Apple releases iOS 8

After more than three months in beta, iOS 8 brings actionable notifications, improved group chat support, new picture and voice messaging features in Messages, Continuity and Handoff, third-party Today widgets in Notification Center, sharing extensions and much more. Apple has released iOS 8 for almost all of its devices that run iOS 7. The full list of supported devices is as follows:

  • iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad with Retina Display, iPad mini, iPad Air, iPad mini with Retina Display
  • iPod touch, fifth-generation

iOS 8 is now available as an over-the-air update or through iTunes. Go to Settings -> Software Update on your iOS device to update right now. Naturally, iOS 8 will come preinstalled on Apple’s latest iPhones, the 6 and the 6 Plus.

iOS 8 adds new group messaging controls to the Messages app, a new focus on voice messages (using the microphone to record soundbites to send to friends) as well as quick shortcuts to picture attachments. You can also respond to incoming messages without losing your place in the system, by swiping down on the notification to reveal a quick-reply text box. Quick access to recent and favorite contacts is now accessible in the multitasking view,  at the top of the screen.

The update also adds a ‘QuickType’ word prediction bar along the top of the keyboard, to speed up text entry. With Continuity, you can now carry on your SMS conversations across iPhone and iPad. However, note that this feature has been delayed until October, to coincide with the launch of Yosemite.


In Mail, swiping on table cells does more than simply delete messages. You can mark as read, flag, archive or delete with the various quick action shortcuts that are presented. This is customizable in Mail settings, too, if you want a different configuration. Mail also makes the New Message view less modal in iOS 8. You can now drag it down to the bottom of the screen, midst composition, to reference another email in your inbox. Simply tap on the docked ‘window’ to restore it. It’s a UI interaction that I really like and hope becomes more pervasive across the system.

The Health app is a brand new addition for iOS 8, as well. It acts as a central location for all your health and fitness data. You can view charts of anything that is being tracked and favorite specific statistics to view on your Dashboard. The Health app is an integral part of the Apple Watch, which will be available early in 2015.

Whilst the Health app is exclusive to iPhone, the iPad has some device specific enhancements too. Most notably in Safari, there is a brand new tab view for iPad. It collects tabs into groups based on hostname, making management of multiple websites a lot easier to deal with. You can simply drag and drop tabs to rearrange them. iCloud Tabs are now visible below this grid view, reminiscent of the iPhone interface. You can pinch-zoom in both directions to enter and exit the tab overview mode. It feels really fluid and smooth, even on older hardware.

Spotlight search has also been overhauled with some new features across both iPhone and iPad. You can now search for nearby points of interest, movie times, news and much more right from the search box on your Home Screen. Spotlight will also flag up Wikipedia articles about your query inline.


Much of iOS 8 relies on developers updating their apps to support the new technologies, which is happening as we speak. Soon, apps like Facebook will show buttons in their notifications to quickly act upon their content, contextually. The Health app will also become much more powerful when third-party developers integrate with HealthKit to supply the app with more information. You can also add third-party widgets to Notification Center, as long as the app includes one.

iOS 8 Launching on September 17

Apple has announced that iOS 8 would be released on September 17 as a free download.

ios 8

The new version on iOS will be available for iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, the 5th generation iPod touch, iPad 2, iPad with Retina Display, iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad mini with Retina Display.

Capo touch brings music learning to iOS, Mac version adds iCloud Sync and more


Earlier this year we showed you Capo, the software that turns your iTunes library into songs you can learn to play on guitar, when version 3.0 of the music learning software for Mac was  released.

Today SuperMegaUltraGroovy is releasing the first mobile version of that powerful software for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and the developers are updating the Mac version with brand-new features as well.

Using Capo touch on iOS is as simple and easy as you would expect featuring super fast access to music stored locally on your device with cool features like the ability to speed up and slow down music as well as suppress the vocals of a song to focus on the music.

iOS 8 lets apps quick easy login in Safari

iOS 8 lets apps access Safari AutoFill credentials for quick & easy login

In iOS 8, Apple is making the process of logging into apps a much smoother experience by allowing native iOS apps to access usernames and passwords stored in Safari. The new feature, which works by letting iOS apps tap into Safari’s AutoFill & Passwords feature, will allow users to login to apps with a simple tap rather than having to type login info. Imagine your username and password are stored in Safari’s AutoFill for Facebook, for example. When launching the native Facebook iOS app, the feature will let users select from passwords stored in Safari to quickly login (as pictured above with Apple’s demo “Shiny” app).

