All the neat tweaks Apple made to iOS 8 beta 2

iOS8

Apple’s new beta for iOS 8 is stuffed full of bug fixes after most of the new features were unveiled at WWDC two weeks ago, but Cupertino still managed to surprise us today with a number of neat tweaks to iOS 8 beta 2 that make some of apps better than what was revealed at the Moscone Center.

We’re still combing through the beta for new features, but additions like QuickType for iPad, iBooks displayed as series and improvements to Photos are welcome additions before iOS 8 lands this fall.

Take a look at all the tweaks Apple added to the iOS 8 beta today:

Messages microphone and camera are grey

imessagemicgrey

Apple changed the microphone icon in the Messages app to grey, making it just a little bit harder to tell who you’re sending iMessages to. Chat bubbles are still green and blue, depending what device the recipient is using, and the text field notes “iMessage” or “Text Message” before you start typing.

Privacy settings for HomeKit

homedatasettingsiOS8

HomeKit still seems to be a work in progress, but Apple has made it easier to keep track of who’s using your home data with a new section in the Privacy settings section.

AssistiveTouch options

assistivetouchiOS8

The AssistiveTouch feature under the Accessibility settings has added two new icons for Notification Center and Control Center but it looks like Apple’s still putting the finishing touches on the Notification Center quick launch because it doesn’t do anything yet.

Podcasts come stock

podcasts

Get ready to add another icon to that folder of Apple apps you never touch. Podcasts is now a preinstalled app with its own section in the Settings app underneath iBooks.

Separate Photo albums

iOS8photosalbums

Discerning which photos were taken with Burst mode and which thumbnails are actually slo-mo videos is a lot easier now that the Photos app divides everything into separate albums for Slo-Mo, Burst and Timelapse.

iBook series

ibooksseriesiOS8

iBooks has been updated to display books as series. The app automatically groups your purchased books based on series, and you can see which titles you need to purchase to round out your collection by tapping the new “All in Series” button.

Improved Spotlight

spotlightiOS8

Spotlight’s improved search powers on iOS 8 are a welcomed addition, but until iOS 8 beta 2 everytime you pulled down Spotlight the cursor would be at the end of your last query, forcing you to tap backspace a ton to run a new search. Now Apple has made it so Spotlight selects all text from your previous search so you can just start typing to delete it.

No Cell Coverage

nocellcoverage

iOS 8’s Battery Usage section added a new “No Cell Coverage” stat so you can see how much your battery is drained by not putting it Airplane mode. Apple’s also revised the statistic categories to 24 hours and Last 5 Days, rather than “Last 7 Days” in the first beta.

Turn off all notifications per app

notifications

You can now mute an app’s notifications entirely by going to Settings >> Notifications >> Select app >> Allow Notifications. Quickly turn them back on by scrolling down to the new “Do Not Include” section to find which apps you’ve muted.

Pinch to Tabs

iPAdsafariOS8

You’ll never have to hit the Tab View button again, now that iOS 8 beta 2 adds a quick toggle gesture to Safari for iPad that can be triggered with a two finger pinch on any webpage.

QuickType for iPad

quicktypeiPAdiOS8

The new beta also brings QuickType to the iPad for breezier typing. Unfortunately it doesn’t work on the Split keyboard.

  • SudiNim

    Meh.

    • Anthony Snyder

      It’s 1 of 2 betas. After the 6th beta it’ll feel like a bigger change.

      • LordQuad

        Lol, nice, diplomatic response Anthony. In this day and age of the ‘net, it’s sometimes tough deciding who ‘gets it’ and who doesn’t. Developer’s conferences a decade ago meant nothing. Post conference, maybe a blurb in a ‘mass appeal’ Mac rag, but likely nothing unless you’re subscribed to ‘Coding Monthly’ or ‘OSx development’** (made up names for the innocent of yesteryear ;)). Consumers, this wasn’t a conference for you. Rather the development teams that build the apps for YOU! Anyone considering a .1 release with those half dozen nuggets (& improvements) two weeks post a major point overhaul to a foundation up rewrite to a mobile OS (iOS) released only eight months ago seems pretty amazing. Maybe I’m missing something though?

