INSIDE IOS 8
Since Apple’s initial operating system upgrades are notorious for having bugs, I resisted the temptation to download iOS 8 until about a month after its release. By the time I installed it, reports of problems from early adopters—including Wi-Fi interruptions, freezing during downloading, apps crashing, and battery drain— had all but fizzled out, and I was greeted with some very welcome changes.
EXTENSIBILITY & CONTINUITY
With its release of iOS 8, Apple focused on creating two overarching themes that resonate throughout the entire user experience: Extensibility, which offers app developers greater access to iOS functions, and Continuity, which makes connecting all of a user’s Apple devices a breeze via the new Handoff feature.
With Extensibility, using your apps within the existing Apple framework is more satisfying, thanks to extensions that offer options such as the ability to add app widgets to the Notification Center. For example, you could add the Evernote widget and, with one quick swipe down, gain access to Evernote’s note-taking tool. These improvements simplify functions like photo edit- ing and open up the door for developers to create even more extensions that will contribute to Apple’s promise of a seamless experience.
The other core tenet of iOS 8, Continuity, makes it possible for all of your Apple devices to be constantly connected and working together, fulfilling the fantasy of multitaskers everywhere. This feature means that you can start to set a reminder on your iPad and finish it on your iPhone, or pause mid-thought as you write an email on your Mac and resume when you pick up your iPad. In order for Handoff to work, however, you must be logged into the same iCloud account on your iPhone, iPad, and/or Mac, and all the devices must be in close proximity to each other so they can automatically pair via Bluetooth LE.
One of the most talked-about additions to iOS 8 was Apple’s QuickType, a feature that suggests words and phrases based on whom you are writing to and what app you are using. I found the word suggestions, which appear below the text box and change rapidly as you type, to be quite distracting. Of course, you can easily turn this feature off or switch to a third-party keyboard, such as the popular Swype text, thanks to Extensibility.