All the tiny tweaks Apple sneaked into iOS 8

iOS8

We’re still busying digesting all the new stuff Tim Cook and Craig Federighi announced yesterday with iOS 8, and even though we’re ridiculously excited about major backend features like HomeKit, iCloud Photo Library and Metal, 24 hours of tinkering around with the OS has revealed a lot of hidden gems that went unmentioned.

Along with the host of new iOS 8 features, Jony Ive and the Human Interface team have been busy adding dozens of tiny tweaks to the UI as well as tossing in a few smaller features you probably didn’t notice.

Take a look at these 11 tweaks Apple sneaked into iOS 8 without telling anyone:

Safari private mode per tab

keeptabsprivateSafari

Safari can now multi-task between Private mode and regular. When switching from Private mode, iOS 8 now asks if you want to keep your naughty tabs or close them before shuffling you over to the regular and totally trackable version of Safari.

Manage Apple ID from iCloud menu

editAppleIDiOS8

Rather than managing your Apple ID through iTunes or the App Store, iOS 8 has a new section under iCloud settings that lets you view and edit your personal information. You can also change your password, add credit cards and add members to your Family Share plan.

Emoji switcher icon is now a happy face

keyboardbutton

Pulling up the emoji keyboard is slightly more convenient now thanks to a tweak to the iOS 8 keyboard that replaces the globe symbol with a smiley face. If you add more than two keyboards though it switches back to a globe icon. In other keyboard news, iOS 8 lets you toggle the new QuickType keyboard by pulling the section down. Bring it back by pulling up the grey bar between the text field and keyboard back up.

iTunes Radio on lockscreen show how many skips you got left

itunesradiolockscreen

iTunes Radio is a lot more friendly with the lockscreen on iOS 8. Songs can be added to your wishlist by tapping the star. When you skip a track you get a notification of have many skips are left and there’s a new buy button to help juice iTunes sales.

Purchase iTunes content with Siri

buyshazamiOS8

Siri picked up the ability to Shazam music but Apple also added the ability to purchase those songs right from the homescreen. As an added bonus, you don’t even have to ask Siri what’s playing to Shazam a song, just hold your homebutton and Siri will figure it out after a few seconds of silence.

Weather app gets data from Weather Channel

weatherappchannel

Yahoo has been handling iOS weather info for years but iOS 8 marks a departure from tradition by switching to the Weather Channel to provide data in the Weather app and Weather widget Notification Center. Yahoo still gets stocks though.

FaceTime call waiting

Facetimecallwaiting

FaceTime still doesn’t have group calling, but Apple did add a Call Waiting feature to its video chat service that lets you decline incoming calls, or end your current call to accept the new one.

Organize iBooks into categories

ibooksiOS8

Apple decided to make iBooks a default app in iOS 8 and they’ve added some new organization features to go with it. Your books can now be organized by collections and the categories button now filters sections by titles, authors, or categories.

Timelapse video

timelapseiOS8

iPhoneographers get lots of goodies in iOS 8 including a new Time-Lapse video feature that snaps photos at dynamically selected intervals, perfect for capturing sunsets or the bustle of city streets. Just swipe right past Slo-Mo, tap record and let your iPhone capture the scene for as long as you’d like.

RSS feeds in Shared Links

RSSfeedinSafariiOS8

Safari also picked up the ability to add RSS feeds to your Shared Links feed. To add a new RSS feed just visit the website in Safari, open up your shared links, go to Subscriptions and tap “Add Current Site.”

Camera Timers

timercameraiOS8

Nearly every camera app in the App Store has a self timer but Apple is just getting around to adding its own in iOS 8. The setting can be toggled from the top of the app, includes 3 & 10 second options and shoots in Burst Mode so you get plenty of frames to choose from.

Other tweaks

Request Desktop Site

safariiOS8

Safari also picked up the ability to request desktop versions of websites. Tap the address bar and swipe up to find the new feature.

