iOS 8 Whoa’s & Woes

iOS 8 has now been available for the public to download for a couple of days now, and I’ve spent some quality time with the latest iOS version on a couple different devices. If you don’t want to read my detailed experience below, here’s the gist of it:

Your enjoyment of and attitude toward iOS 8 will vary greatly depending on the device it’s running on.

iOS 8 on the iPad 2 (WiFi only)

Because I work for a finance software company, I have access to the latest developer previews of Apple software and operating systems. I had downloaded and installed the iOS 8 GM version on my 16GB iPad 2 (WiFi only) a good week or so ahead of the public release. If you aren’t familiar with GM, it’s the abbreviation for Golden Master, and it’s typically identical to the version that gets released to the public (but those with Apple Developer accounts get to see and have it first).

My initial reaction to iOS 8 on the iPad 2 was that it really didn’t look all that different from iOS 7 (and I wasn’t expecting it to since iOS 7 was a major UI overhaul). I was most interested in checking out the new Health app in iOS 8, and was disappointed that Apple chose to make it an iPhone-only app.

Once I started using various (stock) apps on my iPad 2, such as Safari, it became overwhelmingly clear that this initial release of iOS 8 was significantly crippling the functionality. Just trying to enter in a URL in the address bar of Safari was painful because of the massive lag and lack of responsiveness of the on-screen keyboard. To make sure this was a fair assessment of iOS 8, I made sure to keep a little over 5.5GB available on my iPad 2 and only run one app at a time (force-quitting them immediately when done using them). In addition, I limited the apps I did test to only those for which iOS 8 compatibility updates had been released (and there are a lot of apps that are not iOS 8 compatible yet).

Aside from the extreme sluggishness when trying to use iOS 8 on the iPad 2, there are also several new features in iOS 8 that will not be available on older hardware such as the iPad 2.

  • Health app (only available on iPhone 4s, 5, 5c, 5s, 6, and 6 plus; iPod Touch (5th generation)
  • Continuity–Handoff features (only available on iPhone 5 or later; iPad (4th gen.), iPad Air; iPad Mini (1st gen.), iPad Mini with Retina Display; iPod Touch (5th gen.).
  • Safari full-screen view and tab view (iPhones only–4s or later; iPod Touch (5th gen.)
  • AirDrop (only available on iPhone 5 or later; iPad (4th gen); iPad Mini; iPod Touch (5th gen.); requires iCloud account
  • TouchID

For me personally, not having those features available for the iPad 2 isn’t an issue. I’d much rather be without certain features as long as the version of iOS doesn’t cripple my device.

The iPad Mini (1st gen.) has the exact same processor as the iPad 2, so it’s pretty much a no-brainer that I won’t be upgrading to iOS 8 on my Mini either. If I had an iPad Mini with Retina Display, I probably would upgrade to iOS 8 because that device has the same processor as the iPad Air, and shouldn’t have any issues running the latest release.

It’s possible Apple may include various patches and tweaks for older hardware in a future update to iOS 8.0 so it runs better, but until then, I’ve actually reverted back to iOS 7.1.2 on my iPad 2.

Verdict: Woe 

iOS 8 on the iPhone 6

There’s really not much to say about this one–if you have or are getting an iPhone 6 it comes with iOS 8 (all of the new features work) and you get the added bonus of the snazzy new hardware abilities too. I upgraded from a 4s to the 6 (and was lucky enough to score one on launch day without pre-ordering) and while the larger phone size will take some time to get used to, I’m glad I jumped for the 6 over the 5s. I’ll be writing a separate blog post that discusses my own experiences with the iPhone 6 and will add the link to this entry for those that want to read it.

Verdict: Whoa

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Posted in iOS

Confession #2 – News & Weather Apps for the iPad Mini

Since some of my devices run different iOS versions, I’m going to share what apps I have on each device and why. My iPad Mini was running iOS 6 up until a couple of days ago (I’ve just updated it to iOS 7), so most of the apps I have on my Mini didn’t require iOS 7. Rather than list every single app on my devices, I’m going to focus on what are the essential apps for me.

News & Weather Apps

Flipboard: If you haven’t heard of this app before, I suggest you crawl out from under the rock you’ve been living under and download it now. It’s sleek, it’s stable, it’s customizable, and it integrates well with many more of my essential apps. FREE

MacHash News: I work with Macs and iOS devices on a daily basis so it’s critical that I have the latest information at my fingertips. MacHash news is not just for Mac geeks, it’s for everyone who has a Mac or iOS device, is thinking about getting one, or just enjoys technology. In short, my life would suck without this app. FREE

The Weather Channel for iPad: Since I’ve yet to discover a Jim Cantore only weather app, this one will have to do. FREE

I have many more news & weather apps than what’s mentioned above, but these three are my essentials, and best of all they are FREE.

Posted in iPad apps

Confession #1

Hello, my name is Kristen and I’m an Appaholic. It’s been 0 days since my last download. I’ve downloaded well over 650 apps (for iOS devices) at last count–and that was over six months ago.

You’d think I probably have spent a small fortune on my app collection, but in fact I rarely spend anything on apps. I download apps that are free (and always have been), and I also pay attention to when apps go on sale (which for me means they go from a paid app to a free one and this is usually only for a very limited time).

I’m also a bit of a Mac and iOS device hoarder as well, which really feeds my Appaholism.

I’ve got an iPad 1 (32GB), an iPad 2 (16GB), an iPad Mini 1st Gen (32GB), an old 1st generation iPod Touch (8GB), and an iPhone 4S (16GB). My iOS version list is quite diverse as well. I’ve got at least one device running 4.2.5, 5.1.1, 6.1.3, and 7.0.4.

My stash of apps I’ve downloaded wont all fit on one iOS device. In fact, I’m not sure they’d fit on all my devices together. I rotate the selection of apps on my devices like a person rotates the produce section of a grocery store–out with the old and in with the new. I organize my apps by whatever works for me–which sometimes is by category, and other times is purpose for a specific task. I group apps together (dropping one on top of the other) whenever possible, and always limit the number of screens I have to swipe to just two. Just because I’m an Appaholic doesn’t mean I have to swipe through twelve screens to find an app I want. I find that maddening.

I’ll share what apps are currently on each device–and why I have them– in a future post.

Posted in Apple, Apps, iOS
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