iOS 8, this is the operating system with which Apple wants the leadership of the mobile

If iOS 7 came with a powerful renewal in terms of interface, iOS 8 will be Apple's validation to make a new version of its operating system, more mature, effective and open.

Today it is planned that iOS 8 can already be installed on compatible Apple computers, which in the case of the iPhone are all from the iPhone 4s. The update is free and if you get excited about it (keep in mind our tips for updating to iOS 8), this is all you will find in iOS 8.

Extensions: the embryo of the novelties of iOS 8

If you've used Apple's operating systems for its smarthones these years, the task of sharing a simple link required infinite patience. The company's lock on applications and the system sharing information was stronger than the prevailing user need for being more productive and agile in handling information between applications.

iOS 8 comes to solve this problem in which Android had been more complete almost since its inception. The system chosen by Cupertino to implement this "opening" has been called extensions.

Extensions that an application can use or implement are marked by Apple. They are specifically of six types, which influence different parts of the system and applications. The possibilities are not limited and will depend on each developer, but we can see widgets with which you can interact without opening the application or filters that third-party applications can integrate directly into the menu of a photo in the iOS library itself.

Extensions are the basis of the main functional innovations of the operating system, which open the system in a way never seen before but remain under the strict rules and limits that Apple sets for developers.

Any application will be able to use the extensions, and in fact, many important services such as 1Password or Pocket have already confirmed that from the first moment they will be on the side of iOS 8 and, among other new features, they will be part of the active iOS sharing menu but also they will open themselves to other applications and services of the operating system with the help of the extensions.

This novelty of iOS 8 is in fact the most important by far, and part of the rest of the functional novelties of the operating system drink from its possibilities. For example, notifications.

Interactive notifications

While the desktop and icon system associated with iOS remains intact in the new iOS 8, the new version of Apple's operating system for its mobile devices includes tweaks in the overall design of the interface following the line incorporated with iOS 7 and with the sole objective of properly integrating the news.

For example, we have direct access to the latest contacts with whom we have interacted or the favorites at the top of the screen after accessing multitasking.

But mainly we are going to find substantial improvements in the lock screen and the notification system, most of whose advances are allowed by the extensions system.

It has cost, but Apple already has in iOS 8 a lock screen and interactive notification system to compete in the market

Notifications are now much more useful. If they appear to us while in another application, we can, for example, reply to a message, cancel a reminder or approve an appointment in a shared calendar directly from that notification and without leaving the application we are currently using.

What Apple has not left anything open is the Control Center. There will be all kinds of notifications to which we give you access, but if they are not those of the system, we can only delete them. No action is possible with third-party notifications in that Control Center.

Keyboard: finally the importance and flexibility it deserves

If we were to vote among iOS users to comment on aspects of the day-to-day life of the Apple system that needed improvement, yes or yes, the keyboard would almost certainly be at the top of the results.

Apple has tried to solve it by closing two fronts. On the one hand we have the keyboard with predictive text, which Apple calls Quicktype, and which not only suggests words before we get to type them completely, but also depending on the context or application in which we are using it.

Some examples leave us with different suggested words depending on whether we are writing an email with our work email or answering a message. In addition, in case iOS 8 detects that they are asking us a question, the first suggestions have to do with possible answers to it.

In iOS 8 you go from a basic and limited keyboard to one with predictive text that works and learns from us, but above all, the promise of third-party keyboards

But iOS 8 users will like even more the possibility, again thanks to the extensions, of including third-party keyboards. And surely not a few will come. Initially, one of the best known for Android (Swiftkey), has it all ready to debut in iOS 8.

Messages: the impossible mission to beat Whatsapp

Messaging is more than essential part of a smartphone today and Apple has expanded the possibilities of its own system to, at least, maintain loyalty among its own users before programs like WhatsApp.

In terms of functionality and design they have succeeded, but being exclusive to Apple smartphones, it is almost impossible to go further. But that does not detract from the Messages application, which wins voice messages, groups (with a more than necessary facility to manage how annoying we want those group messages to be) and more possibilities when it comes to sharing videos and photos, in addition to browse those attachments.

It also lets a single click indicate to our contact where exactly we are. And all this with a fairly intuitive and useful interface.

