Apple introduced a slew of new features for iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite that will please consumers. Some of the new features are subtle changes to previous versions of iOS and OS X, but there are some mighty changes. Let’s start with iOS 8.

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iOS 8

iOS 8 Logo

iOS 8 builds on the visual changes that Apple released with iOS 7 and has refined them to include some updates to refine the experience under iOS 7.

Family Sharing

iOS 8 Family Sharing Logo

Family Sharing is a new feature that allows up to six family members to share apps, songs, videos, and books. The users must all share the same credit card information. With Family Sharing, kids can “purchase” items, but before the transaction goes through a message pops up on one of the parent’s iOS devices verifying that the purchase may go through. This will be a big feature for families.

Keyboard

iOS 8 QuickType Logo

iOS 8 includes a new aspect to the keyboard. Instead of just being able to have predictive text. Apple calls this technology “Quick Type”. Quick Type not predicts words, but does more than just that. Quick Type will learn your communication style with an individual and suggest appropriate words. For instance, if you’re communicating with a co-worker you may be more formal than if you’re messaging a friend.

Health

iOS 8 Health App Logo

Many studies have noticed that countries, as a whole, are becoming larger and larger. Many people love to stay healthy and would prefer to have a single point to aggregate all of their health information. Apple has provided a way for developers and device makers to bring all of your health data into one place. As an example, let’s say you have a Fitbit. With an application and the Fitbit after your workout the Fitbit application can put all of your current information into the Health app so you can see all of it at once. The same could be true with a diabetic’s glucose levels or even a heart rhythm from a pacemaker. It will be up to developers and device makers to implement all of these new capabilities.

OS X 10.10 Yosemite

OS X 10.10 Yosemite Logo

Last year Apple introduced layering and translucency into iOS 7, this year the view is expanded to include OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

AirDrop

AirDrop was introduced with iOS 7 to allow users to quickly and easily send files between iOS 7 devices. This has been expanded to now include OS X 10.10 Yosemite. Items like pictures, contacts, and files can be transferred between iOS and OS X devices.

Calls and Text Messages

With OS X 10.10 Yosemite users will now be able to perform some basic tasks, with their phones, right from OS X 10.10 Yosemite. One of the tasks is the ability to answer an incoming call and take that entire call on their Mac. The ingenious aspect of this is that the phone can be on a charger across the house and it will still work. This can make things very handy for users who do not always carry their iOS devices with them when they are at home or the office, but this feature can make it easier to not miss those important calls.

One of the aspects of an iPhone is the ability to intermix iMessage messages and regular text messages. The iMessages synchronize between iOS and OS X with ease. Unfortunately, text messages do not. Well, they won’t until OS X 10.10 Yosemite is released. With OS X 10.10 Yosemite users will be able to have all of the messages from their phone displayed right along with all of the other messages.

Common Features

With iOS and OS X becoming having more and more feature parity, it should come as no surprise that both operating systems share many common features. A couple of the common features between iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite are below.

Continuity

Continuity is a feature of both iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite that provides users the ability to seamlessly move between devices. For instance, you can be working on an email on your iPhone and decide to finish it on your Mac, you can. There will be an icon in the Dock to indicate where you left off. When you click on the icon on your Mac, it will automatically bring up what you were doing.

iCloud Drive

iOS 8 iCloud Drive Logo

One of the things that iOS has concealed until now is files. This will change, in a massive way, with iOS 8. iOS 8 will bring a new feature called iCloud Drive. iCloud Drive will allow you to open ANY file with ANY app. The developer has to implement this, but expect many apps to do so.

As an example of how it can be used. Let us say you have a PDF file that you have within iBooks, but you want to submit some errata to the publisher. You could open it on your Mac, make the notes and then email it. Instead, you will be able to open documents with any application that supports PDF files and all of the changes that you make will be saved in iCloud Drive for all apps to use in the future.

Handoff

iOS 8 Handoff Logo

Have you ever wanted to start and email from your iPhone and pick it up on your Mac, but don’t want to just save it as a draft? Or maybe you’ve been working on a quick Pages document on your Mac, but you need to keep making minor tweaks to the file while you’re on your train ride to work? Both of these, and many more scenarios, will be possible with the new ability for iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite to perform seamless transitions from one device to another, without any interaction from you.

Final Thoughts

Both iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite are great updates that will benefit the users tremendously. There are hundreds of more innovations and many new features. iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite are both available to developers today and will be available for everybody else this fall.

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