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Everything You need To Know About IOS 8

It’s official, we are getting a new iOS, and you are going to love the smarter, faster, family-centric and health-focused iOS 8. This version comes with great sharing options: Family Sharing which lets you share purchases made by family members, iCloud Drive, fo easier file syncing between mobile and desktop devices and Handoff… just scroll all the way to the end to find out what it is all about.

iOS 8

Also available in this latest mobile OS version from Apple is Quicktype, a smarter predictive text engine, gestures for navigating through Mail, a more interactive Notification Center and awesome photo-editing features for photography lovers.

While we wait until iOS 8 becomes available this fall, here’s a sneak peek into everything you need to know about iOS 8.

1. Faster Access Everywhere

With the new iOS 8, the notification center is now more dynamic. You can do more straight from the notification center without opening apps such as replying SMSes, liking a photo you are tagged in on Facebook, accepting or declining calendar invitations and more.


In Mail, you can now use swipes to mark an email as read, flag it, or delete the email. Drafts can now be swiped down and "stored" temporarily while you work on something. Just retrieve the draft when you want to continue working on it. Mail is also now more intuitive: it recognizes important data such as a phone number, flight confirmation or reservation and prompts you to add the data to a calendar event or your Contacts.


Spotlight on OS X Yosemite has gotten plenty powerful and apparently the iOS 8 version is getting some of the same features. Spotlight searches now pull up suggestions from Wikipedia, news sites, nearby places, movie showtimes and suggested websites. It also works on Safari, iTunes, iBooks and the App Store.


Double tapping the Home button will give you access to your favorite and recent contacts fast. You can then just call, text or FaceTime your contacts straight from the menu, or you can contact them via the new features found on Messages.

2. Messages Gets Pumped Up

Messages on iOS 8 is looking a lot like Whatsapp on steroids. For starters you are getting group messaging functionality so you can add or remove people from conversation threads, and even name these threads for better organization.

Hate typing? Just tap-to-talk or send an video or audio message on Messages. You can receive and send audio messages just by holding up your iPhone to your ear.

You can also share your location for a selected period or indefinitely with your buddies in group chat like Nearby Friends on Facebook, and make some messages self-destruct like on Snapchat. Want to be left alone for a presentation or a meeting? Put the thread on a Do Not Disturb mode for some peace and quiet.

3. Quicktype – A Smarter Way To Text

iOS 8 is getting a new keyboard, equipped with a predictive technology called Quicktype. It doesn’t just predict spellings, it predicts answers in a way that "communicates" your communication style. Basically, it learns how you type to a person (your mom or your colleague) or on an app (on email or on Facbeook) and suggests words based on how you interact with or on those entities (informal or black-tie formal).

For those concerned with privacy, Quicktype will learn all of this solely on the device, meaning that it doesn’t need to be connected to the Internet to do so. What you type on your device stays on your device.

This predictive text engine is available in 14 countries, falling back on common phrases and words used in that particular region.

4. Take Control of Your Health

It is the age of wearable tech and fitness apps and with HealthKit on iOS 8, Apple is taking it a step further and ensuring that your health is completely in your hands. With the new Health app for users and the HealthKit for developers, you can now choose to store your blood group or allergies right on your lock screen, or share or transmit vital information about your health to your family doctor or fitness trainer in real-time.

And with the HealthKit, developers can just integrate their hardware with the Health app rather than new hardware from scratch. Imagine having a your medical health report with you at all times – well now, it is happening.

5. Edit, Sync and Share Photos

Photos will now be integrated with iCloud in its very own iCloud Photo Library. Every photo you take with an iOS device will be available on all other connected devices, edits included. The photos can be accessed and downloaded from any device in full resolution.

Photos also now has smart editing tools – it auto-straightens, gives you ideal crop sizes, and automatically adjusts lighting and color levels with easy controls. Not to worry if you are really into perfecting your photos, there is still the option to manually fine-tune these pre-selected adjustments.

All changes will be synced, and made available for easy search according to location, time period and name.

6. Keep It Within The Family

Now this is a long time coming. You can now use family sharing to share purchases from iTunes, iBooks and the App store that your family members have made with the same credit card. Sharing is allowed to up to 6 family members and best of all any purchase made on any of the connected devices will automatically prompt the credit card owner for permission.

If you are not keen on purchasing and sharing apps, Family Sharing also lets you share family photos, calendars, events, reminders, family friends and even each other’s location info across all connected devices.

7. Continuity, Hands-Off

On top of Photos and Family Sharing, iOS 8 comes with a new iCloud Drive feature which allows us to share pretty much anything (presentations, PDFs, documents, files) between iOS and Mac OS X through cloud technology. Edits are synced and you no longer have to import, copy or transfer files from one device to another.

Better yet, iOS 8 comes with Handoff, a new feature that lets you pick up and continue working on a file as and when you switch devices. This works with Mail, Safari, Maps, Messages, Reminders, Calendar and Contacts.

With this you can start writing an email on your iPhone and finish off on your Mac, or reply SMS or take calls you receive on your iPhone, while on your Mac.

10 Awesome Accessories For Your Brand New MacBook

It’s no secret that we are fans of Apple devices and the accessories that make them look good. From decals to stickers, from stands to cases, Apple accessories are a dime a dozen and for this post, we are going to look into accessories for the MacBook.


