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iOS 8: A Take Control Crash Course
Oct 31, 2014

iOS 8: A Take Control Crash Course

Learn iOS 8 essentials quickly and get more out of your iPad or iPhone!

Read on the Web: Because it’s part of our Crash Course series, you can read this book on the Web for free, though buying a copy provides a better reading experience and supports our authors. Thanks for being a mensch!

In this iOS 8 Crash Course, you’ll quickly master new (and old) features in iOS. Guided by TidBITS Managing Editor Josh Centers, you’ll get an overview of iOS 8’s new capabilities along with directions for putting them to use right away. In addition to explaining system features like Siri, Spotlight, and Notification Center, Josh helps you explore the new Health app, plus discover what’s different in iOS 8’s most-changed apps: Camera, Phone, Photos, Mail, Messages, and Safari.

Additional special topics cover accessibility, privacy, important apps to try, managing data usage, and improving battery life.

Inter-title Continuity! This book skims over the Continuity features that tie Macs and iOS devices together. For deeper Continuity directions, read Joe Kissell’s Digital Sharing for Apple Users: A Take Control Crash Course (notice the bundle deals at left).

More Info

You’ll find answers to questions like these:

  • How do I install a third-party keyboard, like Smile’s TextExpander?
  • How do I use iCloud Photo Sharing in Share sheets?
  • What do I tap to send a voice message in Messages?
  • Should I turn on iCloud Photo Library?
  • What do I ask Siri in order to identify currently playing music?
  • If I share my location in a group chat, is it shared with the chat or the people?
  • How does the 2-minute delete feature work for media in Messages?
  • How do I get quick access to Evernote and other apps in Notification Center?
  • Where did the search field and toolbar go in Safari?
  • How do I connect 1Password and Instapaper with Safari?
  • Which feature should I turn on to make buttons easier to see?
  • How do I hook apps into Apple’s new Health app?
  • Which apps are hogging my battery?
  • How do I tell Siri who my mother is so I can call her by saying “Call Mom”?
  • In Family Sharing, what should I expect from the Ask to Buy feature?
  • How do I find those cool Flyover tours in Maps?
  • How do I tell my iPhone to stop tracking my location?
  • How can I enable/disable the Zoom screen magnifier quickly?
  • How do I minimize an email message that I’m writing so I can check something else in Mail and then come back to it easily?

Crash course? As part of our new Crash Course series, this book splits the first-rate content you expect from us into short chunks so you can dip in and read quickly. Because so many Take Control readers provide tech support to others, each concise chapter has sharing buttons and practical tweet-tips, making it easy to freely share a few pages with Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and others who really need the information. Take Control Crash Courses have a modern, magazine-like layout in PDF while retaining a reflowable design in the EPUB and Mobipocket.


What devices will iOS 8 run on?

The minimum hardware requirements for running iOS 8 are the iPad 2, iPhone 4S, and fifth-generation iPod touch.

Update Plans

November 13, 2014 – We put a lot of work into this title at the end of October, in order to release it as fully covering iOS 8.1 as we could — and to zap out typos. Thus, at the moment, we have no particular plans to update this ebook! We’ll look again at the situation in early/mid 2015, just in case Apple has made changes that we want to include.

Posted by Tonya Engst

  1. Replace the Dots with Numbers to See Your Cellular Connection Strength

    When your iPhone connects with a cellular network, whether to access the Internet or to make calls, you should know that a weak cellular signal not only may affect data transfer speed or call quality but also requires your device to use more power — and that means your device’s battery drains more quickly. If your device’s five dot signal-strength indicator does not give you enough information about the strength of a signal (“is that 3-dot signal closer to a 2 or a 4?”), you can make your device show you the exact RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indication) measured in decibel-milliwatts. Josh Centers has written up the steps in TidBITS.

    Posted by Michael Cohen (Permalink)

  2. Josh Dishes iOS 8 Tips on MacVoices

    After the deluge of Apple releases in the last month, Josh Centers has both finished his book on iOS 8 and talked with Chuck Joiner of MacVoices about it. And it wasn’t easy: the many features in iOS 8 and 8.1 (including close integration with 10.10 Yosemite and new iPhone 6 features) caused the book to expand beyond the original plan and to keep Josh up late for weeks…in fact, Josh was so sleep-deprived when he recorded his interview with Chuck that he forgot the book’s price: it’s $15, not the originally planned $10 that he mentioned in the interview (and that those fortunate readers who pre-ordered the book paid).

    Posted by Michael Cohen (Permalink)

The Author

Josh Centers is the managing editor of TidBITS and a freelance writer who has written for Macworld, the Magazine, Boing Boing, and the Sweethome. He has been featured on Daring Fireball, the Loop, TUAW, and Scientific American, and is a frequent guest on MacVoices and the Tech Night Owl. He lives in Tennessee with his wife and children.