Apple's iOS software for iPhones and iPads is getting new features for keeping tabs on your health and controlling home devices.
Apple executive Craig Federighi said data from various fitness-related devices now live in silos, so you can't get a comprehensive picture of your health. He said that will change with HealthKit in iOS 8. Apple is also working with the Mayo Clinic to make sure your weight, calorie intake and other health metrics are within healthy ranges.
Apple is also making it easier for various devices to work together. You can share songs, movies and books you purchase with your entire family, and you can sync photos more easily across several devices.
The free updates will come this fall. Here are the highlights:
— The iOS 8 system will have a universal search tool to cover both your device and the Internet. It will also get the iCloud Drive service.
— The new software will sport interactive notifications, so you can respond to a message without having to leave another app. It will have new gestures, such as double tapping to see a list of frequent contacts.
— A QuickType keyboard promises predictive typing suggestions. For example, if you start typing, "Do you want to go to," the phone will suggest "dinner" or "movie" as the next word. Currently, the suggestions are limited to spelling corrections.
— IOS 8 will have a built-in health-management tool to help people track their vital signs, diet and sleeping habits. Apple's chief rival, Samsung Electronics Co., incorporated fitness-related features in its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S5, and announced plans last week for similar management tools.
— Apple announced new technology for controlling garage doors, thermostats and other home systems, although the company didn't say how all the pieces will be linked together through what it calls HomeKit.
— For developers, Apple announced the ability to sell app bundles at discounted prices. The fingerprint security system on the iPhone 5s also will be accessible to apps written by outside parties, not just Apple functions such as unlocking the phone and verifying iTunes purchases.