One of the big things that Apple addressed in iOS 8.0.2 last week was the bug that was impacting HealthKit. In fact it was discovered so late that developers were literally having their HealthKit compatible apps pulled from the App Store hours before iOS 8 was released. Whatever the issue was – I’ve not seen a full disclosure on what it was exactly – it now is fixed and HealthKit apps are starting to appear in the App Store.
Apple has released iOS 8.0.2 today for compatible iOS devices, fixing a number of issues with iOS 8 and the debacle that was iOS 8.0.1 earlier this week. The update is available now via an over-the-air (OTA) update or by connecting your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to your Mac or PC via iTunes.
The headline fixes in this update include a fix for the issue that impacted cellular and Touch ID issues with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus earlier this week with iOS 8.0.1. iOS 8.0.2 addresses those issues and new iPhone users shouldn’t have any further issues. The second big thing this update does is fix the bug in HealthKit that prevented apps from being able to use the service on your iPhone. This now means that app developers can push their information into HealthKit so it can be a true repository for your medical, diet and exercise information. With this now being out, I would encourage you to check for updates from your favourite health and fitness apps to get the updates that allow them to access HealthKit.
First the good news: iOS 8 can be installed on a whole range of iPhones and iPads, making sure you can use some of your older devices with the latest version from Apple (albeit with a few less features)
Now the bad news: Well, there actually may not be any.
In previous upgrade cycles of iOS, the latest version always seem to bog down older devices. In fact most owners of iPhones or iPads have experienced this. For me, the worst was when I upgraded my original iPad to iOS 6. It basically ground it to a halt and I ended up having to do a bit of trickery to get back to iOS 5.
I fully expected iOS 8 performance issues on older devices but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well it is done on an iPhone 4S and original iPad Mini. While the 4S has suffered a little bit with it, the iPad Mini has pretty much not missed a beat.
One of the never ending challenges it seems with iOS upgrades is battery life. Almost every time there is an upgrade there is a percentage of users that are impacted by worse battery life on their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch than with the previous version. iOS 8 is no exception I’m sure… but I’m not hearing it as much.
I’ve upgraded all three of my primary iOS devices – iPhone 5s, iPad Air and original iPad Mini. While I’ve not really seen much of a change on my iPads when it comes to battery life, I’ve seen a huge change on my iPhone battery life. And it is for the better. In fact it is substantially better. On a typical day I would be at sub-50% battery life by midday. Now I’m usually in the 60-70% remaining range. That is significant given the amount of calls I make on my iPhone (usually at least 1.5 hours by midday each day).
Tell us what you are seeing by taking our simple poll below. We’d love to hear how your iPhone battery life has improved or not improved on iOS 8
On the Apple Developer site, the company has published statistics showing that the iOS 8 adoption rate is at 46%, nearly matching the pace of the iOS 7 adoption rate last year. The statistics come to Apple via the App Store where the device’s iOS version is identified upon connection. The iOS 8 adoption rate is critical for Apple as it assures them that the majority of iOS users are running the latest version but also helps developers know that support for iOS 8 is critically important.
Just prior to the iOS 8 launch, iOS 7 enjoyed an adoption rate of 90% and since the release has dropped down to 49%. Only 5% of all iOS users are using a version older than iOS 7.
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.
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.