Apple today introduced iOS 8, at its World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC), being held June 2-6 in San Francisco, CA.
While iOS 7 was a dramatic makeover, IOS 8 focuses on refining and polishing the mobile OS.
- Faster and more intuitive user experience;
- iCloud Photo Library lets you use your photos and videos more easily across your devices;
- New Messages features to easily share voice, video or photos with just a swipe;
- New Health app that gives you a clear overview of your health and fitness data all
- Predictive typing for Apple’s QuickType keyboard;
- Extended Spotlight capabilities that integrates results from the Web, including articles from Wikipedia, findings from the news and results from places nearby;
- Family Sharing, which lets you share music, purchases, photos and calendars within the same household; and
- iCloud Drive, so you can store files and access them from anywhere.
Key features that may be of interest to musicians:
- Continuity – iOS 8 devices can sense the proximity of other devices. This lets you do things like quickly set up a hotspot for your iPad using an iPhone or answer a phone call on your iPad or Mac.
- Messages has been updated to streamline sending audio, video and photos.
- iCloud Drive is designed to make it easy to share documents across devices and applications. Apple also introduced iCloud storage tiers up to 1 TB.
- Extensions – iOS 8 Extensibility lets developers create apps that run as Extensions within other applications and add features to other apps. For example, if you don’t like the default iOS keyboard, you could install an alternate keyboard and make it your default.
- Homekit – this is a new API that’s designed to let your iOS devices control household hardware devices. While intended for home automation, it might also have interesting applications for musicians. For example, when you come into your studio, you could tell Siri to set up the studio for vocals, and it could wirelessly dim the lights, turn off devices that are noisy and turn on your mixer.
- Swift – Apple introduced a new programming language for developers that’s designed to streamline the creation of fast, secure apps. While this won’t directly affect most musicians, it’s designed to make it dramatically faster and easier to develop apps, so it could lead to more app development on iOS.
iOS 8 is available to developers as a beta now and will be available to users as a free upgrade in the fall.