iOS 8 – 3 usability tips that make our lives easier

So you’ve just installed iOS 8. It’s fair to say that it’s been an interesting release and one that’s lead to both positive and negative feedback (as with most) and in turn the platform,  and its many features have provided plenty of ground for discussion in the Fivestar office!  

As seasoned Apple fans and product lovers, we admit that we are slightly biased, but that being said, we appreciate that it hasn’t been for everyone. So what has fundamentally changed? Well, not as much as the transition from iOS 6 to iOS 7.  But there has been a lot of refinement, improvement and user experience focused change to the design and operation of the platform and indeed, particular apps. Apple have provided a full run down of all the new features on their website, but in our own summary, here are our 3 favourite features of the new iOS. 

Minimising emails in realtime

This is perhaps my favourite feature and although I appreciate that exiting my mail app to reference another app or web page and come back to writing my email isn’t exactly an arduous process as it is, it could definitely be refined further and that’s what Apple have done. Just draft an email, swipe down and voila – email minimised.  Simply tap it again once you have gathered the info you need to make it reappear and continue writing your email.

Replying to texts without ever leaving the app you are already using

Again this is another handy trick! We’ve all been there, navigating somewhere, gleaming important info from the internet etc. and a text comes in. Leave the app, open messages, reply etc.

Not anymore. Simply pull down the message as it comes in at the top of the screen and hit ‘quick reply’ to send a response and quickly get back to what you were doing. Seamless, elegant and simple –  we love it.

Battery drains

A contentious point of discussion for a while now, how do we get more from the battery and what can you do to increase its lifetime? Well there are task killers, screen brightness adjustments and the disabling of all 3G based apps to consider! But what have Apple actually done to help us diagnose and fix this issue over just providing advice on how best to manage it?

Well, for iOS8 they have created a dedicated section that actually shows you the amount of battery life specific apps are using over a period of 24 hours or more. Simply check this regularly and identify any problem apps. From there it’s literally down to regularly monitoring the battery usage of your apps ongoing and managing any applications that cause you energy efficiency problems.

So there you have it! 3 lovely little tips for getting a bit more from your iOS 8 experience. There will be more and I am sure there are other guides! But for us, its these sorts of changes and optimisations that make or break applications and we love anything that streamlines a process to make us more efficient.