This time though, we are changing it up a bit. Instead of the usual, we are featuring accessories that will make using your MacBook a lot easier. Some of them are for managing cables, while others help you save space. Others fix nuisances that litter the regular Macbook user, and we also have one that can help you really multitask across multiple (physical) screens.

Found another accessory that you think should be part of this list? We’d like to hear about it in the comments section below.

1. Nifty MiniDrive

If you find the 128GB or 256GB SSD on a MacBook Pro a little too small for your liking, you might wanna get a Nifty MiniDrive for an extra boost of up to 64GB.

The Nifty MiniDrive uses a MacBook’s SD card slot to add to your storage space. While conventional SD cards would stick out of the MacBook when inserted, the Nifty MiniDrive uses a MicroSD card so it would sit flush with the body, thereby creating a seamless and clean look.

Nifty MiniDrive

As of now, it is compatible with the older MacBook Pro, Retina and Air models while support for the late 2013 models are in the works.

Price: $39.99 – Visit website

2. PlugBug

The PlugBug is a unique add-on for people traveling with iPads. It replaces the original male plug with one that has a USB at the back – this allows iPad users to charge both their MacBook and iPad at the same time.


Besides that, your iPad mini would also charge faster through this device thanks to the 10 watt power output. Although it currently only supports US sockets, more international options are said to be in the works.

Price: $34.99 – Visit website

3. ZenDock

The ZenDock is a cable management tool that helps you get rid of messy cables on your desk. It has a Firewire, USB, ethernet, Mini DisplayPort, speaker and microphone pass through, thereby creating the illusion that only one cable is attached to your MacBook. There’s even a cutout for the MacBook power cable.


The ZenDock is compatible with the older MacBook Air, Pro and Retina olders and the creators are also planning to release a version for the new MacBook when it’s made available (late 2013).

Price: $159 – Visit website

4. Snuglet

The MacBook MagSafe is made in such a way that it’s easily removable. However, this also means that when it’s used in bed or on other uneven surfaces, it’ll come off way too easily.


The Snuglet is a small metal device that sits inside the MacBook charger port to prevent the power cable from being accidentally removed when it’s pushed up or down. The Snuglet can be easily removed with a paperclip-like hook and its usage won’t interfere with charging.

Price: $19 – Visit website

5. LapTuk Pro

Here’s another tool to help minimize the usage of desk space while using a MacBook with an external screen. The solid steel LapTuk Pro is designed in such a way that you can slide your MacBook into it. You then place the monitor on top of the top layer of steel – this gives the added benefit of an elevated monitor for better posture.


Since LapTuk Pro is elevated off the table, you can slide things like a tablet or bluetooth keyboard underneath whenever they are not in use, creating a clean and clutter-free desk.

LapTuk Pro has a 4-port USB 3.0 hub that comes with its own power adapter.

Price: $99.99 – Visit website

6. LandingZone

The LandingZone is a desktop dock for your MacBook Pro or Air that allows you to easliy leave your USB and desktop peripherals in place when you take your MacBook away from your desk.


The most high-end version, LandingZone 2.0 PRO includes 4 SuperSpeed USB 3.0 pass-through ports, a Kensington Security Slot, a Mini DisplayPort and gigabit Ethernet port. The Kensington Security Slot ensures that no one can undock your MacBook while you’re away. The LandingZone also has its own power adapter if you plan to use all the ports at once.

Price: $49 – $179 – Visit website

7. Henge Docks

With Henge Docks, you can have the comfort of working with a desktop while enjoying the portability a MacBook offers as it docks a MacBook vertically, thereby saving lots of desk space for your external monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Henge Docks

Once you have to leave the office, simply undock your MacBook to take all your work with you. Henge Docks uses extension cables (instead of built-in connectors) and feeds them nicely to get a clean desktop.

Price: $55 – $74.95 – Visit website

8. DualHead2Go

If you enjoy working with multiple monitors, you might wanna consider getting a Matrox DualHead2Go, a device that uses a Thunderbolt port on your MacBook to extend the display up to 2 additional monitors (giving you a total of 3 screens).


The tiny box is powered by a USB port and can power 2 monitors with 1920×1200 resolution. You can choose to mirror the external displays or extend it for greater multitasking possibilities.

Price: $160 – Visit website

9. mTower

Somewhat similar to Henge Docks, mTower is also a device that helps you save some desk space, taking up approximately one third of your MacBook’s footprint (about 114x24mm).


All ports and cables are still accessible when the MacBook is docked, not interfering with the device’s performance. Because of its anodized aluminium body, the sleekly designed mTower also doubles as a large heat sink for your MacBook.

Price: $49.90 – Visit website

10. PowerCurl

The good thing about a MacBook charging cable’s length is that it allows you to charge your MacBook from a power outlet that’s far away. However, that length also means that it is not that easy to bring around with you.


PowerCurl is a simple yet effective solution to the problem – you can use it to hold your power adapter in the center while winding the cables neatly around it. It’s available in 2 colors (blue and grey) and is compatible with both old and new MacBook Pro and Air models.

Price: $9.99 – Visit website