Along with Tuesday's announcement of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and the Watch came the release date for iOS 8.  On September 17th you will be able to download and enjoy all the features of iOS 8 on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.  Here are some of the new features we know you'll love. 

Author's Note: If you have not updated yet, be sure to check out our great article and video blog about how to make sure you've properly backed up your data and manage your iCloud backups. 

Preparing for iOS 8

Backing up with iCloud

SPOTLIGHT

Spotlight has been around on the iPhone iOS 3, but in iOS 8 it gets completely revamped.  Not only can you search for information saved on your iOS device, now you can search the web, find nearby restaurants, get showtimes, searching for everything on the iTunes Store, and much more.

LOOK UP YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM

LOOK UP YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM

FIND DIRECTIONS AND REVIEWS FOR RESTAURANTS

FIND DIRECTIONS AND REVIEWS FOR RESTAURANTS

FIND BOOKS AND MOVIES ON THE ITUNES STORE

FIND BOOKS AND MOVIES ON THE ITUNES STORE

HANDOFF

Have you ever been in the middle of something on your iPad and wanted to switch over to your iPhone instead?  Have you been reading an interesting blog or iBook on your iPhone and wanted to switch to your iPad? With Handoff in iOS 8 you can seamlessly go back and forth between your iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.  Handoff, like so many other services from Apple, is simply and securely managed by your Apple ID; devices must be in close proximity and be logged in with the same Apple ID to be used with Handoff.  When your iOS device discovers an application that can be handed off, it lets you know by putting a small icon of that application in the bottom left corner of the lock screen.

WHEN A HANDOFF APPLICATION IS AVAILABLE, IT APPEARS IN THE BOTTOM LEFT CORNER OF THE LOCKSCREEN.

WHEN A HANDOFF APPLICATION IS AVAILABLE, IT APPEARS IN THE BOTTOM LEFT CORNER OF THE LOCKSCREEN.

Here is a list of applications that will work with Handoff when iOS 8 is released.  Apple has announced that third party developers will be able to make their applications work with Handoff as well.

  • Mail
  • Safari
  • Pages
  • Numbers
  • Keynote
  • Maps
  • Messages
  • Reminders
  • Contacts
  • Calendar

If those features are not enough, once you have Mac OS X Yosemite (to be released this fall) running on your Mac you'll be able to use Handoff for all the features we've mentioned, as well as phone calls.  The screenshot below gives you a preview of what phone calls on a Mac will look like in Yosemite.

WITH IOS 8 AND YOSEMITE YOU CAN MAKE AND RECEIVE PHONE CALLS ON ALL DEVICES WITH YOUR APPLE ID

WITH IOS 8 AND YOSEMITE YOU CAN MAKE AND RECEIVE PHONE CALLS ON ALL DEVICES WITH YOUR APPLE ID

HEALTH

Depending on what you do for recreation, this may be the most significant update coming with iOS 8.  Like everything else Apple does, the Health app is designed to be simple and inspiring to use.  The dashboard shows you your most recent health and fitness data in one window, making keeping track of your progress easier than ever.  You can also see a detailed analysis of things like your body measurements, vital signs, and even your sleep.  There is also an option to configure an emergency medical card that is accessible from the lock screen, just in case the unexpected happens.

A FEW SCREENSHOTS OF THE HEALTH APP IN IOS 8

A FEW SCREENSHOTS OF THE HEALTH APP IN IOS 8

Where the Health app becomes truly unique is in it's ability to aggregate health and fitness data from multiple applications into one place.  For example, if you use Nike+ to track your running, Jawbone UP to track your sleep, and My Fitness Pal to log your nutrition, the Health app will consolidate all of that data in one convenient place.  Apple's HealthKit platform allows developers to seamlessly link their apps and data securely into the Health app.  Here is a list of applications that have started working on HealthKit compatible versions of their apps:

  • WebMD
  • Jawbone UP
  • Fit Bit
  • Nike+
  • Mayo Clinic
  • My Fitness Pal
  • Lose It
  • RunKeeper

Many more applications will build in support for the Health app after iOS 8 is released.

Stay tuned as we post a Part II and cover more enhancements and features of iOS 8!

For more information on iOS 8, visit Apple's iOS 8 Preview

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