Clinton Archive

Skype for iPhone Gets Big iOS 8 Update

Skype for iPhone has received a healthy update, taking full advantage of several new features available in iOS 8.  Now accepting or declining voice, video or instant messages in the client are easier than ever either through Notification Center, the Lock screen or banner notifications.  In fact it looks as if Skype for iPhone is taking advantage of everything iOS 8 has to offer when it comes to these improved areas of the OS and it is pretty impressive.

When it comes to audio and video calls in Skype for iPhone, you can interact with these in multiple different ways.  From the Lock screen, for incoming voice or video calls you can swipe left on the notification to answer or decline the incoming call.  If you have missed a voice or video call you can swipe left on the notification to call that contact back or send a message.

Skype for iPhone – Free – Download Now

How To Add Notification Center Widgets in iOS 8

One of the many new features in iOS 8 is a new and decidedly more customisable Notification Center.  For the first time, developers can now have extensions in Notification Center to allow you to access apps or to provide you more personalised information with just a swipe down on your Home screen.   Notification Center widgets in iOS 8 are application dependent so not every app will have them but some big name apps have already released updates to their apps to take advantage of it:  Dropbox, Evernote, Wall Street Journal, Yahoo News Digest and Weather, American Airlines, British Airways and many more.  Not every app will take advantage of it of course but check to see if your favourite app is going to have Notification Center Widgets.  You can find full list of apps that have been updated in the App Store on your iPhone or iPad.  Look under Featured>Extensions.

How To Add A Share Extensions in iOS 8

One of the new features in iOS 8 is the ability to for developers to add share extensions to their apps that can be used in other apps.  As the name suggests, share extensions in iOS 8 allow you to share a picture, document or other file with another app that is installed on your iPhone or iPad.  You have seen this already in iOS 7 and iOS 8 with the ability to share with Twitter, Facebook and other apps that you have installed.  Now in iOS 8 you can control which apps you want to share content with to make it a more personalised and productive experience.

In order for you to be able to add share extensions in iOS 8 the app you want to share with must have the ability to take advantage of this feature.  Not all apps do but you will be able to quickly determine if it does when you go through this How To.  While my screen captures are for iPhone, this functionality works the same on your iPad or iPod Touch running iOS 8

Apple Releases iOS 8 Guides in iBooks

With iOS 8 now out for everyone, Apple has now released their iOS 8 Guides for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.  These user guides are designed to help those who are new to iOS or seasoned veterans learn every nook and cranny of the latest version of iOS for their particular devices.  The guides are free and are available now in the iBooks Store.

Each iOS 8 guide is specifically written for a particular device so there are three individual downloads for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.  Each guide is between 160-180 pages long so they aren’t huge downloads onto your device or Mac running iBooks.  If you have not downloaded these free guides in previous iOS versions I would encourage you to do so.  They are great self-help guides for finding settings or other how to’s in iOS.

iPhone User Guide For iOS 8 – Apple Inc.

iPad User Guide For iOS 8 – Apple Inc.

iPod touch User Guide For iOS 8 – Apple Inc.

iOS 8 Deployment Reference – Apple Inc.

Apple’s Missed Opportunity with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite

With the release of iOS 8 last week, Apple made some big improvements in their mobile OS.  Some of those improvements however really won’t see their fully glory until OS X Yosemite is out and available.  In my iOS 8 review I commented that having the two releases, which are very intertwined, at separate points was a bit of a head scratcher.  Now nearly a week after iOS 8, I’m more convinced it is a missed opportunity for Apple that has led to end user frustration and confusion.  I appreciate that OS X Yosemite might not be fully ready but maybe it would have been wiser to delay everything until the full package was done.  Now it feels like there are elements of iOS 8 that are broken or incomplete.

How To Hide QuickType in iOS 8

QuickType is one of the many new features in iOS 8.  As I discussed in our iOS 8 Review, QuickType appears above the keyboard on your iPhone or iPad and gives you word suggestions or spelling suggestions based on the context of what you are writing.  The idea is to improve your speed as you type messages or mails on your iPhone or iPad.  But for some this is a bit distracting and is more a a nuisance than a help.  Fortunately there is a quick way to hide QuickType in iOS 8 and you don’t even have to go into settings.

First, open up messages or mail as you would normally and begin to compose an message.  QuickType will show up as you would

Hidding Predictive Text in Mail

Hidding Predictive Text in Mail

expect just above the keyboard and will give you the normal word suggestions.  If you want to hid QuickType just tap-and-swipe down to minimise the QuickType bar.  Now you will see a minimised line above the keyboard (see my screenshot to the right).  Now you won’t have the QuickType bar in the way of your message and it won’t be a distraction to you.

The bar will stay minimised until you open it up again.  This is done by a tap-and-swipe up of the holder in the minimised bar (the white bar in the centre of the bar).  Doing this will show the QuickType bar once again.

How To Do Email Handoff in iOS 8

One of the great new features of iOS 8 is continuity and part of that is handoff.  Handoff allows you to start working on a file, message or email from one device and finish it on another.  Let’s say you are walking to the train station and you start an email on your iPhone.  When you get on the train and you open up your iPad, you can swipe up on the Lock Screen to move that email to your iPad for a more comfortable typing experience.

In this How To I will show you how to do email handoff in iOS 8.  Just remember that like all of the Continuity features, it only works between iOS 8 devices and OS X Yosemite on your Mac when it is available later this year.

Apple Releases Safari 7.1 for OS X Mavericks

Apple continues to work on OS X Mavericks with the release earlier this week of the 10.9.5 update.  This morning they have release Safari 7.1, the latest update to the Mac browser.  The update brings several new features and enhancements, the biggest of which is search engine DuckDuckGo.  If you aren’t familiar with DuckDuckGo, it is a search engine that does not do any user tracking.  You can now select this as your default search engine inside of Safari’s settings.

For Yahoo users, there are new security improvements in Safari 7.1.  Now all Yahoo search fields when using in Safari 7.1 are encrypted, adding a level of security and privacy.  There is no functional difference or change that you need to make for this enhancement to be used.  It simply does it in the background for you.

App Store Bundles and Previews Come in iOS 8

One of the updates that came with iOS 8 came in the App Store.  It was a bit overlooked because of the rush to get the latest iOS version installed playing with all the new features but they are pretty important update for end users and developers.  If you open the App Store on your iPhone or iPad running iOS 8 you will now see App Store Bundles and Previews.

Bundles is something that developers have the ability to bundle up to 10 of their apps for one price instead of you having to buy all of them individually.  This is often at a good cost savings for you and it makes it easy to make one purchase  to get multiple apps.

Today Screen Widgets in iOS 8

One of the new features that has come in iOS 8 are Today screen widgets.  These widgets allow you to get app information or access the app straight from the Today screen instead of having to find the app on your Home screen and open it.  It is something that I personally welcome.  As I stated in my review of iOS 8, one of the aspects of the Home screen is that it is boring and needs widgets.  Having them on the Today screen certainly is a step in the right direction and may prove to be better from a user experience that having them on the Home Screen.

Time will tell.

If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, take a look at the screenshot after the break.  It is a screenshot of my Today screen on my iPad from this morning.  There you will see the normal weather and calendar event things but right below that you see the latest news headlines from The Wall Street Journal and below that Evernote.  It really brings the power of what the Today screen was originally designed for which is to give information to you at a glance.  Now that this is open to 3rd party developers, the Today screen has become much more useful.