If you're having trouble accessing items at the top of the screen on your new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, give your overstretched thumb a break and start using Apple's new Reachability feature to pull the top of the screen within reach.
I admit it. I use Instagram a lot. In fact, it’s probably the most-used app on my iPhone. That's why I'm always surprised when I discover there are things about it that I don't know yet.
If you've ever tapped on a link that unexpectedly took you to a sketchy website while using your iPhone or iPad, you'll be glad to know Safari makes it easy to check the URL of any link before you go there.
Time-lapse videos can be fun, whether of moving clouds, a sunset, a busy street corner, a tennis player — basically any situation where there's movement or change. Time-lapse videos simply take still photos at specific intervals, such that a slow-moving snail can appear to be speeding along. One of the neat features of iOS 8 is the new Time-lapse mode in the Camera app. As usual, Apple has made it simple.
One of the great features of recent versions of iOS is how deeply embedded sharing is. You can quickly share items such as photos and videos with friends, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Flickr, and more. In fact, you have so many options now that the screen that pops up when you tap the button for sharing can start to get cluttered. Fortunately, you can customize it.
Apple prides itself on making everything on its devices intuitive. So you could probably figure out how to make an emergency call on a locked iPhone pretty quickly. But do you want to take even those precious moments to do so in a real emergency? Why not learn how ahead of time?
Turning on Reader View in Safari allows you to enjoy articles on the small screen of your iPhone or iPad without the clutter of ads and menus. But did you know you can also share this ad-free version of an article with friends?
With iOS 8, we finally got the ability to customize the interface by adding widgets to Notification Center. Now when you swipe down from the top of the screen to see the Today view in Notification Center, you have the opportunity to see many new items in addition to the standard ones that had been available in the past. New widgets you can add include sports scores, news, travel guides, calculator, dictionary and thesaurus, package tracking, task management, photos, and much more.
One of the most-requested features for the iPhone and iPad was the ability to add third-party keyboards, and Apple responded to that request in iOS 8. Popular keyboards such as Swype ($0.99) and SwiftKey (free) add many features, and can speed up text entry.
In a recent post I noted that iOS 8.1.1 is now available for download. This morning I added a sentence to that post reminding people to BACK UP FIRST. That's because it's not uncommon for something to go wrong when one updates. For example, when I updated to iOS 8, I encountered an error, and the only way to get my iPad out of it was to restore to factory settings. Doing so means that everything is lost. Fortunately, I had backed up first, so it wasn't a problem.
In iOS 7, deleting individual emails from your inbox in the Mail app was a multi-step process. You had to swipe left on the email preview and then choose Delete from the options that appeared. It's much faster in iOS 8.
When Apple announced that their keyboards would now have a predictive text feature in iOS 8, the general reaction was, "About time, Apple!" But it turns out there are some iOS users who find the feature really annoying. Fortunately it's easy to turn predictive text off in the native iOS 8 keyboard:
If you do a lot of texting, your Message app is probably clogged with old messages. Before iOS 8 you had to manually delete conversations or individual messages. Now you can set the app to automatically delete all messages older than 30 days or one year. The default setting lets you keep your messages forever, which could be handy if everything you write is a gem of unparalleled wisdom. Everyone else, read on:
You know when you want to show people that cute picture someone texted to you that you didn't bother saving to Photos? You don't have to scroll through endless conversations in Messages until you find it.
Whenever I see a breathtaking landscape, my first instinct is to pull out my iPhone and attempt to capture a picture of it. So many times I’ve snapped away with my camera, brimming with excitement, only to look into my Camera Roll and find that my pictures were disappointing at best. After all, there’s only so much you can capture in a standard photo.
That’s what panoramas are for.
In iOS 8 you can now quickly access your contacts via the App Switcher by double clicking the Home Button. If you don't want to look at a list of your favorite and most recent contacts every time you use the App Switcher, or if you don't want anyone else to easily see who you call or text most often, you can disable the feature in settings.
When you ask Siri to remind you about something, like your car payment, Siri automatically adds the reminder to the default Reminders list. But if you want the reminder added to a different list, that's possible too. You just have to phrase your request a little differently.
Swift's advanced collections can help you model more complex objects in your apps and create an API that is easier to understand and use. In this post, I model a chessboard using Swift's subscripts and also cover tuples and multidimensional arrays!
If you find it more convenient to listen to some text on your iPhone or iPad rather than read it, you can easily enable that capability. You might, for example, want your device to read a web page or ebook or other document to you as you drive. While this feature has been available for some time, note that iOS 8 gives a convenient new option for invoking speech.
Want more? Get our weekly newsletter: