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Perhaps the most significant native app improvements in iOS 8 can be found in the Messages client, which gains a quicker and more visually appealing way of sending recent pictures, a new voice message recorder, and a quick-reply option when in another application.
As can be seen in the above video, tapping the camera icon in Messages for iOS 8 pulls up a scrollable list of the most recent photos saved in an iPhone's Camera Roll. Multiple images can be selected, and the user has the option to instantly send them, or to add a text message to accompany the pictures.
On the right side of the text entry box is a new microphone icon that, when held down with the touch of a finger, automatically begins recording a user's voice. A button to the top will then send the voice message, while one to the left discards it.
Interestingly, while the quick voice message feature is unique to iOS 8, the messages themselves are not exclusive to Apple's next-generation operating system. In the first beta provided to developers, voice memos can be sent to iOS 7 users, who can still play the audio within the Messages app.
Finally, iOS 8 also adds a new quick-reply function when users are notified of a new message via Notification Center. When a banner appears at the top of the screen, users can tap it to pull up messages, or swipe down to bring up a text entry box and keyboard. From here, users can type their reply and send it without having to close the task at hand.
iOS 8 is currently in beta for developer testing. It is expected to launch on iPhone and iPad this fall. For more, see AppleInsider's other iOS 8 videos.