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iOS 8: Top New Features to the iPad

Apple announced iOS 8 for iPad and iPhone at WWDC 2014 earlier this week, adding to the list of things you can do with your iPad.  iOS 8 looks similar to iOS 7, but this time, the focus is on system features and app improvements more than visual tweaks. Make no mistake: There’s a lot of new stuff in iOS 8. For you iPad owners this is a short top new features list of what you need to know about the iOS 8 for iPad update that will arrive this fall.

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iOS 8 iPad connects to your iPhone for texts and calls

The iPhone on iOS 8 will now act as a sort of telephony hub for the iPad and Mac, allowing them to receive texts and calls, and respond to them. This means that you can take a call on the iPad when it comes in on the iPhone. It doesn’t look like you can make a call on the iPad yet, but perhaps that is in the works. Handoffs seems like it could have some very interesting uses, almost like an anticipatory AirDrop functionality.

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iPad apps are in sync like never before

Apple calls this feature Continuity. It is arguably the single most significant new feature announced for iOS 8. Actually representing a collection of different functions, the goal of Continuity is to allow iOS and OS X users to quickly and easily transition their work in progress between devices. Once your iPhone, iPad, and/or Mac are “paired” for Continuity purposes, supported apps will let you transfer actions between the corresponding apps on different devices. If you are writing an email or using an app on the iPhone or Mac, you can quickly open it up on the iPad to make use of a bigger or more portable screen.

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Access all of your photos anywhere with iCloud Drive

Apple now offers iCloud Photo Library, which puts every photo you take on all of your iOS devices. If it isn’t stored locally you can go tot eh cloud and download it to the iPad to edit or share. When you take a photo or video on the iPhone it is backed up to the iCloud Drive and iCloud Photo Library where you can access it from any of your iPads, Macs or Windows machines.

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Family Sharing makes a shared iPad much better

iOS 8 finally adds a feature that has been a long-standing source of frustration for many families that have multiple iPhones, iPads, and iPods sharing content. Now Family Sharing adds the ability to create a family group of up to six individual Apple IDs that can share a single set of iTunes media and App Store content, as well as common “family” items like photos, calendars, musics, movies , apps,  locations and more for easy access on the iPad.
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Panoramic photos on iPad

When iOS 8 debuts in the fall, you’ll be able to take panoramic photos on the iPad. Apple introduced this feature to the iPhone when the iPhone 5 was unveiled two years ago. Granted, you probably don’t find yourself snapping photos with your iPad too often, but the tablet’s extra screen space compared to the iPhone may make it easier to capture 360-degree sweeping photos.

Private browsing per tab in Safari

With iOS 8, you won’t have to switch the entire Safari into Private Mode to view personal content. You can now make specific tabs private, which means you’ll be able to control which tabs get saved in Safari history and which ones will remember your auto fill information.

Better mail gestures

iOS 8 has addressed a few of my wishlist items in the email department as well. There are now quick gestures for marking an email as “unread” or deleting it outright, but my favourite new feature is the quick draft dismissal. There are so many instances where I need to tap the cancel button, tap to save my draft, and then rummage around the inbox for information relevant to my current email. iOS 8 will let me push the current email draft down to the bottom of the screen, find my email, and pull the draft back up. This is great use of the iPad’s smaller-than-a-laptop screen dimensions.

Improved keyboard

If you use the iPad to write long documents or just type out hundreds of messages a day, the iOS 8 for iPad update brings a great feature. Apple now supports third-party keyboards and they made the stock keyboard smarter with predictive text.