Apple iOS 8 was made publicly available by the company on Wednesday with loads of great new features and improvements that are designed to change the way you work…for the better. While some improvements like the deletion of the Camera roll may not be well liked by many, there are many nifty features, some of which may seem insignificant should help you get a better user experience than before. In this post, I take a look at some of the not so significant, yet awesome features of iOS 8 that I think rock!
10 Awesome Features of iOS 8
Apple, which has thus far controlled how third party apps work with key iOS features is now offering more room for them in iOS 8. This is especially significant when it comes to widgets. There is still a fair amount of control over what you can do with widgets, (Apple still wants to ensure there is no battery drain or clutter to ruin your user experience) and if you’re coming from an Android ecosystem, you may still find it stifling, but for Apple users, this is progress.
While you cannot, as yet, install widgets on individual home screens, you can receive notifications from them, access certain apps, and tap to perform certain basic functions. To choose which widgets to use, open up the Notification Center, scroll down to the bottom and hit Edit. This will display the apps that have widget support. You’ll find them in the Do Not Include section. Just enable the ones you want to use and you’ll start receiving notifications from them.
Notifications for Specific Email Threads
If there’s an important email thread that you need to be on top of, you can now set up a specific email alert for it. Swipe left on the email, select More, and then select Notify Me. You don’t have to worry about whether or not you’ve received any communication from that person as you will instantly notified when you get a reply.
Medical ID is a seriously significant feature that could come in handy in emergency situations. It’s a card where you fill up important medical information about yourself such as your blood group, any allergies you have, your doctor’s phone number, emergency contacts and so on. It doesn’t matter even if you don’t use Apple’s health features, setting up a Medical ID is always a useful option. It can be accessed from the lock screen by hitting the emergency dialer.
Quick Website Search
Safari has a useful feature called Quick Website Search which lets you search commonly used websites quicker than before. For instance, if you frequently search amazon, safari will remember that search for you. The next time you want to search for a product, you simply need to type amazon along with that product name and the search will be done within the website directly for you.
If you want to hide any of the photos you’ve taken, you can tap on a photo and choose Hide. This will hide the photo from Moments, Collections and Years. However, the hidden photos will still appear in a separate album called Hidden. This could be useful if you’re making some sort of presentation and want to avoid displaying certain personal pics.
Search Desktop Sites
Mobile websites have somehow failed to evolve themselves effectively into smartphones and tablets. Often, its much more useful to use a desktop version of a site and with Safari’s latest feature improvement you can request to be shown just that. This option is not readily obvious though. You will need to tap on the URL or search bar and drag down to see the option.
Scanning Credit Card Numbers
Hate plugging in your credit card number every time to purchase something online? Now you can simply take a picture of your card and iOS 8 will do the rest for you.
Read RSS Feeds
Despite several attempts to invalidate RSS, people still read them in large numbers and Apple knows it. That’s why there’s a nice little option to subscribe to feeds in Safari. When you are on a site that you want to subscribe to, tap the Bookmarks icon, then tap the @ symbol to subscribe to the feed. Your feeds will be available in the Shared Links pane along with your Twitter and other social activities.
Battery Drainers List
Apps are still not perfect. There’s always going to be a few rascals eating away your battery life. you can now discover which ones are the villains by tapping Settings->General->Usage->Battery Usage. This will display battery hoggers over the last 24 hours or over the last 7 days.
Fans of Siri, say Hey to the new and improved Siri, who will respond to you even without you having to press any darned button. Siri is also faster and integrated with Shazam so you can ask Siri to pull up a song name for you and even ask to purchase the track off iTunes.
There are simply plenty of great feature improvements in iOS 8 to list. Some users may find one feature particularly important while for another it may just be “meh”. I for one love the improvements to the messaging app, the private tabs in Safari, scanning credit card numbers and the self timer in the camera app. Obviously, with so much to explore, everyday brings something new to cheer about.
Which iOS 8 features did you find awesome?