Apple announces iOS 8 with improved Spotlight, actionable notifications, and much more

Apple announces iOS 8 with improved Spotlight, actionable notifications, and much more

Today onstage at WWDC 2014, Apple announced iOS 8. It features new Spotlight search, actionable notifications, new enterprise features, and much, much more.

Below is Apple's official statement on the debut of iOS 8 and it's new features.

Press release:

Apple Unveils iOS 8, the Biggest Release Since the Launch of the App Store

Introduces iCloud Photo Library, New Messages Features & New Health App

SAN FRANCISCO―June 2, 2014―Apple® today unveiled iOS 8, the biggest release since the launch of the App Store℠, giving users incredible new features and developers the tools to create amazing new apps. iOS 8 delivers a simpler, faster and more intuitive user experience, including iCloud® Photo Library, allowing you to enjoy your photos and videos more easily across your devices; new Messages features to easily share voice, video or photos with just a swipe; and an entirely new Health app that gives you a clear overview of your health and fitness data all in one place. iOS 8 also includes predictive typing for Apple's QuickType™ keyboard; Family Sharing, the easiest way to share purchases, photos and calendars within the same household; and iCloud Drive™, so you can store files and access them from anywhere.

"iOS 8 offers simpler, faster and more intuitive ways to use your device with incredible new features like iCloud Photo Library, a new Messages app, the QuickType keyboard and an entirely new Health app," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. "We're also giving developers amazing new tools to make managing your health and your home from your devices an integrated, simple and secure experience."

In iOS 8, the Photos app and iCloud Photo Library give you access to all of your photos and videos anytime, anywhere. Your photos are easy to find and are organized consistently across your enabled devices. The Photos app can automatically straighten horizons and with smart editing tools, you can quickly adjust light and color or access individual tools for deeper fine-tuning. With iCloud Photo Library, every adjustment and effect is automatically updated across your devices.

Conversations in Messages become more immersive with the ability to communicate with just a swipe. Tap to Talk allows you to share your voice and the same simple gesture also works for sharing videos and photos within Messages. Group messaging now gives you the ability to add and remove contacts, leave a conversation and the option to not be disturbed. Users can easily browse through all of the photos and videos within a conversation and share multiple photos and videos at once. You can choose to share your current location from within Messages for an hour, a day or longer.

The new Health app gathers the information you choose from your various health apps and fitness devices, and provides you with a clear and current overview in one place. iOS 8 offers developers the ability for health and fitness apps to communicate with each other. With your permission, each app can use specific information from other apps to provide a more comprehensive way to manage your health and fitness. For example, the Nike+ apps using NikeFuel will be able to pull in other key HealthKit metrics such as sleep and nutrition to build a custom user profile and improve athletic performance.

New predictive typing for Apple's QuickType keyboard is smarter and more personalized, and intelligently takes context into account, such as who the recipient is and in which app you're typing. QuickType understands the way you communicate, suggesting favorite phrases, so you can write entire sentences with just a few taps. What the keyboard learns is encrypted on your device and never sent to the cloud.

iOS 8 introduces Family Sharing, making it easier than ever to communicate and share purchases, photos and calendars within the same household. Family members can browse and download each other's iTunes®, iBooks® or App Store purchases. Up to six members can participate, each with their own Apple ID. Parents can create Apple IDs for children, which includes Ask to Buy, requiring parental permission for purchases. Family Sharing automatically keeps everyone connected by creating a shared family photo stream, shared calendar and provides an option for locating family members and their devices.

With iCloud Drive, documents of any type can be safely stored, accessed and edited across your devices. Make edits on one device and the most up-to-date version of your documents will be available across all devices, whether an iOS device, Mac®, Windows PC or on iCloud Drive brings a whole new level of collaboration between apps, providing seamless access and the ability to work on the same file across multiple apps.

For Enterprise, iOS 8 builds on the new IT model for a mobilized workforce by improving the way users are informed of how their devices are configured, managed or restricted. iOS 8 offers expanded security and management improvements as well as new productivity features, including an expanded level of data protection for key built-in apps, the ability to set your out of office response, see your colleague's availability when scheduling a meeting and support for configurable Thread Notifications in Mail.

Additional iOS 8 features include: • design enhancements that build off the stunning interface of iOS 7, bringing interactive notifications, quick access to key contacts, the ability to quickly switch back and forth between the inbox and drafts in Mail, as well as intelligent suggestions; • extended Spotlight® capabilities that give you results beyond what's on your device, including articles from Wikipedia, findings from the news and results from places nearby; and • greater continuity between iPhone®, iPad® and Mac, including Handoff to start an activity on one device and finish on another, along with Instant Hotspot and the ability to make and receive calls and send SMS and MMS messages from your Mac or iPad.

The iOS 8 beta software and SDK are available immediately for iOS Developer Program members at iOS 8 will be available this fall as a free software update for iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod touch® 5th generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina® display, iPad Air™, iPad mini™ and iPad mini with Retina display. iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Drive use your iCloud storage with the first 5GB free. Features are subject to change. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Joseph Keller

News Writer for Mobile Nations. Fascinated by the ways that technology connects us.

More Posts



← Previously

SceneKit and CloudKit to offer casual game developers enhanced toolsets

Next up →

Apple pays tribute to awesome iOS app developers in latest video

Reader comments

Apple announces iOS 8 with improved Spotlight, actionable notifications, and much more


I like all the new features. Even if people say they're copied features from android or webos or something else, at least they're including them. Still love my android though:)

Posted via iMore App

So, the health app is really just another icon like passbook? What exactly is the incentive to use/want the health app? Are the other apps out there really just measuring specific vitals, and the health app seeks to combine all of those vitals into ones medical records, if you will?

