If you're like me, you spend a lot of time each day dealing with email. The new swiping gestures available for marking and flagging email messages in iOS 8 can save you some of that time. An earlier tip by Sarah Kingsbury explained how to swipe left to quickly delete messages. But you can also use swiping gestures to mark emails as read or unread or to flag them for followup, as well as every other function, such as forwarding or moving to another folder.
iOS 8 finally brought the ability to customize the iPhone and iPad interface by allowing you to add widgets to the Today screen in Notification Center. In an earlier post, I explained the simple steps for doing this. You simply swipe down from the top of the display to view the Notification Center and tap on the Edit button at the very bottom. This reveals widgets that are associated with apps that you already have installed on your device. You simply tap on the green button to add a widget.
Vidget (free) is different. Instead of being an app such as ESPN Sport Center with an associated widget, its sole function is to let you easily add a bunch of widgets to your Today screen, with about 20 different widgets currently available.
If you're concerned about battery life, you'll want to check out the new feature in iOS 8 that lets you see what apps are using your battery the most. This usage can simply result from your using an app a lot, but other times apps have background processes that drain the battery or the app isn't working properly. This feature gives you a clearer picture of what's going on.
I constantly use tabs in Safari. When I'm viewing a page and see a link I want to read — but without closing the page I'm currently on — I tap and hold the link to open it in a new tab. I sometimes have as many as a half dozen tabs open. And nothing is more frustrating than inadvertently closing a tab when it's something I haven't yet read. Fortunately, if that happens to you, there's a simple way to re-open recently closed tabs.
You've probably had the experience of listening to the radio and wondering the name of the song that's playing—maybe it's new to you and you're wondering who the artist is, or maybe it's familiar but you can't remember the name. Now with iOS 8, Siri can help. In the past, you could ask Siri to identify music playing on your device, but with iOS 8 you can ask Siri to identify any ambient music. And, conveniently, Siri also makes it easy to purchase the song or album.
Among the many new features of iOS 8 is grayscale mode. Why would you want your display to appear gray rather than in colors? There are two main reasons. First, for those who are color blind, items such as menus may be hard to distinguish if they rely on color to stand out from a background. Grayscale can make the display more readable for them. And second, if your battery is running low and you know that it will be a while before you'll have the opportunity to charge it, grayscale can extend battery life.
As the video in my earlier post shows, it appears that it's fairly easy to bend the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. That video went viral, with over 20 million views. Blogs were buzzing, and Apple's stock took a dip.
As I write this, Apple hasn't yet commented on the propensity of the iPhone 6 Plus to bend in your pocket. After the phone was released there were scattered reports that it could bend if you wear tight pants—even in your front pocket. Then Lewis Hilsenteger posted a video on his YouTube channel Unbox Therapy that showed him bending his iPhone 6 Plus with his bare hands. The video went viral, and seemingly all the major media picked up the story.
On Monday, Apple debuted two new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus commercials titled "Huge" and "Cameras" and featuring voiceovers by Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake. As you might expect, "Huge" highlights the larger screen of the two phones and focuses on how it makes things easier. In the banter between the two celebs, Fallon plays it straight, talking about the advantages, and Timberlake simply keeps repeating that the phones are so huge.
Apple broke their previous record and sold over 10 million iPhones the first three days. And according to CEO Tim Cook, they could have sold more if they had had a greater supply. He said the company is working hard to fill the orders. In addition, Apple could also have sold more if they had been able to simultaneously launch in China, but that country won't see the new phones until 2015 because they haven't yet been approved by Chinese regulators. One result was that Chinese scalpers flooded the Apple Stores on Friday, arriving by the busload. Reports say that the new iPhones are selling for as much as $3,000 in China. But even without the phones going on sale in China, Apple took in some $6.5 billion, which is pretty amazing.