iOS 8 is finally here and we, at TheAppleGoogle, have had a great time playing with it and trying out all that is new and exciting with this biggest update ever since the App Store. We must admit that all that was laid out during WWDC has made it to the operating system (apart from that little bug in HealthKit), and it is as good as was promised. There are plenty of new features to try out; here we have laid out our top 5.
1. Notification Center Widgets
One of the best things that iOS 8 has brought with it is the customisation of the widgets in the Notification Center. You can now add third-party widgets to the Today section of Notification Center. Some Apps, like DropBox and Evernote have the widgets already available, while many others will surely be taking advantage of this new feature very soon. So, now, with just a downward-swipe you’ll be able to see your last file uploaded to DropBox or the to-do list you created on Evernote.
2. Quick keyboard and third-party App support
Those of you who have already sent a text or written an e-mail would have noticed the great new auto-complete which appears on top of the keyboard as you type. I, personally, love the fact that even before you start typing, the keyboard gives you the most popular choices of starting a sentence: I, The, I’m. In addition to this update, the OS now also supports third-party keyboards, including SwiftKey and Swype.
3. Improved Dictation
Previously, when using dictation mode, the text appeared after you had finished speaking. But now, with iOS 8, the text appears as you dictate it, along with an audio scanner which appears at the bottom and shows the modulations as you speak. The interpretation is also a lot better with very few errors, if any.
4. Hands-Free Siri
No longer do you need to press the Home button to get Siri’s attention. Go to Settings → General → Siri and turn on the ‘Allow “Hey Siri”’ feature. Now you can just say, ‘Hey Siri,’ to activate Siri and ask your question. Remember, for this to work your phone must be plugged into a power source.
5. Quick contact access
iOS 8 has made accessing your contacts extremely easy. All you need to do is double-tap the Home button, and above the quick App-switcher you will see the list of your “Favourites” and “Recents” contacts. Selecting a contact will give you the option to call, message and FaceTime with them straight from your home screen, without having to go via Contacts.