What to Expect When You’re Expecting… iOS 8

It’s iOS 8 day, the day Apple rolls out its new operating system. Though it’s not a complete overhaul of iOS 7, there are some pretty big changes. Here is what you can expect.

Note: iOS 8 is not compatible with phones older than and including the iPhone 4.

1. Time-Lapse. Timers. Selfies.

The camera app now has a time-lapse feature, allowing you to create the type of sped-up videos that have taken hold of the Internet.

They have also added a timer, letting you take selfies with ease. Instead of having to shape your hand into a weird claw to take a picture of yourself, you can now set a timer and find a flattering angle at your leisure.

2. Texting Your Voice! Texting in Groups! Texting With Ease!

You will now be able to send voice messages. By tapping a microphone icon, you can record your message within iMessage. You will then have the option of playing back the message to yourself and/or tapping an arrow to send it to another iPhone user.

There are a few smaller changes to texting, but they are worth mentioning: You can now swipe down from message notifications to reply without navigating out of an app. And…drumroll…you can remove yourself, and others, from group texts. You are no longer stuck in an inescapable notification vortex.

3. Auotcorect. Autocorrect.

QuickType, the new iOS keyboard, will now recommend words as you type (this is also available for email). It is said to be smarter than the current autocorrect by learning your communication patterns and trying to imitate your style. It will also take into account the app in which you are typing and the person you are communicating with. QuickType will predict and autocorrect differently once it learns that you are more formal in emails with your boss, and informal when texting with an abbrev.-loving friend. Based on the Internet’s memeification of amusingly incorrect autocorrections, you may or may not be looking forward to this update.

4. Siri

Siri, the all-knowing voice-activated assistant, has had some work done as well. The first enhancement: she is now hands-free. If your device is plugged in and you are close enough that she can hear you, you can say, “Hey, Siri,” and she will respond.

She also writes out what you’re saying as you say it. This means you don’t have to wait until you are done speaking to realize there has been a miscommunication.

Siri will become useful in new ways as HomeKit apps become available. She is expected to be able to interact with your home for you—turning off lights, changing the thermostat temperature, anything app developers come up with.

5. Share With the Whole Family

Apple is letting up to six family members access each other’s music, TV shows, films, books and apps without sharing accounts. (Yes, you’ll only need to buy something once.) Families can also share photographs by contributing to group albums, access a family calendar to better coordinate schedules and opt to share their location with loved ones (or opt out, don’t worry).

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