Apple is all set to release iOS 8 on your Apple devices tonight. The newest upgrade by Apple will begin rolling out to Indian users at 10.30PM and will only be compatible with some Apple devices. To know which devices will be compatible with the new iOS 8, you can go here. Also Read - Apple AR/VR headset mass production may be delayed until end of 2022 : ReportAlso Read - Apple Watch Series 7 first look: Classy with lots of health features
iOS 8 comes with a slew of new features including the Health app and improved Photos and Messages app. It also includes Family Sharing, iCloud Drive, continuity between Apple devices and the ability to add third-party keyboards. A complete list of features can be viewed here. Also Read - iPhone sales record 150 percent growth in India during Q3 2021: Report
We give you a lowdown on the critique that Apple’s iOS 8 has received, before the global release reaches India tonight.
Reviewers feel that the design and layout hasn’t seen much change from the iOS 7. The appearance sees little change and Apple has focused on improving functionality rather than the design.
Engadget’s Brad Molen says,
To be fair, much of the focus on iOS 7 was on getting developers up to speed on the design overhaul; iOS 8, on the other hand, is all about adding functionality to the iPhone and iPad. As a result, you’re not going to see many significant changes to the layout or design of iOS this time around. In fact, you may not even be able to tell the difference between iOS 7 and 8 unless you’re looking closely. But don’t let looks deceive you: There’s a lot of new stuff under the hood.
The Guardian’s Charles Arthur agrees,
There s no radical change in appearance; instead, there are deeper changes, and an overall cleaning up of the interface.
Apple has readily borrowed a number of features from other third-party messaging apps like Whatsapp and Google Hangouts. The app now lets you send voice texts, video, share locations and leave group conversations among other things.
Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch says,
Best for me has been the ability to mute and leave group conversations, which is something I ve been sorely missing since the introduction of group iMessage conversations. My family can tend to get pretty chatty on these threads, and while that s generally fun, it can also be a huge distraction during work events, and during other times when I d appreciate not getting a whole lot of noise mixed in with my signal.
The Next Web’s Martin Byrant says,
These features won t set the world alight for everyone, but they work well and they re nice extras for people who send a lot of iMessages. That s especially true if you own a Mac as of course messages are synced there too.
The Photos app improves in iOS 8 with comprehensive searching that lets you find photos and videos by searching for date, time, location, album name and by providing contextual smart search suggestions, like offering to find all the photos you took in a certain place.
Etherington of TechCrunch feels that the new Photos overwhelms novice users with too many option.
Photos seems more intuitive overall, with one exception that might affect those like myself with multiple devices more than others: it effectively merges all libraries using your account for iCloud photo sharing, making it impossible to drill down and see what was local and what wasn t. This arguably keeps things simple for people who have an iPad and an iPhone and don t care about maintaining distinct libraries, but it could be trouble for married couples who share one account strictly for iCloud syncing, for instance.
The Next Web’s Byrant finds the new Photos app much more powerful than iOS 7.
The new Photos app is very similar to its iOS 7 predecessor, but it s far more powerful. Location and date-based search allow you to quickly find all your photos from all of your vacations in Hawaii, or combine with a date to get more specific. The editing tools built into Photos are far more powerful than before, including precise control over light and color settings. What s more, third-party apps can add editing features to the Photos app, and I m looking forward to seeing how this is exploited.
He also talks about the Camera app.
Meanwhile, the iPhone s Camera app has been upgraded with a Time Lapse video feature that works similarly to Instagram s Hyperlapse app without the clever image stabilization technique. So yes, a stand of some kind is ideal here (or just a very steady hand), but you can still create fun results. I d stick to Hyperlapse if you want a truly smooth handheld result.
Spotlight has additional features that now searches hotels, locations and other things even outside your device based on the keywords you put in.
PhoneArena’s Nick T says,
With iOS 8, Spotlight Search is even better at handling queries, returning results from more places than ever. Search results include current news, songs and movies on iTunes, nearby restaurants and POIs, even apps that aren’t in the user’s library. Of course, Spotlight Search still digs through the user’s apps, emails, contacts, and reminders, prior to forwarding their query to Google or Wikipedia. Suggestions are refreshed with each keypress, which makes searching even more convenient.
