Tuesday, June 30, 2015

iOS 8.4 tips and tricks: See what your iPhone and iPad can do now

Apple has released iOS 8.4, it's biggest update yet to iOS 8 that was first launched alongside the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus in September 2014.

The new OS from Apple brings a host of new features (like Apple Music), tips and tricks. We've worked our way through the operating system to try and bring you as many of the features as possible to allow you to get as much out of the latest software on your phone without having to upgrade to the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.

Most of these tips are new to iOS 8 , but we've also included some gems from iOS 7 that you might not have found yet. We'll be keeping an eye on things as new updates roll out and if you've got any tips of your own that we've not covered please feel free to add them to the comments below.

Mail for iOS tricks

Mark as Read: In your inbox swipe from left to right to reveal a "Mark As Read" icon. If it's a conversation you will have to do this for as any time as there are unread messages.

More, Flag, Trash: Swiping from right to left reveals quick actions to let you do a number of things. More brings up a secondary menu to let you reply, forward, flag, mark as unread, move to junk, or notify you of future messages in this conversation while Flag and Trash let you do just that.

Quick delete (Trash): If you do a continual swipe from right to left on an email in the inbox it will delete it without you having to swipe and then tap delete (Trash).

Changing the swipe options: You can also change what happens when you swipe left or right in Settings. Go Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Swipe Options and then set your Swipe Left command and your Swipe Right command. Options are limited, but it is something.

Minimise email you are working on: If you are mid composing or replying you can now drag that email to the bottom of the screen so you can still access the rest of your inbox. To do this press ad hold on the title of the email at the top and drag towards the bottom. To get it back, just tap on the parked email.

Reply notifications: If you are waiting for a specific response from an email and don't want to have to keep checking your phone every two minutes you can opt for iOS 8 to notify you. In any message you've received tap on the Flag icon at the bottom left of the screen and then select Notify Me. Confirm your decision and when they reply you'll know about it. To send an email with a notification alert already one it, select the bell icon in the subject line.

Time Zone override: The Time Zone Override when on will let you always show event data and times in the selected time zone. When off, events will display according to the time zone of your current location. If that sounds like something you want go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar > Time Zone Override and toggle away.

Build out your contacts book: When you get get a mail from someone and they've got a signature, Apple now reads that information and asks you whether you want to add it to a contact. If you don't you can choose to ignore, but if you do, press on the Add to Contacts button at the top of the screen.

Unread emails: Finally you can now see how many unread emails you've got. Go to Mail > Mailboxes > Edit and select Unread.

VIP, Flagged, All Sent, To or CC, Attachments, All Drafts: You can also do the same for a host of other folders to for the first time. Go Mail > Mailboxes > Edit and select which ones you want.

Change Flag style: Yep you can change the Flag Style from flags to circles if that gets you excited. Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Flag Style.

Search: Drag down in your inbox to reveal a search box. You can now search your entire inbox for a keyword rather than just To, From, Subject. You can also limit your search to All mailboxes or the current mailbox you are in. Furthermore you can also limit it to conversation threads.

Mark all as read: You can now mark all as read in Mail. Yay. In a mailbox, or the combined inbox, you just tap "Edit" at the upper right, then tap "Mark All" at the lower left. Then choose "Mark As Read" from the pop-up menu and all your messages should be marked as read.

General iOS 8 tips

Find battery guzzling apps: Apple doesn't specifically tell you which apps are using the most memory, but it does allow you to check which apps have used the most battery over the last 24 hours or 6 days. Go to Settings > General > Usage > Battery Usage. Here you'll be able to see if a certain app has been used more than others. That might help change how you use that app.

Standard or Zoomed: On the iPhone 6 and iPhone you can change the display setting from Standard or Zoomed. To switch between the two if you've changed your mind after setup go to Settings > Display > Display Zoom and select Standard or Zoomed.

Set the brightness: It's now moved from Wallpapers & Brightness to Display and Brightness.

