Just in case you haven’t been avidly following Apple sites or even mainstream news related to the brand new version of the iPad and iPhone operating system, today is the day that iOS 8 will be released to the public. It is expected to be released at 10AM Pacific / 1:00PM Eastern.
iOS 8 brings a number of exciting new features to the iPad that greatly improve its interaction with the Mac, beefed up Photos and Messages apps, health-focused features, a much-improved iCloud, and third party keyboards.
Apple has a big, bold page devoted to what’s new in iOS 8 – it’s well worth a look to get yourself a little excited about what’s coming a little later today.
I’d also recommend taking a look at this short, sweet rundown of how to prep for iOS 8 at Macdrifter – it offers some simple steps to make the upgrade to iOS 8 as fast, easy, and effective as possible.
Last Wednesday night I installed the iOS 8 GM (gold master) build on my testing iPad mini. The GM should be identical or very near identical to the public release of iOS 8 coming this Wednesday. It took a while to get installed due to some issues with iTunes on my iMac, and then once I did I immediatley hit an awkward problem.
When I tried to download a new app in the App Store I was greeted by a message telling me that Paypal was not an accepted payment method on this version of iOS, and recommending that I go to iTunes on a PC in order to rectify the situation.
That sounded like nonsense to me, largely because I’ve seen similar messages stating that Paypal won’t be accepted on the App Store over the years, and they have always turned out to be untrue. So I chose to ignore this one and see what happened after a restart of the iPad and just leaving it alone for a while. I had installed the GM late one evening anyway, so I figured I’d just reboot and see what was up the next day.
And sure enough, the next day everything was fine and back to normal in the App Store on this iPad. I could buy new apps, make In-App purchases, and use the App Store just as I always have – without making any adjustment to Paypal as my payment method.
I don’t know whether this will turn out to be just a little glitch in the GM or whether it’s just Apple continuing to press people to add to the hundreds of millions of credit cards numbers it can throw up on screen in presentations.
In any case, I hope this may help some of you out if you happen to get a warning about Paypal not being accepted on iOS 8.
SwiftKey Keyboard, one of the more well-known and well-liked Android keyboards, will be making its way to iOS 8 very soon. In fact, according to Venture Beat it may be available when iOS 8 launches next week.
SwiftKey’s most notable features include predictive text and intelligent autocorrect, and it looks like it will be one of the first big name keyboards to come to the iPad and iPhone.
The video above is narrated by ‘British national treasure’ Stephen Fry, it’s beautifully done but doesn’t do the greatest job in actually showing off SwiftKey.
I’m as happy as anyone to see 3rd party keyboards finally make it to iOS, and I really can’t wait to see Swype and )hopefully) Google Keyboard hit the App Store.
I already talked about the 1Password iOS 8 extension in August, but here’s another great example of the power of extensibility. 9to5Mac showed a great video preview of a proposed Things 2.5 browser extension made possible by iOS 8. Not only can you create a new task from within Safari, but you can automatically add details like the webpage URL, and even add the selected text as a note.
That’s a lot faster than:
- Copying the URL manually
- exiting Safari
- loading Things up
- adding a new task
- naming the task
- adding a note
Extensions are the most exciting feature of iOS 8 by far, but they’re also the hardest to demo without showing actual third-party apps working as a cohesive system. It’s not long now until we get to enjoy this kind of interaction first-hand.
[I forgot to keep a QuickType screenshot, so I used this QuickType image from Macworld UK]
I tried the iOS 8 beta earlier this summer — right around beta 3 — and loved the experience. Texting from the iPad was great, the new full-screen Safari was great, but the absolute best feature to me was the new QuickType keyboard. I loved being able to blast through words with two or three taps, and glancing just above the keys to see what auto-correct was going to recommend. These modifications to the software keyboard made such a huge difference to how I approached text entry on the iPad. QuickType made typing feel more efficient, and it made auto-correct feel like it was there to actually help, instead of acting like a passive-aggressive jerk (“I know you didn’t mean to type duck, Thomas, but I don’t care”).
I’ve since downgraded to iOS 7 because there are some crucial apps (cough *Evernote* cough) that just don’t work on iOS 8 yet. However, the damage has already been done. I’ve noticed that I type a lot less on the iPad, unless I have a Bluetooth keyboard paired. The experience just isn’t the same. I’ll game, surf, and read on my iPad, but I leave most of the messaging and emailing to my iPhone or Mac. My taste of the beta has totally spoiled me.
This just makes me even more excited for the pending release of iOS 8. The new QuickType keyboard, alongside the slew of other third-party keyboards, are going to be game changers for productivity and messaging on my tablet. I’ve always wanted to be able to carry around just my iPad and Smart Cover, and I truly believe the new software keyboards we’ll see this Fall will allow me to do just that.
