The Ultimate Guide To iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: iOS 8 Tips & Tricks

User guides Michael Grothaus 12:27, 30 Jun 2015

Get the most from Apple's iOS 8 and iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus with these awesome tips and tricks

The iPhone 6 and its mammoth big brother the iPhone 6 Plus are the two best smartphones Apple has ever made. Yet if you’re like many (myself included) chances are you’re not using Apple’s latest and greatest handsets to their fullest. That’s because the iPhone does so much it’s virtually impossible to know every little tip and trick both the hardware and its software can perform. 

China’s United Daily News (UDN) claims that Apple’s iPhone 6s release date has been pushed forwards as a result of an excessive component yield. The handset was expected to land inside late-Q3 just like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Quite a bit is now known about Apple’s upcoming iPhones. As expected, the handsets won’t be all that different to last year’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The big updates will be to do with the handsets’ display technology: both will use Apple’s Force Touch technology. Updates to the cameras are also expected, as is a new CPU and improvements to memory. 

Beyond this, however, there won’t be too much to tell the difference between last year’s model and the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. All the big changes are apparently being saved for 2016’s iPhone 7, and there is also talk of Apple rekindling its iPhone Xc range in 2016 too. 

“Apple has upped the amount of components ordered by a staggering amount, which could indicate the preparation for an early release,” reports Tech Radar. 

iOS 8 brought with it quite a lot of new functionality as well as load of improvements to existing, core Apple applications like Mail, Messages, iBooks and Photos to name just a few. Apple has been incredibly busy during the past couple of years, pumping out updates and implementing big, sweeping changes to its mobile OS. 

This is one of the reasons iOS has lost some of its stability in recent times; Apple almost became too focussed on features and lost sight of one of iOS’ core USPs, stability. Thankfully, iOS 9 –– which is coming later this year at WWDC 2015 –– will aim to make iOS as stable as its ever been, so things will begin to get dramatically better re: stability in 2015/16. 

We’ll be updating this guide most weeks to show you the latest and greatest tips we’ve discovered and the ones that our readers have discovered too. And we’d love to have you contribute. If you’ve got a favourite iPhone tip or trick let us know about it in the comments.

This feature is broken up into sections. The thought behind this is simple: if you want to know something specific simply click one of the topics below and it will take you straight to that page. We’ll be adding more topics over the coming weeks and months, so be sure to either bookmark or check back regularly to see what’s new.  

Now, here's our first addition: Security. 

1) iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: Privacy & Security

Enable iCloud backups of your entire device

Over the last few years my iPhone has become just as important a hub for all my data as my laptop has been for the last ten years. Matter of fact, if my laptop would get lost or stolen, there’s a good chance I could continue running my life with just my iPhone.

It contains my credit cards (thanks, Apple Pay), my most important documents (hat tip to you, Dropbox and iCloud Documents), all my banking information (my bank’s apps), my contacts and addresses, my emails, and even my personal photos.

Unfortunately due to its size the iPhone is much easier to lose or have stolen than a laptop. And if it gets lost, I lose a big part of my life’s information. That’s why it’s more important than ever that I–and you–make complete backups of your iPhone frequently.

Thankfully, Apple makes that easy to do–and it lets you do it in two ways: via iCloud or via iTunes. Here’s how:

Backup your iPhone via iCloud

Go to your Settings app and navigate to iCloud>Backup. Toggle the iCloud backup switch to ON (green). Now any time your iPhone is plugged into USB power (a computer or the USB power brick) and it’s connected to a Wi-Fi network all of its documents, accounts, Health data, HomeKit data, settings, and more will be backed up to iCloud. As you normally plug your iPhone in every night before bed, this means your iPhone will be backed up each night. If it’s then ever lost or stolen you can simply restore all your data to a new iPhone from your iPhone backup.

Backup your iPhone via iTunes

Another way to backup your iPhone is via iTunes. To do this plug your iPhone into your computer and launch iTunes. From the File menu choose Devices>Backup. As with the iCloud method, the iTunes method will backup all your documents, accounts, Health data, HomeKit data, settings, and more directly to your computer.

Hide pictures on your iPhone

One of the great things about the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are its cameras. It allows us to take pictures wherever and whenever we want. The drawback is sometimes others may borrow our phone and could view some pictures we may want to keep from their eyes.

That’s why Apple has now built in the ability to hide individual pictures at will. When you hide a picture is it removed from Years, Collections, and Moments views on your phone and can only be accessed from the Hidden photo album in your Photos app. This means you can safely let someone swipe through the main photo library on your phone without the worry that they’ll swipe to a photo of a personal nature.

To hide pictures on your iPhone find the picture you want to hide in your Photos app and tap and hold on it. From the contextual menu that appears tap “Hide” and then tap the Hide Photo confirmation popup that appears.

You can unhide photos by going to the Hidden album, tapping on the hidden photo, and tapping the “Unhide” contextual menu item.

Set up a strong password with nuclear options

In the unfortunate case your iPhone is lost or stolen you want to make sure that at least your data is as off-limits to prying eyes as much as possible. The single best way to do this is by making sure your iPhone 6 and 6 Plus has Touch ID enabled. This is your first line of defense in keeping people out of your iPhone.

Enable Touch ID

Go to the Settings app and tap Touch ID & Passcode. Under the USE TOUCH ID FOR: header, toggle iPhone Unlock to ON (green). You’ll be walked through the steps necessary to enter your fingerprints. Once complete any time anyone wants to unlock your iPhone they’ll need your fingerprint or passcode.

Speaking of those passcodes...Touch ID requires you set a passcode in case the sensor fails and it can no longer read your fingerprint. Many people just set a 4-digit PIN as a passcode, yet given 4-digit PINs only have 9999 possible combinations, they aren’t the most secure against someone who really wants to get into your phone.

That’s why I highly recommend creating strong passcode that can be an alphanumeric phrase.

Create Strong Password

Go to the Settings app and tap Touch ID & Passcode. Switch the Simple Passcode toggle OFF (white). Now enter you new alphanumeric strong passcode. Now anytime anyone wants to unlock your iPhone and they don’t have your fingerprints they’ll need to guess a much more complex passcode.

And lets not forget you can associate a nuclear option with both a simple and strong passcode. If someone does steal your iPhone and tries to continually guess your passcode you can set all the data on the iPhone to be erased after 10 failed attempts. If this happens and you do get your iPhone back it will be completely erased, so make sure you make backups of your device on a regular basis.

To set your iPhone to erase its data after ten failed passcode attempts go to the Settings app and tap Touch ID & Passcode. Toggle the Erase Data switch to ON (green). You’ve now set the nuclear option.

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