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