Apple held their annual developers conference, WWDC, at the beginning of June. While the conference is a week long, the vast majority of the press and attention always surrounds the kickoff keynote presentation. While Apple followers no longer enjoy the magnetic presence of the late Steve Jobs on the stage, this year’s keynote had lots for consumers and developers alike to be excited about.
Although it is difficult to discuss all of the major announcements in one article, the following are a few of the most significant announcements and how they relate to consumers.
iMessage gets a much-needed revamp
iMessage has remained largely unchanged for the past few years. iOS 8 introduces a number of new features that most long-time users will be quite happy about. One of the most interesting is the ability to send voice recordings by swiping up on a microphone on the right side of the screen. The message can be easily listened to by bringing the phone up to your ear, and the message automatically deletes after a period of time (unless you choose to keep it) to save space.
Group messaging will be a lot more useful and a lot less annoying thanks to some updates to the group chat. You will now have ability to put “do not disturb” mode on specific group chats, so your phone doesn’t buzz constantly in a particularly busy group conversation. You can also create group names (to find the conversation easier later on), and can add or remove people (including yourself) at any time within the chat.
Family sharing allows parents to better control what their kids download
Family Sharing allows families to share all of their iTunes content, including music, movies, and television episodes. In addition, Family Sharing allows parents to restrict their children’s Apple devices so that specific app purchases can only be made with the permission of the parent. Family Sharing also sends a notification to the parents’ phones, allowing them to choose whether to allow deny, or postpone the app purchase in real-time.
Greater access for third-party software
Apple has finally opened up iOS for developers, who will now be able to integrate their applications with other Apple and third-party applications on the device. One specific benefit that many users are excited about is the introduction of third-party keyboards; something Android users have had for a long time and something that Apple users have clamored for.
There is a lot more that iOS 8 promises to offer users. Be sure to visit the Apple website to check out more of the changes coming to iOS this fall.