Hands on with Apple's iOS 8 (pictures)

Summary:Apple's latest mobile operating system iOS 8 was unveiled at its annual developer conference. ZDNet takes it for a test drive to show you some of the new features.

iOS 8 also lands with a number of productivity tweaks, and things that will be handy (albeit indirectly) not only to the consumer, but also the business customer. And those who are always in a rush.

You can now send, along with text, bursts of voice and video. Image: ZDNet/CBS Interactive

With iMessage, you can now send bursts of voice if you aren't always in the mood for typing. Typically just a few seconds long, push and hold the record button — like "push-to-talk" — and it will send the message over the data network. 

Mail now lets you swipe either way for time-saving shortcuts. Image: ZDNet/CBS Interactive

In the Mail app, a number of features have been "borrowed" from Dropbox-acquired Mailbox, including these swipe features. Swipe to the right and you can easily mark a message as read, and swipe all the way to the left and you can delete a message on the fly. But swipe gently to the left and you can select more options.

You can be notified on thread replies, and change away messages. Image: ZDNet/CBS Interactive

On thread emails, such as those where a number of people have been added to the list, you can be notified of important updates. Also, you have the option to set out-of-office messages on Exchange-based email, including Office 365 accounts.

Swipe-down options and lock screen options. Image: ZDNet/CBS Interactive

Receive a message within an app? You can swipe down on the notification and reply without having to leave the app you're in. Also, from the Lock screen, you can selectively mark messages as read or send them straight to the trash if you don't want to read them.

A more refined, granular Notification Center. Image: ZDNet/CBS Interactive

And the Notification Center has also received a few improvements. Users can now selectively choose which options they want to see in their list of notifications, including weather and stocks. It gives the user more granular control over what they're seeing — either from the Lock screen, or from any other app.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iOS, iPad, iPhone


Zack Whittaker is a writer-editor for ZDNet, and sister sites CNET and CBS News. He is based in the New York newsroom. His PGP key is: EB6CEEA5.

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