Text Size and Bold Text: To change the default text size and whether you want all fonts to be bold to make the easier to read go to Display & Brightness > Bold Text.

Favourite and recent people: Double tap on the home button to reveal the app tray. Above your apps you'll see circles of the people you've recently talked or messaged with. Swipe to the left to reveal your Favourites. Pressing on their face (or icon) reveals shortcuts to call, message, FaceTime, and FaceTime Audio them.

Disable Favourites and contacts showing in App Switcher: Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar scroll down and toggle "Show in App Switcher". When you go back to the App Switcher mode they will have gone.

10-day forecast in weather: Go to weather, and on any city swipe up. You now get to see the 10 day forecast as well as additional information like a mini weather forecast for the day, sunrise and sunset times and the chance of rain.

Hey Siri: To get siri working by just shouting at it rather than pressing a button go to Settings > General > Siri > Allow "Hey Siri". A word of note you will need to have it connected to a power source for it to work.

Choose a new wallpaper: New wallpapers to be had in the Settings > Wallpaper.

Setting up Do Not Disturb: If you travel a lot to different time zones it's probably a good idea to schedule your iPhone to go into to Do Not Disturb mode. Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb and then schedule in a time. We've set ours from midnight to 6am. During that time all calls and alerts will be silenced. If you are worried that you might miss an important call you can set the phone to allow calls from Favourites or repeated calls if someone is calling more than once in a three-minute window. You can now in iOS 7 set it so the Do Not Disturb works only when you've got the phone locked or all the time regardless of what you are doing. Handy if you are in the middle of a presentation.

Creating nested folders: It's a glitch, but it does work if you are timely. Create a Nested folder by dragging one app icon on to another one. Then quickly drag that folder into an existing folder. If you are not timely enough, keep trying and you should achieve a nested folder.

Enable Wi-Fi calling on EE: If you are a EE customer in the UK you can enable Wi-Fi calling. To do so go to Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calls.

More from Safari in iOS 8

DuckDuckGo: If you want to set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine over Google, Yahoo, or Bing, go to Settings > Safari > Search Engine and select the private friendly search engine as the default.

Auto suggesting websites: Like Safari on the desktop you can have the iPhone or iPad Safari recommend suggested search results as you type. It's on as default but if you don't want it, go to Settings > Safari > Search Engine Suggestions and toggle the feature off.

Auto suggesting apps: Likewise as you type in popular app names into the Safari search url box Apple will try and match that with apps you either have or might want. It's on as default, but if you want to turn if off go to Settings > Safari > Spotlight Suggestions.

Getting the website link quickly: Settings > Safari > Quick Search will determine whether Safari offers up website matches or not for you.

Making websites load faster or saving your data: Safari in iOS 8 preloads the first hit of the search result to make loading your choice seem quicker. The downside is that this could use up data. If you want to turn it off go to Settings > Safari > Preload Top Hit and turn it off.

Searching on page: If you are looking for a specific word on a page, simply start typing that word into the URL bar at the top of the page. The results will show you the google search results first but if you scroll down it will show you "On This Page" and let you jump through the mentions of that page.

Scan your credit card: Rather than having to type all your details you can now use the camera to scan your credit card. When it comes to entering the credit card details either press to auto fill if you are already using that feature with Keychain, or press it and then select Use Camera on the next menu you get.

Swipe forwards and backwards: Swiping from off the screen on to the screen from the left of the screen goes back through your browsing history while swiping from the right of Safari goes forward through your browsing history.

Getting Handoff and Continuity to work

Enabling Handoff between iOS 8 devices: Go to General > Handoff & Suggested Apps and then toggle the box.

Accessing Handoff apps: On the Lock Screen press the app icon in the bottom left corner or if you are using the phone already, double tap the Home button and swipe left to reveal the app page to the left of the home screen.

Stopping your iPad ring when someone calls your iPhone: One of the new features of iOS allows you to take calls on all your devices regardless. To stop you feeling like you are in the last scene of lawnmower man where all the phones ring at once go to Settings > Face time and turn iPhone cellular calls ring.

