Updated 11:52 AM EST, Sat, Nov 27, 2021

iOS 8 Update: Top 5 New Features

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With the launch of iOS 8 this week, we've highlighted the top five features found in the new OS update. Check them out below!

Actionable Notifications

Apple's notification system just got a whole lot better. Users can now interact with messages and alerts from the 'pull-down' tray. You can even text from within the text notification, instead of having to go into the app itself. Some might say that this is blatant copying of Android's interactive notification features, and they would be right, but at the end of the day, iOS just got better.


iOS 8 will allow users a host of new functionality features through the inclusion of extensions. Extensions will work in many different ways and in different areas of the OS. Think of them like widgets. Some will sit in the notification tray and provide quick information on weather, sports scores and more. You'll also be able to edit photos from the photo viewing app instead of having to exit to a dedicated photo editing app.

But the most exciting aspect of iOS' new extension support is the allowance of third-party keyboards like Swipe or SwiftKey. This could be a sign that Apple is finally losening its authoritarian grip over iOS and will allow other third-party apps to be a part of the Apple experience moving forward.


Though confined to the Today portion of the notification tray, widgets in iOS 8 promise to bring a lot of new functionality and information to users. Traditionally, Apple has kept third-party app integration into iOS at a minimum, claiming that anything less could compromise battery life and device security. That philosophy is probably why third-party apps are still restricted to the Today screen, but that doesn't mean widgets won't open up a whole new world of possibilities for iOS developers and users alike.

Cross-Device Continuity

This next feature promises to be pretty neat, but it will require users of iOS 8 to also have a Mac running OSX Yosemite. Continuity will allow iOS and Mac users to answer calls and send texts from their desktops and laptops. It will essentially allow users to pick up where they left off on a previous device, whether it be working on a document or texting a friend.

QuickType Keyboard

The new QuickType keyboard in iOS 8 will offer predictive messaging to Apple mobile devices and should be a dramatic improvement to Apple's previous auto-correct feature. Users will now be able to begin typing a message and will then have options above the keyboard that iOS 8 thinks would work best. Users can then simply click on one of the choices if they feel it's appropriate. Neat.

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