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Apple announces iOS 8

Apple announces iOS 8
Courtesy of Apple

Updated: Watch the event below.

Apple had a number of announcements at its Worldwide Developer Conference keynote today. One of the biggest was the next version of the iOS operating system that runs the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Predictably named iOS 8 (the current version is iOS 7), it doesn't seem to offer much improvement at first glance - just a few tweaks here and there. Still, there are some features that have big implications for the future of Apple.

First, let's talk about those tweaks.

  • The design in iOS 8 is the same as in iOS 7, which was flatter and cleaner than previous versions.
  • The notification system is a bit more user-friendly now. You can open emails, text messages, contacts and other app notifications right from the notification window. Notifications also appear on the Lockscreen.
  • Spotlight, iOS's search system, is updated so it can more easily pull up contacts, apps and even search results from Google.
  • Frequently contacts now appear in the Task Switcher screen and the information sidebar from OS X Yosemite is making an appearance.
  • Apple has updated the iOS 8 keyboard with QuickType. This is just predictive text, which learns your style and can fill in your next word, making typing faster. Android has had this for a long time.
  • There's now Group Messaging for texting between more than two people, which is going to be good for families.
  • Speaking of great news for families, a big new feature is Family Sharing. Up to six family members can share iTunes apps, books, music and videos, along with photos, calendars, locations and more. You don't have to buy multiple apps for everyone's phones and tablets.

OK, those are nice updates, but now let's talk about the big changes.

Next page: Here are the iOS 8 features that will take Apple into the future
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