With iOS 8, we finally got the ability to customize the interface by adding widgets to Notification Center. Now when you swipe down from the top of the screen to see the Today view in Notification Center, you have the opportunity to see many new items in addition to the standard ones that had been available in the past. New widgets you can add include sports scores, news, travel guides, calculator, dictionary and thesaurus, package tracking, task management, photos, and much more.
One of the most-requested features for the iPhone and iPad was the ability to add third-party keyboards, and Apple responded to that request in iOS 8. Popular keyboards such as Swype ($0.99) and SwiftKey (free) add many features, and can speed up text entry.
In a recent post I noted that iOS 8.1.1 is now available for download. This morning I added a sentence to that post reminding people to BACK UP FIRST. That's because it's not uncommon for something to go wrong when one updates. For example, when I updated to iOS 8, I encountered an error, and the only way to get my iPad out of it was to restore to factory settings. Doing so means that everything is lost. Fortunately, I had backed up first, so it wasn't a problem.
In iOS 7, deleting individual emails from your inbox in the Mail app was a multi-step process. You had to swipe left on the email preview and then choose Delete from the options that appeared. It's much faster in iOS 8.
When Apple announced that their keyboards would now have a predictive text feature in iOS 8, the general reaction was, "About time, Apple!" But it turns out there are some iOS users who find the feature really annoying. Fortunately it's easy to turn predictive text off in the native iOS 8 keyboard:
If you do a lot of texting, your Message app is probably clogged with old messages. Before iOS 8 you had to manually delete conversations or individual messages. Now you can set the app to automatically delete all messages older than 30 days or one year. The default setting lets you keep your messages forever, which could be handy if everything you write is a gem of unparalleled wisdom. Everyone else, read on:
You know when you want to show people that cute picture someone texted to you that you didn't bother saving to Photos? You don't have to scroll through endless conversations in Messages until you find it.
Whenever I see a breathtaking landscape, my first instinct is to pull out my iPhone and attempt to capture a picture of it. So many times I’ve snapped away with my camera, brimming with excitement, only to look into my Camera Roll and find that my pictures were disappointing at best. After all, there’s only so much you can capture in a standard photo.
That’s what panoramas are for.
In iOS 8 you can now quickly access your contacts via the App Switcher by double clicking the Home Button. If you don't want to look at a list of your favorite and most recent contacts every time you use the App Switcher, or if you don't want anyone else to easily see who you call or text most often, you can disable the feature in settings.
Swift's advanced collections can help you model more complex objects in your apps and create an API that is easier to understand and use. In this post, I model a chessboard using Swift's subscripts and also cover tuples and multidimensional arrays!
If you find it more convenient to listen to some text on your iPhone or iPad rather than read it, you can easily enable that capability. You might, for example, want your device to read a web page or ebook or other document to you as you drive. While this feature has been available for some time, note that iOS 8 gives a convenient new option for invoking speech.
You know when you're entering a long number in your iPhone's Calculator app and you mistype a digit or two? You don't actually have to hit clear and start over.
You can easily adjust the voice navigation volume in Maps up or down while using the navigation app by pressing the volume buttons on the side of your iPhone. But you probably don't want to discover you can't hear the voice navigation in Apple Maps and then have to mess with your phone while you're barrelling down the highway. A safer way to make sure the voice navigation is always at the right volume is to change Map's default volume.
If you share an iDevice with others, you may wish to keep parts of your web browsing history private. But what if you forget to turn on Private Browsing? You could clear your entire browsing history, but nothing says "I'm hiding things from you" more effectively. Fortunately iOS 8 offers more options for clearing your history more selectively.
There's no need for most apps to track your location at all times. However, before iOS 8, the only choices you had for location tracking was Always or Never. So if you wanted your photos to be tagged with the location in which they were taken, you had to allow the Camera app to always track your location, which could drain your battery and use your data unnecessarily. Now, iOS 8 allows you to set certain apps to only track your location while the app is in use.
In part 2 of this post on Swift's protocols, you will learn practical uses for declaring custom protocols in your own apps, and learn further how they improve the architecture of your apps and make them easier to enhance and extend.
In part 1 of this post, I demonstrated how to implement existing Cocoa Touch protocols in your apps. Now you'll learn how and why to create your very own. First, we need to cover the basic construction of a Swift protocol.
If you want to quickly call, FaceTime, or text a contact, there's no need to open any of the related apps. Those who have iOS 8 on their iPhone can quickly access Favorite and Recent contacts via the App Switcher.
Thanks to iOS 8, Apple lovers finally have access to widgets on their iPhones. But users will find some widgets more useful than others. Maximize their utility by deleting widgets you don't need to see in the Today view in Notifications and arranging the rest in the most convenient order.
You know the feeling—you hand your phone over to a friend or family member, intending to show them a single picture, and suddenly you’re watching in horror as they begin swiping through your 50+ selfies or stumble across your hoard of risqué photos. Thankfully, iOS 8 has introduced an easy way for you to hide your shots from prying eyes with its new "hide" feature.
Want more? Get our weekly newsletter: