The good, bad and ugly features of iOS 8 – some of them anyway.

The development of iOS 8 is nearly complete (notwithstanding the inevitable post release bug squashing patches).  New features have been reported by some developers who are running the latest build.  There are a number of features of note, some good and some bad.

Location based apps
Since the introduction of location based passes in Passbook iPhone users have been able to have a pass pop up when they’re in the right location to use it.  Now apps are gaining the same functionality.  If you visit an Apple Store the Apple Store app’s icon will appear in the lock screen (bottom left which is the same location for handoffs between devices you own).  If you visit a Starbucks the icon for the Starbucks app will appear.  But what if you don’t have the Starbucks app installed on your device?  Tapping the icon in this case will take you to the app’s page in the App Store, from there you can install the app if you want to.

Hopefully this will be a customisable experience.  If so I’d say it’s a cool feature.  I reckon that public transport apps could integrate this feature really well.  Perhaps favourite stations/stops could be set and as you approach them the app’s icon appears.

Background location usage notifications
Apple now wants to expose apps which use location data in the background with new alerts.  Users can already find this information out and should have actively found out already if that is important to them. The new alerts will prompt the user to stop allowing apps to track location or to allow it to continue.  If this alert pops up regularly even after tapping “Continue” this is going to be really annoying.  Right now there is an alert that appears every time I  use a location based app with Wi-Fi off telling me that location accuracy is better with Wi-Fi on.  You’d think that after three times I’d get the idea, but alas Apple knows best!  I hope that this notification can be disabled per app.

Customisable share sheet
In iOS 8 share sheets will be customisable.  Currently it is a bit frustrating to have to scroll through a list of apps I rarely/never upload to in order to reach the app I want.  iOS 7 should have been learning which apps I use frequently and prioritised their position, but instead it’s a random arrangement.  This new feature of iOS 8 is therefore an excellent step forward.  Apps and options can be added/taken away from the list.  The arrangement of apps can also be customised.

iOS screen capture on Mac
A nifty addition is the ability to capture video from an iOS device on a Mac. Plug an iOS 8 device into a Mac and it will show up as a camera.  Its screen can then be recorded using QuickTime.

New look for Settings
Some settings have been moved out of Notification Center settings to give that section a more streamlined appearance.  That seems a good thing but there are no longer options to disable the Today Summary, Calendar Day View, Reminders, or Tomorrow Summary.  That’s not good. The removal of customisation is almost always a step backwards.  Maybe there is a good reason for this in the long run but I prefer being able to customise views.

What are your thoughts about reported iOS 8 features?