iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X have been out for quite sometime now; enough time to try them out and see what’s new compared to the previous 7 model. Here’s what you can do that you couldn’t do on your old device.
1. Charge wirelessly
The iPhone 8 series uses the Qi platform, already introduced by several Android devices, so that you can charge your phone by simply placing it on its pad. It’s worth noting that this does not allow you to use your phone while it’s charging. It also won’t work with CarPlay unless you’ve got one of the very few cars with such feature, so keep your Lightning cable handy.
2. Bluetooth 5
The new generation iPhones are equipped with Bluetooth 5: a considerable step forward compared to the Bluetooth 4 technology, which was much more battery consuming and less reliable. To be honest, most gadget and devices are still Bluetooth 4, so you can still use them, but don’t expect your new technology to make a difference just yet.
3. Improved camera for videos
As always, the cameras inside your iPhones have been upgraded. You can now film 240 fps slow-motion videos while maintaining full HD (1080). You can also shoot 60p 4K videos thanks to the new A11 Bionic processor. Basically, your videos are going to be a lot better and your camera a lot faster.
4. Features for taking pictures
iPhone 7 Plus saw the introduction of a dual-camera system. It really gave some depth to your portraits and made your pictures look like they were taken with a camera, rather than a phone. Now, your phone is equipped with yet another feature to make your portraits look like they were lit in a controlled environment: Portrait Lighting Effects.
It’s still in its early phases of development so you’ll have to be patient, but it’s pretty useful if you want to make your portraits stand out, by highlighting your face and making it stand out from the background.
5. Scan QR Codes
Finally! Apple is really late but has finally allowed your iPhone to scan and recognize QR codes to connect to Wi-Fi, open Safari links and so on.
6. More colors and True Tone
The screen hasn’t changed much from the 7 series, but the 8 now has a built-in TrueTone tech from the iPad Pro. The white balance is going to be more accurate and neutral according to environment light. The 8 series is also compatible with HDR used on Amazon and Netflix, which will make your content look better, though OLED upgrade was only given to the iPhone X.
7. Squeeze the keyboard
The 8 series devices are quite big, so it might be hard to type one-handed if that’s what you’re used to doing. Hold the emoji button on the keyboard and you’ll see three icons: a left-hand side keyboard, a right-hand side one, and the standard one. Choose either left or right to move and squeeze the keyboard to that side for easier typing.
8. More storage and features
The top-end 8 model comes with 256 Gb of storage, which doubles the max storage available on the best 7 series model. You can also share your iCloud space with family members: go to Settings > iCloud > Manage Storage. Don’t worry, your files aren’t shared, just your storage space!
Plus, the new Files app allows you to access third-party software such as Dropbox and Google Drive. You can share files from Pages or similar programs, however, most file transfers will still be via the inbuilt “Share” icon in relevant apps.
9. Safety Features for Cars and Emergencies
If you’re reckless about using your phone and driving (which you really shouldn’t do), enable Do Not Disturb While Driving: go to Settings > Do Not Disturb.
Your phone will automatically recognize how fast you’re moving or whether you’re connected to an in-car Bluetooth system and turn the feature on. It will not block phone calls, so people can still reach you in case of emergency. The only bummer is that it won’t distinguish between car and train/bus; so make sure you disable it before commuting.
There’s also an Emergency SOS feature that you can enable in Settings: it’s activated by pressing the power button five times. It disables Touch ID and automatically calls an emergency number or notify named contacts that you need help.
10. Drag and Drop
You can now drag and drop inside apps, like, for example, dragging an attachment in Mail into a new message, or drag text from one Note to another, etc. You can also drag items in the Files app from one folder to another.
There are some other hardware differences, but most changes come from an update to iOS 11. The processor has improved and will help you make the most of the augmented reality kit, which is also coming out on older phones. You can also try some of these features – ARKit, updated Siri Voice, new Control Center, redesigned App Store – just by upgrading your older device if you wish.
You can find more in the iPhone user guide for iBooks, by Apple. It’s free.