Top Tips – iOS 8

8Just when you were getting used to the features that were introduced on your iPhone or iPad last year with iOS 7 (see our earlier blog), Apple have released iOS 8 and we’re being encouraged to upgrade. I finally took the plunge with iOS 8.0.2 hoping that the early bugs have been ironed out, and there are some clever new functions. To help you through the bewildering array of new features, and point you in the direction of those that will be most useful, we’ve compiled some top tips.

BackupFirst though, I know a number of people whose device got stuck midway through the update and they had to restore it using iTunes. This is pretty easy to do and shouldn’t be a problem at all – as long as you have backed up your device before you start the upgrade. I know we’re always banging on about backing up, but it can save so much heartache if anything should go wrong. If you’re not sure how to make a back up, have a look at this Apple support page.

So, you’ve upgraded to iOS 8 and nothing much seems to have changed on the face of it. Here are some highlights – and things to watch out for:

photo search1. Photos – an excellent new search function: go to your Photos app and touch the search icon (a little magnifying glass), then type in what you are looking for – such as ‘Jan 2012’, ‘Spain’ or ‘Chiswick’ – and all the relevant photos will be shown.

If you delete a photo, it isn’t immediately removed from your phone or iPad – it goes to a ‘Recently deleted‘ folder for 30 days; from here you can either permanently delete it, or if you change your mind, you can restore it to an album.



2. Email – flag, move or delete emails with just a sideways swipe – if you just quickly swipe to the left it’ll delete straightaway, so be a bit careful with this or you’ll be hunting in your trash folder more often than you’d like.

You can set up notifications for when someone replies to an important mail: touch the flag icon at the bottom of the mail, touch ‘notify me‘ then ‘notify me again. Then as soon as you get a reply, a message will appear on your screen to let you know.

New contacts from email: if you get an email from a new contact or someone who has changed their details, a box will appear at the top of the mail when you open it, giving you the option to ignore or add to contacts – so simple!

Family sharing3. Family sharing – this is big news for Apple and should be a really useful function, especially if you have a number of iThings in your family and you want to keep track of who is buying what. Family sharing means that up to 6 people can share purchases from the iTunes store without sharing an Apple ID. Once you’ve set up who is in your family, you can share photos and calendars too. The best thing is once you enable ‘Ask to Buy‘ you will be sent a request when your children want to buy from iTunes, iBooks or the App Store. You have control because you hold the purse strings.App request

4. Messages – predictive text is the big new innovation here – your phone or iPad will ‘learn’ how you communicate with different people in both messages and emails, and provide suggestions for your next word as you type. If you find this slightly annoying, you can switch it off – go to SettingsGeneralKeyboard and slide the button next to Predictive to off (no green showing)

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 16.27.17You can also share your location using Messages now – if you’re meeting a friend and they can’t find you, just go to Details in your Messages conversation and choose ‘send  my current location‘ if you are staying still, or ‘share my location‘ if you are moving around. Your friend will receive a map and can find directions to you, or track where you are going.

5. Apple Tips – there are loads more new functions we Tipscould tell you about, but Apple probably do it best. So have a look at a new app that will have popped up on your device when you upgraded to iOS8 – imaginatively called Tips. Here you’ll find lots more information about how to get the most out of your device, and Apple will be updating it over time, so keep watching it!




A sneak preview…


Yosemite National Park

If you’re anything like me, you probably thought Mavericks was a character from Top Gun and Yosemite is that park in the States with big rocks and waterfalls. But it turns out they are infact the names of Apple operating systems – the software that runs your computer – and ‘Yosemite’ is going to be launched this autumn, bringing lots of exciting new features to Macs everywhere.


This was one of the keWWDCy announcements at Apple’s developer conference this week – their annual event to tell the world of app developers what’s up their sleeve to launch later in the year. This gives the IT geeks a chance to work their magic with their games and other apps to take full advantage of all the new things Apple are doing. For the rest of us mere mortals, it just gives us a sneak peek into some quite exciting developments that will be coming to a device near you this autumn.

Here are some highlights:

  1. Apple announced they will be launching iOS 8 (a new operating system for mobile devices) and Yosemite, or OS X 10.10 – the new operating system for Macs – both in the autumn.
  2. One of our favourite developments is that these 2 new operating systems will be able to interact with each other – amazingly this hasn’t been the case until now. For example, you’ll be able to make phone calls directly from your Mac, or start writing an email on your iPad and finish it on your Mac.
  3. You’ll be able to send text messages from your iPad or Mac, and you’ll be able to include voice or other sound recordings as part of the message.
  4. family_sharing_iconFamily Sharing – lots of our customers get in a muddle with the various iThings in their homes and tangled Apple IDs; this new development will make it easy for family members to share purchased apps or tunes across devices, and to have access to shared photo libraries without the need to plug in to a computer.
  5. iCloud Drive – this is going to be an amalgam of Google Drive and iCloud, meaning that you’ll be able to do all the things iCloud currently allows you to, as well as sharing documents between your devices. You’ll even be able to share on Windows PCs too.

There are going to be lots of other, really useful new development with these new operating systems – if you want more of a preview you could go to the Apple site to find out:

BackupA final word of warning – if you are going to upgrade your operating system on your devices at any time, it’s very wise to make a backup of your content before you do…just incase anything should go wrong during the process. Check back to our earlier blog if you need help with backing up. You’ll also need to check the Apple website to see if your device is capable of upgrading – some older models won’t be.