Widgets are going to the iPhone! That’s just one of the big changes coming to Apple mobile devices with the introduction of iOS 8, which should arrive this fall. Apple is calling it the biggest release since the launch of the App Store.
iOS widgets will be different than the larger Android widgests, but they will allow you to do things like reply to messages and manage your accounts with online services.
There will also be a brand new on-screen keyboard called QuickType. Like the Android keyboard it will learn your favorite words and offer suggestions as you type.
Users will also be allowed to add keyboards from third parties.
A big change to virtual assistant Siri is that you’ll now be able to activate the service with a voice command in the car instead of needing to push a button.
A new Health app gathers information from heath apps and fitness devices and gives you a center where you can check your overall health.
One especially nice feature for Apple-loving households is Family Sharing. This will allow people in the same household to share photos and calendars and even music, books and apps from the iTune stores.
Up to six members of the family can participate and parents can set up a permission system where kids have to get an okay from the parents to make a purchase.
You’ll also see greater continuity between your iPhone and your iPad, you’ll be able start an activity on one and pick up right where you left off when you switch devices.
iOS 8 will not be available for iPhone 4, first-generation iPads or any version of the iPod touch before the 5th generation.
It will be available this fall as a free software update for iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod touch® 5th generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina® display, iPad Air™, iPad mini™ and iPad mini with Retina display.