There were really a lot of things to cover in iOS 8 at yesterday’s WWDC Keynote. Craig Federighi touched upon most of the important features but as always, there was this one slide that showed a lot of more iOS 8 features (that weren’t talked about).
We picked that screengrab and delved into the features. It’s kind of exciting to see that iOS 8 is much more powerful through a collection of little changes and tweaks to iOS 7. Read on to find out what we’re talking about:
Here’s a glimpse of iOS 8 Features:
- Per-tab Private Browsing
- Wi-fi Calling
- “Hey, Siri” Always-on Siri
- iBooks Now Part of iOS Stock
- Auto Night mode (iBooks)
- AE and AF Separated in Camera
- Camera Timer
- Panorama for iPad
- DuckDuckGo in Safari
- Battery Usage on a per-app basis
- Travel time notifications
- Purchase iTunes stuff with Siri
- Rich text-editing in Notes
- Books as a Series in iBooks
- Tips app
- Shazam with Siri
- FaceTime call waiting
Also Read: iOS 8 features
Per-tab Private Browsing
Looks like iOS Safari is getting a new type of a private browsing mode where you can have private mode ON for specific tabs and off for others. This is interesting (although more apt for the desktop environment; I think OS X Yosemite Safari would also feature this).
The fact that iPhone calls are routed to your Mac or iPad so that you can answer calls from any device points to Wi-Fi-based call routing. Wi-Fi calling is very much like VoIP but it combines the strands of a normal call (through your SIM). The availability of the feature would be more like hotspot: your carrier might have to support Wi-Fi calling. (Sprint does).
“Hey, Siri” Always-on Siri
In iOS 8, you will be able to trigger Siri without having to long-press home button. Siri is “always on” so you can just start your questions with “Hey, Siri” and Siri will be activated instantly.
Don’t Miss This: Features of iOS 8 and the Rumor Mill: Hits and Misses
iBooks Now Part of iOS Stock
From the description (that just reads iBooks Part of iOS), it looks like iBooks app could become a stock that ships with iOS 8 by default. Or it could be something like a deeper integration.
Auto Night mode (iBooks)
Simple: based on time, iBooks will shift to the dark mode. There is already a dark mode already (Night). I hope they don’t screw this up by not providing a way to undo this if the user so chooses.
AE and AF Separated in Camera
Focus and exposure locks have finally been separated in the camera app. Now, this is not new: many third-party camera apps allow for separate focus and exposure locks but the stock never did that. iOS 8 brings this feature to the table so that you can lock focus on one part of the frame and set exposure levels based on another. Couple this with all the new and smart exposure/lighting controls in the Photos app, you got a killer feature.
Also Read: Mysterious New Feature in iOS 8
Shutter timer! Finally! I had to jailbreak my iPhone just to get this feature. (which kind of spills into the narrative of how Apple is increasingly copying jailbreak tweaks into iOS features).
Panorama for iPad
Panorama mode for iPad because people do capture gorgeous pictures on the iPad too. This one sounded more like removing a limitation rather than adding a feature. Panorama was in the code for iOS 7 already. iOS 8 extends the function to iPads too.
DuckDuckGo in Safari
While most people prefer Google, DuckDuckGo is a secure and does not come with privacy/security/personalization issues. I suspect that this feature would be lost in the din of other fancy features but this is an important step at a time when privacy and surveillance is becoming a huge problem on the internet. DuckDuckGo is one of the best search engines that values user privacy.
Battery Usage on a per-app basis
In iOS 7, you could see how much data every app uses. In iOS 8, you can see how much battery every app uses! Now, we’re moving more towards an Android-esque feature set. But, it’s useful. Very useful if you want to know what app is really eating up all that battery. No points for guessing: most of your stock apps are going to be eating the battery.
Travel time notifications
This feature lets you add the commute time to your events so that notification alerts account for the commute time too.
Purchase iTunes stuff with Siri
This is a bold move (but I think a purchase authentication will be asked for). You can purchase content from iTunes (movies, songs, TV shows etc.) right from Siri through voice commands. All this is a part of the “Siri is being enhanced” rumor.
Rich text-editing in Notes
Notes, the forgotten app, now gets some rich text-editing features so you can customize not just the font but some more formatting too.
Books as a Series in iBooks
If you download volumes or series of the same book, they will show up as a package/one unit to make it easier to organize your library in iBooks.
It’s unclear what the app is about but we’re guessing that this is a “help” kind of an app. Apple might be introducing such an app as there are going to be a lot of new users to the iOS system.
Shazam with Siri
In keeping with the rumors, Siri now features song recognition software thanks to Shazam integration.
FaceTime call waiting
When you are in a FaceTime call, you can pause that call to attend to another FaceTime/regular call. Useful when you are juggling between calls. Also, in iOS 7, you couldn’t do this because FaceTime calls would be ended when you got a regular call.