Too many secret features

Discussion in 'iOS 9' started by Exile714, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. Exile714 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I know iOS has this design philosophy where you don't need a user manual because "it's so intuitive" but seriously I consider myself a fairly advanced user and I'm still finding things I didn't know about.

    For instance, when you type flight information into notes, it creates a link you can tap which brings up a flight tracking card. It's really nice, but I found it by mistake.

    Then just now, I had a crumb on my screen and I swipe it off the keyboard of my 6S+ then suddenly the letters go away. After experimenting for a bit, it turns out that if you force touch the keyboard it turns into a sort of trackpad for selecting text. What? Who said anything about that?

    I've searched for "hidden features" pages online, but all I ever see are lists with things like "this is how you can check your battery" and "this is how you can turn off wifi without even opening the setting app." Where is the list of crazy junk even advanced users might not be able to find? Does anyone know? Should we make one?
     
  2. ohio.emt macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I'm pretty sure that the keyboard one is mentioned at the keynote, and as a new feature on the site. Can't remember if the note one was or not.
     
  3. IndianBird macrumors 6502a

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  4. Paddle1 macrumors 68030

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    #4
    This is why everyone shouldn't just automatically shrug off the Tips app, it actually does have in a lot of things that many may not know, even if you're an "experienced user".

    However, that keyboard thing is actually on the Apple website.
     
  5. BeeGood macrumors 68000

    BeeGood

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    #5
    The YouTube channel TechSmartt does "tips and tricks" and "hidden features" videos for each version of iOS and all of the betas. They can be lengthy sometimes but they're worth the watch.

    Other channels do the same, but I find TechSmartt tips videos to be pretty good.


    Edit: like others have said, the keyboard trackpad was intro'd during the keynote, but it wasn't given nearly enough press. It's awesome. I didn't know about the flight info link, but Siri will give you flight information for airborne aircraft (commercial and even private) close to you
     
  6. WordMasterRice macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    I think the point is that for a regular joe that isn't an enthusiast to the point where they are on here or looking for YouTube videos how would you ever know.
     
  7. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    #7
    There's always the Tips app, Apple's web site, and the manual as well.
     
  8. GalFieri macrumors regular

    GalFieri

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    #8
    I think that's probably why the Tips app was developed? I only looked through it once so I don't know how much is detailed but I'm guessing a lot of things are explained in there.

    I definitely think some of the "secret" features can be made more apparent through the use of visual cues or things in the UI, but if Apple tried to explain all of this to a user using an app for the first time, it risks overwhelming the user with information that they won't retain. A lot of people simply don't pay attention to things on screen even if it's screaming at them (figuratively).
     
  9. BeeGood macrumors 68000

    BeeGood

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    #9
    I would say that if someone who isn't an enthusiast cares enough to know, they would Google and stumble across this site, or Macworld, or iMore or any of the other sites that talk in detail about iOS.

    The info is out there and it really couldn't be easier to find. Nobody is going to know about or remember every single feature, but 30 min of YouTube videos will get anyone to the point of knowing how to do the things he/she truly cares about as efficiently as any enthusiast could.
     
  10. Goatllama macrumors 6502a

    Goatllama

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    #10
    But isn't it kind of fun discovering these things without looking them up?

    One I found was that on iCloud.com, all you have to do is type the first part of your Apple ID, hit tab, and it'll fill in the '@iCloud.com' part.
     
  11. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    #11
    I find it more interesting reading up about things and finding out what can be done.
     
  12. stooovie macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    If everything was tutorialized in iOS itself, it would just overwhelm the user with tons of information.

    If it was a part of the post-install wizard, it would get skipped and you wouldn't have the benefit of learning it in natural conditions.

    If it was a part of regular use, it would probably come at the worst of times. No easy way there. Tips app is a good solution

    Old iOS versions were a lot simpler, without many notable features that we love today and take for granted - Notification Center, control center, iPad gestures, swipe to go back...

    The original iPhone had an advantage that it was so simple, all information and control could be just present on the screen at all time. But even a thing so simple as a clipboard needed to be hidden behind a gesture (long-press) - otherwise it would just have to be on screen al the time, obstructing the content.

