Favorite iOS Features

In this entry, I want to cover with you my top favorite features in iOS. Now iOS is Apple’s mobile operating system, so don’t confuse this with Android, an operating system created by Google, and OSX, Apple’s Mac operating system. The first few are all accessibility features that I use on a regular basis, and the rest will cover the main aspects of the iOS operating system.

1. Speak Screen

Now this feature was added in iOS 8, and it enabled users to pull down with two fingers from the top of the screen to enable a live screen reader. I have used this feature with things like books, webpages, emails, and texts. I really like the easy-to-use aspect of this feature, and have deeply integrated it into my school work.

2. Zoom

Now zoom has been on iOS for quite a while now so it’s nothing new, but I find myself using the feature all the time.  There are those webpages that don’t allow for users to pinch and zoom in onto text, that’s where zoom comes in. With zoom, all you have to do is double tap your screen with three fingers, and you content becomes a lot larger. To navigate, you use your three fingers, and navigate across the screen.

3. Gray Scale

Though some might not see this feature as useful, tests have shown that if you have this feature on, it preserves the charge of your device. I was able to get about four extra hours from my iPhone, which was already at 20%. For those dire times when you need a little extra juice, this feature is perfect for you.

4. Low Power Mode

This feature was just added in iOS 9, but not all devices support it. In theory, Apple says that you can push out an extra 3 hours of battery after 20% which I feel is very generous. Though it has preserved my battery a little bit longer, I find myself turning it off because of various reasons. It is still a great feature, and on those long road trips, I do try to use it.

5. Apple Pay

You had to know that this would be on my list. I have gotten to use this feature many times over the past year, and I absolutely love it. It is fast, secure, and private. The one obvious draw-back is that it is not supported at all stores as of yet. The only places within 5 miles of me are Farm Fresh and McDonalds. However, as time progresses, we should see many stores beginning to adopt it.

6. Longer Passcodes

Let’s face it, as criminals get smarter and smarter, those four digit passcodes are not very secure. Even though Apple has made it possible for 6 characters in iOS 9, it’s still not very secure. That’s why I like the ability to disable those “Simple Passcodes” this way, I am able to create my own passwords that are much more secure.

7. Split Screen Multi-Tasking (*iPad only)

For those productive people on the go, this feature comes in handy allowing users to have multiple apps open at the same time allows for a user to be both more productive, and makes  better experience for the user.

8. Air Drop

How many times do you have a file on another device, but want to work on another? With a feature apple introduced in iOS 7, Air Drop allows you to do just that. Say you are typing up a document on your computer, but have to head out; you can easily transfer that file via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, and your file is on your tablet or phone. This feature also allows you to transfer files such as pictures and contacts.

9. Find My iPhone

I have had to use this feature many times when either I lose a product or I am aiding friend, trying to find theirs. With this feature, you are able to play a sound from the device as well as remotely wiping the device and viewing its exact location on a map. I recall a friend misplaced his phone, and with the feature, we were able to back trace our steps, and locate his phone. We probably never would have found it if it had not been for this feature.

10. 3rd Party app integration

This may seem like a crazy one, but just listen. For a long time, Apple would not let you do your own thing without one of their apps. Recently, however, Apple has cut down on its “locked” ecosystem, and began adopting third party apps into their main applications. Photo editing, for example, originally required a user to open up a separate app, give permission for the app to access your pictures, and finally, be able to edit within that app. After that, if you wanted to post it, you would have to save it from that app into your main photo app, and then post. Now, you can access many of an applications features within the photos app, thus no more jumping between programs.

11. Siri

With the release of iOS 5 and the iPhone 4s, your device became a lot smarter. With Siri, you can send a text, ask it to call someone, request a song, as well as many other abilities. Siri not only improves speed, but it also increases productivity and even safety. What do I mean by safety, you may ask? Let’s say you are doing something that requires a lot of attention such as driving, and you forget to call that one person. What do you do? You can whip out your phone and instead of staring at the screen trying to find the contact, you can just say, “Call Johnny.”  

12. Night Shift

Though it’s not currently available to the general public, I have had the opportunity to try out the feature. It is really handy and I feel as if my sleep really has improved. As mentioned in my previous post, the feature cuts down the blue light being emitted by your iOS device. With this feature, the melatonin in your body is not being counter triggered, which in the long run means that you can sleep better.

What do you think of this list? Do you think that these features are intuitive to the user? What are some of your favorite features in iOS. I would be interested to hear what you think.


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