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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
It is being widely reported that some users are experiencing errors with iCloud after upgrading to iOS 8. The issue has to do with the iCloud Terms & Conditions which were changed with the new version of iOS. This is very similar if not identical to the issue that plagued users after iOS 7 was released last year. Basically what happens is after upgrading, users are prompted to accept the new iCloud Terms & Conditions but when they attempt to do so they get a “Unable to connect to server” error. This then disables iCloud on their device.
If you have experienced this error here is how I was able to get around the error. I will note that this has not work for everyone but it seems to work for the large majority.
With the release of iOS 8, Apple has taken another step forward in their mobile operating system platform. It is not a watershed, massive change that we saw with iOS 7. Rather it is taking what was foundational in that release and refining it further. As I write this review of iOS 8 I am compelled to remember the early days of iOS. Comparing where this platform was just 4 years ago in the iOS 4 days, it is remarkable how much has changed. iOS 8 represents the most advanced mobile platform Apple has ever produced and you could argue that it is the most refined in the market today.
But the purpose of this review of iOS 8 is not to sell you on it. I’m assuming, because you are on this site, you are already an iOS user who has upgraded to iOS 8 or that you are someone looking to move from another platform to iOS and want to find out what all the hubbub is about. Hopefully I’ll be able to satisfy both types of readers.
To start, we need to look at what has become a very foundational part of iOS 8 and indeed OS X Yosemite: iCloud. When iCloud was introduced in October 2011 (yes, it’s been that long!), it was seen as an opportunity for Apple to do better than they had done with the MobileMe service. To be honest, that was a pretty low bar. My professional opinion: MobileMe sucked.
But iCloud hasn’t exactly set the world alight. When it was introduced the expectation was that it would be Dropbox like in functionality and it proved to be anything but that. It was rigid in what file formats you could store on it, you could effectively only store from Apple apps and storage was horrendously expensive for such a limited service.
But Apple kept at it, slowly tweaking and improving the service. They also kept building and improving their data centres globally, adding more and more capacity. They were playing in the long game and were willing to take their lumps against Dropbox and OneDrive for the long term gain of their vision.
Last year in OS X Mavericks and iOS 7 it began to really take hold with it being a more integrated part of the platform. Now, in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, iCloud is very much part of the fabric. The line between “on the device” and “in the cloud” has blurred and that is evident in several of the new features of iOS 8. In fact as you read on in this review of iOS 8, you are going to read a common theme of iCloud integration with applications. Indeed I would contend that is increasingly more difficult for someone who wants iOS to not use it with iCloud. Like Google has done with Android and Chrome and to a much greater degree Microsoft has done with Windows Phone and Windows, it is time to pick your ecosystem readers. Playing in more than one is getting ever more difficult because operating systems are dependent on cloud services and vice versa.
But not impossible.
iCloud has grown up a huge amount in a short period of time and the fluidity between apps and storage is now borderless. That’s exactly what Apple (and Google, and Microsoft) want it to be. The question is will you jump in with both feet.
Enough with iCloud, I think I’ve made my point. Let’s talk about iOS 8 and the design and new features (or refinement in most cases) of the latest Cupertino has to offer us.
With the release of iOS 8 coming on Wednesday, there will be a whole new set of wallpapers that Apple includes in the update. If you don’t want to wait or have no plans to upgrade, we have all of the iOS 8 wallpapers available for you here on AlliOSNews for you to download.
All of the wallpapers, which can be found in the Wallpapers section of the site, are available for both iPhone and iPad so you don’t have to do any rescaling or sizing to get them to work on your devices. I’ve also put all of the iOS 8 wallpapers on this post after the break so you can view them and download them from here.
To download the images, just right-click and Save Image As to save them to your Mac or PC. If you are viewing a wallpaper from your iPhone or iPad, tap-and-hold until you are prompted to either Set as Wallpaper or Save to Camera Roll.
The release of iOS 8 is fast approaching this week. On Wednesday the 17th of September it will be made available by Apple to install on your existing iPhone and iPad. To help make the upgrade go smoothly, we’ve put together this iOS 8 Install Guide. The guide is designed to give you tips and tricks from our years of experiencing in upgrading iOS versions to assure it goes as quickly and as pain-free as possible.
To remind everyone, iOS 8 will be available for the following existing iOS devices. Remember that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will come already loaded with iOS 8.
- iPhone 4S
- iPhone 5
- iPhone 5s
- iPhone 5c
- iPad 2
- iPad 3rd Generation
- iPad 4th Generation
- iPad Air
- iPad Mini
- iPad Mini with Retina Display
- iPod Touch 5th Generation
Before I start the iOS 8 Install Guide a word of patience. Generally an iOS upgrade is made available on launch day at 10:00 PST. That’s 13:00 EST and 18:00 BST. When the release happens there will quite literally be millions of people trying to upgrade at the same time. It could take you several tries and several hours to actually get the upgrade onto your device. Be patient. You’ve lived this long without it, a few more hours won’t hurt. For Tricia, she isn’t even going to try to attempt to install iOS 8 on her existing iPhone 5, iPad Mini and iPad 3rd Generation until Wednesday night even though she is in California. For me here in London, I probably won’t be installing it until Thursday morning my time, around midnight Wednesday in California. If you can wait, do it. It will be a lot less frustrating.