Apple's latest iOS 8 released on Sept. 17, went ahead of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launches. With the new OS making its way to users, we take a look at the top 8 tips, tricks and nifty features that will have you grinning from ear-to-ear.
Apple's Camera app gets a much-needed enhancement that had so far been missing: a self-timer.
With selfies becoming the norm, users will welcome this addition that the iOS update brings. iOS users now have the option to run a timer for the camera to take pictures three seconds or 10 seconds after setup. Users can see the countdown on the device's screen once they tap the shutter button.
To alert the user of the time remaining, the phone's flash blinks for each second lapsed and once the timer is ready to click it takes burst shots. This way users have plenty of photos to choose from, especially if it is a group shot.
2. Siri goes musical
Siri is not only smarter now, but also has an ear for music. How? You simply need to ask Siri "Which song is this?" and the voice assistant will listen to the song being played and deploy Shazam to recognize the tune.
3. Siri goes hands-free
Apple has taken a page out of Android smartphones' book. Now, you can get Siri's attention without holding the home button. iOS users simply need to say "Hey, Siri" to grab her attention and give the command.
This feature is quite handy when one is driving and needs to use their phone without touching it. However, there's a catch to this feature: it will work only when your device is plugged into a power outlet.
4. Wi-Fi calling
Possibly one of the niftiest features that iOS 8 brings to the table is Wi-Fi calling. Thanks to this inclusion, iOS 8 users will have the option of making free phone calls when connected to a Wi-Fi network. This feature will be quite convenient in instances when a carrier's signal is low.
However, with this functionality needing carrier support, its usability is not really in Apple's hands. The good news for iOS 8 users in the U.S. is that T-Mobile has revealed that it will be offering support for the Wi-Fi calling feature.
Verizon will take its time it seems as the carrier says that the support may come by mid-2015. AT&T also does not give a timeline and says that the support will be offered "sometime" next year.
5. Credit card scanning
Storing your credit card information has never been this easy. Of course, Apple has the iCloud Keychain feature earlier but iOS 8 will make life simpler. When required to fill credit card details on websites via Safari, users will see the "Scan Credit Card" option. Tapping this will make the camera pop up with an indicator in tow that shows you where to position the credit card. Once the picture is taken, Safari will examine the picture and put the details on the form automatically. However, users will be required to enter the four-digit security pin on their own for security reasons.
6. Detect apps that consume battery
This iOS 8 feature will let users detect which apps are draining out their battery charge. To access this feature users can navigate to Settings > General > Usage > Battery Usage.
7. Recover deleted stuff
Yes! Apple has taken into account the times when one accidentally deletes pictures and videos. To counter our absentmindedness, it has created the new "Recently Deleted" folder. This folder keeps the apps you deleted lately and can recover if you so choose. It also keeps old videos and photographs; however, these get automatically deleted after a certain span.
8. Hide your pictures
Want to hide your private videos and pictures from prying eyes? iOS 8 gives you the option. With this feature, users can hide certain images and videos in the Photos app. One simply needs to tap on a photo and hold it down. Next, in the shortcuts option tap Hide to keep it invisible from everyone. Oddly enough, however, the hidden objects are only "invisible" in the Moments, Collections and Years view, but visible in the original album.