iOS 8: A Take Control Crash Course
by Josh Centers

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Table of Contents

A Look at Apple’s Apps

Apple includes numerous apps in iOS 8, including a couple of formerly optional apps: iBooks and Podcasts. But you can download many other Apple-developed apps from the App Store You can see some in the figure below . I also talk About Handoff in this chapter.

① 	Apple offers a number of free, useful apps. (The Beats Music app is free, but the service requires a subscription fee.)

① Apple offers a number of free, useful apps. (The Beats Music app is free, but the service requires a subscription fee.)

AirPort Utility

If you own an AirPort base station, you need the AirPort Utility app, which lets you view and manage recent AirPort base stations, much like the identically named utility on your Mac . It’s particularly handy for checking device status and then restarting the base station if need be.

② 	If you use an AirPort base station, AirPort Utility is essential for diagnosing network issues from your couch.

② If you use an AirPort base station, AirPort Utility is essential for diagnosing network issues from your couch.

Note: To learn more about working with AirPort Utility in iOS check out Glenn Fleishman’s Take Control of Your Apple Wi-Fi Network.

Apple Store

You can use the Apple Store app to buy products from Apple’s online store, but it’s also useful for scheduling Genius Bar appointments , and you can even use it to pay for products at physical Apple Stores without human intervention. The app also frequently offers a free weekly download from one of Apple’s digital stores, so it’s worth opening every week or so.

③ 	The Apple Store app lets you buy Apple products and schedule Genius Bar appointments.

③ The Apple Store app lets you buy Apple products and schedule Genius Bar appointments.

Tip: If you’re the type who orders Apple devices the minute they’re available—often in the middle of the night—you’ll want to know that the Apple Store app will sometimes let you make a purchase even when Apple’s site is overloaded.

Beats Music

Although it was acquired by Apple, Beats Music fits right into the lineup . Beats Music is a unique streaming music service with an emphasis on human curation. The app is free, but the service costs $9.99 per month, with a 14-day free trial. For an in-depth look, see my TidBITS article FunBITS: What Sets Beats Music Apart.

④ 	Beats Music focuses on human curation, but it also offers a unique way to make playlists: The Sentence, which lets you tailor your music to your mood.

④ Beats Music focuses on human curation, but it also offers a unique way to make playlists: The Sentence, which lets you tailor your music to your mood.

Find My iPhone

If you were wise enough to enable Find My iPhone on any of your Apple devices (see Setting up Find My iPhone), then the corresponding Find My iPhone app (which works on all iOS devices) is a must.

From the app, you can locate a lost device on a map. And, if you can’t find it (or are afraid that it has fallen into the wrong hands), you can tell it to erase itself. One of my favorite features lets me play a homing chime on a lost device, even if it’s in silent mode. This is handy when I’ve misplaced the iPad in my house. Again.

Find My Friends

While Messages can now help you keep tabs on friends (see Share Your Location), its tracking powers pale to those of the Find My Friends app . Its map shows everyone who has shared locations with you, and lets you set alerts for when someone arrives at or leaves a location.

⑤ 	Find My Friends lets you keep tabs on your family and friends.

⑤ Find My Friends lets you keep tabs on your family and friends.

GarageBand

One of the coolest iOS apps is GarageBand. GarageBand is essentially a multitrack recording studio that lets you create music on your devices. GarageBand has a virtual keyboard, guitar, bass, drums, and more, plus the capability to use MIDI input from external instruments.

iMovie

The included Photos app offers some basic video-editing functionality, but iMovie expands on those capabilities, letting you turn those video clips into full-featured productions with title cards, video filters, and more.

⑥ 	iMovie lets you splice clips together to create full-length movies.

⑥ iMovie lets you splice clips together to create full-length movies.

iTunes Movie Trailers

Do you like movies? Do you want to see trailers for upcoming movies? Then iTunes Movie Trailers is the app for you.

iTunes U

If you’re at all interested in education, you need iTunes U. The app offers all sorts of courses—at all levels of instruction—(often) for free, and lets teachers and students manage and follow entire classes.

iWork

The iWork suite—Pages, Numbers, and Keynote—lets you create and edit documents , spreadsheets, and presentations, respectively.

⑦ 	Pages is a full-featured word processor for your iOS devices that can sync to its Mac and Web counterparts through iCloud Drive.

⑦ Pages is a full-featured word processor for your iOS devices that can sync to its Mac and Web counterparts through iCloud Drive.

Each app can be configured to sync files through iCloud Drive, so those documents are available on all your devices (including your Mac), and even on the Web.

Note: To learn how to use Pages, I recommend Take Control of Pages, by Michael E. Cohen.

Whither iPhoto

If you’re a fan of Apple’s iPhoto software for editing and organizing your photos, prepare for disappointment. Apple is officially dropping iPhoto for both Mac and iOS in favor of the Photos app on both platforms, and on iCloud.com.

iPhoto will not run in iOS 8, and if you try to launch it, you are prompted instead to use Photos.

Remote

Do you hate losing your Apple TV remote? Or do you just hate the Apple TV remote itself? The Remote app can control your Apple TV—or iTunes on your Mac—and in some cases do a better job of it. For example, it’s much easier to browse and search your media library using the app than with the Apple TV remote.

Note: For more on how to make the most of Remote with your Apple TV, check out my book, Take Control of Apple TV.

About Handoff

New in iOS 8 and Yosemite, Handoff that lets you seamlessly transfer your work between devices. For example, you can start drafting an email message on your iPad and switch to your iPhone to finish, or you can hand a Web site from iPhone’s Safari off to your iPad.

Apple’s Mail, Maps, Messages, and Safari apps support Handoff, and developers can add Handoff to their apps.

Handoff Hardware Requirements

Handoff requires an iOS 8 device with a Lightning connector, so the older iPhone 4s, iPad 2, and iPad 3 can’t play.

On the Mac side, Handoff needs a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, or Mac mini from 2012 or later; or a 2013 Mac Pro.

Using Handoff

  1. Be sure Handoff is enabled in Settings > General > Handoff & Suggested Apps.
  2. Open an app that supports Handoff and begin working in a message or document.
  3. Now, switch to a different device.
  4. If the receiving device is asleep, wake it and look for an app icon in the lower left of the Lock Screen—for example, if you were viewing a Web page in Safari, you see a Safari icon . Slide that icon up (entering your passcode, if needed) to complete the handoff.
    ⑧ 	To accept Handoff data, slide the app icon up on the Lock screen.

    ⑧ To accept Handoff data, slide the app icon up on the Lock screen.

    Or, if the receiving device is awake, double-press the Home button to bring up the App Switcher, then swipe to the right, past the Home screen preview, to reveal the Handoff app . Tap it to open the app and complete the handoff.

⑨ 	You can also accept Handoff data from the App Switcher, to the left of the Home screen.

⑨ You can also accept Handoff data from the App Switcher, to the left of the Home screen.

If there is a discrepancy between two apps—for example, if you start an email message using an account that doesn’t exist on the other device—you’ll see a communication error.

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“To see a Handoff on a Mac, click the activity icon at the left/top of the Dock or Command-Tab into the App Switcher.”

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