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The iOS 8 brings the much needed maturity from last year’s flat design update. The adoption rate of the newer version came in at 16 percent of all iOS devices in the first 24 hours of release. The figure may be astounding but it places second from the 15-percent tally of last year’s iOS 7 in less than 24 hours. This is due to the limited aesthetic changes of this year’s version; however, it is packed with several updates under the hood. And we listed down some these nifty tweaks that you might not have known.


The “Hey Siri” Voice command
 
Just like “OK Google” in Google Now, you can prompt Siri by just uttering the keyword “Hey Siri” in any state of your device. Just as long as your iDevice is connected to a power source, Siri will be there at your service.



This is useful particularly when you are driving the car and you like Siri to do things for you without getting your attention out of the way. 

You need to activate “Hey Siri” in the Settings app. Go to Settings > General > Allow Hey Siri.

Raise to Speak in Messages

Of course, we all know that iOS 8 Messages app comes with a new audio messaging function. But did you know that you could invoke audio messaging when putting your handset on your ear? Yes, you will prompt a voice message when you raise your handset while you’re in the Messages app. 

Likewise, it will automatically play audio messages when you receive them using the same gesture. I normally enjoy this feature and it saves time than texting.

Toggle on the Raise to Listen item in Settings > Messages.



Self Destructing Audios and Videos in Messages app

You can set the lifespan of your sent audio or video file after it has been viewed by your recipient by just going to Settings > Messages > Audio Messages/Video Messages > Expire.

You will also have the option to "Keep" them in iMessage.

Location-based App Suggestions

This nifty little feature will give you a neat notification, even on lockscreen, for some suggested apps based on your location. For example, when you’re nearby a McDonalds store, iOS 8 will prompt you with an app that you might consider downloading. Activate it by going to Settings > General > Handoff and Suggested Apps.


App Battery Consumption

You can also view which apps take more juice from your battery. Just head over to Settings > General > Usage > Battery.




Credit Card Scan with Safari

When you’re trying to input your credit card information in Safari, you could have the option to just take a snap of your credit card and your information will then be captured instantly.

Message Attachments History

The new iOS 8 offers a nice presentation of previously sent media to your recipients in Messages app. When you’re in a conversation, just hit Details at the top right corner of the screen and you’ll be presented with the history of media files that you have shared.



Do Not Disturb


Mute notifications for a conversation in iMessage by going to Details > Do Not Disturb. You will receive the messages from this conversation without a notification alert.

Hide Images in Photos

This has been a long-awaited feature. Now, you can hide images by pressing and holding them on your gallery and then tapping “Hide.” These will not be visible on "Years", "Collections", and "Moments" views but can be accessed through a special folder called Hidden.



Going Grayscale

This makes viewing and usage more convenient and efficient for people with visual impairments like color blindness by getting the whole system in grayscale mode. Go over Settings > General > Accessibility > Grayscale.

Speech Speak Screen

Activate the speech screen by going to Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech. You can have the phone read over texts from the screen on your mails, iMessage, and article content. You can also adjust the speaking rate (slow to fast). Likewise, you can also highlight content as it is spoken by activating "Highlight Content".

Once activated, you can just swipe down with two fingers from top of the screen to be able to hear the content of the screen.

Request Desktop Version of website

iOS 8 Safari will now allow you to request desktop version of the site. Just tap the URL and pull the menu downwards and you'll be presented with "Request Desktop Site" command.

RSS Feeds

This feature is hidden inside the bookmark tab in Safari. Once you tap the bookmark icon at the bottom of the browser, you'll be presented with three tab icons (Bookmarks, Reading List and Shared Links). Go to Shared Links and tap the Subscriptions at the lower right of the page and hit Add Current Site. The site will now be added on your Subscribed Feeds. This feature is useful when you're following specific websites for news.


Message Share Location

When you're in a group chat session in the messages app, you can always share your location to your friends. Just hit the Details in the upper right corner and you'll be presented with this command.

Quick Reply (Reply to Message at Notification Center)

This may not be a hidden feature but it is interesting to note that you can now reply with your messages in Notification Center without even opening the Message app itself.

The Wrap

iOS 8 is an integral update for the whole iOS ecosystem. It concentrates more in bringing all the fun that users have been missing all these years with third party widgets, keyboard and apps.

Of course, there's also a very good upbringing of health apps for the health conscious. The iOS 8 has the better "Accessibility" features compared to its peers. It makes usage better for visually impaired; it also boosted hearing-aid performance together with the Braille-enabled keyboard. 

For those who just wanted their device to perform the way they wanted to, iOS 8 sets a great standard in terms of performance and reliability.

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