Next week, Apple will release IOS 8 their later operating system for devices such as iPhone 4s and up and iPad 2 and above. While this doesn’t mean an automatic appearance of Siri or Airdrop on your devices, this will greatly change the way you use IOS devices in the classroom. Here are a few ways it will change the way you teach this fall.
1. Quick Type Feature: iOS 8’s new texting feature will have a bar above the keyboard that shows you words that you’re likely to use to respond to certain incoming texts, or words you’re likely about to type as you type. And the more you use it, the more your iPhone will learn about the way you text. If that wasn’t enough, iOS 8 also enables third-party keyboard installation, so you’ll be able to use apps like Swype—in which you spell by swiping your finger, without lifting, across letters—to communicate even faster. This about it, many classrooms are using SMS messaging for instant text between students and teachers when they have a question or want instant feedback. Now that you can add third-party keyboards, iPads can be tailored to the student’s needs easier now. Students with handicaps can now text instant with Swype or students teachers that need more language keyboards can install them without problems. This also has huge factor in email and document creation through the various Apps from Pages to Google Docs. It makes the student and teacher’s devices more personal to them and with it, they are able work more freely to their liking and not limited about what is default.
2. Spotlight Search: Sure when we have mobile carts or just classroom iPads its easy to find that App or message but force pushing down and typing in the search. Of course, when you want to do a web search or wiki search you have to go into Safari or another App. Not anymore, now you can search the web, dictionaries and more right from your iPad without going into another App. This will save so much time and also teach students the various resources they can do for research.
3. There is a Health App for that: This is the biggest change for Apple. They are really focusing on fitness and health now. The new app is a hub to gather and collect your personal info and data on fitness, diet, sleep, medication and more. The Health app itself isn’t going to collect data—you can authorize third-party apps that monitor, for example, how many steps you take or how you sleep, to feed their data into Health. You’ll also be able to connect it to wearable technology like Nike+ or Fitbit. For PE and school athlete this is huge in collecting data that can be easily transferred to a Google Sheet for fitness reports or synch data for early adopters of the Apple Watch. PE and Health just got a major boost with mobile IOS devices.
4. Siri just got a whole lot better: If you have IOS devices that have Siri on them. Apple has partnered with Shazam to give Siri sound-recognizing powers. And you can start talking to her without having to hold down the home button: just say “Hey, Siri!” Even better? Siri also displays the text of what you’re saying as you say it, and she’s become fluent in 22 languages.
5. Respond in Notification Center: Normally when you get a text or iMessage, you’ll see a notification banner that appears at the top of your screen—that much hasn’t changed. But in iOS 8, to reply to that message, you simply swipe down on the banner. A text box appears in which you can directly reply to that message, in writing or by voice note. In other words, if you’re busy crushing candy, you don’t have to switch out of the game to answer your friend or student or teacher. And this is just one part of iOS 8’s revamped Notification Center. The new reply feature will be available for third-party apps like Twitter and Facebook, so you can quickly and easily retweet, favorite or like a post without having to open up the apps.
While there are plenty more features to talk about in IOS 8 this is just a sample of what you can do now with IOS 8 starting next week. For more on the features of IOS8 please head over to Time.