The new feature will first require developers to support it by associating their apps with their websites. The process involves developers adding one file to their website and one new entitlement to their iOS app in order to verify the services are

associated. They will then be able to take advantage of a couple easy to use APIs that let them request credentials stored in Safari and present them to the user at log-in. For apps that don’t have associated login data stored in Safari yet, apps using the feature will be able to save and/or update to Safari AutoFill and iCloud Keychain directly from within the app. The feature makes the process of logging into web apps and native apps more seamless, allowing both to access the same stored credentials from Safari.


Apple said it hopes the feature will increase app engagement and solve the problem of users leaving apps while getting frustrated with the login experience. Safari’s AutoFill & Passwords are also synced to iCloud Keychain, allowing you to access the Safari credentials in apps across all of your devices including Mac.

It’s part of Apple’s push for “Continuity” in iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite, which allows users to seamlessly transition from an app or task on one device to another across iOS and OS X. Apple’s Handoff Continuity feature also attempts to bridge the gap between web apps and native apps. While it allows users to easily transition between native iOS apps to OS X apps— imagine picking up where you left off in a document across platforms—  it will also allow app developers to send users to an associated website if a native app isn’t available.

iOS 8 time lapse feature

As shown in our recent top hidden features article, iOS 8 has a new built-in time-lapse camera mode. This feature will allow you to explore the world of time-lapse photography and capture stunning visuals. This is definitely a nifty little feature, but thanks to a new video posted by YouTuber iTwe4kz, we now have a good look at what this mode is capable of on an iPhone 5s.

In the video below, iTwe4kz shows off the time-lapse mode in various situations. The demonstration is nothing short of amazing and hopefully this feature makes it to the public release of iOS 8. What do you think about this new camera mode? I probably won’t use it very often, but it’s nice to have the option.

Top 10 useful features of iOS 8

These are just a few of the excellent features iOS 8 to offer. Be sure to check out the full top 10 list below :

  • Quick Reply (Banners and Alerts)
  • QuickType
  • Audio/Video reply
  • Do Not Disturb for Messages
  • New Mail app options
  • Spotlight Suggestions
  • Photos app editing features
  • “Hey Siri” command
  • Favorite and recent contacts in app switcher
  • Edit Notification Center features


iOS 8 concept video

The video features a mockup iPhone 6 handset with an edge-to-edge display and no discernible Touch ID home button. The presentation style and background audio takes its inspiration from Apple’s own highly polished product videos.

The video shows a revised iOS 8 notification center with multiple panes that allow you to swipe between a “Today” view, a calendar view and a messages view. Items are actionable, allowing you to tap an unread email and open the mail app in a slide-up shade, which can be swiped down when you are done reading.

Pulling from the most recent round of rumors, the concept envisions a Healthbook app that syncs with the iWatch, a supercharged Siri with Shazam and an even better version of Apple’s new CarPlay feature.

HTML5 iOS app demos to interactive ads on mobile phone

I’ve covered a few times in the past. The service, which allows app devs to deploy fully useable HTML5 demo versions of their native iOS apps on the web, first launched under the name “Kickfolio” back in 2012. The goal for the company was originally to let devs bring demos of their apps to promotional webpages and it eventually expanded the platform to include Facebook and other channels. Today, and around 2 million interactive app demos later, the company is announcing that it’s bringing those same app demos directly to mobile devices as interactive ads.

The ads go a step beyond the interactive app-like experience that Apple promised, but never quite delivered, with iAd, and allows users to play a demo of the app before deciding to purchase/download or even visit the App Store at all. The ad starts off as a banner or like any other ad but turns into a demo version of a native iOS app that is fully playable for a set period of time before prompting the user to visit the App Store. The company tells me in its initial tests it saw “3-5x higher conversion rates than normal mobile ads.”