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Five iOS 8 features I can't wait to use

Serenity Caldwell | June 16, 2014
There are so many fantastic developments coming down the Apple pipeline in the fall, it's hard to single out just a few--but I'm going to try, because some of the company's smaller iOS 8 improvements are features I've been itching to see on my iPhone for years. It's enough to tempt a girl to install the developer beta on her iOS device. (Of course, even if said girl were silly enough to do such a thing, I'd like to take a moment and remind our lovely readers that this is not recommended if you value a working phone.) There are a bunch on my "can't wait to use" list, but here are my personal top five.

There are so many fantastic developments coming down the Apple pipeline in the fall, it's hard to single out just a few — but I'm going to try, because some of the company's smaller iOS 8 improvements are features I've been itching to see on my iPhone for years. It's enough to tempt a girl to install the developer beta on her iOS device. (Of course, even if said girl were silly enough to do such a thing, I'd like to take a moment and remind our lovely readers that this is not recommended if you value a working phone.) There are a bunch on my "can't wait to use" list, but here are my personal top five.

Hey Siri, turn on my lights

In iOS 8, not only is Siri going to always be listening for your commands while plugged in, but if you have a HomeKit-enabled smart home accessory, Siri can potentially lock your doors, adjust your lighting, and more.

This says "home of the future" to me in a way clap-on-clap-off lights never did — and the "Hey Siri" part of this should make your voice-activated assistant a bit easier to use in the car, too.

QuickType and third-party keyboards: So long, typos

Save for an iOS 7 face lift, the iOS keyboard has essentially stayed the same throughout its entire lifespan. It's been more than functional, as digital keyboards go, but it hasn't really gotten much love from Apple's feature department. Enter QuickType and support for third-party keyboards: Both look to revamp your typing experience in iOS 8 in very different ways.

QuickType isn't necessarily a revolutionary feature so much as it is an adaptive one — it takes the autocorrection iOS was already attempting to do behind the scenes and lets you actively pick the proper word (one of three) for your sentence. It also bases its prediction on conversation context — so it won't prompt you with "Rad!", say, if you're replying to your mother about her new watch. While I imagine I'll probably continue to do the majority of my typing the old-fashioned way, it's nice to have options available for typing overly long words or very specific phrases.

Third-party keyboards are the thing that really got me itching for fall, though — I've tinkered with Swype's take and love it, and there are all sorts of brilliant ideas just waiting to be built: a keyboard with nothing but emoji packs? a keyboard with a big fat microphone button, to ease the use of dictation? The sky's the limit.

All your photos in the cloud

I've tried a bunch of here-today, gone-tomorrow online photos services, and while some (Loom, for example) were promising, almost all of them got gobbled up by one of the major tech companies. As one of said major companies, Apple is in no danger of getting acquired, which means it might just be the first feasible location to store my images online.

 

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