The new operating system for iPads and iPhones, iOS 8, boasts better interactive notifications, allowing users to reply to messages directly from their lock screens. It addresses a key gripe of many iPhone users by allowing them for the first time to use popular third-party keyboards such as Swype. The new iOS 8 introduces a Family share scheme, which automatically shares key documents among up to six designated family members while alowing them to share each other's media content. Apple also is trying to improve the quality of graphics on its mobile devices with a new iOS 8 feature called 'Metal' that creates a more efficient way for game makers to tap into the 3-D capabilities of the processor on iPhones and iPads. The company also is introducing a new programming language called 'Swift' in an attempt to help developers create applications more quickly. The HomeKit platform sets up a common protocol for controlling home technology such as garage doors, thermostats and lights through an iPhone or iPad, opening up a major new battlefront with rival technology giant Google, which is developing a competing system. Another new feature included in iOS 8 is designed to make it easier to type on the smaller screens of mobile devices. Called 'QuickType,' the tool will learn a user's language patterns and suggest ways to finish sentences. For example, if you start typing, 'Do you want to go to,' the phone will suggest 'dinner' or 'movie' as the next word. Currently, the suggestions are limited to spelling corrections. Apple's messaging app also is adding an option that will let users record and send audio and video to recipients instead of typing out a note. This feature copies other messaging services such as WhatsApp and Snapchat. HealthKit is Apple's answer to the Samsung fitness app recenty launched in the Galaxy S5. It will gather data from third-party wearable devices and can even be programmed to reach out to doctors if it senses something amiss.