The latest generation boasts a few features to better integrate your peripherals, with devices like there Jawbone Up and Fitbit Flex now able to paint a complete picture of your health for the “Health” app on iOS 8.
Apple’s messaging application aptly named “Messages” is better, too, and can now send voice messages almost like a tiny recorded phone call, except over Apple’s messaging system, with a location also able to be sent using the GPS and an Apple map.
Another important feature is particularly interesting, and that’s called Continuity.
Essentially, if you have several Apple devices, they too can receive the information from your phone at the same time. For instance, we had a phone call on our iPhone 6, and both the iMac on our desk running Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite Beta and the iPhone 5S running iOS 8 could pick up the phone call, allowing us to talk through these devices and sending the information to the active phone, the iPhone 6.
That is very cool, and it happens with messages as well, delivering our SMS to the computer when we need them.
We know this is an Apple-only feature, and you’ll need other Apple devices if you want to see it, but it’s cool nonetheless, and love seeing this in action.
QuickType and keyboard replacement are our other favourite features for iOS 8, with QuickType providing a better built-in keyboard that appears to learn, while Apple’s support for third party on-screen keyboards means you can add in Swype or SwiftKey and use gesture typing like how Android phones have had for ages.
There are still bugs here and there with iOS 8, noted with the replacement keyboards which would occasionally disappear and not load at all, or even disappear and leave us with Apple’s own keyboard until we left and re-entered the app.
Likewise, iOS 8 struggles with the new 1334×750 screen resolution, flickering wildly every so often in different apps, but it’s early days, and these problems are likely but a patch away.
Apple’s voice assistant Siri seems to have improved, too, with a more fluid assistant available at your disposal when you hold down the home button and call her to action.
After testing it, this reviewer prefers Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana to Apple’s Sir, but the experience has noticeably improved over the past year or two.
Finally, there’s Touch ID, that fingerprint sensor that didn’t do much last year and now does a little more.
Apple has kept the phone unlocking and app payments part of the package, and these work a treat once your digits have been setup, but more apps are set to involve the technology shortly, with a diary app available, and some password options, too.
We’re not sure if Apple has intentionally fixed or changed Touch ID, but it feels more stable this year in the iPhone 6, with most reads letting us into the phone quickly, and only a few extra tries needed. Light didn’t pose as much of a problem this year, and we could rely on the feature as a lock mechanism in our tests.