Allowing SMS messages on your Mac: To do this you need to enable the feature on your iPhone. Make sure you are running iOS 8.1 and then go to Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding. Find your Mac or iPad you want to allow access and pair the two devices with a security code. You’ll now be able to see and send Text messages via the desktop.


No thank you to certain apps: If you don't want apps requesting access to the Health app, turn them off by going to Settings > Privacy > Health

See which apps are giving data to Health: Go into the app and click on the Sources icon at the bottom

iOS 8 Keyboard tricks

Adding Emoji keyboard: Go to Settings > General > Keyboards > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard. Scroll down and select the Emoji keyboard (it's after the Dutch keyboard) - :)

Picking your Emoji colour: In iOS 8.4 Apple has added a load of new emoji and in particular emoji that has skin tones. To access them go to the emoji keyboard in any app and long press on the one you want to use. If it as alternative options they will show. Apple then lets you set the colour you want to use so you don't have to make a choice every time.

Adding third party keyboards: Install the app and follow the instructions in the app. At some point it will ask you to go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards and add the third-party keyboard.

Accessing additional keyboards beyond Emoji: If you have more than three keyboards installed the keyboard will show a globe icon next to the spacebar. In any app that has a keyboard tap on that globe icon and then again to reveal the next keyboard you've got installed.

Hiding or showing auto suggestions on QuickType keyboard: The new Apple keyboard shows word suggestions on what you type. If you don't use this you can hide it to give you more space on the screen. gently press and hold at the top of the auto-suggest bar and drag it towards the top row of keys. You can bring it back by dragging up from the top of the keyboard if you change your mind.

iOS 8 Messages tips

What time?: See when a message was sent by dragging the message bubble to the left.

More: Pressing and holding on a message will bring up a Copy and More menu. Select more and you can delete messages you don't want to show. Sadly it doesn't delete it at the receivers end though.

Quick photo: If you are talking on iMessage you can press and hold the camera icon to reveal a new menu. Swipe up to take a picture or left to record a video.

Quick Voice message: If you press on the new mic button on the right of the text box you can start recording a verbal message. Lift your finger to stop to reveal a playback button. Once happy either swipe up or tap the arrow to send it or swipe left or tap the x button to cancel.

Details: To see more information about the sender press the word Details at the top right of the screen. It will allow you to send your current location or your constant location.

Mute someone: If someone is constantly badgering you, go into a message from them, press Details, then toggle on the Do Not Disturb button. This works for SMS as well as iMessages.

See attachments: Go into a message from them > Details > and scroll down to reveal all the attachments you've sent them via iMessage.

Delete messages: As before swiping from right to left in the Messages hub and you can quickly delete a conversation.

Delete older messages automatically: Settings > Messages and then scroll down to Message history. Here you can Opt to keep Messages forever, 1 year, or 30 days.

Automatically deleting audio or video messages: Apple by default sets it so once you've sent an audio message it will delete from your iPhone or iPad after two minutes. If you want to keep the message go to Settings > Messages and scroll down to Audio Messages or Video Messages sections and toggle the Expire setting.

Raise to listen to audio messages: It's on by default but you can turn off the ability to listen and reply to incoming audio messages by raising your phone. To turn it off go to Settings > Messages and toggle Raise to Listen.

Blue vs green: Blue is for iMessages, green is for SMS messages

Send iMessage as SMS: If you are having trouble sending your iMessages (over data) you can opt to have iOS 8 revert to sending the message as a SMS instead. Go to Settings > Messages and tick the relevant box.

iOS 8 iCloud tips

Turn on iCloud Drive: Go to Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive. Here you can control which apps have access to your iCloud drive and whether or not they can use Cellular / Mobile Data.

Manage your Storage: Settings > iCloud > Storage. From here you can see how much storage you have, how much you have left, and whether you want to buy any more.

