Apple Unveils iOS 8 With Improved Siri, Security, Health Care Features

1 - Apple Unveils iOS 8 With Improved Siri, Security, Health Care Features
2 - iOS 8 Unveiled
3 - Interactive Notifications
4 - Fast Access to Key People
5 - Task Switcher
6 - Continuity Among iOS Devices
7 - HealthKit for iOS 8
8 - Around-the-Clock Health Care Monitoring
9 - New Functionality for Siri
10 - Touch ID
11 - Cook Extolls iOS Usage
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Apple Unveils iOS 8 With Improved Siri, Security, Health Care Features

by Chris Preimesberger

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iOS 8 Unveiled

The update for Apple's mobile-device operating system has been anticipated, well, since iOS 7 came out last September. This year's version includes capabilities for some iOS apps to talk to each other across devices; to shoot photos and then be able to edit them across all iOS devices; to track and record all fitness needs; and a new Family Share feature to allow families to share iTunes purchases. Oh, yes, and there are numerous other things included.

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Interactive Notifications

Parents of iOS 8 users can opt for Family Sharing on iCloud, sharing all content on all iOS 8 devices. Up to six family members can be registered, but they all need to share one credit card. Once you've set up your family as a unit, you automatically share photos, calendars, reminders or find friends. You also can find your kids' devices as needed. A new feature in the app store will ask parents for permission via a pop-up when their kids try to buy something.

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Fast Access to Key People

A potential time-saver is this QuickAccess feature, which brings up apps, people from the contacts section and messages from social networks—all on the same page. If you're on a project deadline or working in real time on an event, this app could come in very handy. It also keeps the most-accessed people in your life at the top of the list.

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Task Switcher

A close look at the Favorites task-switcher app gives a user easy access to calendar, voice, text messaging, video, email and Facetime—all right at the top of the screen, so as to find them quicker and easier.

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Continuity Among iOS Devices

Apple has created an always-on, movable client. It can be found in a new lock-screen icon on the lower left of each screen. Let's say the user is on his iPhone; when he swipes up on it, it allows him to continue with his work on an iPad. But he also can swipe his work from one device to another to pick up your activity in real time, no matter whether he's working on an iPhone, iPad or Mac laptop.

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HealthKit for iOS 8

Due largely to the popularity of its iPad among doctors and other health care professionals, Apple is getting more and more into the health care market. The HealthKit developers' suite offers tools and features for application developers looking to create new apps for specific health care-connected functions.

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Around-the-Clock Health Care Monitoring

iOS 8 will offer apps that hospitals and other health care enterprises can use to aggregate a user's health care information and enable him or her to monitor such information on a 24/7 basis.

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New Functionality for Siri

Users now can rely on that smarty Siri to identify song titles and artists (on her own), purchase songs from iTunes upon command and perform voice recognition—all in 22 languages. Siri also will be integrated with Apple's new connected home system, coming out later this year; you will be able to say something like "Get ready for bed," and your house will respond by turning on security cameras, locking doors and dimming lights.

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Touch ID

Finally, Apple has added fingerprint security to its iOS capability, with a touch button at the bottom of the unit face. This biometric app bypasses those nasty passwords we have to change all the time and don't seem to faze a lot of hackers anyway.

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Cook Extolls iOS Usage

Apple CEO Tim Cook said, "130 million customers in the past year bought their first Apple device. Now many of these customers were switchers from Android. They had bought an Android phone by mistake ... and then had sought a better experience, and a better life. Nearly half of our customers in China switched from Android to iPhone. They decided to check out iPhone and iOS. And if you look at what's happened with iOS 7, almost nine out of 10 people are running the latest version, whereas only 9 percent of Android users are using the latest version. Because they cannot get security updates, that [could be] bad for them."