New ‘Tips’ App Brings iOS Help To Your Homescreen

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Apple seems to have gotten a bit more liberal with what they auto-load onto its iOS devices—and no, I’m not talking about that U2 album. When you upgraded to iOS 8, you probably noticed that a few more apps came along for the ride. Podcasts and iBooks now come preinstalled, which might annoy some people, but one new un-deletable addition may be truly useful to everyone: the Tips app.

Tips comes preloaded with nine tips that cover a variety of topics. Some tips cover features that are new to iOS 8—like Shazam functionality built into Siri or how you can now directly respond to notifications—but others cover existing features, like how you can swipe right-to-left in Messages to see the timestamp for each message.

The app is limited in what it covers for now, but Apple says that it will provide additional tips in the future.

There are two conclusions that you can draw from the Tips app: The first is that iOS is getting so complicated that Apple felt it needed to preload help right onto the Home Screen. On the other hand, I’d imagine that the core functaionality is so unchanged that there are a lot of newer advanced features that users are missing.

There is a lot more going on in iOS 8, though: I had a hard time figuring out where to enable Last Pass’ Safari extension, for instance. Providing a centralized home for walkthroughs of these new features is a good idea, but it would be better if some of these features were more obvious to begin with.