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iPhone 6 & iOS 8: 10 Hidden Features You Missed

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Apple keynote presentations are a mecca for new product announcements, where CEO Tim Cook and his fellow VPs discuss every little detail of the newest iPhone — well, maybe not every little detail.

There is only so much time for Apple to discuss new products, and they only have time to cover the major talking points. That leaves dozens of little features from the public eye. If you plan on buying the iPhone 6 or upgrading to iOS 8, here are a few goodies to know that Apple never talked about.

1. Better Battery Usage Breakdown

Does your battery suck? Is it caused by that endless game of Angry Birds? iOS will now show you exactly what’s going on with your terrible uptime. A new menu under Settings will tell you how much battery life each app has sucked up in the last 24 hours.

2. Leave Group Conversations

Finally, you can now escape from the horrific confines of a group message. Right now, you have to simply wait and pray the messages will stop, but with iOS 8 you can simply tap a button and leave the whole thread behind.

3. Self-Destructing Pictures

Snapchat can cry uncle on this one. Apple will now give you the option to send a photo that can delete itself in two minutes or less from the iMessages app. Just hold down your thumb on the camera icon and the option will appear. But remember: screenshots still exist, and no picture is 100 percent private.

4. Share Location in a Message

Instead of sending a long reply to “Hey man, where you at?” you can now just show your buddy on a map exactly where to go. You can select the option under Details in Messages, and the recipient can plug the data right into Maps for directions.

5. “Hey Siri”

Okay, this one will sound a little creepy, but soon Siri will be listening at all times. Instead of holding down the home button, you can just say “Hey Siri,” followed by your command to find out sports scores, play a song, or send a message. She hears everything. (Note: You have to have your phone charging for this to work.)

6. Siri + Shazam

She’s not always listing to you, she’s also listening for songs in the area, identifying them just like the Shazam app. The bonus here is that you don’t need to open the app for this feature to work. Siri does all the heavy lifting.

7. AppleCare+

It’s not a new feature but one exclusive to buying the iPhone through Apple (rather than a service provider). AppleCare+ is $99 and provides two years of support plus two $50 claims if you break your phone or get any water damage.

This is an Apple exclusive, so if you do buy your phone through a service provider there are iPhone protection plans available that offer next-day replacement and an unlimited amount of claims.

8. Landscape Mode

This is something Apple resisted for years. With the iPhone 6 Plus, you can tilt the phone sideways when it’s on the home screen and the apps will rotate to accommodate. Apple also hinted at developers working towards landscape-specific apps for the Plus that could work in tandem with the iPad.

9. Metal

Apple helped develop a new gaming performance engine that will utilize the full power of the A8 CPU and M8 motion processor to created unreal gaming effects and a brand new experience. If you’re playing on the newest iPhone, your games won’t look like anything you’ve seen on a mobile platform.

10. Focus Pixels

Apple’s new image sensor technology, which it’s branded “focus pixels,” allows the camera to take in more information (light, focus, contrast) to create a better, sharper image. Some folks are griping about the megapixels on the new camera, but Apple clearly put their priorities on other (and possibly more important) features.

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More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.