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Tip 4: How to restrict access
Android tablet owners can create multiple user profiles on one tablet, useful for controlling what apps children have access to, or to limit access when providing the device to someone else in a work environment.
iOS handles restricted access differently. Dealing with the kids first, iOS does allow the owner to set password-based restrictions in Settings —> General —> Restrictions, which can be enabled for in-app purchases, iTunes Store, installing apps, and Siri among others. Setting up restrictions in this way should address most of the app-related control issues parents face.
When you want to limit the device to just giving access to a single app, there's also Guided Access. It's found in Settings —> General —> Accessibility and sits beneath the title 'Learning'. After the owner enables Guided Access and creates a passcode, they can select the app they want the device restricted to by opening it and (with prompts) triple-pressing the Home button. The device then operates as if it only has one app and requires knowledge of the passcode to leave the designated app.
Image: Liam Tung
Tip 5: The walled garden is beginning to open up
The list of sharing options above would be a surprise to iOS owners who haven't used Android before. As the latter camp know, sharing links and content from an app with just about any other relevant app is one click away.
In iOS it hasn't been possible to send a tweet to Pocket or, for example, open a foreign language tweet in Google Translate. Even Twitter, a prioritised third-party app, has been limited to four actions: report tweet, mail tweet, copy link to tweet, and send to Reading List (a feature in Safari).
Developers thought Apple might enable better sharing in iOS 7 but it instead yanked what limited sharing was available, leaving iOS developers and users constrained by the lockdown.
Again, iOS 8 will finally open up its closed garden just enough to make iOS interesting again for users that had deserted the platform.
The new app data sharing is a part of iOS 8's new extension system, which should allow iOS users to do basically what Android users have been doing for some time.
But, with an eye on the home automation and health apps tied to the iPhone and possibly its long-rumoured companion iWatch, Apple has also introduced new frameworks to handle data sharing in these emerging areas of tech.
Using iOS 8's Health Kit, developers can build apps that will be notified when, for example, the user takes their blood pressure or if their blood pressure becomes too high. The Home Kit meanwhile opens the door for apps to discover and control networked devices in the home.
The other door Apple has opened up is its Touch ID fingerprint authentication system, which so far is more usable than rival systems. Owners of iPhone 5S and later will be able to open not just the device, but unlock apps with their fingerprints too. That it is now open to apps should help reduce the reliance on passwords. Some developers, such as the makers of password manager app 1Password, have already put that access to good use.
Image: Liam Tung
Tip 6: What to do about voice search
Neither assistant needs an introduction, but while consensus is that Google's two-year-old helper is leading Siri and Microsoft's Cortana, it's too early to say which will be the better long term bet.
Today, both have their shortcomings. Twitter remains the only third-party app with Siri integration, and while for the most part Apple's maps are the default, Siri will palm off transit routing searches to Google Maps, which Apple doesn't support.
Android owners on the other hand can open Twitter, Facebook, and basically any app with Google Now voice commands. Yet it can't do what Siri can: send a tweet.
Ex-Android people can still use Google Now in the Google Search for iOS app, but to get equivalent capabilities, such as opening the native email app or dictating a message and sending it, Siri is the only option on iOS, just as Now is on Android.
Siri may eventually offer more possibilities in vehicles, given support for Apple's CarPlay is due in forthcoming models of Volvo, Mercedes, and Ferrari. Panasonic is also offering after-market integration with CarPlay in several NEX in-vehicle systems. For the most part, however, it looks like car manufacturers are supporting both Android and iOS for in-vehicle systems.
Some key changes to Siri coming in iOS 8 include that is always listening. So, just as Android users can open Google Now today by saying "OK, Google", tomorrow iOS users will be able to say "Hey Siri" to activate it.
Image: Liam Tung