iOS 8

Okay, this review may have a tiny bit of bias. Just thought I should warn you.

iOS 8 is the latest mobile operating system from Apple Computer. Now I have to admit I only updated recently, so are quite behind the ball.

Now I’m fortunate, because I have loads of Apple products lying around ready for experimentation that won’t mind too much. For this experiment, I used my old iPhone 4S and an iPad 3. Nothing else would run iOS 8. Now I have to stress my iPad is brilliant. I think the iPad is one of the too few things Apple does well. In fact I’ll even go as far as saying that the iPad is the best tablet. (Admin : Please leave your rage down in the comments)

Anyway, my iPad 3 has run iOS 7 for almost a year now with few crashes. Apart from a near boot loop, which terrified me. My old iPhone 4S is currently on iOS 6, as I didn’t want to upgrade due to speed concerns. I also used an iPhone 5 as a slightly nearer control test.

Anyway I conducted some basic tests.

First test was a launch of the Safari browser. Running iOS 6 the 4S was fine. Running iOS 8 the 4S took…well it gave up and crashed. Running iOS 7 the iPad was slightly slow and running iOS 8 the iPad was noticeably slower. Both products had noticeable dropped frames during the startup animation. The iPhone 5 ran iOS 8 much better than both devices, but still dropped the odd frame here and there. Disappointing.

But what about newer products? The iPhone 6 and iPad air that I tested had no problems running iOS8, especially the 6, which was incredibly fast. Congratulations on Apple for that. The iPad Air dealt with iOS8 very well, and runs nice and responsively.

In terms of features, nothing, at first impressions, looks very changed. It still retains the same anti-skeumorphic design that was a massive shake up when introduce by Apple for iOS 8. It’s now a change that is affecting their other products too, and it’s was, and still is refreshing.

Double pressing the home button to invoke multitasking now has some extra features. A bar in the top shows who last contacted you/you last contacted, as well as what applications area currently running. Setup was slightly more complicated than I remembered it being for iOS 7, as I had to re-login to my iCloud account and set up some of iOS 8’s new features like iCloud Drive.

The list of proprietary apps has grown sadly. We now have a “Tips” app which as far as I can see is incredibly useless and in my opinion should never have been added in the first place. There have been some minor changes to the settings menu, which now has an iCloud Drive option as well as other stuff. Mirroring now works, something which has never happened for me before.

Siri is now unfortunately even more useless. Some, if not most of the elements that made it ‘human’ have been changed or even discarded. It failed when I asked it to perform certain tasks like a geo based lookup that iOS 7’s Siri had no problem with. I know the “Where do I bury a body” easter egg has been gone for a while now, but Siri has lost some other nice little mini features too.

Is it worth upgrading?
Yes. But ONLY if you have a iPhone 5 (or similar era) or newer. This is not a 4S or 4 friendly update.

(Pictures coming soon – be patient)

Jacob

Write a variety of articles, when I get the time. Usually do more longform and analysis than I probably should. Also an editor.

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