Apple may be calling its most recent mobile operating system update “the biggest iOS release ever,” but you’ll have to look beyond the home screen to believe that. Unlike the major visual overhaul iOS 7 introduced last year, iOS 8 offers more nuanced enhancements and features that aim to increase efficiency and improve the user experience.
Unfortunately, since iOS 8 launched two weeks ago, Apple has experienced an outbreak of troubles related to the new software. The 8.0.1 update, which aimed to fix bugs that inevitably appear after a new release, caused some users’ cell phones signals to stop working, while others were unable to unlock their phones using the fingerprint recognition feature, Touch ID. Apple pulled the update and quickly worked to release version 8.0.2, which hit iPhones this week. However, there are reports of a new bug that could erase iWork documents stored in a user’s iCloud Drive.
Despite ongoing iOS 8 glitches, there are several new time-saving features that Apple fans can be happy about:
Predictive type. The new QuickType keyboard will complete your sentences by suggesting words or phrases that you might type next. Apple has also opened its keyboard to third-party developers, giving you the option to convert to swipe keyboards or other predictive type options.
Seamless connectivity. This update introduced iCloud Drive, a place that stores all documents in iCloud and makes them easily accessible on any Apple device or PC. Another feature, Handoff, syncs your Apple devices so that you can pick up on one where you left off on another. This means you can begin writing an email on your iPhone and finish it on your Mac.
Mail timesavers. New swipe gestures in Mail allow you to quickly mark an email as read or flag it for follow-up, and enable a smoother transition between drafts and your inbox.
Multi-dimensional messages. Messages has been refreshed to make sending voice notes, videos, pictures and even your location, more convenient. And, you can see all the attachments you’ve exchanged in a conversation without having to scroll through it.
Hey, Siri. Now Siri is at your beck and call without you having to lift a finger. Simply say “Hey, Siri” while your phone is charging to activate the voice-recognition software.
Do you think these new features are worth updating your iPhone or iPad to iOS 8? Let us know what your experience has been with the new operating system.