The wait is finally over. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) management has unveiled iOS 8, saying that although it doesn’t look like much was changed, there’s a lot going on under the hood. The new version of the mobile operating system integrates better with OS X for Macs and will be available this fall.

iOS 8 Apple

iOS 8 availability and support

As usual iOS 8 will be available free as an update for iOS devices at some point this fall. Those who own the iPhone 4S or newer, the fifth-generation iPod Touch, and the iPad 2 or newer will be able to get the update. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) did not reveal the exact date it will be available, although it did say developers can access the beta version and also the SDK starting today.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) revealed a new programming language it calls Swift for the SDK for iOS 8. Management called it more modern and also showed off SpriteKit, another new tool for the SDK, which enables developers to work more closely on physics and lighting for their apps. They also said the Touch ID fingerprint scanner which was introduced with the iPhone 5S will also be able to be used by third-party developers as part of iOS 8.

iOS 8 adds predictive text

Another iOS feature that generated excitement at WWDC today was predictive text. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) introduced a feature it calls Quick Type, which is basically the iOS equivalent of Android’s SwiftKey feature. The feature will make it easier for users to type more quickly by learning their habits. It will then try to predict what the user is going to type.

Although Android beat Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to the punch with this feature, Apple has actually improved upon it. Currently, users of SwiftKey have to actually type their message in the app, copy it, and then paste it into their messaging program. iOS 8 allows users to use Quick Type directly in iMessage, however.

Tags: