Hands on with Apple's iOS 8 (pictures)

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.

TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad

Apple's latest mobile operating system is packed with time-saving features, including the ability to contacts favorites on the fly, and share your location with your friends and colleagues if you're in a busy area.

In the multitasking pane, you can now reach your favorite and recent contacts with a simple swipe. (Image: ZDNet/CBS Interactive)

Double-tap the Home button to access multitasking. That's not new. But now you can see your favorite and recent contacts to easily call or text someone on the fly. Apple is using the real estate it had in the multitasking pane to try to make accessing those more regular contacts easier.

Spotlight now draws in more data sources, making searching your device and the Web far easier. (Image: ZDNet/CBS Interactive)

Spotlight, iOS 8's native in-built search facility, can now not only search the Web and Wikipedia, but also check out local restaurants near your location, check movie times, and search locations on the map — as well as look for apps and music that you might want to download.

Need someone to find you? Share your location on the fly. (Image: ZDNet/CBS Interactive)

Apple's intelligence QuickType keyboard can predict who you are talking to (either a formal email or a friend over text message) and adjust its predictive results accordingly. It works well, and can respond to most written dialog. And if you want to share your location, you can — just by dropping it in an iMessage. 

The Camera app now comes with native image-editing features. (Image: ZDNet/CBS Interactive)

Apple's native Camera app now comes with photo adjustment technology, which can change the light and the color of images — particularly if you're in a very bright or very dark area. You can tweak your snaps quickly, and share them with friends with a few taps on the screen. You can also adjust the rotation of the picture so that it lines up with the grid lines you are given, which is handy if you took a picture with one hand or at a jaunty angle.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad

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  • Notification Center

    "Receive a message within an app? You can swipe down on the notification and reply without having to leave the app you're in."

    Copied from BlackBerry 10.
    • The "Copied" meme...

      The "somebody else did it first" comments will be inevitable. The question is: Did somebody else do it as well, as simply, and integrated into as compelling a system of devices, software and services? Blackberry clearly does not pass this test.
      • So you tried the Blackberry 10 version...

        ...Or you just know its not done as well because?
      • No, not a meme

        The fact that you don't agree with something doesn't make it a meme. Apple have clearly copied some concepts here (and not for the first time), sure they'll tweak those ideas because with hindsight it's often easy to make improvements. This happens all the time in every industry and is nothing to be ashamed of.

        What Apples should be ashamed of is their hypocrisy, this type of shameless copying after lawsuits over 'slide to unlock', rounded corners etc makes Apple look like a dishonest, lying, conniving thieving bully - which is probably accurate.
        • Android and Blackberry just copying Apple style GUI

          Windows with its Metro uses pure idea, not stealing. (Apple includes the 1st Mac)
      • But I have switched to Android

        Apple is like super vain - looks in the mirror for years admiring the good looks while the world passes it by.
      • You mean....

        You mean since someone did it first Apple is playing catch up again, not that they have improved it.
      • Does it really matter?

        many people invented different wheels at some point time. each had their pros and cons, and everyone stumbled across the other's later in history, and took good ideas they saw to incorporate into their own.

        This made everybody's wheels better.

        Same goes with smartphones, I would have to believe.
    • Blackberry deserves its fate.

      Nobody cares about Blackberry anymore. They didn't improve their products for many years, because they figured they were the only game in town. The iPhone and Android phones ate their lunch by vastly improving the user experience and removing the need for a server. Blackberry rocketed to the bottom of the smart phone heap as a result. Their efforts to finally make something decent after losing the vast majority of their customers is just too little too late. Keep hanging onto the past, but Blackberry isn't going to last no matter what features they add to their phones. Like the Netscape browser many years ago, they reacted to a huge threat by arrogantly believing they were unsinkable. Well, the joke's on them. Everyone with any sense has abandoned that ship.
      • Why bother to do anything new

        I keep hearing people talk with enthusiasm about new Smart Phone OS's like Tizen and others. Why do they bother?

        For the life of me I can't understand why people like iOS so much. I've used it and just get frustrated with the limitations and money grubbing control that Apple applies. When you talk about Android, which venders version are you talking about? How ridiculous it is to have to download an Outlook.com app to get Contacts and Calendar Sync and then on top of that, have to download a contact editing app to be able to edit your contacts. What a mess. WP, how simple and childish can you get? Look at me, I'm shiny and have flashing blocks.

