Discover What’s New in iOS 8 

Apple’s iPad gets its features from a combination of hardware and its software operating system (called iOS; the term is short for iPhone Operating System, in case you want to impress your friends). The current operating system is iOS 8, though small updates appear all the time, so by the time you’re reading this book, you might have 8.2, 3, or 4!

Any iPad device from iPad 3 on can use most features of iOS 8 if you update the operating system using the Update feature under General Settings. The iOS 8 adds a few new features, including

  • Family Sharing: Apple has provided a new feature called Family Sharing with iOS 8. This feature allows up to 6 people to partake of purchased iTunes content on their separate devices. You can also create a Family calendar which helps everybody in the family create and view upcoming family events.

  • Continuity: This concept, new with iOS 8, allows you to move from one iOS device to another to pick up where you left off. For example, you might start to watch a TV show on your iPhone on the train but then pick up where you left off viewing the movie on your iPad when you get home. You can even handoff a document and start where you left off on another device.

  • Improved Notification Center: Notification Center is a centralized location for reviewing things like calendar appointments, messages, and weather, With iOS 8 you can interact with notifications from the center, for exampling replying to a message listed there, and access Notification Center from the lock screen (the screen that appears when your iPhone has essentially gone to sleep).

  • Mail Improvements: In iOS 8 you can access other email message while composing a new message. You’ll now be prompted to add an event mentioned in an email to your Calendar app. You can also flag, mark, or delete email by simply dragging across the screen to access those commands.

  • Quick Type for iPhone Keyboard: Now the iPhone onscreen keyboard uses predictive technology to suggest words as you type. The Keyboard also notes whether you’re typing an email or message and makes suggestions based on the tone of voice each type of message calls for.

  • Improvements to the Photos App: To help you organize your photos, in iOS 8 you can now use iCloud to share photos with others in your iCloud Photo Library. Photos or videos can also be shared among up to 6 devices using Family Sharing. There are also several improved tools for editing photos in iOS 8.

  • Shazam : Shazam is a music identifier service you can download that identifies songs and other media as they play around you.

  • Messaging: The Message app has some improvements. For example, you can organize messages into groups, name threads of messages, and remove people from conversations. You can also set up a Do Not Disturb feature for certain threads so you’re not interrupted by messages on those threads, and you can record and send voice messages. Finally, you can read or listen to messages from the Lock screen.

  • Siri Handsfree: If you are driving or otherwise occupied and want help from Siri, such as getting directions or to send a message, you can use a new feature to open Siri without touching your iPhone. With this feature enabled all you have to do is say Hey, Siri, and your electronic personal assistant opens, ready to hear your wish, which is, of course, her command.

  • Instant Hotspot: You’ve been able to use your iPhone as a hotspot in the past, essentially using your iPhone connection to get other devices online. With iOS 8 this personal hotspot is improved; nearby devices such as a computer now automatically display the iPhone as an optional network you can join to go online.

  • Inclusion of iBooks and Podcast apps as pre-installed apps.