Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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June 5, 2014

Five major new features in iOS 8

Apple has taken the wraps off its latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, introducing a suite of new features to users aimed at streamlining some of their most annoying daily tasks.



There were fewer major visual changes. Apple will now have app widgets in its notification center that users can customize to show things such as the scores for particular sports teams -- a feature that iOS users have long envied from Android. But this year's additions were not nearly as comprehensive as those from last year, when Apple introduced iOS 7 and significantly changed the look and feel of the system.

This time around, there were a lot of small announcements in response to some of the gripes users have with the system. Here are five of the most notable iOS 8 updates:

Messaging: Something that irks a lot of people is when a group message thread gets out of hand. Have you ever had to deal with a bunch of beeps and buzzes while everyone else in the conversation contributes their "LOL!" to the conversation? No more. Apple will let you choose to leave threads when you want and to add or delete contributors as you wish.

You can also name threads to come back to later, or just choose a "Do Not Disturb" mode to curb the notification glut.

Health: As expected, the company released a health hub that pulls information from several different apps that measure various bits of health data, such as Nike+, and that promises to aggregate the data that users currently store in several silos of information.

Apple also announced that it is partnering with the Mayo Clinic to let users check metrics such as their heartbeat or blood pressure against what is "healthy" for their bodies.

"We are proud to be at the forefront of this innovative technology with the Mayo Clinic app," Mayo's chief executive, John Noseworthy, said in a statement.

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