iPhone 6 and iOS 8 survival guide

  • By Staff
  • October 01, 2014
iPhone 6 and iOS 8 survival guide

Apple unleashed its new iPhones, plus a new version of iOS to go along with them. Make sure you’re ready with our list of handy tips!

Summer is over, and that can only mean one thing: The Apple faithful have lined up in droves for the new iPhone, all waiting starry-eyed for the chance to get a shiny, marginally improved handheld device.

Dubbed the iPhone 6, it’s bigger, better*, and features a new design that returns to the soft edges of pre-iPhone 4 devices.

*According to Apple.

Note: For brevity’s sake, this post will not discuss the larger “phablet” version of Apple’s phone, AKA the iPhone 6 Plus. In this blogger’s opinion, anything that doesn’t fit into one’s pocket should not be allowed to make phone calls.

Sarcasm aside, the iPhone 6, as with all Apple products, is thoughtfully crafted and well made, and it feels solid, as though it could survive a drop or two on the pavement.

If you’re an iPhone user, chances are you’ve already ordered the new phone and probably updated all your existing devices to iOS 8. To help you get the most out of your iPhone 6 and iOS 8, we’ve put together a list of our favorite tweaks, tips and features. Some come from around the Web, and some come from our own personal experience. Enjoy!

iOS 8 Tweaks, Tips and Features

Update to iOS 8.0.2
It’s no secret that iOS 8 was buggy when it launched. Major launches of software always have some issues, but some of iOS 8’s were particularly severe: the inability to make phone calls, or having iCloud documents deleted without warning. iOS 8.0.2 doesn’t fix all of the known bugs, but it does address the most glaring ones. If you haven’t done so already, you should update all your devices to 8.0.2 as soon as possible. The update can be found in Settings > General > Software Update.

iOS 8 requires a lot of storage – be prepared to delete some apps
If you’re currently running iOS 7.x or earlier, be prepared for iOS 8 to be a space hog – it requires upwards of 5GB to install (it doesn’t actually use 5GB, but it does demand that you have that much free space before the installation process begins). If you have an iPhone with a small amount of storage, like the 16GB version, you’ll probably need to delete some apps and or photos before iOS 8 will install. To delete apps and files, go to Settings > General > Usage > Manage Storage.

Deleted apps can be re-downloaded from the App Store at any time, so don’t sweat it if you delete Fruit Ninja but suddenly get the itch to play it again later. To see all apps you’ve purchased in the past, just go to App Store > Updates, and then tap the big Purchased button at the top.

Answer phone calls on your iPad (and Mac!)
Using technology Apple is calling “Continuity,” you can use your iPad or Mac to answer calls (as long as they’re connected to the same WiFi network as your iPhone). I can personally vouch for this feature: In my home, my iPad rings any time I get a phone call, and I’ve successfully taken several phone calls using my iPad.

Take selfies using the self-timer
iOS 8 now adds a timer to the Camera app, so you can take obnoxious selfies without having to hold the phone. (But you don’t have to. Please!) To access the self-timer, simply go into the Camera app, and look for the self-timer icon. (We will note, this is a feature other phones have had for years).

Siri is now musically inclined
If you hear a song and can’t place the name of the tune, you can now ask Siri “What song is this?” and she will tell you. Apparently Apple liked Shazam so much they decided to integrate it into Siri.

Siri is now hands-free
Borrowing an idea from Android’s playbook, you can get Siri’s attention without having to press any buttons. Simply say “Hey, Siri” and she will start listening to you. Do note that this feature only works when the device is plugged in.

Recover accidentally deleted photos
You can now recover photos and videos that you accidentally deleted. iOS 8 adds a “Recently Deleted” folder to the Photos app, so you can recover deleted files if you need to.

See which apps are draining your battery
You can now get a comprehensive list of which apps are the biggest power hogs. To access this feature, go to Settings > General > Usage > Battery Usage.

iPhone 6 Tweaks, Tips and Features

Reach faraway apps with ease
Steve Jobs hated large phones, so it’s possible he would hate the new iPhone. Jobs felt the entire screen should be accessible with the thumb if the phone was held in one hand. He even went so far as to say that no one would buy a large phone, which proves that even geniuses are wrong sometimes.

One drawback of the iPhone 6’s larger size is that apps toward the top of the device become difficult to reach with one hand. To remedy this, Apple introduced a little trick: simply double tap – but do not press – the home button, and everything on the screen slides down about halfway.

Speed up charging
This tip comes from our impatient department. If you have an iPad, you can use its larger 12-watt charger to charge up your iPhone 6 more quickly.

Get healthy with the built-in barometer
The new iPhone features a built-in barometer, which tracks changes in altitude. This is useful for integration with health and wellness apps. For example, you can now measure how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed (and if you’re like me, you’ll undermine your fitness efforts by heading directly to Chipotle).

Use Apple Pay to make purchases using your phone
Using a built-in Near Field Communications (NFC) antenna, the iPhone 6 now allows you to make payments by simply holding your phone near a compatible payment device. (Another feature several Android phones have already been utilizing).

Bending issues have been grossly exaggerated 
Early on, rumors were circling the Web that the iPhone 6 was actually bending after being in people’s pockets. While the rumors were true, Apple claims that only nine people so far have complained about bent iPhones. Consumer Reports even weighed in on the issue, and found that it took 70 pounds of force to bend an iPhone 6. As with any expensive electronic device, common sense should prevail: Be careful with your iPhone!

This list of tips merely scratches the surface (Bad phone screen joke anyone? No?) of the new features of iOS 8 and the iPhone 6. PhoneArena.com has put together a great list of 40 iOS 8 tips, and Apple has a pretty comprehensive list of the iPhone 6’s new features, although be warned: They tend to drink a lot of their own Kool-Aid.
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