So you’ve just updated your eligible iOS devices to iOS 8 or you’re still wondering if it is worth taking the trouble to update. Either way, you wonder what’s new in iOS 8 that made it so unique that Apple says it is the biggest iOS release ever? Well, let us highlight some of its main features here.
- Send voice and video over iMessage.
- To listen to a voice message, simply place the iPhone close to your ear.
- To send a voice message, simply place the iPhone close to your ear and start talking.
- Send location over iMessage.
- Ability to name, mute or leave a group conversation.
- Predictive words as you type.
- Supports various languages such as English, French, German, Spanish, Thai, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and Japanese Kanji.
- Ability to install and use third party keyboards. Some third party keyboards lets you type a lot faster.
- Download third party keyboard apps from the App Store and then enable it in Settings -> General -> Keyboard -> Add New Keyboard.
- Our recommended 3rd Party keyboard app: SwiftKey (Free). Download it from the App Store.
- Here’s 7 third party keyboards for iOS 8 recommended by The Verge. Click HERE.
- Ability to search photos within the photo library easily.
- Provides smart suggestive searches such as photos taken nearby, photos taken same time last year, etc.
- More photo editing tools built-in to the Photos app.
- Ability to adjust contrast, brightness, exposure, colour and more.
- New video capturing mode: Time-lapse video.
- New Health app
- Works as a dashboard of your health and fitness data.
- Allows third party apps to share and integrate your health data to provide you with better and more accurate health related analysis.
- You have the ability to allow or disallow the sharing of health data, just like privacy settings.
You will appreciate this one if you use more than one Apple product, such as an iPhone, an iPad and a Mac.
- Pickup right where you left off.
- Start writing an email on your iPhone and pick up where you left off when you sit down at your Mac.
- Browse the web on your Mac and continue from the same link on your iPad.
- Works with Mail, Safari, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Maps, Messages, Reminders, Calendar, and Contacts.
- Works for third party apps too.
- Allows your iPad or even Mac to answer a phone call when your iPhone is close to them.
- Send SMS messages from your iPad or Mac when your iPhone is close to them.
- iPad or Mac can connect to iPhone’s personal hotspot to surf the web.
- Allows up to 6 people to share contents purchased from the App Store, iTunes Store or iBook Store.
- Pay for family purchases with the same credit card.
- Ability to approve kids’ spending on App Store, iTunes Store and iBook Store purchases.
- More ways to share photos and calendar among family members.
Guide to Family Sharing click HERE.
7. iCloud Drive
- Works just like Dropbox.
- Store any file into iCloud (documents, pdf, spreadsheets, presentation, images, etc).
- Retrieve any file stored in iCloud from any devices running iOS 8 or MacOS Yosemite.
Our 3 favourite magical features in iOS 8
1. Hey Siri
When your iOS 8 device is plugged into the charger, simply say “Hey Siri” at anytime (even when your screen is turned off) followed by your question such as “What time is it now”, “How’s the weather?” or even “Wake me up 30 minutes later” and it will activate Siri to give you the answer to your question. Try it.
Make sure that the iOS 8 device is plugged in and you have Hey Siri function activated (Settings -> General -> Siri -> Allow “Hey Siri”). Here’s a demo video.
2. Live Dictation
Who needs to type when you have the Live Dictation feature? Works for different languages too as long as you have the respective keyboard for the language activated. Try it.
3. Third Party Keyboard
With the ability to install and use third party keyboard, you can do wonders and type a lot faster on your iOS devices (in situations when using live dictation is not an option).
See how to type faster with the free SwiftKey Flow keyboard. It makes typing with your thumb a lot easier and faster.
You should also try out these 2 important features in iOS 8
1. Battery Usage Indicator
Now you can find out which app drains your battery the most. Simply go to Settings -> General -> Usage -> Battery Usage.
2. Send Last Location
Enable this to automatically send the location of your iOS 8 device to Apple when the battery is critically low. This feature is important if you lost your iPhone or iPad, or even more important when you are trapped somewhere and your device battery runs low. This feature has the potential to save life as it allows others to locate your last location through Find My iPhone feature using a web browser or other iOS devices.
Settings -> iCloud -> Find My iPhone -> Send Last Location