype' function displays a list of response sentences that users can choose. In theory, this speeds up the conversation by allowing users to type less. Naturally, the user can at any time choose not to use 'quicktype' and continue typing out the message.
For scheduling, the iOS 8 adds the new travel time notification feature in the standard calendar app. Users will now receive notification on pending appointments.
Browsing privacy has been enhanced with the ability for users to use Apple's proprietary Safari browser without having to enter Private Mode. From their touchscreen, Apple device owners will now be able to choose specific tabs to be made private. Users can also protect themselves from embarrassment by being able to select which tabs to save in the history section of the browser.
Another improvement that deserves attention is the introduction of the battery usage app that tells users which apps are draining the most power. To make things easier for the user, a power drainage percentage is displayed for each app. Users can now determine which apps need to be shut down in order to extend the mobile device's battery life.
Photographic function is one aspect that was not missed with the newest iOS update. The iOS 8 makes it possible to take panoramic photos with the iPad. This feature was already present in the iPhone 5, but was strangely absent from the iPad tablet lineup. Even so, it is important to remember that the oldest Apple tablet getting the iOS 8 is the iPad 2.
Another bane for mobile device camera users is soft focusing, which makes images blurry. Users will be able to adjust focus using their device's touchscreen, improving image quality. Also, the ability to adjust exposure manually has been added, allowing users more control over the lightness and darkness of their images.
The iOS 8 is not expected to be ready until this coming fall. Its presence at WWDC 2014 was only meant to unveil its features. Even so, all future Apple mobile devices will be using the iOS 8.