        BlackBerry 10 isn't perfect, but wow, it is so much better than iOS, WP and Android. It's hard to describe how the flow and operation of it is so much a better experience. It really is the best for people that were big Palm users, that's how I ended up with it, nothing else works as well. I understand the ecosystem is not as broad, which is a huge factor for many.

        There are always products and industries that get stale and something else comes along to replace it. Almost no tech products or companies stay on top forever.
        John Hanks
        • Apple are "money grubbing"?

          In iOS 8 MAC addresses will be dynamic so companies - like Google - won't be able to follow you around flashing "targeted" ads on rubbish bins.

          Apple don't read your email and sell your user profile to to third parties, unlike Google. Google subsidises everything they do with advertising: I'd prefer to pay a little more to avoid all that rubbish. (I even pay for free apps is they have ad-free counterparts.)

          As for the limitation you see in iOS, it doesn't bother most people and inter-app communication is being completely overhauled on iOS 8.
  • Apple's intelligence QuickType keyboard

    Also copied from BlackBerry 10
    • copied

      ((( "Apple's intelligence QuickType keyboard... also copied from BlackBerry 10" )))

      And BlackBerry 10 is largely copied from iOS, only five years too late.
    • Who cares...

      What is most important is timing with gamechangers. Apple was there to integrate the touch screen in the iphone while Blackberry users just tickled a pearl ball.

      Now Blackberry crawls its way to some hail Mary OS and comes up with some minor feature that wasn't done by Apple first. Who really cares? Matching the feature simply makes the Blackberry even more irrelevant than they are are.

      Google and Apple are simply smacking each other while one/two-ing Blackberry unintentionally out of its complete misery in the smartphone ring. Windows Phone is running around in the ring talking smack about how it will be there to give some arse-whooping to the both of them soon. The count is at 8 and going to 10 for BB. May it rest in peace.
  • Spotlight

    Spotlight, iOS 8's native in-built search facility, can now not only search the Web and Wikipedia, but also check out local restaurants near your location, check movie times, and search locations on the map — as well as look for apps and music that you might want to download.

    Another BlackBerry 10 feature that found it's way to Apple.

    No wonder Apple hired away their software SVP from BlackBerry, after he said that BlackBerry is more innovative than Apple.
    • What's your point?

      Companies borrow ideas from each other all the time. It's not one or a handful of features that make a device superior, but the whole package. There must be a reason why Apple dethroned Blackberry. At one point in time their phones were unique--then they got copied. If Apple comes up with a really cool and useful feature, you can be sure that their competitors won't be far behind with something similar.
      • some

        Some borrow ideas, others have to pay billions on lawsuit, because the one of then have the rights to use round corners on a phone, hehehe, hilarious.
      • Borrow?

        When Apple does it you they call it "borrowing". When someone else does it to them, it's called "theft"
      • Hypocrisy

        The issue is that Apple sues other companies that "borrow ideas" (using your words) from Apple products. If Apple sues others for this, why is it "borrowing ideas"?
        • Borrowing and theft

          When you take an obvious idea, like Amazon's "1-click" purchasing, you could argue that anyone should be able to use it because of prior art. (Still, most companies, including Apple and MS pay Amazon for this absurdity.)

          When Samsung copy an Apple device, right down to the box, the inserts and the manual, that's a violation of trade dress, a fact that's been proved in courts all over the world except South Korea. (When I saw my sister's first Samsung, I said "I thought you weren't buying a Samsung." I was confused by Samsung's slavish copying of Apple's packaging and hardware.)

          Now we have Samsung S5 selling for the same price as Apple 5S with inferior GUIs, slower, quad-core processors and joke fingerprint scanners that don't even store biometric data in a safe place, like Apple's secure enclave,

          The Apple is a better deal. If you don't like iOS 7 then wait for iOS 8, which will run on your iPhone. (Trying getting an OS upgrade without rooting your phone, or even intervening at all, on a Samsang. What were the uptake rates? Apple had 95+% uptake to iOS 7 in five days, while Samsung had under 10% OS uptake after five months.)