I like all the new features, but health app was boring and doesn't excite me. I was hoping they would add more color. The OS is just way too white and dull. Sometimes I feel like I can't stand to look at anymore white after using my ipad for a few hours. Such a boring looking OS.

Your right about that. The OS mirrors the outward design and overall theme of the iDevices. Simple and clean. I like it, not as much as BB10, but I prefer it to the old look. They didn't add nearly enough to iOS 8 to stop people switching to Galaxy devices. Their only chance is to increase the size of the iPhone 6 if they have any chance of keeping most users attention. People are already bored, they need to think of something quick.

I don't think people are bored. If they were apple wouldn't be able to set record sales every quarter. They added features that the general consumers wanted and more. If your bored there is always another mobile operating system to use or try out.

Sent from the iMore App

Apple does not really release the category of their "record sales". What I mean is, are they shipments or sell-through units. We know carriers that sell iPhone have to purchase quotas to be able to sell the iPhones. The iPhone 5C is a good example were carriers sat on 2M units and the warehouse had 3M. Those 2M sitting with carriers is counted in the "record sales". Why I say that is because Apple is talking to investors on the earnings calls, not to reporters. Investors care that Apple sold units, not if the carrier sold them because Apple is not taking them back.

90% of the "new" iOS features have been around in other OS's for a while. For Apple to add them and make a huge deal of them is really silly. Actionable notification, even BB10 has had for almost a year. Widgets, again been around for years and for Apple to add it three years later, they are running out of new "innovative" ideas.

What Apple announced today is "here are the features you should have had three years ago".

I know 90% of features introduced in wwdc were already on other OS... Chill...

Like widgets... Apple added them on iOS , but in easy way... So average consumers could use it easily... Because not everyone is a tech nerd..

Sent from the iMore App

HUH? I'm an iPhone convert kind of in a way cause I decided to give it a try. Sorry, but as soon as I can, I'm running back to Android cause I'm bored as hell with this lackluster OS. Apple makes great products but the software leaves me wanting.

I understand what you're saying but I don't agree with you. I can't wait to ditch my Galaxy Note 3 for an iPhone with iOS 8 on it.

That dark mode for OS X..can someone find out if it's for iOS 8 ALSO, please? I really want that...

Sent from the iMore App

In iOS, did they add the ability to search contacts when I enter an address in a Calendar event? Like, just type a name and it auto-fills their address. Like when I search a name in Maps. I'm sick of having to switch to Contacts, find the name, copy the address, then go back to Calendar and half the time it has either cancelled the creation of the event or it has created it and I have to edit it. Such a stupid simple thing that should have been in iOS 1.

Are they adding Subject Threads in iOS Mail app? I want it to be just like Mail in OS X, where is shows the CONVERSATION including my SENT emails, not just the in-box messages.

The features are welcome but all they did was catch up to android. Nothing that set them apart. Of course they will still sell well and they know they will due to brand loyalty. But nothing innovative here. Let's see what the iPhone 6 brings.

I agree with some of that, but they also improved on a couple of things as well. The continuity features for instance (getting texts/phone calls on all devices) is certainly ahead of what you can do on Android. Messages is still better than Hangouts, and pulling further ahead. I would also say the hand-off features are better than anything on the Android ecosystem as well.

This is an iOS update I can't even be bothered to load in beta. There's nothing here I want, and several things that sound like I'm going to have to fIgure out a workaround for so as to avoid. Absolutely the last thing I want is to get all my children's apps on my phone. Ugh.

You're not getting your children's apps on your phone. Your giving them permission to buy an app to put on their phone. Pay attention.

Sent from the iMore App

iOS8 will be available for the 5C -- the question, is how much of it. Apple's iOS support pattern has typically been something like this:

-- >2 years old. Might be unusably slow, so update at your own risk.
-- 2 years old. May be a little slow, but solid. Not all features supported
-- 1 year old. Solid, more features than the 2 year old model, but not all of them
-- new phones. Everything.

The question is -- where does the 5c fall -- it is only 1 year old, but it shares the same guts of the 2 year old model.

Rather boring stuff for iOS 8. However, WWDC is designed for developers and not necessarily the general user. More (refined) features and added functionality will be highlighted in the fall when the iPhone 6 is revealed. I like many of the features of Yosemite, however, some of them I plan on turning off right away (widgets in notification center), ability to take phone calls on my Mac, etc. I also like all the new photo features, but don't want to pay 50 bucks a year for 200 GB of storage. Flickr allows me to upload all my photos for free. Apple could offer a better price. Overall, Apple has done a good job. The old adage is that you should date the hot woman, but marry the practical one. Apple is my practical wife.

Sent from the iMore App

Not much can be cut out this time but kowing Apple they'll find a way to screw with us, I wouldn't be surprised if Health would come only to iPhone 5S. iPad 2 won't get much except changes to the keyboard, (maybe) spotlight and apps like Mail etc. Continuity/handsoff and widgets in NC probably won't be available on iPhone 4S.

I left iOS in 2011 for Android. I came up with a private list of 5 pain points Apple needed to address before I would consider using the iPhone again. Apple checked off 4 of the 5 yesterday:

* Allowance for 3rd party keyboards
* Actionable Notifications and glance-able information (widgets)
* Extensions for 3rd party apps, and the ability to share functionality between them.
* Continuous client capability

The last item on my list, an iPhone with a screen larger than 4.5 inches, I expect Apple to check that off this fall. I was very encouraged to see Apple’s openness during yesterday’s keynote.

I always wish that they will bring back the Tweet Bar in the notification if there's nothing better than that.

Sent from the iMore App