Operating system is like the brain of the mobile, smartphone or even computers; therefore it has to be perfect, ideal and flawless to keep the machine working smoothly without any stoppages or troubles at every step. These machines are known as artificial intelligence or intelligent machines. This intelligence has to match with the purpose of the machine and perform accordingly. In these machines we have hardware and software which combined produces the results. This is the expertise of the design engineers to make the hardware and again the design engineers to produce the software. Presently we have some famous software working in mobile and smartphones. Namely they are Android, Microsoft and iOS by Apple. Here we are talking about iOS, specifically the iOS 8.
Home Screen Customization
Basically iOS7 and iOS 8 are similar and users do not find any difficulty in shifting from iOS7 to iOS8. The home screen with the lock screen feature has the same transition, animation is the same. However Apple did not announce the change in user interface design because they have not many changes otherwise.
It is like iOS7, you can unlock the handset with the swipe or with the PIN code or if available with the finger print scanner if it is equipped with touch screen ID. You can access all applications like camera, notification panel, control center or Siri from the lock screen. If you download any new application it goes to the home screen from where you can group it in the relevant category.
So long we have been saying that there is no change but here is the change. Apple has added a library of 16 wallpapers consisting of nature and space images. The sharp contrast between black and white makes it more legible. However Apple has added parallax effect which you can disable. Apple has not told us whether we can download the new wallpapers or not.
Pulling down from the top of the screen will take you to the notification center and you need only two tabs instead of three and it will take you to the list of notification. The new change we find is Today tab and you don’t find weather forecast instead it has a tiny icon instead of big one as on the previous handset. Scrolling down will take you to calendar, reminders, stocks, tickets and all the widgets that you have put in there are no third party widgets. They will be available in the apps store with the updates whenever they come you can re arrange them on your liking. So far the notification list is concerned we can arrange it date wise or manually as we desire. In case of manual arrangement you can put them in order of priority according to your schedule. If you want to delete any notifications you can do it with one press on the “Clear” button and it will dismiss all.
iOS 8 allows you to keep actionable notifications that is to say that you may the taking action on. On receipt of a message you can start writing the reply instead of going back lock screen. iOS8 has made enjoyable actionable notification. They can further be improved with updates coming later.
SMS and Quick Type
Apple realize is messaging is most commonly used application and has take special attention to it. You can attach photos and videos to your eye messages with more convenience. It has a redesigned button for it. Press it once and you see the whole list of resend images. Long press the same button will take you to the camera and attach voices. Press and hold the relevant button to start recording and you can record audio with the swipe. iOS8 gives you an option to mute or leave a group chat. The heavy texter would be too happy to use this feature. You can inform about your current location for specific time. It also gives you the option of viewing all images in threaded form. Apple has made messaging a fun and more versatile.
Besides messaging in iOS8 you have the facility of on screen key board. It is featured with word prediction facility which helps the user to type faster by providing relevant suggestions in according to the text. It will automatically set the suggestions based on most commonly used words and would prompt on a proper occasion. If it detects a question, it will give you the proper or suitable response. If you are not satisfied with the on screen key board you can download a third party application and try it from yourself.
iOS 8 has another wonderful feature embedded in it namely, “Spotlight Search”. If you are familiar with iOS 8 you can use this application to search anything. You can search your contacts or weather in London, any music or if you are interested in politics you can search the current news. Movies and songs on iTunes or the nearest place of the recreation are only a click away. Spot search has more ability it can search through users’ applications email, contacts, reminders and prior to pass the query to Wikipedia or Google.
Talking about the question and the queries, Siri has been trained more; it can listen to your question by starting with “Hey Siri” and then speak out your query or command. The sound commands only works when the devices connected with charger or Siri application has been launched. The prompt “Hey Siri” would not react in normal home screen or phone lock position. Others operating system like Android have this application always on but Apple has considered not to keep it active all the time to avoid any misuse by any unauthorized person.
Siri has another feature known as Shazam integration for asking the information like “What is this Song?” or any specific question that Siri listen. If the search is appropriate the details of songs delivered to you with in a seconds. This is not enough Siri is improved more and detect 22 languages.
iOS 8 has a more mark able multi tasking menu. If the users tab the home button twice iOS 8 displayed currently used apps and show most recent contact used by the users. This is one of the efficient feature add in iOS8. If users tab the contact list they are able to call or send the sms to the required contact quickly.