Messaging has almost everything to be the messaging system you use on a daily basis ... if all your contacts had an iPhone.

As for native basic programs, such as mail, Apple also presents important news. In Mail there are more gestures available for a quick management of the mail, copying content between emails and drafts is more intuitive and if in an email the system detects information about an appointment, a flight or a phone number, with a single click those data can join the phonebook or contacts of the iPhone / iPad.

Space for health and connected home, for now with third parties

iOS 8 begins Apple's journey in two areas that will be important in the near future. The most interesting is that of health. There, iOS 8 provides Health, an application that will unify the information that we want to collect both medically (basically right now in the US) and our physical condition or diet.

That information may come from future teams of Apple quantifiers, such as your Watch, but right now it will mainly be fed by third-party applications that use HealthKit. Here it will be important that we know which applications we give access to that data.

Also depending entirely on third parties we have the home part connected in iOS 8. There the tool that Apple makes available to developers so that they allow communication of their products and applications with iOS 8 is HomeKit.

A common protocol, control of what happens in communication and integration with Siri are the basis of this system that will still cost to take advantage of.

Powering your own cloud: iCloud Drive

The importance of data in the cloud and synchronization between devices is raised by Apple with its new iCloud Drive, a renewed system in both plan prices and in operation. Now it is more similar to the systems that we know and that allow keeping data synchronized between devices in a direct and simple way (although be careful at the rate that we do equipment updates), although there are still sections to be polished properly. But it will, because in fact, it is a service that is convenient for you to work because it will monetize it.

Uploading the files to iCloud Drive will be as simple as enabling the option in the corresponding application or placing that content in the iCloud folder on a PC with Windows 7 or Yosemite. Yes, just like Dropbox, a service that, like others that give us a good staff, now also has the possibility of further integration with the system in iOS 8, even allowing documents and files to be shared between applications with the help of iCloud.

An iCloud Drive was necessary, but it is still at a distance from those who have been protagonists of the cloud these years. But with price plans in between, Apple will improve it for sure. But at your own pace.

The new iCloud Drive respects the modifications made on the last device and synchronizes them in the cloud and among all our teams.

iOS and Mac, more friends than ever

Continuity. This is how Apple defines the greater integration and communication between the company's mobile and desktop operating systems. The main activities that we can share are calls, which can be answered or managed from the computer with Yosemite (also search for mobile contacts on the computer to make a call), or messages, something more useful and now also reaching text messages.

Another successful integration of the smartphone with the computer is being able to share the Internet connection of the former without having to touch the phone at all. If our team is nearby, with Instant Hostpot we can order the shared connection to be activated for our computer.

Airdrop is also now compatible between OSX and iOS, but Handoff is perhaps more important for those who work a lot from both platforms, since it allows us to continue on the Mac with an activity that we were doing on iPhone, or vice versa.

More possibilities for the camera

The camera is one of the fields that receives the most attention in iOS 8. Apple finally opens the manual controls so that they can be integrated by third parties, both in their applications and directly in the iOS Photo application. Focus, sensitivity, white balance, exposure or shutter speed are now possibilities that those who continuously use the camera of their iPhone will appreciate.

More adjustments, direct editing, time lapses and above all more power to search, organize and back up the photos we take with the phone.

Best search engine and the family always together

The search engine that Apple uses in iOS, Spotlight, is no longer as limited as in previous versions and, in addition to the phone (contacts, documents ...), it now performs searches outside it.

In the search results with SpotLight in iOS 8 we will now also have information and suggestions from Wikipedia, current news, applications or nearby places.

Apple has not added in iOS 8 multi-accounts for your devices. They prefer that everyone have their own iOS device, and on this idea they have built En Familia

In iOS 8, despite not reaching something as necessary as different accounts for the same device, the management of applications and content purchases in iTunes and iBooks can be handled with En Familia. Up to six members with different Apple IDs can be part of it, including profiles for family members who will have to ask permission to buy an application on their device.

An interesting feature of Family Sharing is that all members of the group can participate with their photos in a shared album or add tasks and appointments in the calendar that will send reminders to the appropriate person when they touch. And there is also the possibility of knowing the location of people and devices.

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