iOS 8 Beta, Release, Rumors Download: New Siri, iMessage, HealthKit Features for New OS

The iOS 8 will include a number of new features and settings when it is rolled out for free in the fall. The beta can be downloaded now.

The new OS was unveiled Monday during the Worldwide Developers Conference.

Improvements will be rolled out for Messages, and there will be keyboard enhancements in the form of QuickType as well as third-party keyboards. The HealthKit, Exenstibility, and other upgrades are also slated for release, says MacRumors.

The iOS 8 also appears to have a battery usage by app feature, which allows users to monitor certain features’ drain on their device’s battery.

iPads will also gain the ability to take Panoramic photos like the iPhone, and the camera will get a instant burst mode, a timer mode, and other modes.

MacRumors also says there is a Tips app, but it’s not clear what it does.

iOS 8 will also have an “In Case of Emergency” card, which will show contact information and other information as well.

The OS also will give the Siri voice feature the ability to purchase iTunes content.

“Apple engineers platforms, devices and services together,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said, according to the NY Times. “We do this so we can create a seamless experience for our users that is unparalleled in the industry.” 

CHANGES TO IPHONES AND IPADS:

— Like the new Mac OS, the iOS 8 system will have a universal search tool to cover both your device and the Internet. It will also get the iCloud Drive service.

— The new software will sport interactive notifications, so you can respond to a message without having to leave another app. It will have new gestures, such as double tapping to see a list of frequent contacts.

— A QuickType keyboard promises predictive typing suggestions. For example, if you start typing, “Do you want to go to,” the phone will suggest “dinner” or “movie” as the next word. Currently, the suggestions are limited to spelling corrections.

— IOS 8 will have a built-in health-management tool to help people track their vital signs, diet and sleeping habits. Apple’s chief rival, Samsung Electronics Co., incorporated fitness-related features in its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S5, and announced plans last week for similar management tools.

— Apple announced new technology for controlling garage doors, thermostats and other home systems, although the company didn’t say how all the pieces will be linked together through what it calls HomeKit.

— For developers, Apple announced the ability to sell app bundles at discounted prices. The fingerprint security system on the iPhone 5s also will be accessible to apps written by outside parties, not just Apple functions such as unlocking the phone and verifying iTunes purchases.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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