Camera and Image Editing Apps
The camera applications in iOS 8 are much improved and users are quite happy with those applications. The applications are simple and easy to use. The application interface is similar but comes with few new features. Self timer is one. You can also set the delay of 3 to 10 seconds before shooting. You set the camera press the button and go in front make the pose and be ready for the photography. Camera will automatically start shooting after the set delay in burst mode.
There is another improvement in the camera application with further facility for the user. It is manual control. You want a specific point at the center of focus just hold down your finger on that point and camera will lock at that point and still you have the choice of moving the point of focus from one to another just by sliding your finger to that point and a slider will appear and lock that frame in focus. Even the professional and experienced photographers can also use this application.
In video recording you have the time leaps mode and will start shooting the video in a condensed manner meaning a video recording of long period is condensed into shorter video. In iOS 7 you had the option of editing the image after shooting but iOS8 allows you refine the image by adjusting light and color and also allows you to modify the light and color parameters having effect on many other factors to make the photography better. It automatically adjusts the contract and the brightness. Going into details what all other aspects of photography are effected would be confusing the user. It is enough to know that it has the camera that is full of wonders of its own.
Family sharing and iCloud drive
Apple iOS8 has extended its scope to other functionalities in the Cloud services. It has added iCloud drive that is compatible and works well with dropbox, Google drives and other cloud based services and features. iCloud drive is a very big thing and has the capacity to save your documents of all types; presentation, spread sheet, PDF files, images and so on. From iCloud you can access all your material from any iOS device Mac or PC. To add files is fairly easy and has no hassle involved. Just drag the relevant file and drop it to the dedicated folder on your pc if it has the iCloud client installed. Apple has more plans for extending this facility by allowing you 5GB of free data space. You can subscribe to it by just nominal expense of $1 a month and have 20 GB space at your disposal. If you need still more space like 1 TB you have to pay $20 a month.
Apple has offered another feature of Family Sharing which allows you to share your iTunes, iBooks and application store purchased without actually sharing the account. One credit card is enough for the group purchase. This application also allows you to share the location of the other members or you can track the device which you might have misplaced. But all this is still in the pipeline and will be released through an update near future.
Continuity and Handoff
This feature ensure functioning of all the applications simultaneously without any break and shifting from one to the other will not break the other running application and you will find the smooth functioning without any time leaps or break coming into it. The handsoff features will allow you to shift from your device to your computer and continue working from the point from where you left. You can attend your call without going back to your iPhone and attend it on a Mac. This is the advantage of your hand free feature. This feature is also coming in the near future when Apple’s Continuity OS X Yosemite update is released. Hopefully it will be done soon.
Recently there has been a stress given to the health indicators and health oriented features have been added in the operating system or the applications installed in the device. Certainly it is a health sign to make the owners of these devices more concern about their health and making them health conscious would actually make them healthy because they would be persuaded to follow the warning given by the device or the readings they get from the sensors.
The iOS 8 enables the iPhone to serve as health monitor and it keeps the track of your health readings in its health database. It provides you all your health information added by the users. Users can also add the data types and values on the health database manually. This health application set the center point of the users health and keep then aware completely by monitoring their weight, activity, hear rate, blood pressure, Blood RBS “ Sugar” and vitamin taken by the users in any form. Another amazing features is that the data automatically send to the doctor directly. User takes the blood pressure reading and the collected volumes are not normal. iOS 8 provides you many possibilities and here it leaves the task for the developers and producers of health monitoring devices to create and innovate new devices which are compatible with health indicators as provided by the iOS 8. We may not have yet covered all the features comprehensively and there still maybe more compressed into this wonder of human ingenuity. Probably iOS 8 will give a boost to the common man awareness about health and maybe able to manage it much better.
In the above paragraphs we have seen quite a few features of iOS 8 and yet may not have covered all of them in a comprehensive manner. At each component we are surprised what it is capable of and what all it can do. Just the features of the camera cover the entire photography. iCloud facility compensates for lack of computer and continuity gives it supreme quality of functionality.