You know the drill: a new update for Fleksy is released and I inevitably give it a shot, despite the unbelievable instability of all third-party keyboards on iOS 8 thus far. I tried it out because the feature list here really is quite amazing:
- new themes (OK)
- new keyboard extension for GIFs (cool)
- new extension for a numerical pad (great!)
- new extension to help with cursor movement (cool!!)
- an even faster way to add punctuations (at last!)
The newly-added extensions are modular, and you can have three of them active at any one time. There are a few more of them, but I only tried the ones I was actually interested in today.
I actively tested Fleksy 5.0 at work and experienced at least 10 crashes across my iPhone and iPad, which is too bad, because this keyboard really is awesome. I really, really want to use it, but the stability in iOS 8 just isn’t there yet, and there are too many times where I’m left with a simply blank keyboard. It’s astounding that Apple hasn’t fixed this yet.
The Yahoo Weather iPad app was recently updated, to Version 1.6.5. It’s a nice little update to a very nice iPad weather app.
The star features of this update are new animated effects for lightning and frost, and updated designs for the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
I’ve seen other iPad weather apps with some great weather animations, but I love how Yahoo Weather combines those with actual stunning photos of my lovely hometown.
If you haven’t already checked this app out on your iPad, then you might want to take a look at my review of Yahoo Weather for iPad.
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I’ve now got all of my home videos across all of my devices, accessible via iCloud Photo Library. I’ve done a little bit of testing over the last few weeks and can now report on how iCloud Photo Library performs for on-demand video viewing.
First off, videos don’t ever appear to download as optimized versions. iCloud Photo Library has two storage options: downloading everything to your device, or downloading only “optimized” versions of your media. I chose the latter in order to save space. As such, in order to play anything that isn’t already downloaded, I’ve got to tap on a video thumbnail, tap on the Play button, and then wait a good 5–10s until the video begins to play. Even over Wi-Fi, playback at this point can still be a little spotty, and there have been multiple occasions where my videos have stopped in order to buffer more.
In practice, this delay in playback has actually killed a few opportunities to show a cool video I had on my iPad. I wanted to show a few workmates a choreographed dance I had filmed a year ago, but the buffering took embarrassingly long to happen, and we just ended up spending a good 30 seconds staring at a static screenshot of the video. Tagging a video as a “Favourite” doesn’t help pre-load it either. For iCloud Photo Library to be useful for video, an option to queue a video for download is needed (badly).
Photos also really needs to show which files have actually be downloaded — and to what extent. I want to see a simple icon or colour indicator over videos that have been downloaded to my device, instead of having to tap on thumbnails and just guess.
I like iCloud Photo Library well enough for photos, but it’s not really performing as expected for video. Given that I have it set to “optimize” my photos and videos, I would want my iPad to automatically download lower-res versions of all of my videos for quick playback, and then an option to download the full-res version for high quality playback. I understand that videos — especially at their current 1080p resolution — take up a lot of space and are tricky to stream, but this current system of tapping and guessing is not the right solution. iCloud Photo Library’s current setup doesn’t feel like the magic solution it’s marketed to be — and it’s ruining the illusion of the cloud as a reliable and immediate file system.
My thanks to Mobile Cloth for being a site sponsor again this week. I’ve been using them for years now and they’re still the best, fastest cleaning cloths for my iPad and all my other touch-screen devices. I always have at least one with me at work, and usually both sizes.
These really do make a cool stocking stuffer type gift for any of your friends or family with iPads, iPhone, mobile devices, and cameras that need to be kept clean and germ-free.
And there’s an iPad Insight reader discount code to use too:
Use promo code: CANE and receive 30% Off and Free Shipping on all orders over $15 at