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iOS 8 FAQ: What we know so far about Apple's next-generation mobile OS

Macworld staff | June 4, 2014
Given iOS 7's major visual overhaul last year, it wouldn't have been surprising if Apple decided to take a step back and focus on small under-the-hood improvements in iOS 8. But that didn't happen: iOS 8 looks like it'll be every bit the game-changer that its predecessor was.

Another feature that will span multiple devices, iCloud Drive is a central storage locker for your documents and projects from various apps on both iOS and OS X. You can find out more about it in our iCloud FAQ.

But to answer your question, yes, it does mean that iOS 8 will have access to files and not just from within the apps that created them. The Document Picker — as Apple has dubbed the new interface — looks a lot like a traditional Open dialog box on the Mac, right down to the search field and (from what we've seen) the ability to toggle between icon and list views. While files will be grouped by the application that created them in by default, Apple says you'll also be able to create your own folders and organize your documents any way that you see fit. In OS X and Windows (yep, we said Windows), you'll be able to simply drag files into the iCloud folder to sync them between your devices à la Dropbox.

What's this QuickType thing?

Auto-correct has been part of the iPhone since the beginning, in part to because our big fat fingers kept mistyping messages from the phone's on-screen keyboard. But now auto-correct is getting a much-needed retooling. QuickType is iOS 8's auto-correct successor, adding a word-selector atop your iOS keyboard for quicker conversations.

When you type in iOS 8, QuickType will attempt to predict the words you want to use next, offering suggestions that aren't defined just by the letters you're typing, but also by the conversational context. The service will not only recognize the difference between chatting in Messages and writing in Mail, it will provide slightly different suggestions depending on who you're communicating with as well. QuickType will learn your habits the more you type, but will keep that data confidential and stored locally on your device, so you won't have to worry about your keystrokes being accidentally (or maliciously) revealed to the world.

I heard that interactive notifications made the move to iOS. True?

Yup! OS X Mavericks brought the notion of Quick Reply and interactive buttons to notifications on the desktop; now iOS 8 is bringing that idea to the mobile realm. You'll be able to pull down banner alerts to quickly reply to texts or email, accept calendar notifications, or snooze reminders — without having to open the requisite app. This should even work with third-party apps if they've enabled the feature; at the WWDC keynote, we saw a demo of a Facebook notification with a Like button and Comment feature.

What's that row of people I saw in the demo of the new multitasking screen?

 

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