25 Useful Tips, Tricks, and Hacks to Master iOS 8

Posted by , Updated on March 18, 2015

iOS 8 may look pretty similar to iOS 7, but it’s the most feature-packed update Apple has ever released. It can be tough to sort through all the newness so we’re taking a lot of the work out of it. Check out 25 of the best tips, tricks, and hacks to master iOS 8. You’re welcome dear Apple user.

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Handoff to your other devices

iPhone and computer

Using Handoff, continue what you were doing between your phone, computer, or tablet with ease. Linking through your iCloud account, look for an icon on the bottom left of your lock screen or the left part of App Switcher (what comes up when you double press the home button). It works for Messages, Safari, Map, Pages, Calendar, Number, Keynote, Contacts, and Reminders.


Keyboard freedom

Quicktype example

Wish you could swipe to type like those Android and Windows Phone users? Now you can. Download a third party keyboard from the App Store like Swype and you can set it as one of your keyboards. Go to Settings –> Keyboards –> Add New Keyboard after installing the app.


Getting pictures back

Recycle bin

If you deleted a picture by accident or want an old one back, now you can make use of the recently deleted folder to bring it back, just like going into the recycle bin on your computer. Open the picture and click recover.


Camera exposure

Ferris wheel exposure

Cameras in phones have been getting ever more advanced. Now you can change the exposure before taking a picture. Open the camera and tap where you want the focus to be; then slide your finger up or down on the right of the focus square to adjust the level.


Shazam + Siri

Siri conversation

Rather than wait the start-up time to open Shazam, just ask Siri “What song is this?” and you’ll get the answer from Shazam right there.


Secret photos

Bank vault

PhotoVault and other passcode-secured apps gave iPhone users a private place for their questionable or more private photos. Of course, we’d never have any of those on our phones. Now Apple allows you to do it without an extra app. Just tap and hold the photo then click hide; It’ll go to your hidden album.


Private browsing

DuckDuckGo private browsing

For those wanting more internet security, it’s now possible to use privacy search engine DuckDuckGo as your default. Go to Settings –> Safari –> Search Engine –> DuckDuckGo and enjoy private browsing.


Send audio messages

Woman talking on phone to her ear

One of the coolest new features is the ability to send audio messages in the Messages app. Either press the microphone icon next to the text box (and swipe up to send when done) or hold your device to your ear and speak the message (it’ll send when you lower the phone). If someone sends you an audio message, hold the device to your ear to listen and speak your reply once their message finishes.


Easily access favorites and recent contacts

iPhone new favourites section

Your favourites and recent contacts are easier to call than ever. Just double click the home button and they’ll be at the top of the screen. Click on the person to call, message, or Facetime.


Straightening a crooked image

Crooked image

It’s easy to take a picture that’s not entirely straight (if that’s what you’re going for). To fix it, open the picture, hit the crop icon, and turn the dial (like a compass) at the bottom of the screen.


Use a website's desktop version

Apple desktop

It takes extra time, work, and money for developers to make a mobile website version so not all websites have them. Sometimes you still prefer the desktop version (or it’s better optimized); now you can access it by tapping on the URL and swiping down to select the desktop version.


Reopen a closed tab

Google new tab

Just like in your computer browser, now you can reopen closed tabs in Safari. Open a new tab and select which to open from the recently closed tabs list.


Favouriting your pictures

iPhone taking a photo

Easily add a picture to your Favourites album now by clicking the heart at the bottom of the screen.


QuickType fix

iPhone messaging

QuickType is not everyone’s cup of tea. If it’s not for you, swipe down on the grey boxes and they’ll become a small grey bar. Swipe up on the bar to get them back.


Selective email notifications

iPhone email options

Many of us get tens or hundreds of emails a day. Now get notified only of those you really want. Swipe partially to the left on the message, tap More, and click on Notify Me. Now you’ll get a notification when any new email arrives from that thread. When composing a message, touch the alarm bell to enable notifications.


Minimising emails

iPhone email

Apple has followed the lead of email companies by allowing you to minimise an email so you can check other emails without reverting to the old way (saving what you’re working on and having to go into drafts to continue writing). When writing a new message, just swipe down from the top of the message you’re composing. To reopen, tap the bar at the screen’s bottom.


Medical ID

EMS training

Help emergency medical staff by creating a Medical ID on your phone. They can access it from the lock screen and it will help them provide better treatment. Open the new Health app and touch the last tab to set it up.


Safari can input your credit card number

Credit card

Save time and prevent errors by having Safari put your credit card number in. When buying online, click the area for Card Number and select Scan Credit Card from the top of the keyboard.


Find out where your energy is going

Weather widget

It seems a whole industry has emerged to help us recharge or extend battery on our power-sucking devices. To see where your energy is going, click Settings –> General –> Usage –> Battery Usage.


Widgets wonder

iPhone no battery charge

Widgets give you a short chunk of info about any of your apps, such as the weather or the latest rugby score. Turn on an app’s widget from the Notification Centre (swipe down from the screen’s top), select the Today tab, scroll to the bottom and click Edit. This feature isn’t available for all apps.


Family Sharing

Family eating dinner and cell phones

Save money and share the apps you buy with others in your family. If you, your brother, and mom all want WhatsApp, create up an AppleID for the family. Pick someone to invite up to six people to join by going through Settings –> iCloud and you can share purchases apps as well as photos, calendars, locations, and more.


Quiet down massive group chats

Bill Clinton in middle of big group

We’ve all been the victims or overbearing, incessant group messages at some point. To mute or leave the conversation, click Details in the thread and find the options at the bottom.


Unediting pictures, even from a while ago

Steve Jobs with iPhone

Even if you’ve edited a picture days ago, you can still go back to the original. After opening the image, touch Edit –> Revert. Thanks, Steve Jobs…er, Tim Cook.


Let your friends know where you are

Boat phone share location

Share your location with friends or family on a one-time or recurring basis. Click Details from a person’s name and choose the option.


Apple Tips


For more tips, look in the Extras folder for Apple’s newest addition to its stock applications. Click the light bulb to find out more iOS 8 tips, updated weekly by Apple HQ.

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