The Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ arrived with a bang and huge initial success. There are tonnes of new features and tweaks in iOS 8 you should try if you own one of these new devices. If you’re paying $700 for a new phone, you ought to know how to use it and maximize its features for the best possible user experience.

Below are a list of tricks and useful features to help you personalize your phone and utilize some of its important functions.

1. Medical ID                                                                    

This is one of the smartest updates of iOS 8. There is a new feature in the Health App called Medical ID. This is where you fill in pertinent information about yourself like allergies, blood type, medications, medical conditions, vital stats and emergency contacts that any emergency medical services may need to access if something happens to you. If you allow it, the information in the app can be accessed by anyone even if the phone is locked with a fingerprint. Just tap “Emergency” and then “Medical ID” to access.

2. Switch Between Standard And Zoomed View

The default desktop view of the iPhone 6 and 6+ is the standard view, but if you want icons to appear larger or you have poor vision, you can select the “Zoomed” view. Just go to Display > Brightness > View and make the changes.

3. Disabling Control Center Access Using iOS 7

Security is a big issue for all smartphone users specifically when you consider your phone as your desktop extension and the rising prominence of m-commerce and contactless payment solutions. You can bypass the iOS 7 flaw by going to Settings > Disable Control Access. By doing this, you can safeguard your smartphone until you upgrade your phone to iOS 8.

4. Enable Accessbility Feature

Anyone with young kids will surely know how much the iPhone appeals to them. This can be an issue if valuable information or pieces of data are accidentally deleted by kids. To avoid this you just have to go to General > Accessibility > Enable Guided Access. This is not a very known feature, but is very useful especially when there are kids around.

5. Charging

Did you know that you can charge your iPhone 6 using your iPad charger rather than the standard charger that comes with it. The new iPhone supports 2.1A charging and some users reported that a full charge took only 2 hours using an iPad Charger. Now that is fast!

6. Conserve Phone Juice

There are several apps that claim to save power, but in reality they use a lot of power just to function. You can conserve your phone’s power by enabling grayscale mode. You just have to go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Greyscale to save iPhone battery life.

7. Landscape Mode

The new iPhone 6 has a landscape feature for its home screen. It lets you use the phone more like an iPad if you’re so inclined. Other key apps like Mail have also been redesigned to let the user be more productive.

8. Metal

Metal is a new performance engine designed for gamers to experience console-quality games on the iPhone 6 and 6+. Metal is optimized to allow GPU and CPU to work together in delivering detailed graphics and very complex visual effects. The images will be more realistic and very fluid.

9. Credit Card Scanning

You can now scan credit cards using Safari and your phone camera. If you already have iOS 8 installed and are using Safari and run into a CC field, you can take a clear picture of your credit card to scan its number. It is then automatically added to the credit card field.

10. Favorite/recent Contacts

When you double tap the home button, it will bring up the App Switcher where a list of running apps will show. You can close these running apps simply by swiping them away. Double tapping the home button also shows you your most recent and favourite contacts. To make a call, send a message or contact through FaceTime, just tap the contact icon.

11. Reachability

For all you one-handers, if the icons or running apps are at the very top of the home screen, just double tap the home key to have the icons or current app slide down for easy reach. No more thumb cramps!

12. Photo Editing

The new iPhone Photos app has taken over the role of iPhoto with a number of cool photo editing options. You can lighten up a dark, underexposed image easily. You can also adjust shadows, highlights, rotate images and adjust skin tones.

13. Complex Passwords

One of the most useful but underrated features of the iPhone is the creation of complex passwords. The iPhone is capable of creating longer, alphanumeric passcodes that are very hard to bypass. You just have to disable the default “Simple Passcode” option that restricts the user to a basic 4 number sequence. Just go to Settings > General > Passcode Lock and make the changes.


14. Access To Battery Usage

iOS 8 has been designed to have a new feature that shows what apps are in use and how much power they are using. The app, called Battery Usage, offers a clear and precise breakdown of which app is consuming the majority of power on a daily basis. Although it is a simple feature, it can help you optimize your iPhone’s battery life. Just go to  General > Usage > Battery Usage. From there, you can check your daily activity and close any apps that are draining too much power from your phone.

15. Self Destruct Option

This doesn’t mean that your phone will actually explode like something from “Mission Impossible”. The self destruct option allows you to send audio or video messages that self destruct in 2 minutes. When holding down the mic or camera options, a circular menu will pop up that lets you record your message.

Do not fear, Android users – Android phones have also had most of these features for years now!

About Author

Jon specialises in research and content creation for content marketing campaigns. He’s worked on campaigns for some of Australia's largest brands including across Technology, Cloud Computing, Renewable energy and Corporate event management. He’s an avid scooterist and musician.