As many of you know, I’m an Apple fanboy. I love my MacBook and my iDevices. They help me do a lot of cool stuff. And I’m sure a lot of you are at least vaguely interested in Apple as well. Maybe you have an iPhone or an iPad, or you just like to know what’s going on with the most talked-about tech company in the world. If you fall into any of those categories, this Stuff Devon Likes post is for you. It’s all about iOS 8.
iOS 8, the newest software for iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches, released to the public this past Wednesday after a few months of beta testing. Although not as eagerly anticipated as last year’s radically redesign iOS 7, iOS 8 still made a splash with its new features. In this post, I’ll be highlighting just a few of them.
My favorite new feature in iOS 8 is responsive notifications. I hate having to open the Messages app every single time someone texts me and I want to respond. Now, I don’t have to. If I’m in the middle of something else on my phone or if I want to respond from the lock screen, all I have to do is swipe the notification, and a quick response text area opens up. It’s quick and handy. And this feature isn’t limited to Messages. It applies to emails, calendar alerts, tweets, Facebook notifications, and more. All of these notification types come with their own custom ways of interacting with them. I love it.
Another cool feature is Notification Center widgets. Android users have been boasting about widgets for a long time, but now they’re finally on iOS! When you download an app from the App Store, many will now come with an accompanying widget that you can place in your Notification Center. That way if you want to check the score of your favorite team without opening the app, you can do so right in Notification Center. You can also manage your bid on an Ebay item, create a new note in Evernote, and more, all from Notification Center.
iOS 8 also gives users a smoother flow when switching between devices. If you start an email on your iPad but have to leave before you finish it, you can pull it up on your iPhone instantly and complete it on the go. If you open a web page on your phone but want to see it on your iPad’s bigger screen, you can do so instantly from the iPad’s lock screen. You can make and answer phone calls on your iPad as long as your phone is on the same WiFi network. And you can receive and send SMS messages on your iPad, too. That way all of your messages are on all of your iOS devices. This smooth flow between devices is called Continuity, and it’s automatic. It will also work with your Mac when OS X Yosemite drops, possibly next month.
These iOS 8 features are just a few of my favorites. There are so many more I could list. Extensibility. Better Siri. Simple audio and video messaging. New photo editing features. Family Sharing. The all-new Health app. Third-party keyboards. The list goes on and on. The moral of the story is that if you’ve got an iOS device that’s capable of running iOS 8, you should install it. It looks a lot like iOS 7, so you won’t have to re-learn anything. You’ll just have a lot of cool new tools at your disposal. Thanks for reading my quick review of iOS 8, friends. See you next week!