Apple iPhone 6 and iOS 8 – What You Need to Know and Review

Setting up the iPhone 6

By Paul Riegler on 16 September 2014
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For many people, the next big thing in tech is the new Apple iPhone 6. Indeed, the day the iPhone went on sale, Apple experienced “a record number of preorders overnight,” according to a spokesman. For those who can’t quite justify an upgrade or contractually aren’t eligible for one, there’s no need to suffer iPhone 6 envy. The vast majority of the functionality that millions of people will get come Friday is available to you right now with a simple and free upgrade.

Owners of older devices, namely the iPhone 4s, 5, 5s, and 5c, end up with what essentially amounts to a new smartphone simply by upgrading to iOS 8, available for download now.

We’ve tested the new operating system on several phones and the benefits are clear, as an additional benefit the older phones fit far more comfortably into one’s front pocket. Indeed, this is a case where one can easily say that size does not matter.

Apple says that this is the biggest iOS upgrade ever and that may very well be the case. Here are some lesser-known but key features that iOS 8 will provide.

Wi-Fi Calling
Apple devices have long lacked this key feature but iOS 8 now includes Wi-Fi calling, an option which allows the user to place and receive phone calls over Wi-Fi when connected to a Wi-Fi network. T-Mobile has offered this for BlackBerry and Android phones for years and charges users for a domestic call when calling the United States from a foreign country using Wi-Fi.

Battery Usage By App
Just like some programs run your laptop’s battery down, the same is true for some apps. With iOS 8, an option in Settings displays battery usage by app,
showing which are power hungry and should be used sparingly or be closed.

Credit Card Scanning from Browser
Entering a credit card number from a small keyboard can be daunting, so Apple has added a feature to Safari that allows the user to use the phone’s camera to scan in a credit card number.

Talk-to-Type
Instead of waiting for the user to finish speaking when using the Talk-to-Type option in apps such as Messages, the system will display spoken text as it is dictated.

Hide (Embarrassing) Photo
The Hide Photo and Hide Video options allow the removal of selected photos and/or videos from the Moments, Collections, and Years views. The photos and videos will still be visible in Albums.

Send Last Known Location to Apple
The Find My iPhone feature has become smarter. With iOS 8, turning this feature on, the phone will automatically send its current location to Apple when the battery reaches a critically low level.

One feature we couldn’t yet test is Continuity, which works with Apple’s forthcoming upgrade of OX S, called Yosemite. With iOS 8 and Yosemite, it will be possible to accept a phone call on your MacBook and start messages on one device and finish them on another without missing a beat.

This round-up of new features may just scratch the surface but iOS 8 is clearly off to a good start and will make many old iPhones seem brand new again.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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