Family Sharing: Rather than have your iTunes account on all your family's iPhones and iPads you can now set up Family Sharing for up to 5 people. Go to Settings > iCloud > and follow the set up procedure.

Secure iCloud Keychain Access: Go to Settings > iCloud > Keychain and select the Approve with Security Code to add an extra layer of protection to your passwords.

Send last location so you can find it even when the phone is dead: Apple's added a cool hidden feature that will automatically send the last know location to Apple when your battery is critically low. Even if the battery dies as you've lost the phone behind the back of the sofa you can still at least have some idea where it got to.

iOS 8 Notifications tricks

Quick Reply: When a notification comes in depending on whether its enabled by the developer you can reply there and then without having to open the specific app. To do this pull down the notification to reveal the actions you can take. iMessages for example let you reply there and then.

Delete notifications from the Lock screen: If it's a notification from an app simply swipe from right to left and then press the x button.

Delete or Mark as read: Without even opening your phone you can also delete or mark as read emails. Swipe from right to left to reveal both options.

iOS 8 Photos tips

Time-Lapse something: A new setting in the camera app for iOS 8 is the ability to create a time-lapse video with little to no effort. To do this swipe sideways in the camera app to reveal the Time-Lapse mode. Once you've worked out what you are going to film press the red record button. Don't for get it speeds everything up so you should film for at least 30 seconds to see the effects.

Slow-Mo at 240 fps or 120 fps: The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus allow to now record at 240 fps in Slow-Mo mode. If that's too slow you can revert back to the 120 fps first introduced in iOS 7. Do to this tap on the 240 fps icon when in Slow-Mo mode.

Record video at 60 fps: If you've got the new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus Apple offers you the chance to record 1080p at 60fps but turns it off by default. To turn it on go to Settings > Photos & Camera > Record Video at 60 FPS and turn it on. To switch between 30 fps and 60 fps click on the icon in video mode when you go to record.

AE/AF Lock: To change the exposure or the focus of your shot, tap anywhere on the screen and it will change instantly. To lock that exposure or focus (great for dramatic panoramas) press and hold on the screen until the square box "locks in".

Changing exposure on the fly: Once you've found your focus point (the big yellow square) in the Camera app press on the small sun icon and swipe up or down to change the exposure setting. Up to make it brighter, down to make it darker.

Activating Timer mode: In the Camera app there is no a small stop watching looking icon next to the button that lets you switch cameras from front to rear. press it and then select whether you want it on, 3s or 10s. Once on when you take a picture you will get a count down on screen so you can see when its about to snap the shot.

Burst Mode: Users can snap photos in Burst mode by either holding their finger on the shutter or on the volume key to take a burst of photos as the action happens. Once you've taken a Burst of photos you can then choose your favourite one, although iOS 7 will try to do this for you. To select the one you want, press Favourites, and then select the one you want to use. The one Apple has chosen is represented by a grey circle underneath. To delete a photo Burst go to Photos select the photo Burst (it will look like it has two further images stacked behind it) and press on the delete key. It will ask you whether you want to delete all photos from this Burst, click on the red words "Delete Photos".

Photo tips for iOS 8

Editing photos: Find the photo you want and press the Edit button. Here you can press on the wand (as before) to auto enhance your photo or press on the icon that looks like a volume knob with dots around it. The later will bring up three new sub menus: Light, Color, B&W with various granular settings within them. If you select Light you can then gesture left or right to make the picture lighter or darker.

Straightening your photos: You can now quickly and easily straighten your photos. To do so select the cropping tool in Photos > Edit and then move the dial that appears on screen.

Search Photo albums: Go to the Photos app and press on the magnifying glass. Immediate suggestions include narrowing your image results by Nearby, One Year Ago, and Favourites however you can type in lots of different searches like places or months. All the shots I've taken in March in London please.

Upload Photo Bursts: Settings > iCloud > Photos > Upload Burst Photos. Doing this will back up all the photos in the burst rather than just the favourite one.

