iOS 8 Features That Will Replace Our Favorite Apps
We're eagerly anticipating the release of Apple's iOS 8 operating system for iPhone and iPad. We've read about some of the new features that will make their way to the iPhone 6 that will improve our daily lives, ranging from health to mobile gaming. An update to the third beta was released to developers yesterday, allowing Apple's Health app to access the iPhone's M7 motion co-processor. This will allow the app to natively track movement like a person's steps. Apple's refinements to iOS would replace some apps that we use on a regular basis, so here's a look at how this cool tech will change day-to-day activities.
Health & Fitness
Let's start with the most recent update involving Health. Apple's M7 motion co-processor functions alongside the A7 chip in newer devices like the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and the Retina iPad mini for enhanced fitness tracking capabilities. The accelerometer, gyroscope and compass all play a part in helping fitness-minded developers track movement.
The Health app's Steps section now tallies the number of steps a person takes. Users accessing the Health app will be able to access a full week's worth of data on their devices. Apple's making a strong move into the Health and Fitness arena, and will challenge apps like Fitbit and Health Mate.
Currently, the Health app is limited, but with iOS 8, device manufacturers and app developers will build HealthKit into their apps, enabling it to aggregate data from multiple sources into one central location. Health is also rumored to be strategically tied to Apple's health-tracking wearable device, the iWatch.
Apple is now using weather data from The Weather Channel instead of Yahoo. The change in weather forecasting does have its perks. In the months ahead, users will have a nine day weather forecast, up from the previous five day forecast, with additional weather information. This includes a new weather summary at the bottom of the Weather app, along with info on sunrise/sunset times, humidity, wind speed, visibility, UV index, pressure and a slight redesign to make this extra information more streamlined.
Siri gets a few cool new features that makes life a bit easier, with upgrades in voice activation and recognition. Siri now displays what is being spoken on the iPhone or iPad display as it's said, allowing users to get immediate feedback on what the voice assistant picks up. Greeting Siri with "Hey Siri" while an iOS device is plugged in will activate Siri's listening mode, allowing users to give hands-free commands.
You'll also be able to download apps via Siri from the App Store. She'll initiate an App Store search, something Siri currently can't do. Siri now has song recognition capabilities built in as well. If you ask Siri, "What song is playing?", it will cause her to listen to the ambient sound, using Shazam to identify music.
Photo & Video
Apple's iOS 8 brings some new changes to the Camera app. Users have smart albums with organizational options, including two albums for Recently Added and Recently Deleted. The Recently Deleted section temporarily displays images that have been removed from the app in case of accidental deletion, with a timer that displays the amount of time remaining before a photo is permanently erased. Current applications like Lapse It Pro and Slow Shutter Cam will have to make better use of iOS 8 camera capabilities to compete with Apple's proprietary app.
On top of that, the Camera app has a new Time-Lapse mode, which captures a series of images and then compiles them into a time-lapse video. There are also new manual exposure controls that allow exposure to be selected when taking a photo, and a self-timer mode that can be set for three or ten seconds.
iPad users now experience a Panoramic mode for iPad. Previously only available on the iPhone, panoramic pictures can now be captured with the iPad with a new Panorama mode within the iPad Camera app.
By offering focus controls within the iOS 8 camera app update, users can separate focus and exposure by swiping up or down on the focus box to change the exposure of photos when taking pictures on the iPhone or iPad.
There's no need to entrust your iPhone to a complete stranger to get a family photo. Now that a new timer function has been added to the camera app, you can set the camera to take a picture with either three or ten seconds.
As we get closer to the release of iPhone 6 and iOS 8 this fall, Apple will continue to introduce new iOS features sharing the functionality of the new OS and device capabilities. We're planning to share the best of this news on Modojo. If there's a particular feature that interests you, feel free to share your comments below.