10 Cool New Features On iOS 8

iOS Just Got Better

With iOS 8 landing on all iOS devices on Wednesday, users will enjoy some large and small changes, and some totally new features.

Most of the cool, new software features that the iPhone 6 can do is because of iOS 8, so they can be enjoyed on the iPhone 5.

iOS 8 is coming standard on the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which are hitting stores on Friday, while current iOS devices out there will be able to download the new operating system for free, including iPhones, iPads and iPods

So what's all the excitement about?

Here are the top 10 coolest features of iOS 8.

Enhanced Messaging

At some time, everyone has wished they could leave a group text. Now, on iOS 8, users will be able to opt out of all the group texts they want. If someone was left out of a conversation, just send them an invite into an already existing group text.

Texting also got simpler with iOS 8 QuickType, which gives response options to texts received, so a user can either select a suggested response with a push of a button, or can type out their own as normal.
The new messaging app also allows users to easily share their location and send voice messages.

Apple also is introducing custom keyboards to iOS 8, meaning keyboards with additional functions will be available within apps or at the App Store.

Battery Saver

Both of the new iPhone 6 devices have been applauded for packing in more features into a thinner model while also extending battery life.

Having said that, iOS 8 has a couple of really useful battery-related features to help get the most out of each and every charge.

In the settings app, users can see an app-by-app breakdown of which apps have been using the most battery power over the last 24 hours -- or the last three days.

There is also a grayscale mode in iOS 8, which makes everything appear black-and-white. That doesn't sound ideal, but it saves battery power -- a useful tool if a charger isn't close by.

Credit Card Scanning

When entering credit card information into Safari, a user can now take a picture of the card to "scan" it onto the phone and automatically fill out the payment information. The card number, expiration date and card holder name will all be filled out just from the picture on the card, saving time typing.

This is a very useful feature of iOS 8 that will definitely come in handy for devices that don't have Touch ID, such as all current iPad models and iPhones other than the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 5s.

As for Touch ID…

Touch ID

This is a feature that first made its appearance on the iPhone 5s, allowing users to sign into their phones with the touch of a finger rather than punching in a password. Touch ID also allows users to confirm their payment information on the iTunes Store rather than typing in their name, credit card number, billing address and other information.

In iOS 8, Apple has expanded the role of Touch ID, as it will appear in more apps and users will be able to confirm more payments, making online shopping not as painful anymore.

Apple has released the SDK of Touch ID to third-party app developers, as well, meaning more apps will be taking advantage of this feature.

'Hey, Siri'

Siri has undergone a major upgrade. Much like the "OK, Google Now" voice command option on Android, iOS 8 users will be able to say, "Hey, Siri," to activate hands-free voice commands.

Shazam also has been integrated into Siri, so users can ask, "Hey Siri, what song is playing now?" and it will tell you.

Siri also has a new dictation function that shows the text of what the user is saying right on the screen in realtime. This is a step up from iOS 7, where users would say a sentence and have to wait and see if Siri got it right. As expected, Siri is also much faster on iOS 8, as users immediately will notice.


One thing about Apple users is that they usually own more than one Apple product.

Continuity is a way to seamlessly connect all those Apple devices together, whether they are iOS 8 or Mac OS X Yosemite.

One offering under Continuity allows users to see notifications and alerts from their iPhones, iPads, iMacs or MacBooks. This includes phone calls, meaning users can take calls on their other Apple devices even if their iPhone is in another room. As long as the devices are on the same Wi-Fi network, Continuity will allow a user to see a phone call on their iPhone from their iPad or iMac.

Unfortunately, this feature will not be available until October, but it's something to get excited about.


This feature is a part of Apple's Continuity offering.

Handoff allows users to take advantage of the seamless connection between Mac OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 devices. If a user is working on a document on their Mac, but needs to head out of the house, they "hand it off" to their iPad and continue working on the same document on-the-go without skipping a beat.

The same goes for the iPhone being able to "hand off" documents and media files to iPads or Mac computers.

Handoff works with Apple's apps, including Mail, Safari, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Maps, Messages, Reminders, Calendar and Contacts. Apple also has released the SDK for this feature, so expect many more apps to take advantage.

New Photo App Enhancements

Some of the new features on iOS 8 require the iPhone 6, including "slo-mo," the slow-motion video option, but there are still many other improvements that will work with older iPhones.

In iOS 8, users can enjoy a "self-timer" giving a 3- to 10-second delay between the time you press the camera button and before the picture is taken. There is also a time-lapse video function and faster burst mode.
Once photos are taken, users will have a broader range of options to share media and documents within the same app. Sharing a photo on Instagram can now be done right in the Photos app without having to leave the app and open Instagram to do it. Users will be given several similar options.


Apple's new Health app collects and charts all a user's physical activity. The app will speak with other fitness apps, including third-party ones not made by Apple. If a user goes for a run with the Nike + app, Health will chart all the information. It will count steps, calories, break down nutrition information, track weight and blood pressure, and much more.

Apple's new devices, including the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and eventually the Apple Watch, all have fitness tracking technologies built in, but FitBit and FuelBands also will be able to give activity information to Apple's Health app.


Yes, even notifications have been upgraded.

When an iPhone's lock screen is up and a notification comes over, with iOS 8 a user will be able to respond to the notification right from the lock screen.

This also works when receiving notifications while in a different app. Say someone is working on an important email, but a text message comes in, users will be able to reply to the text message right in that notification bar, without ever leaving the Mail app.

Third-party apps will be able to make use of this new feature as well.