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iOS 8 Tips

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Explore the App Store

iOS 8 replaces the Near Me tab in the App Store with the Explore feature. This new feature does much more than find local apps. It’s a great way to find new apps that you might not discover on your own. Users can browse categories and sub-categories, drilling down until they discover an app. This actually reminds me of the old school Yahoo directory, with a more modern user interface.

Scan Credit Card in Safari

If you’ve ever used an iTunes gift card with an iOS device, you’ve probably scanned the card instead of typing in the numbers. This feature, built-in to Safari, now works with credit cards. The next time you are shopping online with your iOS device, look for the “Scan Credit Card” label on the top of the keyboard. Tap “Scan Credit Card” and follow the onscreen instructions to scan your card.

Adjust Camera Exposure

Apple’s camera app has always left much to be desired. I actually prefer Camera+, which offers more features, enabling me to take better photos. iOS 8 has improved Apple’s camera app to the extent that I might actually use it. One new feature is the ability to adjust exposure with a simple tap. After tapping the screen, an exposure adjustment slider will appear. Camera+ has offered this feature for some time.

Battery Usage Details

iOS 8 makes it easy to find the apps that are draining your battery. Simply tap on Settings > General > Battery Usage to see a list of apps along with their battery usage. Tap on “Last 24 Hours” or “Last 7 Days” to adjust the time span of the report. This can help pinpoint apps that are hogging battery life. If the app isn’t something you are using often, it could be that a background process is using the battery. If this is the case, make sure to close the battery-draining app when you are not using it. This will not only preserve battery life, but will also speed up your iOS 8 experience.

Turn Off Predictive Text

For many people, the predictive text keyboard introduced in iOS 8 is a blessing. Others may find it distracting. If you have an older device, it can slow down keyboard performance. You can turn off predictive text by swiping down the gray bar where the options are shown. Predictive text can also be turned off permanently by tapping Settings > General > Keyboard then turn off Predictive. You can also hold down your finger on the keyboard toggle button (the globe on the keyboard) and turn off Predictive.

Calculate Travel Time

The iOS Calendar continues to grow and add new features. iOS adds the ability to calculate travel times. Simply switch on the Travel Time slider when editing a Calendar event. You can select the starting location, as well as mode of transportation (walking and driving for now). Travel Time will be incorporated into your Calendar, so you can see it at a glance.

Interact Directly With Lock Screen Notifications

You can do a lot more with Notifications in iOS 8, even from the Lock screen. It is now possible to interact directly with Notifications, instead of having them launch the corresponding app. Simply swipe left on a Notification, and you will be presented with options. You can even reply to text messages directly from the Lock screen.

If you are more security-minded, you might not like the idea of Notifications being easily accessed from the Lock screen. You can disable access to Notifications from the Lock screen by tapping Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. Next, turn off Today and Notifications View under the Allow Access When Locked section.

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