Sunday, June 22, 2014

My 8 favorite features in iOS 8

iOS 8 for iPhone & iPad

Well I've had iOS 8 BETA installed for almost two weeks now, and though it is still a bit buggy and lacking some of the new integrations that will make this next software update really exciting once it's released to the general public this Fall (i.e. Health, Homekit, Family Sharing, iCould Drive, etc.), there are still some pretty cool new features you can take advantage of right now if you have a $99/year Apple iOS Dev Center account.

There is a laundry list of significant upgrades you can read about on, but these are my top 8 favorite new features in iOS 8:

  1. Group Messaging Details: My absolute favorite feature in iOS 8 is the beefed up group message "Details" tab in the top right of every iMessage, which includes: naming your conversations; reviewing all of the photos/videos inline; sharing your location with everyone in the group; and the all-new"Do Not Disturb" and "Leave Conversation" features.
  2. Battery Usage: Extend the life of each iPhone and iPad charge by seeing which apps are the biggest drain on your battery under your General Settings menu.
  3. Voice iMessages: When you can't look at your phone (i.e. while driving), Siri can't translate your mumbling voice to text, or you just want a faster way to respond to someone it's now easier than ever to quickly record your voice and send it as an audio file via iMessage with a single click-and-swipe.
  4. Photography: The Camera and Photos apps have some great new features as well, including: smart composition tools, smart adjustments, new filters, camera timer, separate exposure & focus selections when taking photos, and time-lapse videos.
  5. Hands-Free Siri: Get Siri's attention without pressing the "Home" button by simply saying "Hey Siri" when your iPhone is docked at home or charging in the car.
  6. Swipe Notifications: The notifications system in iOS 7 was a drastic improvement over iOS 6 but nowhere near perfect. With iOS 8 Apple has made a few more tweaks that really improve notifications, including a single Notification Center and inline swipe-to-respond and swipe-to-dismiss controls.
  7. Keyboards: The keyboard in iOS 8 now not only allows third-party developers to create completely new keyboards (i.e. Swype) to be used as default, universal keyboards -- but the all-new QuickType feature is a surprisingly smart new tool that predicts the next word you are going to type and gives you three options to choose from at the top of every iOS 8 keyboard.
  8. Weather: Apple has finally ditched Yahoo! as the default data provider in it's integrated Weather app and added more details thanks to its new partnership with The Weather Channel.
Have you installed iOS 8 yet? What's your favorite feature? Or what you looking forward to most? Leave your thoughts in the comments below:

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