Mark all texts as Read

readallmessages

The Messages app in iOS 8 also has a new “Read All” option under the Edit feature so you can get rid of notifications without bothering to see what your momma just texted you. You can also choose to store messages for a 1 year, 1 month, or forever under the Settings menu.

Recover deleted photos

iOS8photos

Deleted photos can now be recovered with the new Recently Deleted album in iOS 8. To retrieve any pics that were accidentally deleted just go to the Recently Deleted folder, select the photos you’re missing and tap recover.

Lockscreen shortcuts

locationbasedicons

iOS 8 displays new app shortcuts on the lock screen based on your location. If you’re walking past Starbucks you might see their app shortcut pop up. Some users have also reported getting app suggestions on the home screen for stores like Costco and the Apple Store even when those apps aren’t installed.

Stopwatch refinement

clockiOS8

Apple made some very minor changes to the Start and Lap buttons on the Clock stopwatch that one of our eagle-eyed readers spotted. The bottom icons also have a lighter shade of grey.

  • Karim Ardalan

    Great list, but searching past purchases is not new in iOS 8. You can do that in iOS 7 too and maybe even before.

    • Shane Bryson

      No, you could see past purchases in a list but you could not search that list, only scroll through it until you found what you needed.

      • lowtolerance

        Uh, yes you totally can do this on iOS 7, though it’s not very intuitive. You have to swipe down from the menu to bring the search menu down.

      • jonathanober

        what this guy said :)

  • Cameron

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure searching purchased apps and maybe FaceTime call waiting was present in at least iOS 7.

    • Shane Bryson

      There is no FaceTime call waiting in iOS7 and all you can do with past purchases is scroll through a list of them, not search that list.

      • Cameron

        I must be running some super-secret iOS 7 build then!

        iOS 7.1.1, iPhone 5, can search purchases…
        I was wrong about FT call waiting though, that is new.

      • Shane Bryson

        Are you sure you aren’t jailbroken to do that? Because I am absolutely running 7.1.1 and that simply isn’t there.

      • Cameron

        Never been jailbroken.

        Just go onto the purchases page and swipe up, and the Search bar is there.

      • jonathanober

        swipe down not up…you need to reveal it when you’re at the top of the list.

  • m1n1cooper

    Searching past purchases is defiantly in iOS 7.1.1 as i have it on my iPhone 5

    • Shane Bryson

      Nope, you can only scroll through a list of past purchases, not search that list.

      • Andrew Prescott

        You can search your purchases in iOS 7. Not sure why Shane can’t pull down in purchases area and see the search.

      • CLA

        Dude, pull down and you get a search bar. Been doing this for a long time now.

      • m1n1cooper

        Ironically cultofmac did a post about searching purchases in 2011 http://www.cultofmac.com/98985/ios-app-store-now-lets-you-view-your-app-purchase-history/ thats how old searching your past purchases is

      • lucascott

        incorrect. you totally can search the list. I do it all the time.

  • robogobo

    The irony here is that ios completely chokes on this website.

    • lowtolerance

      That’s hardly ironic, cultofmac’s mobile site has been utter shit for a long time.

  • John

    For “request desktop” you tap the address bar and then tap the clock for it to show.

    • xared

      Tapping on the status bar scrolls to the top of any scrollView, so it is the same as scrolling to the top manually.

  • SolarShane13

    My god at the GIFs. You just slowed my mac to a crawl.

    • BusterH

      sorry. time for an upgrade? i’m on a baseline MacBook Air and the page resolves in a few seconds.

      • SolarShane13

        I’m on an iMac 8,1. I’m awaiting this year’s updates to upgrade. My mac be showing it’s age.

  • Mike Castillo

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    GET IOS 8 BETA 1 NOW!

    FAST ACTIVATION LESS THAN 15 MINUTES!

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  • lucascott

    sorting ibooks by collections is not new. it’s been a feature since iBooks started.

  • ISupportPhil

    FaceTime call waiting is already a feature in iOS 7… I use it at least once a week….

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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