TouchPal is the first keyboard that supports swipe (or slide) typing to offer a video demo working on iOS 8. The demo shows swipe typing in action on an iPhone running an early iOS 8 beta.
It’s hard to gauge how well this TouchPal keyboard will work compared to other leading swipe keyboards just from a demo, but it’s great to see another company pushing ahead with support for this feature. TouchPal joins Swype, SwiftKey, and Fleksy on the list of 3rd party keyboards already in the works for iOS 8.
TouchPal have told Apple Insider that they’ll be making their keyboard available to test for some iOS 8 beta users ‘in coming weeks’. I’m going to need to jump in on one of the iOS 8 betas soon.
Image Via: How-To Geek
Last week Apple announced that iOS 8 will allow for 3rd party keyboards – and we’re already seeing some very good news in terms of keyboard offerings we’ll see for the next version of iOS. 3 leading makers of Android keyboards have all made clear that they are working on keyboards for iOS 8.
As MacStories reports, Swype, SwiftKey, and Fleksy have all announced plans for iOS 8 keyboards. They’ve even got a nice quite on the subject from a SwiftKey marketing exec:
“I think it’s obviously a wonderful day for anyone who wants to be productive and use iOS devices,” said Joe Braidwood, chief marketing officer for SwiftKey. “We believe we’ve built a great product that’s made it easier to type on touchscreens, and we’ve got a great community of Android users to prove it. We can’t wait to extend that to iOS. Ultimately, it means people have more choice, and we’re very excited about that.”
I couldn’t agree more and can’t wait to see the range of keyboard options and swipe typing options we end up with in iOS 8.
Apple’s WWDC keynote event yesterday was full of good news for iPad users and iOS and Mac fans too. Thomas did a great job of running down lots of the most exciting and powerful new iOS 8 features last night.
One of those that I am the most pumped up about is support for 3rd party keyboards. Swipe typing capability has been at or near the top of my iOS and iPad wish list for a long while now. With my new day job I now use a Nexus 7 heavily and my last 5 phones have all been Androids too. So I’ve become a huge fan of swipe typing. It is a pure joy to use and makes me far faster and more effective at taking notes at client sites, managing email and texts, and in so many ways when using my mobile devices.
Typing on the iPad has become a slow, frustrating experience ever since I discovered the joy of swipe typing.
In amongst all the impressive new features of iOS 8 I will definitely be getting some big-time satisfaction the first time I’m able to choose a great swipe typing capable keyboard as my system default on the iPad.
Which iOS 8 features are you most looking forward to on the iPad?
Today I found out that Apple has been snooping through my diary and reading iPad Insight. That’s really the only way they could have put out such a magical keynote for iOS 8 (and OS X) today that felt like it was plucked straight from a dream. Patrick already offered his quick impressions of the iOS 8 announcement, but because there is simply so much to talk about, I wanted to offer up some of the choicest bits gleaned from today’s presentation. Today was a veritable software feast, and I hadn’t realized how hungry I was.
Calls and SMS from iPhone, Handoffs
This is exactly the kind of experiential continuity I’ve been looking for from Apple. The iPhone on iOS 8 will now act as a sort of telephony hub for the iPad and Mac, allowing them to receive texts and calls, and respond to them. Handoffs seems like it could have some very interesting uses, almost like an anticipatory AirDrop functionality. There are so many times where I walk back to my Mac and want to view the webpage on my iPhone on a big screen. Handoffs will make that step even easier, and I’m looking forward to seeing third-party apps integrate this as well. I’m also really glad that Apple included third-party support for Handoffs right from the start, instead of making us wait another year.
Wow. I came home today to lots of exciting news on iOS 8 and some lovely new features it brings. I was at work all day and didn’t get a chance to follow Apple’s WWDC keynote event, or even any of the liveblogs covering it – first time in a long time I’ve been so late to the party for a major Apple event.
Anyway, in the last few weeks leading up to today’s event my expectations for iOS 8 and the iPad had sunk lower and lower. All the big rumors and ‘what to expect’ speculation centered on a health-focused app or hub, Touch ID coming to new iPads, and improvements to the Maps app.
Those 3 had my excitement level barely hovering above zero. The health focused stuff sounded great, but much more useful (and likely to be used) on a phone than a tablet. Touch ID would be nice, but I’ve never felt worked up about it, and I’m more than covered by the Google Maps app on all my devices.
So I thought today would be a bit of a snooze fest for me, at least in terms of things related to the iPad. And it looks like I was absolutely wrong. iOS 8 brings interactive notifications; a vastly improved iCloud; real, proper sharing between 3rd party apps; more clever and useful links between Macs and iOS devices, great new Photos features, family sharing, App Store enhancements, and one huge personal wish list item that I’ll talk about in a separate post.
Look out for Thomas’ post coming soon with a better roundup of what’s new and exciting in iOS 8. For now, I’m just happy to see how wrong I was with my low expectations.