iOS 8 – the key new features that could change your life

November 11, 2014 : TECHFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

iOS 8 the key new features that could change your life

With the launch of a new iPhone comes a new operating system. Originally unveiled in June, Apple has called iOS 8 the "biggest release since the launch of the App Store". High praise indeed, even coming from the technology giant itself.

The good news is that you don't need the latest iPhone 6 or 6 Plus to enjoy these features – as long as you've got an iPhone 4s or more recent model and have the available space, you can make the most of the latest innovation to be stemming from the Cupertino-based firm. In addition, you can download iOS 8 onto your iPad or iPod, as long as it's recent enough.

Here are five of the best features about the new operating system:

Health Kit

Arguably the most-anticipated feature of Apple's latest updates, Health Kit could soon revolutionise how we all monitor our health and exercise patterns. It's a developer API that means health app developers can send all relevant information through to one single app that's easy to manage – helpfully called Health.  

In true Apple style, it's trying to be simple and effective. Your apps will be able to communicate with each other and your data will be collated, meaning you can keep track of your heart rate, blood pressure, diet plans and everything else without having to switch from app to app. Healthcare providers can also access data – with your permission, of course – through certain apps.

It's believed this feature could be spruced up with the release of the Apple Watch next year, so it could be set to get even better.

Touch ID

Released last year with the iPhone 5s, the Touch ID adds an extra element of security to the minds of its users. Up until now, this fingerprint scanner has been used to confirm the owner's identify and authorise purchases through the App Store. Now, however, Apple has increased its capabilities by incorporating it into third-party apps.

Don't worry if you're afraid of your personal details falling into the wrong hands – Apple assures its customers that your fingerprint information will stay on the phone's processor and not go anywhere else.

So, if you're already predisposed to a bit of impulse purchasing, you could find your self-control and willpower being tested even more with iOS 8.


Let's face it, you probably spend most of your time texting your friends using your iPhone, so it only makes sense for Apple to ensure this feature of the handset is in tip-top shape.

The predictive text feature has been revamped, meaning it will be quicker and easier to send messages to your friends and family. What's more, the more you text the more your handset learns to differentiate between different people in your phone book and will suggest appropriate suggestions and language. For instance, you'd type a very different message to your boss than you would to your mother, and similarly your mother and your girlfriend. The phone could even help to reduce the possibility of you sending the wrong text to the wrong person – and we've all been there – so this could be an invaluable feature.

But that's not all. You can easily send voice messages to your friends by clicking 'Tap to Talk', while the same action works for sharing photos and videos.

If you're fed up of being included in group iMessage conversations, you can take advantage of the option to not be disturbed, or even leave a conversation completely.


HomeKit is arguably a step towards home automation through your iPhone. With handsets being able to carry out more and more roles nowadays, it's no surprise that iOS 8 allows you to adjust the thermostat or turn the lights on, if you say the right thing. Whether you love or loathe it, Siri is involved and you simply need to say 'Good Morning' and certain things will happen, making your morning routine significantly easier and leaving you more time to gear yourself up for a day at the office.


If you enjoy having important information easily accessible, then you'll want to make use of the Widgets feature in iOS 8, which is part of the wider extensibility update. When you look at the Notification Center, you'll be able to find a lot more than the weather and your calendar for the day. You can fiddle around and customise what you see – for instance, live scores from your favourite sports app or the most important stuff from your Facebook feed.

This entry was posted in TECH and tagged on by sarahstooks
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