I’ve got my pre-order placed for the new iPhone 6 for me and my wife. I received a UPS tracking number for both with an expected delivery date of Friday, September 19. We’ve held off with our out-of-contract iPhone 4S models waiting for this release. Since we’ve never had new technology on day one, we are totally geeking out right about now.
So, I thought I’d see if iOS8 was available for download yet for my iPad and, voila, it is also here! I kicked off the download for my iPad, and it said the download was a whopping 1.1 GB in size. As I use the iPad, download times slow even though I’m on my home network connected to wifi. I attempted to launch the upgrade on my daughter’s iPad Mini as we are looking forward to using Family Sharing. No such luck; although the download for her Mini was 850 MB, it requires free space of 4.7 GB to install. Guess I have to delete some apps and photos to upgrade her iPad Mini to iOS8.
Some 30 minutes later and my iPad is still churning away. So, I put away the iPad till morning and let the update complete. When I woke up and continued the installation, here’s what I experienced:
I was first greeted with a Hello. iOS then asked me if I wanted to enable Location Services. I was asked to sign in to iCloud, then to accept the Terms and Conditions.
The next prompt was about iMessage and FaceTime. It asked if I wanted to receive these on both my cell number and on my Apple ID email address. I answered yes to this prompt. Next, I was greeted with the first iOS8 feature – iCloud Drive. I was asked if I was ready to upgrade. In this case I answered no because I still have iCloud attached to my IPhone 4S. Because I’m replacing it on Friday, I will not upgrade it to iOS8. So, I’ll upgrade to iCloud Drive when my new iPhone arrives.
Next, I was asked to enable iCloud Keychain, which I did. Not sure how much I’ll use that yet but it doesn’t hurt to enable it for now. The last setup prompt was whether I wanted to enable App Analytics, to which I answered yes.
Finally, I’m off to the races! Here are a few cool things I saw that you may not have been aware of with iOS8.
1. You can now enable Siri to respond to your vocal command of “Hey Siri” without touching your device. It requires the device to be plugged in to power, but that’s a neat little feature configurable under Settings, General.
2. In Spotlight Search, you now have the choice of including Bing Search and Spotlight Suggestions in your search results. That option can be found in the Spotlight Search under Safari settings.
3. You may have heard of the new audio and video messages that you can send through iMessage. But, did you know that you can set time limits for how long they exist on your device, a la SnapChat? The default is two minutes each, configurable in iMessage settings.
4. The new Handoff, where you can suspend an app and switch between devices, is found under Settings, General.j
5. Family Sharing can be enabled under the iCloud settings. If you have not enabled it, you will be prompted to do so the first time you access the App Store.
6. The all-new Tips app brings you new tips from Apple every week. Go to that app and find more new ways to experience your Apple device with iOS8.
I wrote this post on my iPad and the Smart Text at the top of the keyboard has been really accurate, though I’ve not used it yet. I am hoping that it can save me some keystrokes down the road.
So there you have it, my first look at iOS8. We’ll see how all of this plays out when we have the new iPhones and upgrade some of the supporting services.
Question – have you upgraded to iOS8 yet? What has been your experience? First thoughts?