The 6 best new iOS 8 features you should try right now

Apple's iOS 8 update is different—if you know where to look.

Mar 1, 2020, 9:15 pm*



Taylor Hatmaker

In some ways, iOS 8 is a subtle update at first gloss. It’s not the radical visual overhaul that iOS 7 brought us, so it’s sort of hard to figure out what’s changed. If you managed to get the new iPhone and iPad software installed on your device without deleting your entire life in the process, these are a few iOS 8 tweaks worth checking out while we wait for developers to build the really cool stuff.

1) Take a selfie using the front-facing camera timer

Yes, this is in fact my favorite iOS 8 feature. 

2) Double click the home button

It’s like all your friends are right there hanging out, sort of.

3) Try some apps optimized for iOS 8

Widgets in the notification center! Crazy weather animations! Untold wonders!


  • Yahoo Weather
  • LastPass now offers Touch ID integration.
  • Pinterest has updated its embedded sharing button for iOS 8.

Many more are on the way, but this is a bare bones list of what to try now.

4) Swap in a different keyboard

Apple’s new iOS 8 keyboard comes built in with predictive text, but it’s pretty bad. Swap in a new keyboard like Fleksy or SwiftKey and go wild. Swype and others should hit the App Store soon.


5) Send a short voice clip from Messages

Walkie-talkies are back. Copy?

6) Swipe down and find stuff

Spotlight now indexes the App Store, movie times, iTunes, and the Internet at large. Boom. 

Photo by Taylor Hatmaker

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*First Published: Sep 17, 2014, 6:33 pm