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The biggest update since iOS 7

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The announcement everybody has been waiting for – iOS 8. iOS, just announced at WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference), is scheduled to come out this fall. What will iOS 8 offer that iOS 7 doesn’t? For developers, much more is in store.

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“iOS 8 is the biggest iOS release ever — for developers and everyone else. But that wasn’t the goal. We simply set out to create the most natural experience. Each enhancement has a purpose. Every new feature deserves to be a new feature. Each function is more considered, each next step is more efficient. It all adds up to an even better experience — one that is pleasantly surprising at first and becomes utterly indispensable before you know it. (Apple)”

Many of the features coming in iOS 8 are still being created, according to Apple’s website. There are a few features that they did announce, however, like their “smartest keyboard ever.” It is basically like the predictive text on many Android and basic feature phones, per contra, it recognizes if you’re in the mail app or the messages app since you might speak in a different tone of voice in a text message than an email.

Another awe-inspiring feature of iOS 8 is the new “family sharing” component. Since “sharing with your family comes naturally,” then why don’t you share you iPhone’s contents with them as well? With the Family Sharing app, you can share your iTunes, iBooks, and App Store purchases with up to six members of your family. So if you have that song of 2014 that you can’t wait to share with your family, why should you? Or if you have that brand new game that is just the greatest game you’ve ever played and you want everyone to know about it, then why don’t you just share it with your family. AS SOON as you download the song/app, it can be downloaded to everybody’s phone with just a tap of a button.

If you have an iPhone, then you know about iCloud. That annoying service that if you run out of space after backing your phone, you’ll get a reminder that you have no space left. Now that’s all going to change. Apple has finally got with the times and has developed a Dropbox type storage called “iCloud Drive.” You can now save PowerPoint projects, PDFs, pictures, or anything that you can open on your iPhone, right on iCloud.

Do you use MyFitnessPal, UP by Jawbone, Lose It!, or maybe Fitocracy Macros? If you do, iOS 8 is right for you. Apple has unveiled an app called “Health” that will revolutionize how you use every fitness app you use. Health will synchronize all of your data on the dashboard of the Health app to easily show you all of your fitness information all in one place. Maybe you don’t use any fitness apps? Then why is this app on your phone? The best feature of this app, in my opinion, is the Medical ID component. The Medical ID has your name, birth date, medical conditions, allergies, medications, and who to contact just in case that unavoidable accident occurs. You don’t even have to unlock your iPhone. All of this information is available via the lock screen for easy access.

The final feature I will talk about, and possibly my favorite feature, is the ability to send messages, and even answer phone calls, on any Mac or iPad you own. You may think “I’ve always been able to send messages from my iPad to my friend’s phone, so what’s new?” The new part of this existing feature it that you can text ANY phone from your iPad. So say that your friend has the Samsung Galaxy S5 and you want to send him a message. You can now send that message to him from your iPad or Mac to his phone without having to find your phone.

So what devices are compatible with “the biggest iOS release ever?” For the iPhone family: the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s. The iPod family: iPod touch 5th generation. The iPad family: iPad 2, iPad with Retina display, iPad Air, iPad mini, and the iPad mini with Retina display.