Top 25 iOS 8 Tips and Tricks

BY Jason

Published 19 Sep 2014

iOS 8 logo

iOS 8 released a couple of days ago, with a ton of new features, improvements and changes. Here are some tips and tricks for your iPhone or iPad running iOS 8.

Battery running out too fast? Find the culprit

iOS 8 adds a new option to find out how much each app contributes to your battery consumption. You can see this in Settings > Usage > Battery Usage. You can see battery consumption patterns in the past 24 hours or in the past one week.

iOS 8 - Battery usage

Use Location Only While Using the app

Apps optimised for iOS 8 have three options under Location permissions in Settings > Privacy > Location Services. In addition to Never and Always, a third option called “While Using the App” is available. This lets apps access location only when in foreground, and not in the background. Background location access can lead to severe battery drain, so the addition of this new mode is great news for those who want to use Location based features of an app, but not while running in the background.

➤ Read more: Tips to improve your iPhone or iPad’s battery life in iOS 8

location background

Switch tabs on iPad with a quick gesture

You can switch to the tab view with a two or three-finger pinch gesture as you can see in the video below, which is quite cool.

Close iPad Safari tabs with a flick

The iPad’s new Safari tab view also means that you can flick tabs away to the left to close them, rather than the boring way of tapping the cross button. You can press and hold a tab and move it around and rearrange tabs.

Delete a Safari tab on your iPad from your iPhone

Apple made a lot of changes to Safari with iOS 8, but one that went unnoticed is an iCloud Tabs feature that lets you close a tab on your iPad, from your iPhone or vice versa. Just open the Tab view in Safari, scroll down to see iCloud tabs, and slide right on any of the tabs, and tap on Delete. Note that this requires both devices to be running iOS 8.

Add RSS feeds to Safari

With iOS 8, you can subscribe to RSS feeds in Safari, which then appear in the Shared Links tab. To subscribe to an RSS feed, visit the site you want to subscribe to in Safari, tap the bookmarks icon and tap on the @ symbol. Tap on the Subscription button at the bottom and then tap on “Add Current Site”. You’ll then start seeing updates from the site in the Shared Links tab.


Quickly Add a page to Bookmarks, Reading List or Shared Links 

You can tap and hold the Bookmark button in Safari to quickly add the current web page as a bookmark, add it to your Reading List or subscribe to its RSS feed.

quick add safari

Request Desktop Site In Safari

Safari on iOS 8 has an option to request the desktop version of a website, if you find that the mobile version isn’t good enough or not functional. This option has been in Chrome for iOS since quite some time, and Apple has finally added it to Safari as well.

iOS 8 Request Desktop Site

Autofill Credit Card information with Camera

When filling credit card forms on websites in Safari, you’ll see a new option to “Scan Credit Card” on top of the keyboard. On tapping the button, the camera will appear, with an indicator that you can position over your credit card. Once you’ve done that, iOS should automatically scan the info from your credit card and populate it in the form. Apple’s also using this feature to let users add their credit or debit cards to Apple Pay.

iOS 8 Safari Credit Card scan

Peer-to-Peer AirPlay

AirPlay is great for streaming content like videos, photos and games from your iOS device or Mac to your Apple TV. With iOS 8, AirPlay can work without a Wi-Fi network, instead using peer-to-peer technology to move data. This eliminates the hassle of contacting both devices to a Wi-Fi network, and ensuring both devices are on the same network.

peer to peer airplay

Disable Notifications for annoying apps with one switch

iOS 8 finally brings a very easy way to disable notifications for an app. There’s a new Allow Notifications toggle in Settings > Notifications > App name that works as a global switch to enable to disable notifications. So the next an unused app or game sends you a notification asking you to start using it again, just disable its notifications.

iOS 8 - Allow Notifications - enabled

➤ Read more: How to quickly disable Notifications for an app in iOS 8

Separate controls for focus and exposure

In iOS 8, you finally get separate controls for focus and exposure in the Camera app. When you tap to focus, in addition to the square indicating the focus area, you’ll also see a brightness scale, which is the new exposure control. Dragging your finger along the scale will make the photo lighter or darker.

iOS 8 Camera app - Exposure controls

Self Timer

The Camera app finally gets a feature long present in third-party Camera apps: A self timer. Just tap on the timer icon at the top, set a 3 second or 10 second timer and get into position. You can set the timer to 3 seconds or 10 seconds. You will see the countdown on the screen after you tap on the shutter button.