  • Swanny246

    I’m all for Podcasts returning as a stock feature, but seriously, Apple needs to somehow implement a function to remove stock apps! The number of stock apps just keeps building and building with every iOS, and this still isn’t a feature. It’s getting ridiculous now.

    • FlawedDesigner

      I agree. They should at least include the same feature as on the Apple TV where you can hide apps that you don’t use.

      • lucascott

        That’s a restrictions function and yes I wish that iOS would allow us to restriction everything, including downloaded apps.

        And I actually agree that we perhaps need fewer stock apps than more. on the devices, on the Apple TV. Lets not have ibooks or podcasts as stock apps, and lets also remove weather, stocks etc. There’s tons of free choices if someone really wants those. And why, when we can voice message, can’t we ditch Voice Memos and just make adding audio, short videos, images etc into Notes.

      • LordQuad

        I’m fine as long as the ‘stock apps’ are light in footprint, ala Podcasts. I’m a fan of newsstand and purchase several subscriptions, but I’m not a podcast guy myself. And with another 25 years to go, paying attention to stocks can drive you insane! Hiding or ‘choosing’ to install the heavyweight apps like iLife and iWork (GarageBand) should remain optional if they continue to sell 16GB units

  • Clint/Jess

    I have the new beta but don’t have the option to view no cell coverage and mine still says 7 days not 5. Am I missing something?

    • http://www.MagicDonkey.co.uk/ Jonas Hamill

      Sounds like you installed the old one on again.

      • Clint/Jess

        I updated using OTA so it should have been the correct one. I’ll check the build number to be sure. If I have the correct version then I’m lost. I’ve checked with a friend who has the new beta and his is the same way as mine.

      • http://www.MagicDonkey.co.uk/ Jonas Hamill

        What phone/ device are you running it on? It could have something to do with different builds for different devices.

      • Clint/Jess

        I’m using an iPhone 5. I’m sure the no cell coverage will only show when I actually get in a no cell area. I’m more interested in the phone showing the last 7 days and not the last 5. Oh, AT&T version of the iPhone 5.

      • Dug

        Mine is the same and I’m positive I’m running beta 2 on a 5s. Mine only shows “Last 24 Hours” and “Last 7 Days”.

  • Grunt_at_the_Point

    Its starting to appear multitasking will not be part of IOS 8.

    • BusterH

      huh? it’s still there. Apple’s even made additions to the multi-tasking page

      • T_Will

        I think he means split screen for using multiple apps at the same time.

      • Grunt_at_the_Point

        Yes, sorry for not making that clear.

      • AndrewW500

        I disagree as we are only on beta 2. There are at least 4 more to come before the final version and there is still plenty of time. If we don’t see it by iOS 8’s release, then I believe we will see it at whatever event the new iPad is announced at. Probably as a new iPad only feature.

      • Lucus Bendzsa

        They would have announced it so us deaf could get our apps ready.

      • Lucus Bendzsa

        Devs

      • Ashton Nile

        You mean devs.

        But you’re wrong. In your context, they must have told us by now to begin making apps for the iPhone 6 with the different screen size and everything. With iOS’ amazing adoption rates devs will get to it fast enough anyway ;)

      • stickyicky97

        Pretty sure they’re going to make the split screen multitasking option an iPhone 6 and new iPad exclusive. They’ll say it’s b/c of the additional power needed to function that the new processors will posses. You know they have to have a “Killer Feature” to convince people to upgrade. A slightly bigger screen isn’t going to convince the masses like the split screen option. Just my two cents.

      • Adrayven

        It could never come and I wouldn’t care..

      • jonathanober

        I am with you Adrayven. I personally think multi tasking actually is more like no tasking. Granted the ability to drag and drop from one app to another should be something that is done more easily like dragging from finder to gmail app in osx.

      • stickyicky97

        you mean to tell me that you guys would like the option to have a chat/message box open while continuing to watch a movie or work in another app?

      • LordQuad

        That’s EXACTLY how I feel. I’ve got the Note 3 for business. 5s for pleasure. I’m not a ‘split screen’ user even though it’s there and works well. No. Don’t wanna chat while watching movie. Tweet while surfing or otherwise be distracted while enjoying my iPad. Hard to explain, but the iPad to me is more of an ‘enjoyment piece’ of gear. While I can ‘produce’, I’m typically in the mood to ‘induce’ when grabbing my iPad. Copy and paste between, ala continuity…that, I’m looking forward too!

