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This week saw Apple unveil its new-look platform at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) event in San Francisco.

CEO Tim Cook claims the updated software brings the biggest number of changes since Apple first introduced the App Store in 2008.

It’s bold claim, that’s for sure.

So, what’s new? Well, read on and we’ll tell you the five key things you need to know.

1 Health-focused

ios 8 healthkit

The big news with iOS 8 is unquestionably Health.

This new app, known as Healthbook to Apple rumour fans for the past few months, pulls together health data from third-party apps in one place.

Apple has also revealed Healthkit, a new set of developer tools that allow health and fitness apps to share data.

That means an add-on that tracks your running and cycling can share data with one that looks at your daily calorie count.

The idea is to build up a better picture of your overall health.

It seems highly likely that Health will dovetail with Apple’s planned iWatch, due out later this year.

2 Messages overhaul

ios 8 imessage

Messages has undergone a complete change, with many tech-watchers likening the new features to ones found in WhatsApp.

Group chats have been bolstered, with users now able to add and remove people from conversations once they're under way, as well as use a new 'do not disturb' function to cut themselves out from endless notifications.

It’s now possible to share multiple images and video too, as well as tell pals your precise location for when you’re meeting up.

You can also share voice messages with a new Tap To Talk tool.

3 QuickType keyboard

ios 8 quicktype

The native keyboard for iPad and iPhone has changed. Predictive typing has been improved and is now context aware.

That means it’ll offer suggestions for your next word depending on who your messaging and the app you’re using at the time.

Better still, it’ll learn these habits over time.

Apple is also going to allow third-party keyboards for the first time.

The excellent SwiftKey has already said it’s working on an app which should be available in the autumn.

4 iCloud Photo Library

icloud photo library ios 8

Accessing your snaps on your iPhone and iPad has never been awful, especially if you use Apple’s Photo Stream function and its iPhoto software.

However, iCloud Photo Library takes things one step further, making it much easier to see your snaps across Mac, iPad and iPhone.

Shots are synced automatically and there’s a basic editing tool for adjusting horizons and light settings. Edits are then immediately saved and shared across your devices.

5 Out in autumn...but you can nab it now if you’re really desperate

iOS 8 logo

iOS 8 is due to land on iPhones and iPads from this autumn.

However, developers have already get their mitts on an early version and are hard at work creating new apps for the system.

If you’re really desperate, you can stump up $99 to join the developer programme and use it now.

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