iOS 8 Camera app - Timer

➤ Read more: iOS 8 Camera Features

Rearrange or Remove Share icons

Find yourself sharing via one option way too much than the others from the iOS Share Sheet? You can now rearrange the sharing options by tapping and holding on the options and dragging them around. You can also disable sharing options such as Twitter and Facebook altogether either by tapping on the new “More” option when you swipe to the left, which is quite nifty.

iOS 8 - Share options & Custom Actions

➤ Read more: How to add, remove or re-order share options and actions in iOS 8

Find my iPhone: Send Location before Battery Dies

Find my iPhone has a new toggle to automatically send the last known location of the iOS device when the battery drains to a critical level. This can be quite useful, especially if your device is lost or stolen. The option is available in Settings > iCloud > Find my iPhone.


Free up Storage space quickly

There’s a new option in Settings > Photos & Camera to “Optimise iPhone Storage”. When you enable that, iOS will now store device-optimized versions on your iPhone, which will reduce the storage space used for photos and videos on your device.

Optimize iPhone storage - iOS 8

➤Read more: Free up storage space on your iPhone in iOS 8 with this quick tip

Personal Hotspot in an Instant

With iOS 8, setting up a Personal Hotspot is easier than ever. Just make sure your devices are signed into the same iCloud account, enable Personal Hotspot on your iPhone, and open Settings > Wi-Fi on your iPad. You’ll see a new connection under Personal Hotspot, and you’ll be able to join it without entering any password.

iOS 8 - Instant Hotspot

➤ Read more: How to use iOS 8’s Instant Hotspot to share iPhone’s data connection with your iPad

Search Better from Spotlight

In addition to music, books, apps and messages, Spotlight now also searches sources like Wikipedia,, maps, App Store, iTunes Store etc. Just start typing in your query, and Spotlight will figure out the best types of results to show. Spotlight search is now also available in the Safari search/URL bar, so you don’t need to close the app and pull down Spotlight to search for something.

iOS 8 Spotlight - App Store, iTunes and iBookstore

Reader View Available

Safari on iOS has supported a Reader mode since quite sometime, that, when activated, strips out ads, and other unnecessary cruft from a webpage to show you just the text of the article. With iOS 8, when opening a new link, Safari flashes the messages “Reader mode available” in the Search bar for pages that are supported by this mode. You can access Reader mode by tapping on the icon with the three and a half lines.

safari reader mode

Hands Free Siri Activation

If you’ve used Google Now, you know that the “Okay Google” trigger to start voice recognition can be really helpful many times. iOS 8 brings a similar “Hey Siri” command that activates Siri without the need for pressing any button. However, it works only when your iPhone or iPad is plugged in.

➤ Read more: How to activate Siri without pressing the Home button in iOS 8

Display Zoom

The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus come with a new feature called Display Zoom, that show larger sized text, icons and images, but at the cost of fitting less content in the screen. The Standard mode runs at the native resolution of the device, while the Zoomed mode runs at the same resolution as the iPhone that is one size smaller.


You can activate Display Zoom by opening Settings and going to Display & Brightness > View and selecting Zoomed.

iphone-6-display-zoom-settingsHide your photos

iOS 8 allows you to hide photos.  To hide a photo, tap and hold on it while you’re Moments, Collections and Years view or in an Album, then tap on the Hide option to hide the photo. The photo will be hidden from Moments, Collections and Years, but will still be visible in Albums.

iOS 8 Camera app - Hide photos

Add Images to Notes

The iOS 8 Notes app supports Rich Text, so you can add bold, italic or underlined text, and more importantly, add images to notes as well. To add a photo, long tap inside a note to bring up the copy, paste menu, and you should also see a new Insert Photo option. From here, you get access to your Photo Library and can pick any photo.

notes photos

Hide the QuickType Row

QuickType is the new predictive suggestion bar that offers you three word suggestions based on what you’re typing. If you don’t like these suggestions, you can hide the QuickType row by swiping it down.

Mute or Leave Group Message Threads

Part of a group iMessage thread that isn’t relevant to you? You can disable notifications for that thread by opening that thread, tapping on the “Details” button, and enabling the “Do Not Disturb” switch.

iOS 8 - Messages - Group name

You can also leave the iMessage conversation entirely. Tap on the “Details” button, and swipe right against your name in the members list to remove yourself from the conversation.


➤ Read more: How to mute or leave a group chat in the Messages app in iOS 8

Let us know your favorite iOS 8 tips and tricks in the comments below.