25 July 2014

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iOS8 beta 4 New features: Smarter Dictation, Redesigned Control Panel Interface, Mail Swipe Gestures and More!

iOS fans and developers who are so keen about having a firsthand experience of iOS 8 must be pleased because the fourth beta version of the much anticipated iOS 8 is released for testing.

To give you a recap of the previous iOS 8 beta version release dates, take a look at the timeline below:
  • iOS 8 beta 1 – release date: June 2, 2014 9am PDT or June 3, 2014 12:00am PHT
  • iOS 8 beta 2 – release date: June 18, 2014 9am PDT or June 19, 2014 12:00am PHT
  • iOS 8 beta 3 – release date: July 8,2014 9am PDT or July 9, 2104 12:00am PHT
  • iOS 8 beta 4 – release date: July 21,2014 9am PDT or July 22, 2104 12:00am PHT
Now that iOS8 is on its fourth beta stage, it’s about six weeks before its Golden Master build will be released to the general public as a free update from iOS 7.1.2.

Here's a preview for some of the changes and new features added to iOS 8 beta 4.

Tips
iOS8 beta 4 brings a new app called "Tips". It provides quick tips and tutorials about iOS features.

 


The iOS dictation feature is getting smarter! 
It shows your words being transcribed almost in real-time as you say them rather than waiting for an entire message to be complete before displaying text.


Redesigned Control Center
The black borders around the icons on the top and bottom are removed. The broken lines separating the icons are also removed. when an icon is activated on the control panel, it will turn white.



Mail
Swipe left and swipe right gestures in the Mail app can be assigned to different functions in the Mail, Contacts, and Calendars section of the Settings app. This is now my favorite feature. At first try, I accidentally archived some of my important mails by swiping the e-mail header to the left. Good thing, I was able to put it back to my inbox.


HomeKit
There is a new Home Data icon in the Privacy section of the Settings app


Bug Reporter
The Bug Reporter app that came installed by default in previous betas has been removed. On the previous beta versions, bug reporter resides in the Notification Center. It's a good sign that the succeeding beta versions are less buggy than the first three iOS 8 betas.


Handoff and Suggested Apps
There are new options in the Setting app to toggle Handoff on and off. There's also a new section that allows users to toggle on Suggested Apps, which offer app suggestions relevant to location. 


Safari Bookmarks
The icon for Bookmarks within Safari has been tweaked slightly. In the image below, the new version is on the top and the old version is on the bottom.



Keyboard Settings
The option to toggle on the QuickType keyboard within the Keyboard section of the Settings app is now labeled as "Predictive" instead of "QuickType."


Spotlight Search
There are new options to remove Voice Memos and Bing Web Results from Spotlight Search in the Settings app.


Emoji Keyboard Icon has a happier smiley face!


Recently Deleted items show the days remaining before it will be automatically deleted.


The new features listed above are just some of the known features added to iOS 8 beta 4. There are more features and changes yet undiscovered. If you found some, please contribute to this blog by posting it on the comment box below. Thanks :)

Disclaimer 
Apple does not recommend owners to use the Beta for personal everyday use due to potential bugs. So if you can't wait until its public release, use it at your own risk.

Download  
The iOS 8 Beta releases can be downloaded over-the-air (OTA) and via Apple's developer portal, for compatible devices.


Verdict
I am so delighted by iOS8 beta 4. Only a few installed apps hung up while my frequently used apps work perfectly fine. I decided to keep it to my phone since the battery performance dramatically improved compare to the previous iOS betas. I so love the QuickType (now called Predictive on the keyboard setting) because it's very useful. It records my frequently used terms even our local language and dialects are smartly recorded.  It doesn't let you finish typing the words that you want to type because it intelligently suggest the relevant words you need which is a very useful feature. Just type the first few letters and Predictive will do the rest for you. You too will love it!

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