Top 5 iOS 8 features

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Four days since the announcement of iOS 8 and the beginning of its beta test we are looking at the top 5 features of the new update.

Apple claim that iOS 8 is the biggest iOS release for consumers and developers since the introduction of the operating system.

Hundreds of new tweaks and features will be coming for users of any iDevice introduced after but not including the iPhone 4.

At Here is the City we are going to be picking out just our top 5 new features that us consumers are going to love and find incredibly useful.

1. Quick Reply

It's quite often a pain and a nuisance when you receive a text or an iMessage when you are halfway through a game, movie or email. You don't really want to leave that application to send a reply, what you want to have the ability to reply to that message within any application.

It's a feature that the iPhone has lacked for years but finally Apple will be integrating it into iOS 8. The way the feature works is when the user receives a text/iMessage they will get the same banner notification appear, which they can pull down to reveal a small bar that they can type their reply into.

This will also work from the lock screen where the user will have to swipe across the message and select Reply to get the Quick Reply bar to appear.

2. Tap-to-talk and video messaging

Apple has made it a whole lot easier to send voice and video messages to your friends and family now with Tap-to-talk. Holding down on the small microphone icon at the top-right of the keyboard will record your voice message and then swiping up will automatically send that clip to the recipient.

iOS 8 still has the camera icon on the left of the keyboard, which retains the same functionality, but with the addition of quick video recording. By holding down on the icon and sliding right you will be able to record a video and once finished you can slide up to automatically send that video to the recipient.

3. Revamped keyboard experience

iOS 8 brings a whole new predictive text experience for iPhone, iPad and iPod users. The new feature is called QuickType and Apple claim it could completely change the way we send texts, iMessages or emails.

It works by learning your typing language and making suggestions for the every next word in your messages. The suggestions adapt between informal texts/iMessages for friends and family and formal emails for people like work colleagues or bosses.

For the first time every iOS 8 also offers third party keyboards. So now you will be able to install keyboards made by developers that could include swipe or classic styles.

4. Family Sharing

Another cool new feature and one that has been sought for many years is Family Sharing. Up to six members of the same family will now be able to share purchases from iTunes, iBooks and the App Store provided they are using the same credit/debit card.

Your child will now have to make a request to you to purchase an app or and in-app purchase, and you can track all your family's iDevices with the Find My iPhone application.

Family Sharing makes it easier than ever to share photos with your loved ones and also to set up a family calendar.

5. Continuity and Handoff

The final feature in our top 5 that narrowly edges out HealthKit is Continuity and Handoff. With Handoff you can now begin composing an email or browse the net on any iDevice, and if you decide you want to continue emailing or browsing on the Mac you will be able to pick up right where you left off.

Handoff works with Mail, Safari, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Maps, Messages, Reminders, Calendar, and Contacts. Developers can also build Handoff into their own apps.

Continuity also allows iPhone users to make or answer phone calls right from their iPad or Mac. Your iPhone might be on charge or in another room whilst you're a at your iPad/Mac, but as long as they all are on the same WiFi network the iPad/Mac will use the iPhone as a relay to accept or decline the call.

In addition for the first time ever you iPad and Mac users will be able to send any kind of text message rather than just being restricted to iMessages.