Best iOS 8 Features – Full List Part 2

Best iOS 8 Features – Full List, Here is the second list of Best iOS 8 Features series. Do read the Best iOS 8 Features Part 1 of this articles if you have not read it yet.

Photo Library on iCloud

This is a photo library where photos automatically get synchronised between iOS devices. It is built right into the stock Photos app as it is meant to take advantage of iCloud storage. To enable it go to iCloud Photo Library then settings then photos then camera. To ensure that the photos will adjust to device resolution before downloading from iCloud, enable the “Optimized iPhone/iPad Storage”.

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The best part is that you can store more photos on iCloud Photo Library than the device can handle and still go through them as though they are stored in the device. You can now also download a whole album.

Message group conversations now enhanced

Group chats now comes with the ability to mute notifications from threads, quick video exchange, short versions of audio among others. Using the new “do not disturb” switch it is possible to mute notifications such as when multiple users are into a conversation. Go to details button of the thread then switch on Do not disturb and this will stop notifications though messages will still reach the device.

Instant Hotspot

Hooking up devices such as iPad or Mac to the personal hotspot of your phone is now simpler as when the phone gets close, the phones name gets enlisted among Wi-Fi networks on iPad or Mac. To connect simply select the hotspot and you are in. Better is when you are not engaging the iPhone cellular iOS 8 automatically disables it hence saving your battery.

The blue bar at the top will appear whenever you are using instant hotspot. In the same way the iPhone’s signal strength and battery life are also displayed in the menu bar under Wi-Fi networks in Mac.

Interactive Notifications

It is now possible to interact with notifications on iOS 8. For instance stock apps enables you to reveal options by swiping on the lock screen for alerts. You can also swipe message alert to the left to show an “X” sign to do away with it. Mails also have interactives such as flag, mark as read or even archive. Simple put Apple has allowed developers to have freedom of programming these alerts as they wish.

Mail gestures

iOS 8 now comes with new swipes for mails to be done form inbox helping you sort out emails easily. To begin with you can long swipe to delete a message or simply swipe to mark as read or flag messages. Mails are now able to recognize reservations, confirmation for flights among others hence producing notification that gives you the option to add an event to calendar or a phone number to the contacts. Also introduced is the multiple drafts that can be engaged simultaneously or switch between just like in safari tab view. Simple pull down the message being worked on to see something on other apps then simply tap on it at the bottom to continue from where you left.

Also available are notifications for message threads to be replied making you in line with things. This is activated by swiping to the left on the chosen message then show more then hit on “notify me” button. A new bell appears which means the thread has notifications turned on. The procedure to disable is similar to that of enabling. Mail also comes with its own swipe options section found in settings then mail, contacts, calendars. This helps quick assigning of certain functions by swiping to the left or to the right over mails interactive notifications available on the lock screen.

QuickType

Typing has been made faster by Apple as the keyboard can now predict what you are typing and even suggest words. It is even able to detect the person you are chatting with and connect it with your past chats and styles of writing. Simply put the Quick Type follows the usual style you apply in you messages to suggest words and phrases.

The more the Quick Type tool is used the smarter it becomes as it will learn how you type. It becomes so smart that it even does analysis to your messages and gives answer options. To enable it go to settings then General then keyboard, or tap and hold on the globe sign found on the keyboard to allow this feature in all apps.

Languages that are Supported include English (United States or United Kingdom, Canada and Australia) French; German; Italian; Portuguese optimized for Brazil; Spanish; and Thai. And Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Japanese Kanji.

Quick Reply

Finally the Quick reply has found its way into iOS 8. When a message has been sent to you simply pull down a banner alert and the keyboard appears. Type the response then send and continue with what you were doing without having to switch between apps.

Sending a quick voice messages

Similar to what WhatsApp, BlackBerry Messenger, Voxer, Snapchat and other messaging software, you can add voice to a chat that the other person can listen to when they put their device to the ear. The “raise to listen on” is set in settings then messages.

To enable recording, tap the microphone icon down at the bottom right, this reveals radial menu. Hold on to the icon as you record the message. To send or cancel, swipe up or left respectively. There are options available in settings that would allow you to define how long the message would stay give you two options of never and after 2 minutes.

Send quick short photo or video

Just like with audio simply tap and hold the camera icon below left of your message view to show the radial menu, hold on in to add a video to the message. Tap and hold the camera to record, then swipe up or left to send or cancel respectively. Better still it allows you to add recent photos and videos, or even numerous photos and videos at the same time. You can also dictate how long the video stays with an option of never or 2 minutes.

Even better images and videos now have their own panel in messages you do not have to scroll aimlessly trying to find pictures from older conversations. It is possible to delete the whole message history as well.

Spotlight enhancements

iOS 8 has a Spotlight search that has powerful features. Running a movies search is now enhanced as it shows information such nearby theatres, time and ratings. Moreover search across stock apps brings phrases in emails and text stored in the device as Spotlight is able to get information from a lot of sources online. Added to it are enriched search results with smaller articles, Wikipedia definitions, iTunes media and app store app links and many more.

Good news is it is possible to do all the above in both Spotlight and Safari by tapping Safari address bar to enable search that integrates Spotlight. The results will be shown besides your top hits and suggestions. Be careful to note that “search iPhone” field has been changed to “Spotlight search”.

Third-party keyboards

With iOS 8 you are now allowed to use third party keyboards such as Swipe, SwiftKey, TouchPal that has sliding text entry, Fleksy, Adaptxt, Minuum’s heigh-changing keyboard or TextExpander’s custom keyboard  among many others.

These offer different levels of input methods and layouts. Similar to extensions, they are not stand alone but come integrated in apps that do provide fundamental operations.

As long as the apps are installed the custom keyboards become available to be used throughout the system. In terms of privacy, custom keyboards cannot access keystrokes, and those that need internet to sync dictionaries must first have your permission.

Touch ID in your favorite apps

Finger print scanner has been upgraded majorly as it is now open to developers. What to look out for are apps such as iPassword, PayPal or eBay will be able to use the Touch ID to log in by simply touching on the home button. You finger print will be safely encrypted and protected in the Secure enclave on the A7/A8 processor so that no one can access it. In the same fashion you have enjoyed using Touch ID on iPhone 5 you will also enjoy it in iPhone 6.

Time-lapse videos

Enhance camera app allows you to come up with interesting feature by taking a video over a long time then speeding it up. Access it by swiping within the camera app. When you hit the record button the device takes photos at preset timelines, which will be group together into sequence. All these go into the Time-lapse album.

Widgets in Notification Center

Widgets are simply third party Extensions that provide fast information in a blink in the notification centre. Examples are calendars, reminders and stock that are interactive. Today widgets are available with their apps as downloading an app with one makes the widget available with today view. Simply pulling down the notification center allows you to tap on the edit button at the bottom. This exposes all widgets found in the gadget, consequently enabling you to choose which to enable or disable.

Thus far those are the features seen, but keep your eyes open as we bring others.

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