NOW LIVE: A Never Before Seen Interview with Sports Legend Michael Jordan

Apple iOS 8

When Apple makes an announcement, it usually costs me. I tie myself in knots trying to justify purchasing whatever new technological temptress I now cannot live without. At their annual World Wide Developer Conference (World Cup for geeks), Apple surprised me by announcing their latest mobile software (iOS 8) would be available for free. When it’s released this fall, you’ll find that your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch does more, more intelligently. After using the developer beta for the past couple weeks, I found that improvements in a number of areas are especially notable. 

Health A bevy of useful apps can monitor your health, fitness and sleep. (If you’re interested in starting a belated New Year’s resolution, take a look at Nike+, Fitbit or Sleep Cycle). Until now, the problem was that they didn’t talk to each other. Apple’s latest software makes it possible to view all of your stats, from sleep cycles to spinning classes, in one place. You can also create your own electronic medical ID card. Should my life of industry, frugality and temperance ever catch up to me, paramedics will have access to my allergies, blood type and emergency contacts. However, this is just the beginning. Given Apple’s partnerships with healthcare providers, including the venerable Mayo Clinic, it’s likely that your iPhone, or perhaps a forthcoming iWatch, could help your physician make smarter diagnoses.

Notifications Developers can now share data from apps on the swipe-down Notification screen, using what Apple calls Widgets. This means that you could access a LinkedIn feed alongside your Calendar and Reminders. Apple has also allowed developers access to new sharing options, a new programming language, third-party keyboards and even the fingerprint scanner on the latest iPhone. All of this is to say that, come fall, your existing apps will be more engaging and more capable.

Messaging Text messaging benefits immensely from the new interactive notifications. Before, you had to open Messages to reply to a text. Now, you simply swipe down and type. Responses aren’t restricted to text; in addition to existing speak-to-text support, you can now send audio clips. You may find, however, that you prefer typing on the new iPhone keyboard, which includes a predictive text bar. The software learns as you write, predicting words based upon usage in conversations. Given that your iPhone will supply different vocabularies for different recipients, you shouldn’t accidently write “SOB” when writing your boss. 

These are just a few previews of a big, motley update. More goodies to be had include new accessibility options, greater continuity with your desktop (especially if you’re a Mac user) and extended cloud backup support, but I’ll leave you with my favorite sleeper feature. Apple now allows you to share apps, books, photos, movies and music with anyone you designate as a family member (up to six). But you’re protected from your children’s spendthrift ways: the cardholder is prompted to authorize or deny any purchase. Parents and non-parents alike should keep an eye out for iOS 8, available this fall, for free. 

 

Visit apple.com/ios/ios8/

Electronics Good Life Guide

More in The Good Life

See all
Complete Michael Jordan Video Interview to Debut July 30 at 7 p.m.

Complete Michael Jordan Video Interview to Debut July 30 at 7 p.m.

On Thursday, July 30 at 7 p.m., we will be posting on CigarAficionado.com a special, uncut version of …

Jul 23, 2020
Countdown to Ecstasy

Countdown to Ecstasy

At the 2019 Big Smoke Las Vegas last November, Doug Halcomb and his Cigar Raiders crew were on a …

Jul 10, 2020
The Most Luxurious Golf Course in Las Vegas

The Most Luxurious Golf Course in Las Vegas

When it comes to the most luxurious round of golf in Vegas, it is undoubtedly the relatively new …

Jun 19, 2020
Cigar Aficionado’s 2020 Father’s Day Gift Guide

Cigar Aficionado’s 2020 Father’s Day Gift Guide

Buying dad the perfect gift for Father’s Day is a breeze if you know what he wants. To help shop for …

Jun 9, 2020
A Cigar-Lover Gets Creative During the Time of Covid

A Cigar-Lover Gets Creative During the Time of Covid

People have used their newly found downtime to learn new skills or improve on existing hobbies. For …

Jun 5, 2020
The Last Dance Review: The Final Episodes

The Last Dance Review: The Final Episodes

We all knew how this story would end, but no matter how well we thought we knew this team, surprises …

May 18, 2020