      • Lucus Bendzsa

        They would have told us so we could get aps ready

    • lucascott

      Assuming it was ever intended to be there and the code isn’t for something else, its just the second beta who knows when it might turn up.

      It might be a feature that will only work on the new iPads that come in the fall so we won’t see it until then

  • Steve

    In Safari, click on the address bar to bring up Top Sites. Pull down and 2 new options: Add To Favorites and Request Desktop Version.

    • BusterH

      that’s been there since Beta 1

    • Michael

      This was actually available in the first beta. Very nice feature.

  • http://www.el-abda3.com/ George Fareed Awad

    :)

  • Ricardo Mendes

    Don’t like the voice messages UI. Doesn’t look like apple! Should be simpler: Release to cancel or drag the finger any direction outside the radious to send… or the other way back! But i prefer the first one though. Prevents sending undesired messages.

    • Weelious_225

      I like it better like this, as it makes it harder to accidentally let go and lose your message

      • Anthony Snyder

        This. That’s why they want you to perform an action to do an action, better to swipe than tap twice.

      • Weelious_225

        Honestly, I’m surprised Apple hasn’t used radial swipe/release menus sooner. They’re ridiculously convenient for a lot of things and very few OSs seem to use them (TouchWiz does IIRC, but they make you atop to open then tap to select… eugh.)

        If the cameras gets any new modes (up to six now; Time Lapse, Slow-Mo, Video, Camera, Pano, Square) we’re gonan need something new, and I think this will be perfect.

      • Ricardo Mendes

        Sure, i get your point. But this is suposed to be an interface for short messaging, so the less complex the interaction is the better…. and releasing by accident isn’t likely to happen in my opinion. Ever used an WalkieTalkie? When pressing, problem sometimes is you just don’t release :) Anyway, it’s a detail i just don’t like. As for the new feature: it’s great!

  • Yunik

    Finally now we can choose different sounds for different app for getting notification

  • jonathanober

    a something I noticed now that I am running iOS 8 on iPad and iPhone. When both devices are charging and I say “Hey Siri” Siri search comes up on both and whatever I say happens on both…not sure the work around on this, but sometimes I want to do things on my iPad and other times iPhone, but usually they both happen to be plugged in and next to me. Some things on my iPad 3 just seem laggy and buggy, but maybe that is the beta. iPhone 5S is zippy smooth.

    • lucascott

      i rather wish we could decide the key phrase. then we could give a different one to each device and not have to worry about other folks setting off our Siri.

      knowing my brother and sister my stuff would have cues like “hey dog breath” and “yo pizza face”

  • http://sciencedem.blogspot.com editor

    and Siri is a little smarter. Who is Pablo Picasso? will pull up a wikipedia article and she’ll ask you if you want it read

  • digitaldumdum

    Yes, a number of jailbreak-inspired tweaks will be showing up in iOS 8, but Apple will never include some of the best tweaks now available. Still, it’s great they’re being responsive. iOS 8 users, most of them, will likely never appreciate how important the jailbreak community is in all of Apple’s improvements. I’m happily jailbroken, but I’m looking forward to the new phone(s) and new iOS!

  • http://chillopedia.com/ Nadeem Khan

    Please for the love of God, add ability to password protect your images or albums. It’s unbelievable Apple never added this feature in any of the iOS ever :/

    • stickyicky97

      This baffles me too! We have to resort to 3rd party apps to truly hide or protect certain videos and/or pictures. Even the new “hide” option is stupid since the picture still shows up in other folders. Hopefully, they’ll add or fix this before the final release!

  • mythofechelon

    Still no “Screenshots” photo album?

  • John S

    i am trying to downgrade from ios 8 beta 2 back to 7.1.1.
    The ipsw file hase several files and folders and dosent look like the usual ipsw “lego block” Icon. how do I either download the ipsw “lego” or convert the file to that format.

  • http://www.orlando-webcams.com Ana

    I am having problems with Whatsapp not opening some conversations and the battery drain!

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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