Friday, September 19, 2014

My First Experiences With Apple's iOS 8

iOS 8 came out yesterday, September 17th, 2014.  Since then, I installed it on an iPad Air (32GB) and an iPhone 5 (64GB).

I did both installs over-the-air not via iTunes on a computer.  This meant I had to free up 5-7GB of local space to do the upgrade.  Like many have reported, I had to painfully clear up space.  I did so by deleting movies and some larger apps (like garageband, imovie, and other Apple apps), carefully noting which ones to replace them once the upgrade was done.  I did not carefully track the time, but it took at least a couple hours, maybe a bit longer, on each, until done in this fashion.  Then I got to play!

I did not realize how much was going to have to wait until October for iOS 8 to be fully realized for me...

  • I did not activate iCloud drive.  I have been advised not to do so until October, until after Yosemite is released.
    • I have played with 1password, but since I'm not using iCloud drive, I'm not playing with 1password 5, so I'm not playing with new iOS 8-integrated features.
  • I did not activate Family Sharing.  I'm holding back until Yosemite is released.  I also need to verify it is going to work with my Apple TV version 2.  I want to be able to get all shared photos into my Apple TV photo stream.
  • HealthKit has recognized bugs.  There is not much to play with, so I will not be commenting on the Health app.  All healthkit apps were pulled from the store.
  • Some features are going to be enabled in an update in October:
    • Continuity
      • SMS Relay/Text Message Forwarding - even between an iPhone and iPad.  I can make a call from my iPad now, but not text my Android-using friends from my iPad.
  • I'm just not ready to try out the downloadable keyboards.  Try it and report how you like it!
  • I haven't yet had time to play with many photos features, such as the new larger panoamas and time-lapse photography.
  • I have an iPhone 5 and so did not play with app TouchID integration; I don't have it.

What have I tried?

  • I received and made phone calls from my iPad.  It defaulted to speakerphone mode.  How do you make a call with no phone app?  Use contacts, either from the contacts app, or when choosing another app to multitask do with the double click to the home button, where the new iOS 8 recent contacts show up.
  • I made sure to put some photos with some recent and favorite contacts so that they would show up when looking at favorite contacts.  I deleted some duplicate contact entries to make sure the pictures would show up.
  • I sent voice messages via imessage.  I have noticed that some people do not like it when I do this.  It works even with folks who are not on iOS 8 - they play the sound via QuickTime.
  • I used "Hey Siri".  It came in really handy in the car when I wanted to ask Siri to read a text back to me while driving.  I thought of making a song with the words, "Hey Siri" in it.  I want to see if Siri can be solo-activated by an iPhone/iPad playing such a "Hey Siri" song!
  • I sent my location to someone - that could be done before iOS 8 but was more of a pain.  This was simple!
  • I created a name for a group text!  Unfortunately, this name did not sync between iPhone and iPad - probably because I'm not using iCloud drive.
  • I browsed photos from chats in imessage - that is really nice!  Way to go Apple!  People may not remember how much of an upgrade iMessage (messages) is from "old text messaging before Apple".  I hope they keep improving it!
  • I used the pre-texting words keyboard feature - I chose words rather than being an autocorrect victim!
  • I checked the apps that use the most power (after using iOS 8 for many hours).  The home screen and lock screen for me were the worst!  I do still have the parallax thing turned on... Maybe I should look at that more.
  • email handling in the summary screen(s):
    • Swipe to the right and click to make a message unread
    • Quick swipe left for the options for more options, flag, or move to trash -- this one can be a bit tricky until you get used to it - don't accidentally do a long swipe right...
    • Long swipe left to trash a message
  • Photos
    • I no longer see my old Photos camera roll and cloud photos as separate things.  They are all sort of one thing.  I think this will make more sense once I am using iCloud drive in a month.
    • I am going to have to play with this more.  Old options, for example to delete something from Photos in the cloud (to get it off of my Apple TV, for example) are not nearly so obvious.  Which photos did I take vs which photos did my wife take?  It is not at all so clear any more.  This is going to freak out some family members after the upgrade.
    • I played with photo editing.  I made a photo B&W (black and white).  I had to unselect B&W to get to see it in color again; playing in the color selection did nothing.  That was a counter-intuitive.
  • iOS8 extensions - deeper integrations with apps:
    • I did web clipping with evernote!  This is a great improvement.
  • Safari
    • Request desktop site - just click the address bar, pull down, and get the options to Add to Favorites and Request Desktop Site.  This one is helpful to some for sure, but I think I get what I need without it so far.
  • New weather app - cool...
  • Maps
    • I took a 3D flyover tour of San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, and Paris!  It was a bit choppy but was otherwise thrilling and pretty amazing.
That's all for now.  Enjoy iOS 8!

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