Some of the Lesser-Known Features of iOS 8 That You Should Know

Apple’s latest iOS 8 operating system brings a host of new features for its users. From the ability to add and remove widgets from the notification bar to adding a third-party keyboard to your iPhone or iPad, you can now do it all. If you have updated your device to this latest version of iOS, and are wondering what some of the features are, this post will show you some of the lesser-known features for iOS 8 that will help you achieve more with less effort.

Add and Remove Widgets from the Notification Bar


iOS 8 now allows you to add and remove widgets from the notification bar and see them just by pulling down the top of your screen. One of these ideal widgets would be to tap to post to your social networks.

To add a new widget, just pull down the notification bar, tap “Edit,” and choose the widget that you want to add.

Launch Siri without Holding Down the Home Button


iOS 8 allows you to launch Siri without holding down the Home button. All you need to do is to say “Hey Siri” and it should reply to you. For this to work, your device must be connected to power.

You can enable Hey Siri by going to “Settings -> General -> Siri” and enabling the “Allow Hey Siri” option.

Disable Background App Refresh to Save Battery


Most of the apps that you install on your device refresh themselves without even letting you know. An example of this would be WhatsApp; it keeps refreshing itself in the background so it can fetch new messages to your account. But if there are some apps that you don’t want to run in the background, you can disable them in the settings.

On your device, head to “Settings -> General -> Background App Refresh.” On this screen, you can disable the background refresh for all the apps or the ones that you choose.

Add a Fingerprint for Touch ID


Apple announced Touch ID with the iPhone 5S where you can unlock your phone with your fingerprint. Most people will just add one fingerprint to the unlock list, but did you know that you can add more than one fingerprint to your device to be used for unlocking?

To add a new fingerprint, just head to “Settings -> Touch ID & Passcode”. Enter your Passcode and then tap on “Add a Fingerprint…” Follow the on-screen instructions for the rest of the task.

Use Custom Fonts for Texting


The ability to add a third-party keyboard to iOS 8 devices allows you to use custom fonts for messaging on your device. You can just install one of the many apps available on the App Store that let you use these font styles to send texts to your friends.

One of these apps is FancyKey that can be downloaded for $0.99 from the App Store.

Remove Favorite Contacts from the App Switcher


One of the noticeable changes in iOS 8 is favorite contacts that appear in the app switcher. When you double-press the home button to switch between apps, you can see your recent and favorite contacts appearing on the top of your screen. If you don’t like them to be there, just take them down.

Head to “Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> Show In App Switcher” and turn both the options off.

Switch Between Standard and Zoomed Modes


Standard mode is the default mode on your Apple device that shows the content as it is. The Zoomed mode stretches the content to fill up the remaining part of the screen. That helps you see things more clearly and is useful if you happen to have weak eyesight.

To switch between these modes, head to “Settings -> Display & Brightness -> View” and select the mode you wish to use.

Check Apps for Power Consumption


Have you ever wanted to find that culprit app that drains your battery very quickly? iOS 8 now shows you which apps are consuming the most battery power on your device, so you can then remove them and make your device last a bit longer.

Head to “Settings -> General -> Usage -> Battery Usage”. You will be able to see the full list of apps along with the percentage of the battery that they have drained in the last 24 hours.

Change FPS in Slow-Mo Videos


You can now shoot videos at 240 frames-per-second (FPS) on your iDevice, and that lets you create really slow-mo videos like you’ve been watching on YouTube for years. If you think 240 FPS is just too much for you, you have the option to change it to 120 FPS, but it’s kind of hidden to be discovered.

Launch the Camera app on your device, switch to SLOW-MO video, and tap on 240 FPS. It should change to 120 FPS.

Hide QuickType Suggestions


To help you improve your typing and accuracy, iOS 8 provides you with QuickType suggestions. While this feature is welcomed by a huge audience, there are some people who would prefer texting the old way. So for these users, there is an option to disable these suggestions.

While you’re typing a message, just swipe down on the grey palette and it will be disabled. To enable it, just swipe on the little white bar and it will be enabled.


With the lesser-known features mentioned above, you should be able to make full use of your phone and get the best out of it. If you come across more hidden features not in the list above, do let us know in the comments.

Mahesh Makvana
Mahesh Makvana

Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who's written thousands of posts about various tech topics on various sites. He specializes in writing about Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android tech posts. He's been into the field for last eight years and hasn't spent a single day without tinkering around his devices.

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