30 tips every new iOS 8 user should know

Though it looks just like iOS 7, iOS 8 is packed with more features than any other update. Get to know the best, most useful features right here.

Sharon Profis
As the Vice President of CNET Studios, Sharon leads the video, social, editorial design, and branded content teams. Before this role, Sharon led content development and launched new verticals for CNET, including Wellness, Money, and How To. A tech expert herself, she's reviewed and covered countless products, hosted hundreds of videos, and appeared on shows like Good Morning America, CBS Mornings, and the Today Show. An industry expert, Sharon is a recurring Best of Beauty Awards judge for Allure. Sharon is an avid chef and hosts the cooking segment 'Farm to Fork' on PBS nationwide. She's developed and published hundreds of recipes.
Sharon Profis
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Get notified when your boss emails

Tone down the number of email alerts you receive by using the new Notify Me feature in iOS 8. With it, you can set alerts for any email thread.

To enable thread notifications, swipe left from the message list > More > Notify Me.

For more on customizing the feature, check out this post.

2 of 31 Josh Miller/CNET

Cut the clutter

Double-tapping the home button in iOS 8 not only shows you the app switcher, but also displays your "Favorite" and recent contacts.

To customize this feature -- or to disable it entirely -- follow these steps.

3 of 31 Jason Cipriani/CNET

Find out what's killing your battery

Finally -- finally! -- there's a tool that shows you how much power your apps use. The tool organizes them in a list starting with the app (or setting) that demands the most.

Find out more about iOS 8's battery usage tool.

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Use the camera's built-in tools

Apple knows how much its users like taking photos, so it included some really useful camera tools in iOS 8. You can now control exposure without affecting the focus, and even shoot timelapses.

Get to know all of iOS 8's camera features.

5 of 31 Josh Miller/CNET

Add widgets to the notification center

Widgets give you at-a-glance information about any given app, and are a huge time-saver.

For example, instead of launching a sports app to check the score, you can view the status of the game by swiping down from the top of the screen to open the notification center.

Widgets can even be interactive. Find out how to add, remove, and customize your widgets.

6 of 31 Jason Cipriani/CNET

One Apple ID for the whole family

With a short setup process, you can enable shared purchases, photos, locations, and calendars for the whole family.

The feature makes a lot of sense for people who want to share app  purchases with other members of the family. No more having to purchase twice.

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Find My iPhone -- even when your battery is dying

If you lose your phone as the battery is dying, Apple can now automatically save its location data, increasing the chances of finding your phone. In order to use it, you'll have to enable the option in your iCloud settings.

8 of 31 Jason Cipriani/CNET

Bigger text for happier eyes

Adjusting the system-wide text size is easier than ever in iOS 8, since it's no longer buried in Accessibility settings.

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Pick up where you left off

With Handoff, you can easily switch from your iOS device to your Mac, so you can continue whatever you were doing without interruption.

It works with Messages, Safari, Reminders, Contacts, Maps, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, and Calendar.

Want in? Check out our guide to using Handoff.

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Hand-free Siri commands

Want to prompt Siri without holding the home button? There's a setting for that.

With the setting enabled, you can say "Hey Siri" and the personal assistant will start listening. There's just one catch -- your phone needs to be plugged in.

11 of 31 Jason Cipriani/CNET

Ditch Apple's stock keyboard

Want to "swipe" instead of type, like Android users? Or, want to increase the size of the keys?

You can now do that by replacing the regular keyboard with third-party ones like Swype and Swiftkey.

12 of 31 Josh Miller/CNET

Customize quick reply for Messages

In iOS 8, you can reply to messages without launching the app. A window pops up, you type your response, and you're done.

The way these "quick reply" notifications appear depends on your settings. Go to Settings > Notifications > Messages and choose between "Badge" or "Banner."

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Your location, your privacy

In an effort to better protect your privacy, Apple now lets you decide when exactly apps can see your location.

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Hidden tricks in the Mail app

From gestures to quickly adding new events, Apple's Mail app is packed with useful, understated features that could easily go unnoticed.

Get to know all of Mail's tools in this guide.

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Accidentally closed a tab? Don't panic. In Safari, you can reopen closed tabs by creating a new tab, then selecting it from the list of recently closed tabs.

Check out three more Safari tips for iOS 8.

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Hide App Store suggestions

Overall, the new App Store is awesome, but one feature that might annoy you is "Suggested Apps," which displays app suggestions based on your location.

They can feel a lot like ads, so if you'd like to get rid of them, here's how.

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Siri types as you talk

The new, smarter Siri will now display your dictation as you speak.

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Safer searching with Duck Duck Go

If you don't want your web searches to be tracked, change your default search engine to Duck Duck Go. You can do this by going to Settings > Safari.

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A very minimal home screen

The jury's out on whether or not this was possible in iOS 7. If it was, it was a late-add feature.

In any case, it's worth knowing. Minimalist types can rest easy knowing that the entire home screen can be cleared out to display absolutely nothing. Just drag your current icons to another window.

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Get the desktop version of a site

Oftentimes, mobile versions of websites omit important links and features. Any time you want to see the full desktop version of a site, tap the address bar, then drag your finger down to display the option.

21 of 31 James Martin/CNET

Hide (or disable) text predictions

As you type, iOS 8 will suggest words in the bar across the top of the keyboard. Sometimes it's dead-on, and other times...not so much.

To temporarily hide tetx predictions, pull down from the bar. To show them, pull up from the top of the keyboard.

Otherwise, you can disable the feature entirely by going to Settings > General > Keyboard, and toggle "Predictive" off.

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Touch ID everywhere

Touch ID can now be used in third-party apps (like Mint). Expect more developers to incorporate this feature as they issue updates.

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Create your Medical ID

Should you ever be caught in a medical emergency, EMS workers can access your Medical ID without needing to unlock your phone. To set up your Medical ID, launch the Health app, and tap the last tab.

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Share your location with friends

The Messages app is packed with fun and useful features, including one that lets you share your location on a one-time or ongoing basis.

Just hit "Details" and choose from the location-sharing options.

Check out our full guide to messaging on iOS 8.

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Swipe to dismiss notifications

To quickly dismiss an alert from the notification center, swipe left over the alert and hit the "x."

26 of 31 James Martin/CNET

Check times for sunrise and sunset

At the bottom of the 10-day forecast for any city, you can now view sunrise and sunset times, along with other, very specific weather information.

There's even a "pressure" measurement, if you're into that sort of thing.

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Stay up-to-date on your favorite blogs

Safari can now act like an RSS reader, giving you a list of recent articles for any blog you subscribe to.

To subscribe to a blog, tap the bookmark icon, then the @ symbol, and hit the Subscribe option in the bottom-right corner.

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Hide embarassing -- or inappropriate -- photos

Don't want friends seeing your selfies when they check out your photo gallery? Just tap and hold the photo you want to hide and choose "Hide."

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Go grayscale

For an experience a little easier on the eyes -- or to prank your friends -- make your phone go grayscale. It's not yet clear if doing so saves battery life, but it can be a boon for tired eyes.

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Want more?

For more tips, check out our complete guide to iOS 8.

31 of 31 Jason Cipriani/CNET

Fixing the botched iOS 8.0.1 update

El app Health en iOS 8.

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