I like Apple's Maps app, but a number of times it's taken me to a location that simply didn't exist: an Indian restaurant, a zoo, a hotel in a small town, a Chinese restaurant. I diligently follow Siri's directions and when she says I've arrived, the establishment in question is nowhere to be seen. And in several of these cases probably never existed. If you've had similar problems and prefer maps from third parties such as Google, you can now conveniently access these maps from within Apple's Maps app.
Often when you're searching the web for some particular bit of information, your search pulls up a long page of text. But you then have no idea where on that page to find the information you're looking for. The next step is to search within the page. The way to do that on iOS devices is simple, but not obvious.
In an earlier tip I covered the new swipe options in Mail that let you quickly mark an email as read/unread, as well as delete, flag, or archive an email. Plus, tapping the More option gives you access to all the other email actions. iOS 8 also includes the ability to customize these gestures, though the options are somewhat limited. And you can even turn them off, if you so choose.
One of the useful features of email is being able to see exactly when an email was sent. However, unlike Mail, the default view in Messages doesn't show the time when messages in a thread were sent. Messages are time-stamped just as emails are—you simply need to know how to view the time stamp.
One of the great new features in iOS 8 is the ability to send an audio message. Sometimes it's simply a lot more convenient to make a quick recording than it is to type a message. Why not simply call the person? Because convention requires that we then engage in conversation. An audio message is more efficient. And the party you're sending it to can listen at his or her convenience rather than having to answer the phone.
One of the great features of our mobile devices is the ease with which we can share photos and videos. You can use your iPhone or iPad to send multiple photos via email or messaging. Note that there's a limit of five photos via email, but not via messaging.
I greatly enjoyed today's Apple event introducing the new iPads and iOS 8.1. But I didn't get what I was hoping for: a new iPad mini with all the features of the new iPad Air 2. Yes, we got a new iPad mini 3, but apparently it's the same as the previous version with the addition of Touch ID. As you can see in this comparison chart, we now have five iPad models to choose from: iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini, iPad mini 2, and iPad mini 3. As is typical, the new iPads with more features have been introduced at the same price as the older models, and the price of the older models has dropped. Perhaps the biggest news is that the memory configurations of the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 now match those of the new iPhones: 16, 64, and 128 GB. That means for the 64 and 128 GB models you're paying $100 less than for a similar amount of memory in the earlier iPads. And both the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 come with a gold-colored option.
You may have had the experience of working on a draft of an email but then needing to look at a different email in your inbox. But the draft obscured the screen and couldn't be quickly be pushed aside and then returned to. Fortunately, Mail in iOS 8 has remedied this situation. You can swipe away a draft, access your other email, and then quickly bring it back into view to continue working on it. This is typically referred to as "minimizing" the email draft.
Once again I'm really looking forward to an announcement from Apple. Thursday's event will be live streamed and will likely introduce the next iPad Air and a new retina iMac. Beyond that, not much is known. The iPad Air 2 is expected to have Touch ID and an 8-megapixel camera. In addition, it's expected to come with the new A8 processor, which is remarkably more efficient than the previous A7, meaning the battery can be smaller while offering greater performance. The iPad Air 2 is also rumored to include an anti-reflective screen coating, which would be a nice feature. However, rumors say that the Apple is having problems producing this new type of display, which may constrain supplies of the new iPad for a while.
One of the useful new features of iOS 8 is the ability to view the desktop version of a website in Safari rather than the mobile version — saving me a lot of frustration. For years I’ve had a personalized Yahoo page that's well organized into three columns: 1) stocks, sports, weather, 2) top news, science news, Doonesbury, and 3) Apple news sites. So it was really disorienting when I would go to my Yahoo page on my iPad and all the news feeds would be in two columns with the order all jumbled up. The first time I used this new iOS 8 feature to request the desktop site, my response was: hallelujah!