iOS 8 is finally here for users of the iPhone 4s and newer.
You can install it now and give it a whirl and, while we love that it offers a great advancement over iOS 7, and is the most powerful mobile operating system that Apple has ever launched, we still have a few disappointments.
Are we too critical? Perhaps, but we like to view things from both sides of the coin, and we think it’s only fair to talk about what we love in addition to what we don’t.
So, without further ado, here are our five biggest disappointments in iOS 8 right now. Some will likely be fixed sooner than others.
1. Continuity and Handoff Aren’t Fully Ready Until OS X Yosemite Launches
Two of the coolest features of iOS 8 still aren’t available for the operating system.
Continuity and Handoff will allow you to interact with your iOS device using other iOS or OS X Yosemite devices like never before, but we’re going to need to wait until OS X Yosemite launches before we can take full advantage of both features. Right now that date looks like Oct. 21. Handoff will let you start an e-mail, open a Safari page, or work on a Numbers, Keynote or Pages document on one device, and then pick up right where you left off on another. Continuity, meanwhile, will let you receive phone calls on your computer or iPad, send and receive MMS/SMS text messages and more.
We can’t wait to use them, but we won’t be able to until Apple launches OS X Yosemite.
2. NFC is Locked Down
This was a real bummer to learn the other day. Apple has locked down NFC on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus so that it only works with Apple Pay.
Don’t forget that Cupertino once locked its keyboard down from third party options, in addition to Touch ID, so it’s possible this will change down the road. Still, Android and Windows Phone both use NFC for Bluetooth pairing, establishing connections for sharing files and apps and more. We would love to see Apple open up the functionality to third party developers.
Thankfully AirDrop still works really well for file transfers.
3. It’s Still Not Nearly as Customizable as Android and Windows Phone
I know, I know, this isn’t really a huge complaint among iOS users who are used to the operating system. As someone who frequently moves between Android, iOS and Windows Phone, however, it’s still a gripe I have.
Yes, iOS 8 now lets you swap out the keyboard and widgets can finally be added to the notification shade. However, save for swapping out the wallpaper and moving icons around, the homescreen is still as static as ever before. Sometimes I wish it was more lively, like Windows Phone with its live tiles, or Android with its homescreen widgets. Will Apple ever actually enable that?
Probably not. iOS fans find Apple’s products incredibly easy to use.
4. Siri Needs to Be Smarter
Siri is improved in iOS 8 but we still think Google Now and, in some respects, Cortana are smarter. Both are able to keep you in the loop with your favorite sports scores as the games are happening, providing real-time information. Siri still requires you to ask her about the game, which feels a lot more antiquated and manual than the automatic data provided by her competitors. I want Siri to know I want to know about the game. Finally, you can now wake Siri now by saying “Hey Siri,” if your device is plugged in – but we wish she was always-on as is the case on newer Android handsets.
5. Landscape View Only Works on iPhone 6 Plus and iPads
Landscape view is great on the iPad – tilt the device sideways and you can view your e-mail inbox while also viewing the contents of each message individually. Apple brings this feature to the iPhone for the first time ever in iOS 8, but it only works on the iPhone 6 Plus.
That’s kind of a bummer and we think that Apple could have made it at least an option for the iPhone 6 as well. That 4.7-inch display should be more than enough space for viewing the extra content available in landscape mode, but Apple probably made it an exclusive feature in the iPhone 6 Plus as another selling point (though it does appear to work beautifully on that 5.5-inch screen).
I’m just asking for the option for improved landscape viewing on the iPhone 6 – why hold back?
Look, we think iOS 8 is great, but not everything that shines is gold. Every mobile operating system has its weak points, and this is more of just a wish list of what we’d like to see in iOS 8 today.
Yes, Continuity and Handoff are coming, but we wish OS X Yosemite launched at the same time as iOS 8 so that the features are available for immediate use. Deep customization is something we may never see – Apple likes to control that, and the lack of landscape mode on the iPhone 6 is far from a deal-breaker. It’s just a disappointment.
Want to know more? Here are our 5 favorite features of iOS 8.