Favourite your favourite photos: If you've got photos that you want to mark to show others quickly later rather than searching or scrolling for them you can favourite them instead. To do this simply find the image you want to favourite and press the heart button. To find them quickly to into the Photos app and press on the Albums icon at the bottom right in the Moments view. Then select Favourites.

Better viewing Shared activity: Turn the phone or iPad sideways. It looks nicer.

Quickly finding a photo in Years: To quickly scan the hundreds of images you've taken over a year simply press and hold your finger on the screen and run it over the images you've got. Like scanning through a YouTube video, moving your finger will reveal a quick thumbnail of the pictures you've taken.

See where you took a photo: In the Moments page in Photos tap on the location of where the collection of photos was taken and you'll be able to see on a map where in the world you were when you took it.

Hide a photo: Find the photo you want to hide from Moments, Collections and Years, and do a long press on the photo itself. When the option comes up to hide, select that option and then confirm your choice. The phone is still available by Albums.

Turn on iCloud Photo Library: To turn on the new iCloud Photo Library feature that will mean all your photos are automatically uploaded and backed up to the iCloud go to Settings > Photos & Camera and then toggle the iCloud Photo Library option. To get more info on what it does and how to take advantage of it read our Apple iCloud Photo Library explained: What is it and how does it work? feature.

Apple Watch companion tips

You can't delete it: Don't panic, you aren't going mad, you actually can't delete the new Apple Watch Companion app even if you aren't planning on buying the Apple smartwatch.

Watch Apple Watch videos: At the moment the Apple Watch app doesn't do much because the watch isn't available, but you can watch a series of promotional videos about the new watch from within the app so you can see what it is all about. Everything from short videos about the materials used to how it works is detailed.

Apple Watch App store: When the Apple Watch App store does go live you'll be able to search for all the apps that will work with your watch.

Hiding the Watch App: As we've said, you can't delete it but you can hide it alongside other non-deleteable apps like Stocks. Simple put them all in the same folder and then forget about them

Apple Music tips

Find your Apple Music account: Every main screen in Apple Music has a profile symbol in the upper left-hand corner. Tap it to access account-related settings.

Add more music you like: After setting up Apple Music, you can still specify which genres and artists you like. Go to your account, then go to "Choose Artists For You", and feel free to tap, double tap, or hold down on more bubbles.

Unfollow artists in Connect: Apple Music has you automatically follow artists (the ones you liked during setup) in Connect, the social network aspect of the service. To unfollow artists, go to the Following area of your account. You will then see an options to turn off the auto feature as well as unfollow artists.

Claim your unique username: While in your account, make sure to claim your nickname/display name. It'll appear whenever you comment on something that an artist shares in Connect, such as a video. You can also add a profile picture from your camera roll.

Use Siri with Apple Music: Siri integration is built into Apple Music, so you can tell her to play a specific song, album, or a playlist. Just tap the home button on your iOS device, wait for Siri to pop up, and ask away. Say, for instance, "Play some Kanye West". She can even line up what you want to hear next, play the top track from the day you were born, and stream a playlist or a station similar to an artist you like.

Save music for offline playback: Apple Music lets you download copies of any available songs, albums, or playlists you want to your devices. It's helpful if you're going to be out of range. Just go to a song or album, then tap the "..." symbol to see options, and select "make available offline". There's no limit to what you can keep offline or for how long.

Like tracks from the lockscreen: Apple wants you to like songs in so it can better recommend music. But you can still do this when not Apple Music. Just tap the favourite/heart icon from the iPhone's lock screen when a song is playing.

Browse recent searches: Every main screen in Apple Music has a search button at the top. If you tap in it to search, you can also browse all your recent searches. You just have to also tap the clock icon in the search bar.

Cancel your Apple Music membership: Go to your account, then select View Apple ID, and sscroll down to Manage under Subscriptions. You can then turn off automatic renewel and subsequently cancel your membership. This can also be done from your iTunes Account Settings on your PC or Mac.

Read more:  Apple Music is finally live: 10 tips you need to know

Your tips

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