I’ve been using iOS 8 for over a week now, and there are plenty of useful new features in this version of iOS. I’m sure you’ve heard all about the new Interactive Notifications, the improved Spotlight, the addition of 3rd party keyboards, and all the other awesome improvements Apple has brought with iOS 8. However, there are also a bunch of hidden features sprinkled throughout the OS that Apple didn’t mention during WWDC last Monday. Here are 5 features Apple didn’t tell you about that I find very useful.
1. Battery Usage stats
iOS 8 introduces a new feature within the Settings app which displays the percentage of your battery life each app you use consumes over a 24 hour or 7 day period. This will be very useful for pinpointing which apps are taking the biggest toll on your battery, allowing you to adjust your usage of said apps, or remove them completely. It even takes into account how much battery the apps are using in the background. You can find this list in the Settings app by navigating to General->Usage->Battery Usage.
2. Dismissing/ Marking notifications as read
With Interactive Notifications, you get the ability to mark Messages as read or Dismiss individual 3rd party notifications from the lock screen or within Notification Center. All it takes a swipe from right to left and you’ll notice a button to either “Mark as Read” or “Dismiss” the notification. I would imagine developers are able to add the “Mark as Read” button to their 3rd party apps when updating them for iOS 8. This can be extremely useful if you want to declutter your lock screen without unlocking your device, or if you want to dismiss only specific notifications from an app in Notification Center, while keeping the rest.
3. Quick access to recent photos in Messages
In iOS 7 and earlier, clicking the camera icon to send a photo in the Messages app would give you 3 options: Photo Library, Take Photo or Video, and Cancel. But with iOS 8, you also have the ability to scroll through your recent images stored in your Camera Roll for much quicker sending. This will eliminate quite a view taps and scrolling through photo albums to find the photo you’re looking for. This is a very nice time saving feature built-in to iOS 8.
4. Desktop Site access built-in to Safari
Recently I made the switch from Google Chrome to Safari due to Safari’s new power-saving features on Mac OS X. Since I insist on having my bookmarks sync with all of my devices, I also made the switch to Safari on my iPhone and iPad. One feature I missed in Google Chrome was the ability to access desktop versions of mobile websites. There have been many occasions where I was forced to hop onto my MacBook to access something that was not available while browsing on my iPhone or iPad. Luckily, you now have the option to Request the Desktop Site in mobile Safari by tapping the address bar and scrolling upwards to reveal the new “Request Desktop Site” button.
5. Custom share sheets
With iOS 8, Apple has opened up parts of the OS to 3rd party developers. One area this will be seen is in the Share sheets. When clicking the share button once apps begin to update for iOS 8, you will notice more and more options showing up depending on the apps you have downloaded. Obviously, this area will become pretty crowded, and thankfully Apple has a solution. Scrolling all the way over to the right, you will see a “More” button, which will allow you to reorganize and turn off the extensions you do not use, as you can see from the screenshots above. Not only will this bring added functionality to iOS, but it also allows for quicker access to share to the services you care about most, and even though there are no 3rd party extensions as of yet, it has been noticeably quicker for me to share certain items when just the stock options are in the order I want them in.
Are there any hidden features you find useful that I missed? Let me know in the comments below!