6 Big Things to Know About iOS 8

Sep 18, 2014 - 13 Comments

iOS 8 big time

iOS 8 brings tons of new features, enhancements, and abilities to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. There’s a lot to discover and digest, and you will surely find many new additions as you explore around the major software update, but we’re going to highlight a few of the big things that are particularly worth noting.

1: You Can Add Third Party Keyboards

Apple has brought the ability to add new third party keyboards to iOS 8, which means if you’ve ever been envious of your Android friends with gesture based keyboard input, you can get just that on the iPhone and iPad now.

The two popular keyboard choices of the moment are Swype, which costs $1, and SwiftKey, which is free. They’re both gesture based, meaning you swipe around to complete words for you, it’s one of those things you really need to try yourself to see how it works. There’s also plenty of novelty keyboard additions too.

2: Privacy Gets a Big Boost

Apple has added additional privacy features to iOS 8 that make devices running the operating system considerably more secure. The Washington Post explains the changes to Apples revamped iOS 8 privacy policy as follows:

“…making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police — even when they have a search warrant — taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in government efforts to collect user information.

The move, announced with the publication of a new privacy policy tied to the release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, amounts to an engineering solution to a legal quandary: Rather than comply with binding court orders, Apple has reworked its latest encryption in a way that prevents the company — or anyone but the device’s owner — from gaining access to the vast troves of user data typically stored on smartphones or tablet computers.”

This should be appreciated by privacy advocates, but perhaps less appreciated by forgetful individuals, as this makes it impossible for Apple to assist you if you were to somehow forget your passcode – in other words – use a passcode but do not forget it otherwise you may have a serious problem.

3: Notification Center Gains Widgets

Apps now have the ability to add Widgets to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Accessible from Notification Center, widgets can provide rich updates to apps, or add app-specific functionality to the Notifications panel. For example, a sports app widget may provide scores and detailed game information in the Notifications panel, and widgets for the Evernote app allow users to make a document or upload photos to your Evernotes, directly from Notifications, rather than having to launch the app. As more and more apps update to support iOS 8, Widgets will become more prominent. Not to worry if you ever get sick of them or you feel Notifications is getting overly cluttered, you can always disable the widgets too.

4: Text Size Adjustments & Readability Get a Big Boost

Have you ever wished the font size of on screen items in iOS was larger and easier to read? You’re not alone, and Apple has responded to this request and made the text enlargement and text bolding feature of iOS considerably more impactful in iOS 8.

You really need to try this one out yourself by adjusting the Settings to see the difference and to determine which size text is right for your own usage. Be aware, the font sizes carry through to just about everywhere now… except the home screen and app names under the icons anyway.

5: Camera Roll Is Gone… But Your Pictures Aren’t

The Photos app longstanding Camera Roll is gone, but that doesn’t mean your pictures are. Instead, you have an album called “Recently Added” which, as the name implies, is only the most recently added photos. So what about your older pictures? You’ll need to access them from the Photos tab through “Collections”, which is date orientated instead. Camera Roll has been around for a very long time and many users are habituated into using it to access all their photos, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see it return with an iOS 8.1 update, particularly if users are vocal about seeing it again.

6: Some Mac to iOS Features Are OS X Yosemite Dependent

For Mac users who also have an iOS device, some of the most convenient features of iOS 8 depend on OS X Yosemite too, which is yet to be released to the public. This includes cross-platform improvement features like iCloud Drive, which allows for considerably better file management and sharing between iOS and OS X; and Continuity, which allow for seamless transitioning between working on an iOS device and a Mac.

Stay tuned, we’ll be covering many more tips about iOS 8 and specifics about the features!


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Linda says:

    hello ht, I did that and counted, I got the 248 it says in all the other sections. Over 800 photos are not showing up at all. Maybe if I do a sync through iTunes they will show back up.

  2. EricW says:

    Why does the latest iTunes (for IOS 8) keep downloading my artwork?

  3. Linda says:

    In the about section in settings on my iPhone 4s it says I have over 1000 photos, but I can’t find all of them in any section in the photos, only 248 show up no matter where I go, even the collections section you named above! Where are ALL my photos?
    Maybe if they bring back the camera roll or photo stream it had before they will show up? Funny the settings say they are there but they are invisible.

    • ht says:

      Tap Photos > Photos > Collections , they are now sorted by date, you can tap again by Years, or you can tap the little search icon to show months at a time.

      It’s confusing, iOS 8 needs to bring back the Camera Roll, period.

  4. Is it only me or you can’t dismiss WhatsApp notifications swipping up? I had to swipe up and then press the home button in order to dismiss… VERY annoying (specially when typing something in Safari).

  5. Garrett says:

    So I’m wondering, I have a iPad Mini 1st gen that I’m holding off on iOS8 until I get some performance feedback. Do I need to quit updating all the apps that are releasing their updates for iOS8 or do most the standard apps typically backwords compatible with iOS7?

  6. Recently Added Sucks says:

    Apple should definitely bring back the original camera roll!!

  7. Geppetto says:

    What devices have you upgraded to iOS 8?
    I am not noticing so many slowdowns on iPhone 4s and iPad 3rd gen (a5 and a5x chipsets) as it was spread out by Arstechinca “terroristic” blog post written by an idiot who perhaps is being paid by some Apple competitor to troll the web with bullshit.
    As far as I am concerned only with battery drain, which is something that usually happens with all iOS devices as any new iOS big relase gets out.
    Still not liking the new UI style and still liking more the iOS 6 one. It looks like when Christians tried to do art in Roman era… just a huge step backward on everything… like going back at cave’s art age.
    But that’s just me…
    Indeed I still, have to understand how come iOS 6 was pretty fast with all those rich graphics, while with iOS 7 flat and 90’s graphics everything got slower.
    Oh wait, perhaps that is cause the creator of freaking iOS got dumped from Apple? Because of Maps app which is still there and working fine?
    Think about it.

    • Anonymous says:

      At least Christians *can* do art, unlike Muslims.

      Also, all of the Renaissance artists were Christians and their patrons were all Christians.

      What a terrible, insensitive and virtually pointless analogy. Good job!

  8. Igor says:

    Is it only me, but iOS8 is noticeably slow an a battery drag?

    • vdiv says:

      It seems that every new major version of iOS does that. Maybe wait for the 8.1 update.

      • Igor says:

        It is iPad 2 and iOS8 is slow on it. Will wait until 8.1 i released before upgrading my iPhone. There seems to be not much difference between 7 and 8 anyway.

    • James says:

      I have been running iOS 8 for a couple weeks and haven’t noticed either of these. I have noticed some “buggy behavior” but I think that’s because apps haven’t been updated for changes to iOS 8 yet.

      If you have an older iPhone (4s or maybe even a 5), it could impact your performance more noticeably than a 5s.

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