However, The Guardian’s Arthur found one problem.
While iOS 8 mostly brings good things, there s one area that s growing like Japanese knotweed: the number of settings, and their submenus. There are tons of new things in there – battery usage by app, the Family Sharing element in iCloud. But here s the problem: you can t find them via the Spotlight search interface.
Apple has made some iterations in its Notification Centre. It now lets you action on texts, email, calendar invitations, reminders, and even messages from apps like Facebook right from their notification banners without leaving the app you re working in.
Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch finds one problem. He says,
Notifications are now actionable; you can respond to each one without having to exit the app or game you’re currently using. But the problem is, if you aren’t looking at your screen when the banner appears, you’ll have no way of even knowing a notification is waiting for you.
Engadget’s Molen agrees,
I find myself using Notification Center more than ever. I’m frustrated that I have no way of knowing if anything’s in there until I actually take a peek.
The new Health app is an addition to Apple’s features. It’s basically a dashboard of your health and tness data. Apple has also created a tool called HealthKit for developers, which allows all health and tness apps to work together.
The Next Web’s Byrant feels,
Health currently lacks Apple s usual user-friendly sheen. There are a lot of text-based menus to scroll through here and it s not immediately clear what you re supposed to do with it. Once I added some manual data for my step count, Health started pulling an automatic step count from the M7 motion coprocessor on my iPhone 5s but it wasn t clear that this would start happening and there doesn t seem to be a way to switch it off if I wanted to.
WSJ’s Joanna Stern has a similar opinion. She says,
Apple’s Health app is nowhere near as compelling as Jawbone’s or Fitbit’s. It feels more like a medical report than a daily destination. It has the potential to be incredibly powerful, especially once it links up with the Apple Watch and third-party apps to analyze the collective data, but for now it’s unfriendly and confusing.
iOS 8 brings a lot of changes with respect to the keyboard. Now you can tap to choose the suggestion for your next word. Third-party keyboards like SwiftKey and Swype are also available.
Etherington of TechCrunch says,
The other side of the keyboard coin is that Apple has allowed third-party devs to build their own system-wide keyboard software in addition to improving the stock option. Even if it s currently a bit obfuscated, the feature is a very nice addition. It allows you to use software that provides ergonomic benefits over Apple s own for faster typing, and predictive engines that count on you being very casual about how you enter text, for instance. It can also really help those with visual impairments by giving them additional accessibility options for input beyond what Apple provides as system standard features.
WSJ’s Stern is excited about the new third-party keyboards. She says,
For years, the iPhone keyboard was stuck in the past, while Android allowed for alternative layouts and speed-typing tricks.Apple’s fresh QuickType keyboard suggests the next word you might type based on the context of your conversation, the person you are messaging and what app you are in. For me, it has replaced autocorrect. While predictive typing speeds things up, I’ve gotten even faster using third-party keyboards that Apple now lets you download from the App Store. I’ve been testing SwiftKey and Swype, both of which guess what word you want to type as you drag your finger around the keyboard. So far, SwiftKey seems to have learned my typing behavior better.
Reviewers have had mixed reviews about the iOS 8. Most of them were impressed by the Apple’s new operating system, albiet, some disappointments.
Engadget’s Molen feels,
The strengths of iOS 8 clearly outnumber the flaws. During my time with the new OS, I couldn’t help but wonder where many of these new features have been the last few years. Apple’s working hard to stay competitive, matching its rivals feature for feature. iOS 8 isn’t a ground-breaking update, then, but for Apple loyalists, this improved user experience is nonetheless great news.
PhoneArena’s Nick T says,
Of course, there are things that Apple could have executed even better. Additional customization options or a richer selection of pre-loaded widgets, for example, would have been welcome. Yet nevertheless, we’d gladly take iOS 8 as it is. Stay hyped, folks, as there’s a lot to be excited about!
The Next Web’s Byrant sums it up,
Even though the additional features here aren t all world-changing in their own right, they add polish and utility and the way third-party developers take advantage of them via the app updates that start to appear today will very quickly make iOS more your OS than ever before. And with Apple Pay and some serious graphical oomph from technology like Metal still yet to be exploited, this is an operating system that is going to keep giving us new things to play with for some time to come.