In a stunning move, declared recently, Apple Inc. is opening up iOS to the vast community of developers. It was hardly sometime back that the organization introduced a complete visual overhauling of iOS 7. This time, as any one will agree, the inherent designing of the product is all set to undergo a drastic renovation.
In fact, Apple seems to be head bent to extend flexibility of the iOS in its dealing with various third-party apps and extensions. In this aspect, it will not have much contrast with Android. But then of course, their respective features will remain drastically different, perhaps for an eternity.
Thus, it is obvious that the organization has provided ample access to developer community to its O/S platform. In fact, it has already laid bare several of its core capabilities to suit the need of the fraternity of developers. Access has already been granted to more than 4,000 iOS APIs.
Thus, third-party apps can now smoothly integrate with its Notification Center, thus sharing action menus, keyboard and photo app, etc. There is even strong indication that TouchID is also going to unlock its doors, which will obviously have a huge impact on the finger print scanner.
According to the occasional flicks that come to notice, it seems iOS 8 is really slogging to
- Enhance an extensive and attractive user interface and
- Improve performance level with more family sharing options, better spotlight, more intuitive menus, superior keyboard and photos and iCloud drive, etc.
As an extension to the current context, here is a brief overview of some of its key features.
Some of the crucial features
The array of its significant features include the following
- Introducing third-party widgets in Notification Center
- Allowing third-party sharing options and actions within system apps
- Enabling third-party keyboards with an adaptive default one
- Hands-off support with Mac OS X Yosemite – continuity from any iOS 8 iDevice to Mac OS X, instant automatic hotspot, SMS/MMS/iMessages along with voice call handover
- Safari: plugin support, Private Browsing per tab, bird’s eye tab view for iPad
- Camera: Instant Burst Mode, Time-Lapse, separate focus and exposure, Panorama for iPad
- Development of new photo app with smart and user-friendly editing, search and third-party filters, etc.
- Family Share – share and control content across Apple IDs using the same credit card, children app purchase requests
- Battery usage per app statistics
- Effective tips app
- Integrated iBooks with auto night mode, Book Series support
- Rich Text Editing in Notes
- Wi-Fi calling support
- Accurate travel time notifications
- TouchID fingerprint sensor to be available to third-party apps
- Improved accessibility, like in case of emergency card, TouchID to exit guided access, Braille keyboard
- Better Spotlight with automatic internet suggestions from popular services such as Wikipedia, Maps, IMDB
- Improved Siri with voice activation, integrating with Shazam integration and 24 new dictation languages
- Enhanced user interface resulting in better multi-tasking, along with improved mail, messages and music playing features
- In-built health pack
- Updated App Store with category browsing, Beta apps, Bundles
- iCloud Drive with 5GB of free storage
- Flyover city tours
- Enterprise easy setup and
- China gets lunar calendar, turn-by-turn navigation, and coherent weather data, etc.
On the flip side there are several disadvantages that have been pointed out as well.
- The feature Air Drop is not possible in devices that run on versions lower than iOS 7
- Excessive dependency on iTune to upload multimedia and other files
- Default video decoder support is exclusively limited
- There is no common file storage that has been shared between apps
- Lock screen feature cannot be accessed by third-party developers
However, iOS 8 will be available on devices like iPhone 4S, iPhone 5/5c/5s, iPod Touch 5, iPad mini/mini 2, iPad Air and iPad 2/3/4.