iOS8
Photo courtesy of Apple

Written by Michael Leri
Apple has conditioned us every year to not only anticipate and salivate over a new phone, but a new operating system as well. iOS8 marks yet another chapter in the long list of yearly improvements that Apple has promised its faithful user base, all of which range from “meh” to “I need that now.”

5. Apple Pay

Ignore Google Wallet. That never happened. Apple leads in innovation so we’re all going to talk about the new thing from Apple: Apple Pay. Your wallet may be a thing of the past… except the fact that you’ll need your driver’s license, your dollar bills, your gift cards that your mom always buys you, and the condoms that you’ll sadly see expire. Coming in October in the United States, iOS8 users will be able to pay in various places like Subway, Starbucks, Panera, and more with their Apple Pay account. It comes at such a time where our trust in Apple’s security are at an all-time high.

4. Health

I don’t really exercise; I’m just planning to cruise through my life on a fast metabolism and a healthy supply of carrots. However, Apple’s new focus on health and fitness might intrigue the athletically inclined. This new app tracks all aspects of your life for a more detailed look on what you’ve been doing. Your sleep schedule, exercise regimen, and dietary habits are all stored on this device along with your heart rate, blood sugar, amount of burned calories, and cholesterol levels. All of this information being in one place in the supercomputer in your pocket lets you chronicle your health in an easy-to-read way, making it simple to see when you’ve hit rock bottom.

3. Connectivity

We all know how impenetrable iCloud is. It’s like a digital Fort Knox that’s situated on Alcatraz that just so happens to be on Mars. It’s impossible to crack and steal pictures from and leak them all over Reddit. That same wonderful security is now available on your iPad as well as your iPhone. You’ll never be without those pictures of that one time Stacey got drunk and arrested thanks to iCloud’s new ability to share your photos across your devices. Searching has also been improved, along with editing, making the whole approach more streamlined and user-friendly. Now your totally-safe nudes will at least look nicer.

2. Smart keyboard

I ducking hate the autocorrect on the iPhone keyboard sometimes. It just doesn’t know me like it should. Apple knows this, hence the overhaul given to the keyboard, called QuickType. Whether its your boss, your wife, or your mistress, the device will know what kind of language to use, be it formal or informal.

That may change how you type, but it doesn’t change what you type. That’s what the predictive text is for. Like Android, a few recommended words will pop up above the keys, giving you a selection of different ways to express your apathy. Apple is also giving third parties access to the keyboards, opening up the possibilities of how you can type. So now you can blame autocorrect less and less for you mistakes.

1. Responding to notifications

The biggest (and most important) addition is the way in which you can respond to notifications. Rather than slugglishly switching from app to app to answer messages or read emails, you can answer a text, accept an invitation, or mark an email as read without leaving your session of Threes. Streamlining notifications and switching apps less makes the whole experience smoother and more seamless. It makes the whole OS a single experience rather than a segmented collection of apps and data.

iOS8 is set to be released on September 17th for every phone from the iPhone 4S forward, the 5th generation iPod Touch, and every iPad from the iPad 2 on. If only they would change the real atrocity: the ability to turn off when my battery hits 20%.