Moments ago in San Francisco, Apple unveiled iOS 8 during the keynote presentation of the 25th annual WWDC.
Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering, led the big reveal of iOS 8 just minutes after wowing developers and media with his presentation of Yosemite.
With a profound emphasis on convenience and utility, iOS 8 is less about vanity and more about core functionality. The refresh delivers several instantly noteworthy user interface improvements over what we've grown accustomed to in iOS 7.
iOS 8, for example, lets users reply to messages from Notification Center and the lock screen faster than ever. Interactive notifications let you respond directly to text messages or even accept calendar invites while you are within an app (you never have to leave or be interrupted).
Particularly impressive is how the iOS keyboard has been improved with what Federighi calls "predictive typing suggestions," via "QuickType." In short, this feature "intelligently" interprets what would be an appropriate response. And it's smart enough to know if you are communicating with colleagues, friends, or families, making suggestions based on how a user has communicated with these individuals in the past.
Messages has been modified to let you quickly name threads, add or delete users, and - in a tip of the hat to privacy - enable "Do Not Disturb" on any designated thread.
Eliciting a particularly uproarious reaction from the crowd in attendance, users will now have the capability of swiping down a message being composed in email in order to access other email messages. This doesn't require you to close or lose the message being composed.
Apple has even gone as far as to revamp spotlight searches to help users quickly find material (news, movies, songs, and virtually any other content) that was potentially not saved on one's iPhone.
Another cool new feature is that recent contacts/favorites are displayed in a multitasking view, which makes it simple to make calls (including FaceTime) or send messages. During today's presentation, Federighi explained that Safari on iPad will also be privy to a new tab view that's comparable to the iPhone view.
Additionally, continuity features made available on iOS and Mac empower users to share content rather effortlessly, receive standard text messages on external devices (iPad and Mac, for example) and, not to be forgotten, remotely enable a "Personal Hotspot."
We'll have more updates on what iOS 8 has to offer as the presentation continues.