10 hidden features from iOS 8, Apple’s new operating system
1. Emergency Health ID
Powered by Apple’s new HealthKit, Emergency Health ID allows anyone to access basic and potentially life-saving health information from your iPhone’s lock screen. To set it up, open the Health app, tap Medical ID on the bottom right and add as much or as little information as you feel comfortable with. Now when you tap the Emergency button on the bottom left of your lock screen you’ll also find the option to view your medical details and emergency contact numbers.
2. Auto delete messages
If you’ve been using your iPhone for a long time, you’ll have built up quite an archive of text messages. This can take up a lot of unnecessary space (do you really need those texts and pictures from two years ago?). iOS 8 now allows you to automatically delete these old messages after either 30 days or one year, potentially freeing up gigabytes of storage. Tap Settings > Messages and scroll down to Message History before selecting how long you’d like to keep your old messages.
3. Snapchat-Like photos and videos
You can now send instant self-destructing videos, audio clips and pictures to your contacts via iMessage, not unlike Snapchat. To send a picture, go to your message window and tap and hold the camera icon on the left hand side. A small circular window will emerge, allowing you take a quick snap. A word of warning: once the picture or video has been shot, it will send immediately, there is no confirmation or edit screen, so make sure you don’t test this one while sitting on the toilet.
4. Swipe notifications individually
Swiping down at the top of your screen will display your phone’s Notification Centre. In here you’ll be informed of various alerts and app-related information. If you have a lot of apps and receive a lot of messages, this section can get cluttered and messy. In the past you could only clear these notifications all at once or not at all. However, by swiping left, you can now clear each notification individually.
5. Exposure control
It’s no secret that Apple’s iSight camera has always been lacking in terms of advanced features, especially when compared with the likes of Nokia or Samsung. Fortunately, Apple seems to be keen to change this with the introduction of exposure control. When taking a picture, tap where you wish to focus the screen (or tap and hold to lock the focus) and you’ll see a small sun icon appear. Drag it up or down to manually control the exposure levels on the fly.
6. Hide images from Photostream
If you have some unsightly or embarrassing photos in your Photostream that you wish to keep but would rather other people didn’t see, you’re in luck. Locate the offending image, tap, hold and select Hide from the menu that pops up. The image will now be quarantined in an album called Hidden, which you can access by opening your Photos app and selecting Albums in the bottom right corner. To put the image back where you found it, go to the Hidden album, tap and hold your image and select Unhide.
7. Swipe Quick Type away
iOS 8 saw the introduction of Quick Type, which is supposed to intelligently suggest words you’d like to use before you use them for speedy typing. It does however take up a lot of space and some people don’t find it particularly useful. Removing it is a breeze: tap anywhere on the suggest words and swipe downwards. A small grey bar is all that will remain; swipe the bar upwards if you want to bring the suggestions back.
8. Battery hogging apps
If you find that your battery seems to be running out of juice all the time but you don’t know why, this tip could be a godsend. Go to Settings > General > Usage > Battery Usage. You’ll see a breakdown of all the apps you’ve been using and how much battery power they’ve been eating up, which will give you a better idea of what apps you might want to regularly close down or uninstall.
9. Quick reply to messages by swiping down on notification banners
Any time you receive a text or iMessage you can swipe downwards on the notification banner, which will open small message window. Type your reply and hit send. This feature is particularly useful for those who dislike the faff of exiting an app in order to send a reply before re-entering the app they were in prior to receiving a message.
10. Recover recently deleted photos
By default, iOS 8 will now save all your deleted photos in an album called Recently Deleted. They will stay in this album for 30 days before they’re ultimately deleted forever. To find the folder, head to Photos > Albums. You might be surprised how many old photos are in there. If you don’t like the 30-day buffer zone, I’m afraid you cannot currently disable this feature. Your best bet is to open the album, tap Select in the top right corner and then tap Delete All in the bottom right corner.