Wednesday, September 17, 2014 [Tweets] [Favorites]

iOS 8 Review

Nick Heer:

It is for this reason that I will be writing a review of iOS 8 in two parts. The first part, which is what you’re reading now, is a review of the first-party aspects of iOS. It is truly a review of iOS 8, not apps built for iOS 8. The second part, which will be released in weeks-to-months, is a review of what is possible when third-party developers get ahold of the thousands of new APIs available to them.

This is what I have gleaned from using iOS 8 every day since June 2 on my primary (and only) iPhone 5S and my Retina iPad Mini.

[…]

That’s not to say that there aren’t problems with it. I’ve pointed out a number already, and I’m sure we’ll hear more reports as users update. It’s not without its flaws and its bugs. But I think iOS 8 is the biggest iOS release for users and the most exciting opportunity for developers since iOS 2.0. It’s really that big of a deal.

Andrew Cunningham:

Apple still holds the keys to many aspects of the iPhone and iPad user experience, but compared to past versions of the software iOS 8 represents an opening of floodgates. Don’t like Apple’s software keyboard? Replace it. Want sports scores and updates on your eBay auctions in your Notification Center? Here’s a widget, throw ‘em in there. Want to use a social network or a cloud storage service that Apple hasn’t explicitly blessed and baked into the OS? Cool. Here are some APIs for that.

[…]

Still no public transit directions in Maps.

[…]

Not all of the features advertised at WWDC were actually done in time for release.

Andrew Cunningham:

The iPhone 4S was Apple’s last to use the original 3.5-inch iPhone screen size, which is now the smallest of four different phone screens that Apple supports. iOS 8’s new stuff is all about fitting more information on those larger screens, whether we’re talking about predictive typing, new Mail sorting options, Notification Center widgets, or Spotlight suggestions. The 4S’ screen has always been small, but iOS 8 can make it feel cramped.

[…]

The iPhone 4S made the jump to iOS 7 relatively gracefully, though, and it’s fine with rendering all of the fancy transparency and translucency effects. We were expecting speed to stay roughly the same in the jump from iOS 7 to iOS 8, more or less as it did when we moved from iOS 5 to iOS 6 on the 3GS. Testing some application launch times under both operating systems reset those expectations. […] Again, we’re not looking at an iPhone 4-level situation here, but iOS 8 can add as much as 50 percent more time to the same task compared to iOS 7.

Casey Johnston:

Generally [on an iPad 2], iOS 8 is noticeably slower and choppier than iOS 7, in everything from opening apps to typing. Back when we switched from iOS 6, we complained about how we could get 10 characters into typing something before the keyboard realized what was happening. This problem has returned with a force in iOS 8, especially on first opening an app. Screen rotation is stuttery, and any time some part of the OS needs to slide into place (text centering, apps minimizing), it can’t do it smoothly.

Rene Ritchie:

iOS 8 feels like Apple took every wish list item on the web and checked them off one-by-one. Interactive notifications? Done. Widgets? Done. Inter-app communication, custom keyboards, document picker? Done. Done. Done. […] In this case, believe the hype. iOS 8 is in every way the biggest functional release for iPhone and iPad since the App Store.

Update (2014-09-18): Graham Spencer:

Just like we have in the past few years, we like to find those little gems that come with every brand new version of iOS. So in this post, you’ll find dozens and dozens of tips, tricks, and details of iOS 8 that we’ve collected throughout the summer since the first beta release of iOS 8.

Brandon Chester:

Given that the iPad 3 I have for testing falls into both the Apple A5(X) camp and the iPad camp, I won’t be updating it to iOS 8. While the new features like SMS Relay will be nice, the missing features and issues like keyboard lag outweigh the benefits of updating.

Despite my concerns, iOS 8 makes me feel excited for the future more than anything else. Apple’s steps to open up more options for customization by developers and users on iOS marks a significant departure from their previous releases. It’s not Android but it isn’t meant to be. It brings new features and capabilities that are implemented in a very Apple-like manner, for better or for worse. I don’t think it’s going to do much to sway Android fans toward iOS, but it gives a lot of reason for current iOS users to stay with Apple.

Update (2014-11-07): Dan Frakes:

Here are some of my favorite iOS 8 features, in no particular order, with an emphasis on things that haven’t been exhaustively covered elsewhere. I hope you discover something new and useful.

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