MacStories’ Federico Viticci:
There are hundreds of new features in iOS 8 and the ecosystem surrounding it that signal a far-reaching reimagination of what iOS apps should be capable of, the extent of user customization on an iPhone and iPad, or the amount of usage data that app developers can collect to craft better software.
Seven years into iOS, a new beginning is afoot for Apple’s mobile OS, and, months from now, there will still be plenty to discuss. But, today, I want to elaborate on my experience with iOS 8 in a story that can be summed up with:
iOS 8 has completely changed how I work on my iPhone and iPad.
I’d consider Federico a much more hard core power user than most, but his argument is pretty sound. For years I’ve been extremely envious of Android users and their custom widgets, keyboards, and third-party sharing capabilities. No more.
Even though I consider myself quite technically proficient, I’m still often guilty of forgetting passwords all the time, and sometimes using duplicate copies all over the place. Enter 1Password, recommended from endless coworkers, bloggers and tech sites.
I broke down and bought it for half off over the weekend. Hopefully you will soon as well.
2012 was the first year I really started taking iOS games seriously, and the first I found the device a life saver for gaming over long subway rides and vacation trips. A lot of great titles were released, and as usual Touch Arcade has a great handle on what stood out. (I still find Punch Quest and Pinball Arcade monopolizing far more time than I expected.)
I generally dislike iOS third party apps that mirror or attempt a slight tweak on good Apple default system apps like Music or the Alarm Clock. Yet this new app by Simple Bots is awesome. It’s pretty and has slick gestures, but the key advantage here is speed. I can set my morning alarm in about 10 seconds: a swipe up or down followed by a quick pull to the left and I’m done.
Mobile gaming on devices like the iPad and iPhone will (or already has?) supplanted consoles as the flagship, mainstream gaming device going forward. That’s what makes this podcast episode of BYOT (Bring Your Own Topic) so interesting. The very knowledgable Dan Hsu sits down with Andy Yang and Gabe Leydon, two experts in the mobile gaming sphere. Lots of talk about monetization, free to play and more.
Loren Brichter’s Atebits just released this fun word game in the App Store last night. As The Verge put it earlier today, it’s “an amorphous Words With Friends“. You’ve got a five by five grid where you pick letters, making it kinda like Scrabble, but also there’s a conquest Reversi-like strategy where you can surround and “lock down” letters, shutting their access away from your opponent.
It’s a free download, with a buck unlock to play multiple games and visual themes. Really slick UI and from what little I’ve played I hope it ends up being a huge hit.
Marco Arment wrote an astute article regarding the iPad 1’s lack of upgrade potential:
The iPad 1 was the first modern “tablet”, and as we saw (eventually) from its competitors, its $499 price point and excellent battery life were difficult to achieve in 2010 (and even in 2011). More RAM would have added to the component costs and decreased the battery life, potentially making it less appealing and jeopardizing its success, so Apple chose to keep it at only 256 MB.
Whether that was a good decision or not, it significantly shortened the iPad 1’s useful software life.
I use Due – a simple reminder app – virtually every day on both my iPhone and Mac. There’s a lot of reminder options on iOS, but I haven’t found anything that comes close to the fluidity and speed of Due’s UI. The syncing also works slick between iPhone, iPad and Mac clients (via Dropbox or iCloud, your choice.)
The app rarely goes on sale, but they dropped the price this week from $5 to $3. If you’re in the market it’s well worth your time.
Really dug this wallpaper work by Instagram designer Tim Van Damme. Slick and great looking backgrounds for retina iPads, iPhones, the 15″ retina Macbook Pro and the 27″ Cinema Display (which, should be noted, has less screen pixels than the 15″ Macbook.)
Quip isn’t your average Twitter client. While you can just read your timeline, the focus here is on alternative modes: check out extended conversations, read the most retweeted tweets, and lay out all Twitter friendly embedded images in a simple grid. It’s really cool as a ‘lean back’ experience to run through on my iPad at the end of the day.