    It is a hard problem to solve. Discoverability versus usefulness.

    On the other hand, none of the features that seem to be hidden is crucial. All the basics are right there, visible at all times. Think of these hidden things as shortcuts, which they really are.
     
  13. yep-sure macrumors 6502

    yep-sure

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    #13
    This is a result of the new "cram in as many features as we can" mentality at Apple in recent years. I miss the older iOS versions that were intuitive, weren't bloated, were simple and easy to use, and provided a great user experience.

    It all went south with the iOS7 redesign in my opinion.
     
  14. hojx macrumors 6502

    hojx

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    #14
    The point of hiding these features is so that it doesn't really hurt (does not change much of your usual habits) even if you don't know about it, but if you really are an advanced user well-informed about these things (all over the net) you can take advantage of it.

    Typical/basic users can easily use whatever's on the screen and it is enough.
    Real advanced users know what's hidden.
     
  15. bransoj macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 31, 2013
    #15
    They cant win though...because whilst you think that there are as many folk again criticising them for standing still or not innovating when each new iOS or iPhone isnt jam packed with new features and they're accused of lagging behind other smartphone folk.
     
  16. WordMasterRice macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Yes but what I'm getting at is if you don't know that these things even exist what would you even be looking for? You need to know to look to actually go and look. How many of the other things that you own to do go looking for youtube videos on features that aren't obvious? Are you looking up videos or on the manufactures site of your microwave for things that might not be obvious? What about your garage door opener?
     
  17. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #17
    People do it for things that are of interest to them. For some that can easily be the garage door opener or something like that, for more it will be things that are somewhat more complex and offer more functionalities (like a computer, a phone, a smart TV, even a car maybe).
    --- Post Merged, Mar 17, 2016 ---
    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/too-many-secret-features.1961496/#post-22677451
     
  18. dwfaust macrumors 68040

    dwfaust

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    #18
    Techsmartt is a tool. I don't find his stuff useful at all.

    I generally pour over the tech blogs, the Apple keynotes and do use the Tips app on occasion. The Tips app is annoying, but does have a few nuggets to share. There are a number of good RSS feeds from MacRumors, Macworld, 9to5Mac, Apple Insider and others.
     
  19. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #19
    A simple online search for something like "iOS tips" will often lead to one of many articles with top useful tips or just a collection of random known tips. Fairly easy and quick to do.
     
  20. Armen macrumors 604

    Armen

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    #20
    "This is a result of the new "cram in as many features as we can" mentality at Apple"
    Apple has to stay competitive and software naturally evolves. If Apple didn't add new features you wouldn't even be able to copy/paste anything on your iPhone (A feature that was added in iOS 3.2)

    "I miss the older iOS versions that were intuitive"

    The Core User Interface of iOS has remained the same so I'm not sure what you're referring to here.

    "weren't bloated" - What exactly is bloated?

    "were simple and easy to use, and provided a great user experience." - None of the core functionality has changed so I'm not sure what you are referring to here either.
     
  21. LordQ Suspended

    LordQ

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    Sep 22, 2012
    #21
    I believe I speak for many people when I say that Tips, Game Centre, Compass, Contacts, Stocks, Find my Friends, Podcasts and iBooks are bloatware.
     
  22. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #22
    Technically speaking they can be called that, as far as the impact of those apps, they are fairly inconsequential (aside from pretty much having a folder where they would reside).
     
  23. Goatllama macrumors 6502a

    Goatllama

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    #23
    I was about to check Storage Usage, I remember them coming up as very small, around 20-30 mb each? I forget if it shows their size in there.
     
  24. Armen macrumors 604

    Armen

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    #24
    I use contacts, stocks, find my friends and podcasts. I don't consider them bloatware.
     
  25. dwfaust macrumors 68040

    dwfaust

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    #25
    I might concede that Stocks and Compass are bloatware (though I have used the level function of compass more than once). Game Center is what it is... but I use Tips on occasion, Find my Friends, Podcasts and iBooks are apps that I use regularly... and Contacts is my "go to" app for contacts - would be really hard pressed to call it bloatware.
     

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