CNET editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.
The latest upgrade to Apple's mobile operating system comes with a wealth of new features that will be appreciated across the board, but the best features may still be yet to come.
As you type, the new keyboard will predict your next words just above the keys. This has been on Android for a long time, but it's great to see it come to iOS 8.
Touching the details button in the upper-right corner while chatting brings up a Details page where you can share your location.
When you share your location, a map shows up in the chat window. People will remember this feature from Whatsapp Messenger.
You used to have to search through your text history for photos you didn't save at the time. Now, the Details page shows all the attachments from your chat history with that contact or group.
Now when you edit a photo, you have the option to use sliders to control Light, Color, and Black and White. These "smart" sliders are actually making lots of different changes behind the scenes for the perfect look.
If you touch the Light slider selection, you'll see all the different things that are being adjusted automatically. Touch any of these to fine-tune them yourself.
The new Time-Lapse video option in the camera lets you point at a busy intersection and start recording. The resulting high-speed video is a great time-lapse experience without a lot of work.
The new search field in the Photos app gives you suggestions based on time and location, or you can look at recent searches.
If you know the photo you're looking for was taken in November, you can search for just shots from that month. If you know the exact data (a birthday, for example) you can zero in even further.
Spotlight search now gives you results from the Web when you perform a search. A search for "Chinese" brought up several Chinese restaurants nearby.
When you search for a movie, Spotlight automatically finds theaters where it's playing nearby and will give you the showtimes.
The Notifications area will now show widgets. You can see the calendar, reminders, and stocks here, but as more third-party apps upgrade, you'll have more widgets to choose from.
When a new text comes in, you will no longer have to leave the app you're using. Just drag downward to open up a field and start typing your reply.
A double tap on the Home button brings up the currently open apps as it did before. But at the top, you'll now have your favorites and recent people you have called for easy access.
The App Store has gotten several interface tweaks that make it easier to use. Tap the search field to see the latest trends for app searches.
When you explore the App Store in iOS 8, you'll notice it's not so scattered. New categories let you drill down to the things you want quickly.
The App Store has switched the way you browse in iOS 8 to let you browse through search results vertically.