13 nifty new features in iOS 8

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13 nifty new features in iOS 8

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A Dan Thompson contribution
13 nifty new features in iOS 8

iOS 8 is a teeming mass of code, a carefully crafted cornucopia of new
features. Some, Apple has

marketed to the skies. Others are quiet touch-ups that

you’ll just stumble upon.

Here, on one handy page, you can delve into 13 buried treasures on Apple’s
latest update to its mobile

operating system.

1. Send the most recent photo

When you’re texting someone, and you want to send a photo, which photo are
you most likely to want

to send?

Why, the last one you took, of course. Or at least one of the last few. iOS
8 realizes that and saves you

the hassle of burrowing through all your photos

and albums to find it.

Where to find it: When you’re in Messages, tap the Camera icon. BOOM: The
last few photos you’ve

taken or imported are right there in front of you. Scroll

to the left to see more of them, going back in time. Tap the one you want,
and then tap Send 1 Photo.

(Actually, you can tap more than one, if you want.)

2. Last known location

Your battery dies. You can’t find your phone. Now what? You can’t use Find
My iPhone if your phone is

lying dead under a couch at a neighbor’s house, because

that feature used to work only when your phone could respond.

Thanks to this update, you now have a prayer of finding your phone again.
Before it dies, your phone

will send Apple its location. You have 24 hours to

log in to iCloud.com and use the Find My iPhone feature to see where it was
at the time of death. (After

that, Apple deletes the location information.)

Where to find it: Open Settings ? iCloud ? Find My iPhone. Turn on both Find
My iPhone and Send Last

Location.

3. Hands-free Siri

Apple is keeping up with the Joneses – or, rather, the Motos. Now you can
command Siri without

having to hold down the home button. Just say “Hey, Siri”

to get her attention – and then speak your command.

This trick is especially good when you’re driving. If you ”must” use your
phone, doing so without looking

at it or touching it is the best way.

The feature works only when your phone is plugged in to power or using a
battery pack.

Where to find it: Open Settings ? General ? Siri. Turn on Hey Siri.

4. Scan my credit card

The iCloud Keychain feature can already store your credit card information,
address info, and other

details, so you don’t have to painstakingly type it

into every website where you buy something. But now it’s super easy to store
your credit card

information in the first place.

Where to find it: At the moment you’re asked for your credit card number (on
a website), the Safari

browser’s keyboard sprouts a new button that says Scan

Credit Card. Aim your phone/tablet’s camera at your credit card and take a
picture; Safari analyzes the

photo and converts the numbers to text. (As always,

you still have to manually enter the four-digit security code every time you
buy something – an extra

layer of security.)

5. Hide my photos

Not all of your photos, ahem, are meant for public consumption. So in iOS 8,
for the first time, you can

hide photos and videos within the Photos app.

Where to find it: Hold your finger down on a photo. In the shortcut menu,
tap Hide. Confirm by tapping

Hide Photo. (Your hidden stuff is, for some reason,

still visible in its original album – in Albums view. It’s hidden only from
the Moments, Collections, and

Years groupings.)

6. Sleuth out the battery gluttons

Now you can see which apps are responsible for sucking down your battery
power. That’s an incredible

help if you’re frustrated by short battery life.

Where to find it: Open Settings ? General ? Usage ? Battery Usage. Wait
patiently.

(Note, in this shot, the Low Signal notation indicates that your phone blew
through a lot of power trying

to reach the Internet to get your mail or a cellular

signal when there wasn’t much signal.)

7. Load the full website (instead of the mobile version)

In an effort to conserve time and bandwidth (yours and theirs), many
websites are available in special

mobile versions – smaller, stripped-down sites that

transfer faster than (but lack some features of) the full-blown sites. You
generally have no control over

which version you’re sent.

Until now, that is. In iOS 8, you can request the full-blown site if the
mobile one isn’t quite cutting it for

you.

Where to find it: Suppose you’re in the Safari browser and some site has
dished up its mobile version,

and you’re gnashing your teeth.

Tap in the address box, and then swipe downward on the screen. A button
called Request Desktop Site

appears; tap it.

8. Quick access to your VIPs

Next time you want to reach someone – call, text, FaceTime – don’t fumble
for the Contacts or Phone

apps. Use the new feature that presents the headshots

of the people you’ve communicated with most recently; and, to their right,
the icons for people you’ve

listed on your Favorites screen.

Where to find it: You can use this trick anywhere, from within any app.
Double-press the home button,

as though you want to open the app switcher. There,

at the top of the screen, are the new headshots. Tap one to make it expand
into icons for the various

comm channels: Phone, Message, FaceTime Audio, and

so on.

9. Delete email faster

In your list of messages, one gesture, not two, can delete a message.

Where to find it: Swipe leftward. Halfway across the screen, you’ll see the
More, Flag, and Trash

buttons. You can tap one of those, if you’re so inclined.

But if you swipe ”fully” across the screen, you trash the message – no
muss, no fuss.

Bonus tip: If you drag a message you’ve already read to the right, you get a
Mark As Unread button.

Wild.

10. Take Mail’s hint

If Mail spots a name, number, flight, or date in the body of an email
message (for example, the block of

contact info in somebody’s signature), it thoughtfully

offers to record that detail into the appropriate app. For example, it can
stash a new correspondent’s

contact info into your Contacts with one tap, or

add an appointment to your Calendar.

Where to find it: It’s automatic. Open any message where somebody has
included contact,

appointment, or flight information. Tap Add to Contacts or Add

to Calendar.

11. Much, much better dictation

The phone’s ability to turn your spoken dictation into typed text has always
been a source of frustration

(and not just on the iPhone). Well, this time

around, Apple has done something about it.

When you dictate, you’ll notice, first of all, that the words appear as you
say them (like on Android). No

more staring at a blank screen, wondering if

and when you’re going to get a transcription.

(But doesn’t Siri need the context of the entire sentence before it knows
what words you’ve said? Yes.

That’s why, often, you’ll see words change before

your eyes, after they’ve already been heard. That’s Siri reconsidering what
you meant, based on the full

passage.)

You’ll notice much better transcriptions overall – especially if you have an
accent.

Where to find it: Anywhere you can type. Tap the microphone icon at the
bottom of the onscreen

keyboard.

12. The predictive words row

From the BlackBerry and other phones, iOS 8 adopts a new way to speed up
typing. There’s a row of

three candidate words above the keyboard. They change

as you type – and they get smarter and smarter the more you use it. In fact,
the phone learns different

predictive vocabulary in email and texting, since

you probably use a different style in each of those contexts.

When you first start typing, these suggestions include “I,” “The, and “I’m”
– the three most common

words to begin messages.

Suppose, for example, that you want to type: “I’m sorry, but I can’t find it
anywhere.” Here’s a blow-by-

blow look at how the suggestions change as you

type. (Left column: What you do. Right column: How the three predictive
words have changed.) You use

a combination of typing letters and tapping full words

to save time:

Total taps: 14. If you had typed it on the old keyboard, it would have been
32 taps.

(Notice how iOS 8 adds or removes spaces correctly, even when you put in a
comma.)

13. Learn your own darned tips

There’s a new app called Tips. Open it to read a set of tips, which Apple
will periodically update, that let

you know about great little iOS 8 features

like the ones described here.

(Document Source: Denny Huff

Gateway For the Blind

Phone: (636) 262-1383

Fax: (314) 558-0298

WWW.GatewayForTheBlind.Com)

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