Yesterday afternoon, around 1PM EST, Apple released it’s final iteration of iOS 8 to the public. iOS 8 is touted to be one of the most expansive iterations to ever hit an iOS device. From the ability to substitute third-party keyboards, to widgets within Notification Center, iOS 8 promises to bring many new and exciting features to those who use iOS devices. Today, we are taking a look at a few of the apps that released updates shortly after iOS 8 became available.
Of course, everybody was waiting for third-party keyboards to come to iOS, and with iOS 8, they are finally here. SwiftKey was one of the first to hit the App Store, and at the time of this writing, there were 393 reviews of it already, giving SwiftKey a rating of 4.5/5 stars. While the Android version obviously has more options, in terms of the various themes, today is only the first day, and I expect SwiftKey to bring some of those themes, if not different ones, to their iOS users as time progresses. SwiftKey is available for free via the link below.
Apple App Store: SwiftKey
Swype was one of the next more exciting keyboards to hit the iOS 8 big screen, however, it seems that Swype isn’t nearly as popular as it’s counterpart, SwiftKey. With 3/5 stars in the App Store with 344 reviews, it’s not quite known what the big difference between SwiftKey and Swype is, but I’m sure as the reviews pile in, everyone will know more. The odd thing is, at first glance, Swype seems to predict what I’m actually trying to type better than SwiftKey does, but TechDissected will conduct a more rigorous test and have the results at a later time. Swype is available for $0.99 cents via the link below.
Apple App Store: Swype
Fleksy was the dark horse of the iOS 8 keyboard race, and while it was expected to see them get into the iOS 8 game, it came as a surprise to see the developers hopping on the train early. You can pretty much find Fleksy just about anywhere, including for Galaxy Gear smart watches, so the arrival to iOS is a welcome one. There are definitely no where near as many reviews for Fleksy as there are for Swype and SwiftKey, but it does command a 3.5/5 star rating within the App Store at the time of this writing. Fleksy doesn’t offer a swipe-styled keyboard, however, Fleksy instead, offers a gesture based keyboard. Fleksy is also $0.99 but an additional in-app purchase, of $0.99 unlocks all of the premium themes.
Apple App Store: Fleksy
This update surprised me the most after going through the App Store, and seeing which apps were updated to take advantage of the iOS 8 extensions. Clear, is a gesture based to-do list application, and they released an update today to allow its’ users to see their to-do’s within Notification Center. Once you’ve created your tasks, and set the due dates/times, the tasks automatically appear within the Notification Center. In order to access them from here, simply tap on one of the tasks, and it takes you directly into Clear. Clear is available on iOS for $2.99.
Apple App Store: Clear
Until Fantastical 2 is updated to work in tandem with iOS 8, I’ll be using Calendars 5 from Readdle. Calendars 5 was one of my choices when I was trying to find the most intuitive, and useful, calendar apps for iOS. When I saw that the developers hit the App Store with their iOS 8 updated version, I jumped at it. Of course, I had already paid for it, as I do with most apps, but I was excited to see what Calendars 5 had to offer. Calendars 5 allows you to see what your day will be like from the Notification Center, and allow you to quickly add events or tasks by tapping the “Add New” button in the Calendars 5 section. The Notification Center section will also display tasks that are to be completed today, as well. Calendars 5 is available for $6.99 via the link below.
Apple App Store: Calendars 5
1Password was THE app I was most excited about iOS 8 for. It’s a password security application, with built-in two step authentication with the Vault password, and the entry pin-code. However, with iOS 8, there’s no need for that anymore. 1Password takes advantage of the Touch ID sensor capabilities, and allows me to quickly access my locked passwords without having to enter two different forms of passwords. This will probably force me to use 1Password even more than I already do, now that it won’t take as long to get into my Vault. 1Password is available for free with the Premium service available for $9.99. If you have already purchased 1Password 4 for iOS 7, the Premium service is included with 1Password 5.
Apple App Store: 1Password
Instapaper is my go to Read-It-Later service, and has been since Marco Arment was still the developer. Shoot, it’s be my RIL service since I start using those types of services. I’ve gone between Pocket, and others but I keep coming back to Instapaper. I was extremely surprised to see that Instapaper had been updated for iOS 8 to take advantage of the Extensions. I wasn’t exactly sure how Instapaper could take advantage of the Extensions so I had to dive in for a closer look. After some more inspection, I learned that users no longer need to add bookmarklet to Safari in order to save articles. Simply tap the share button within Safari, select Instapaper, and you’re done. After you’ve save some articles, Instapaper shows you what you’ve saved in the Notification Center that day, so you can just tap an article and read away. Instapaper is available for free with the Instapaper Premium subscription being available for $2.99.
Apple App Store: Instapaper
This was the odd-ball update of the day. Of all the apps to get updated, and with more updates on the way, I really didn’t expect to see a GAME with an iOS 8 update. How could a game take advantage of either Touch ID or the iOS 8 Extensions? Well it turns out, Two Dots integrated Extensions so that you can quickly swipe down your Notification Center and see what your current progress is, including what Level you are on, and how many lives you have left. Two Dots is an example of an app taking advantage of iOS 8 even though it wasn’t expected to. Hopefully more games do the same, and we can quickly access or games on the fly, just by tapping the section within the Notification Center. Two Dots is available for free via the link below.
Apple App Store: Two Dots
Some of these applications take advantage of the Extensions within iOS 8, while others take advantage of the Touch ID capabilities that were added with iOS 8. Nonetheless, these apps are a great list to start from, when trying to open up the power behind iOS 8, and see what it can really do. What apps have you discovered so far? What apps are you looking forward to seeing an update from? Let us know in the comment section down below.