iOS 8: A Take Control Crash Course
by Josh Centers

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Table of Contents

What’s New in iOS 8

iOS 8 brings dozens of new features, but most are not immediately obvious. Here’s a list of nearly everything new in iOS 8, with links to relevant topics.

Extensibility

Apple is using Extensibility as an umbrella term for a number of new capabilities that developers can implement when creating apps:

① 	Developers can offer custom keyboards in iOS 8. An example is Swype (shown here), which lets you type by drawing over the keyboard.

① Developers can offer custom keyboards in iOS 8. An example is Swype (shown here), which lets you type by drawing over the keyboard.

Tip: The minimum hardware requirements for running iOS 8 are the iPad 2, iPhone 4S, or fifth-generation iPod touch. In my experience, iOS 8 performance on an iPad 2, iPhone 5, and iPad Air is roughly the same as that of iOS 7.

Continuity

Another umbrella term from Apple, Continuity makes working with multiple Apple devices more seamless (but see Continuity Requirements):

Continuity Requirements

Handoff, Instant Hotspot, and iOS-Mac AirDrop all rely on Bluetooth 4.0 networking to facilitate certain aspects of communication between devices. However, as it turns out, supporting Bluetooth 4.0 is not sufficient for a device to offer these features.

Here are the hardware requirements:

Relaying calls and text messages from an iPhone to a Mac or other iOS device requires only that the devices be running at least iOS 8.1 or Yosemite.

Keyboard

A third-party keyboard (mentioned earlier in this chapter) will appear on your device only if you install it, but these features are available by default:

To learn more about keyboards, read Commanding Keyboards in iOS 8 and iPhone 6 Quirks.

iCloud

Siri

② 	Siri can now listen to and identify songs. She’ll never give you up, let you down, or desert you.

② Siri can now listen to and identify songs. She’ll never give you up, let you down, or desert you.

For more on Siri, see Speaking to Siri.

More Changes

More for Developers

Along with the Extensibility features listed earlier, these iOS 8 developer options are noteworthy:

Note: To learn more about what Apple has made possible for developers, see Apple’s iOS 8 Developer page.

Accessibility

Highlights of changes include:

For more, see Accessibility in iOS 8.

Apps with Changes

③ 	In iOS 8, Safari can render 3D images with Web GL. Ooh, pretty!

③ In iOS 8, Safari can render 3D images with Web GL. Ooh, pretty!

Note: You can find basic instructions for checking what iOS version your device is running and for updating iOS in What iOS Version Am I On?, part of the free Read Me First book by Take Control editor in chief Tonya Engst.

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