IOS8: the Sweet and Sour

Meg Elwood

September is an exciting time for all owners of an iPhone, iTouch or iPad. Why? Two words: iOS Update! This software is the greatest type of “free-candy handouts” Apple gives to its users and iOS8 cranks up the sweetness level with some new features. Here are some of my favorites:

The Sweet:

– Group Messages: FINALLY! Take charge of Group Messages by being able to name them, drop and add people or leave the message yourself. If you’re like me and have friends that tend to blab about random things, you can even turn on “Do Not Disturb” for the group only and catch up on the messages later!

– Third Party Apps: Now, a wide variety of non-Apple apps work together with iPhones, like “SwiftKey”, the swiping keyboard made popular by Androids. Just download it like you did with emoji’s, add it as a keyboard and swipe away!

– Quick-Type: iPhones are psychic, it’s available when typing anywhere and learns how YOU type, so no longer will there be any “ducks” and “shirt” in your messages.

– Quick-Contacts: See “Recent” and “Favorite” contacts on the Multitasking interface for easy texting, calling and FaceTiming by double clicking the home button.

– Notifications: Retweet, reply to texts, mark emails as Read, accept calendar invites, etc. as they pop down as a notification banner, all without having to stop whatever your doing on your phone!

– Messaging: Don’t feel like texting the details? Press and hold the microphone icon to record your voice and send it away! Whats better? You can also send a quick video, which you can also do by pressing the camera icon.

The Sour:

– Health: The new built-in app that tracks all sorts of health-related data, unfortunately it just calculates steps taken and will only be SUPER cool and useable when the new Apple Watch comes out in 2015.

– App Crashes and Sticky Keyboards: Not all apps are up-to-date with iOS8 yet and keyboard rotation between portrait & landscape can get stuck. These problems are very common right now but should be fixed in 8.1, coming in a few months.

If you iOS 7 peeps are still skeptical, wait until the 8.1 update comes along in a few months to upgrade, but until then, Keep Calm and Geek On!