iOS8 : What You Need to Know

September 23, 2014 Timothy Tablet Technology

Friday, September 19th has come and gone. Millions of iPhone 6 devices have been released into the world and along with it iOS 8. The Apple servers providing updates of iOS 8 have been busy with tens of millions more devices downloading the latest operating system. So, what about us? What about us mid to late adopters? Should we rush to join the pile up to upgrade? Perhaps.

Unlike iOS 7 which introduced the parallax view of floating icons and caused some individuals to experience motion sickness, iOS 8 is a relatively less renown update. Don’t mis-understand us, there are some very good features.

Security. The best reason to upgrade is improved security. Libertarians and privacy advocates will be exuberant over Apples decision to improve their already encrypted data storage. Apple improved their encryption scheme so well that even Apple itself cannot retrieve your data even if subpoenaed. Unlike earlier versions of iOS that left photos, emails and a few other files outside an encrypted partition, iOS 8 now encrypts everything stored on the device. Because the PIN one uses to unlock iOS is part of the encryption algorithm, Apple cannot retrieve your data in an easy to use format. That puts more emphasis on us, the users, to keep up with our various passwords and PINs. Word has already been leaked that Google will incorporate similar measures in future Android releases. iOS 8 users have a time to market advantage.

iCloud Drive. Having seen the success of Google Drive and DropBox, Apple is never one to be left behind. Apple’s iCloud Drive leverages their iCloud back up service. Simply set up an iCloud Drive folder on either your Mac or Windows PC and then drag and drop files. Your documents will be backed up to your iCloud account and synched to your iOS 8 device. Any changes you make on one device will be made to copies on all devices.

Family Sharing. Family Sharing allows up to six devices to share purchases from the App store, iTunes and iBooks. Designed for mostly family entertainment, the ability to designate one or more devices as a “parent” may enable a small group of business devices to not only share files via iCloud Drive, but also to share apps and books. Family owned and operated businesses should look into Family Sharing to reduce expenses.

QuickType. iOS 8 introduces and improved keyboard designed to make text messages easier. Predictive text will anticipate your words and enable you to type complete sentences with fewer taps. Allegedly, QuickType is smart enough to distinguish between email and SMS text and adapts to your style and vocabulary. Also, Apple has opened the keyboard to developers, so new third-party keyboards are forthcoming.

In addition to these key features, iOS 8 also adds improved photo management, short audio attachments to text messages, improved email management and shortcuts. If these are features you could use, you’ll want to prep your device for its upgrade to iOS 8. You’ll need to have about 2-3 GB available before you start the upgrade. If you need space, consider removing large, seldom used apps. You should be able to add them later from the App store after the upgrade.

As always, feel free to share you experience with iOS 8 in the comments below.

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About Timothy Lee

Tim, the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center's webmaster and technical training specialist, has been with ASBTDC since 1995. He retired from the U.S. Air Force with the rank of master sergeant. He's a bit gung-ho, turns cat food cans into cook stoves, and keeps packing ASBTDC equipment for rapid worldwide deployment, but he's your "go to" guy for technical solutions and full-scale disasters.

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