9 Things You Didn’t Know Were Possible with iOS8

by Sandra Henshaw - , Last Updated on April 15, 2015, How To Guides

If you’re an Apple fan then the new iOS8 version has a lot of exciting stuff going on. All kinds of things are possible with iOS8 that just weren’t available options before, since Apple have opened the system up for developers more than any other iOS version before it. However, there are a few features that you might have missed, so we’re here with our list of the top nine things that you might not know are possible with iOS8…

Use Siri to Name Music Tracks

When it comes to voice control, Apple’s Siri really takes the cake. She’s cute, funny and very, very effective. And thanks to a new deal with the music identifying app Shazam, Siri can now be used to identify music. Just ask her “what music is playing?” and she’ll get you the name, the artist, and sometimes the album name as well as a link to iTunes to buy it, if you like it that much… Why bother opening up another app when Siri can do things for you?

Look Mum, No Hands!

And whilst we’re on the subject of Siri, you now have the option to talk to her hands free. As long as your phone is plugged into a power source (a regular or car charger) you can wake Siri up without even touching your phone. All you have to do is say “hey Siri,” and she’ll be awake to do what you need, even if your phone is locked. Definitely useful when you’re in the car, but also a cool little trick if you’ve left your phone on the other side of the room. Sweet.

Find Out Where Your Juice is Going

Battery draining faster than you think it should be? Now you can find out exactly what is using all your battery juice. Just go to Settings, then General, then Usage, and finally Battery Usage to see two lists of which processes are using up your battery power in order of consumption. One list shows the last week whilst the other shows the last twenty four hours. This has been possible on Android phones for a while now, so it’s nice to see Apple finally catching up.

Quick Reply

iOS8 also now features a quick reply function, which works in two ways. If your phone is alive you can simply drag a notification down from your status bar to open a quick reply box. If your phone is locked then press the notification and drag it to the left to open the quick reply option. This lets you instantaneously reply to messages without having to open the SMS or email app. Convenient and a huge time saver.

Grouping

Android phones let you group your contacts so that you can quickly send messages to many people in the same group at the same time. iOS8 hasn’t quite caught up, but you can now start a message thread, give it a name, and then add as many people as you like, which serves the same basic function. This also has the ability to share your location with one or more members of the group conversation, to leave the conversation if you choose to, and to turn off notifications for that particular conversation (handy if there are a lot of people constantly contributing).

Flyover

Actually, the Flyover option isn’t exactly new with iOS8, but it is bigger and better than ever before. Open the map app, search for a city and you’ll be offered an option to go on a flyover tour. You’ll get a full 3D view of your chosen city from the air, and even have famous landmarks pointed out to you, very sexy…

Send Instant Pictures and Audio Messages

If you head into the messaging app you’ll see a microphone icon. Press and hold it to record and as soon as you let go the audio message is sent. Not into audio messages? Tap and hold the camera icon to take a selfie and immediately swipe upwards to send it as a picture message. You can send video this way too by tapping the record icon through the camera app. Nice. Not only that though, there’s more. You can also set audio and picture messages to auto delete, saving valuable storage space on your phone. Go to the Settings menu, then hit Messages and you’ll get an option to choose auto delete. Be warned though, this doesn’t make your messages disappear from another person’s phone! The messages will only be deleted from your device as a space saving measure.

Minimising Email

Another handy new feature is the ability to minimise an email. Open the email that you want to read or write, then swipe it down. That email will be minimised, leaving you back on the main email screen. You can then open another email to be able to refer to it, and maximise or minimise the email you’re writing as necessary. Pretty useful if you need to reply to something that’s quite complicated…

Access Desktop Websites Through Safari

Many websites these days come in two versions: a mobile and a desktop version. Whilst a mobile website has been optimised for use with your phone, it might not always be the version that you wish to use. The desktop version of Amazon, for example, gives you more account and settings options than the mobile version does. Want to see desktop rather than mobile? Easy peasy. Just go to the website you want in Safari (which will automatically take you to the mobile version if available), tap the web address bar and swipe up, then you’ll be given an option to Request Desktop Site. Simple.

iOS8 is bigger, better and faster than ever before. It’s full of neat tricks and cool new features, you just have to find them! These nine features are the ones we think are coolest and most often overlooked, so check them out.