iOS 8 has been released and those with a new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are starting to learn how to work with Apple’s new operating system. For those of you who have the iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s, you can also upgrade to iOS 8 from iCloud or on iTunes. If you have an iPhone 4s or older, however, you might want to rethink the plan to upgrade to iOS 8 however. Not only will you need to at least 5GB of free space, your device may not play well with iOS 8.
If you are able to upgrade to iOS 8, there are some tricks and treats to be aware of.
Some of the first changes you’re going to notice with the iOS 8 upgrade are the changes to the Camera. First of all, say goodbye to the Camera Roll. In its place, Apple has decided to help you categorize the pictures you take, including “Recently Added” and “Recently Deleted.”
Other changes in Camera are inclusions of a built-in timer, focus and exposure controls that allow for greater fine-tuning, time-lapse and slo-mo video recording, photo editing tools and the allowance of third-party photo filters within the Photos app.
Be aware of what your Location Services settings are – not only for privacy, but also to prevent increased battery drain. The iOS 8 release now allows you to adjust Location Services to run “Never, Always or While Using.” You can find Location Services by going to Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services, and adjusting the settings on each app listed. To prevent even further battery drain, turn off Share My Location as well.
While you’re in Location Services, you’ll also want to check System Services. You can activate a Status Bar Icon (located by scrolling all the way down to the bottom) to see when an app is using your location. While there, you’ll want to turn off Popular Near Me and Improve Maps; both of those are for Apple’s benefit, not yours.
One of the biggest new additions to iOS 8 is the Health App. You’ll see a separate app marked with a red cross automatically appear after installing iOS 8. The Health App has 4 sections: Dashboard, Health Data, Sources and MedicalID. Health Data has various things to track for you – this is built into iOS 8. Sources are other, third-party, apps that can connect to the Health App to enhance its data. The MedicalID function of the Health App is the most interesting – it will show up on your home screen, even if your phone is locked. You enter in whatever information you’d want someone to know in an emergency, especially allergic reactions and important medical conditions, and someone will be able to access those without entering your phone.
Other iOS 8 Tricks and Treats
- Touchless Siri: Touchless Siri allows you to say “Hey Siri” and trigger Siri; something that can be handy for hands-free moments like when you’re driving. To activate Touchless Siri in iOS 8, go to Settings -> General -> Siri and choose “Hey Siri.”
- Double-Check Your Push Notifications: Some of the battery drain that can happen occurs from too many apps having push notifications turned on for a number of your apps. You can change your Push Notification settings by going to Settings -> Notifications, and choosing to turn on push notifications for whichever apps seem appropriate.
- Continutity: You may have heard something that allows for Continuity, also known as Handoff in iOS 8 devices. Continuity is a system that allows you to start work on one Apple device and keep working where you left off on another Apple device. This option won’t work until Mac OS X 10.10, aka “Yosemite,” comes out – rumored to happen on October 16th.
- Battery Usage: You will now be able to monitor how each app on your iDevice is using battery.
- Keyboards: iOS 8 now allows for third-party keyboards. Some of the most popular are Swype, SwiftKey and Fleksy (available in the App store). First, download the keyboard you’re interested in, then go to Settings -> General -> Keyboard -> Keyboards -> Add New Keyboards. Once the keyboard is added, you can access it by pressing on the Globe Key on the existing keyboard until the new keyboard comes up.
- Third-Party Apps: Certain third-party apps have been adapted to integrate more fully with iOS 8. Most notable among those apps are password managers like LastPass and 1Password, which utilize Apple’s TouchID technology (using a fingerprint to access information).
- Widgets: iOS 8 now allows third-party widgets in its Notification Center, accessed by swiping a finger down from the top of the phone. Most notable among these to explore are: News 360, Evernote, Wunderlist, Wdgts, Yahoo weather and App in the Air…information truly at your fingertip(s)!
A few final words of caution before you download iOS 8. Before you fully reset an iOS 8 device, many sites are warning that you should back your files up some place else other than iCloud. People, including friends of mine, have had issues of losing documents and messages when they’ve gone to fully reset their device while relying fully on iCloud for backup. To troubleshoot other issues you might be having with iOS 8, take a look at this article from Ars Technica and this article from iMobie.