by Cheryl Sklar
The new operating system for Apple products, iOS 8, made its release last week, September 17th. The design is similar to iOS 7 but there are a lot of fun new features. As far as compatibility, this will work on the iPhone 4S and above (but sadly for me, not the iPhone 4), the iPod Touch 5th generation, the iPad 2, the iPad with Retina Display, the iPad Air, and all the iPad minis. I have heard of someone with an iPhone 4S who was not able to upgrade, so that may not always be an option, depending on your phone’s memory or other limitations.
All-New Features: This new operating system retains a lot of the features we already have from iOS 7 with some advanced tweaks as well as some new features. For example, now you can quickly find and edit photos that you take. You can add your own voice recording right into a text message. Instead of typing “LOL,” you can actually laugh out loud, record it and send that. You can track your health and fitness progress and connect them directly to each other, your trainer and even your doctor. So you can have all sorts of people making you feel guilty for not working out.
Here are a few (of the many) highlights of what you can expect:
Photos: You can search your photo library – by date the photo was taken, location or album name. Tapping the search icon gives you access to what’s important to you, like photos taken nearby, photos taken the same time last year, or your all-time favorite photos.
Once you capture the moment, you can edit and fine-tune every aspect of your photo right away, you don’t have to wait until you get back to your computer. This allows you to adjust light and color as well as other photographic quality details.
A fancy new feature is Time Lapse, which enables you to snap photos at selected intervals. The result is a video showing an accelerated sequence of photos over time, like a sun setting, a city street bustling or a flower blooming. Wow!
You can add sound to your texting conversation. Simply touch and hold the microphone button (to the right of your texting bar) to record a spoken message (or a song or your laughter), swipe up and send it through the message. You can also send a video recording, almost as soon as you’re seeing it yourself, just as easily.
Take charge of group messages. You can start a group texting conversation and give it a name for easy access and identification later. Include who you want, drop who you don’t want, and leave the conversation whenever you’re done. You can also turn on the Do Not Disturb feature so that you won’t get interrupted by the continuous thread when you’re in the middle of something more important. Then go back and read through the silly banter between your friends when you have more time. When you’re planning a get-together, you can share your location so that all the people in your group will be able to meet up when you’re trying to find each other.
This version brings the biggest changes to the keyboard since the first iPhone. You can get 3rd-party keyboards as well as suggested next-words and predictive text, based on your past conversations and writing style.
As with any new device, it’s often a good idea to wait a little while – for other people to try it and iron out the kinks – before you jump right in, unless you’re just adventuresome and impatient and want to be that first one to try something new. Here’s a helpful link with information about just that. While you’re learning fun new things to do with your iPhone, check out Alisa’s previous article about Protecting your Apple Device, and refer to Richard’s Monoprice article about ordering a new case for iPhone 6 (which comes preloaded with iOS 8).
Cheryl Sklar With over 25 years of experience in sales, marketing and general coordination, Cheryl uses her varied organizational skills to enhance the behind the scenes workings of Network 1. She strives to help things run smoothly wherever she can.
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Network 1 Consulting is a 16-year-old, IT Support company in Atlanta, GA. We become – or augment – the IT department for law firms and medical practices. Our IT experts can fix computers – but what our clients really value are the industry-specific best practices we bring to their firms. This is especially important with technology, along with regulations and cyber threats, changing so rapidly. We take a proactive approach to helping our clients use technology to gain and keep their competitive advantage.