Several months ago, I had a need to take a group photo with my iPhone. No big deal, except that I was part of the group. As a result, I had to scramble to find (and download) an app that would allow me to set a timer, and then take the photo after I ran to get in my place in the group, all the while wondering why this simple feature wasn't part of the built-in iOS camera app.
Along with many other great new features in iOS 8, the built-in camera app now has a self-timer mode! It's super-simple to use AND has some really nice features.
To use the self-timer, open the camera app. At the top of the preview screen, you will see a small self-timer icon:
Tapping on this icon will reveal two timing options (3 seconds and 10 seconds):
Once you have chosen the self-timing option you want to use, the preview window will revert back to the main screen where you can take your photo. When the shutter release button is pressed, the screen will show a numerical countdown.
At the some time that the screen displays its countdown, the LED flash on the other side of the camera will flash once for every second. When the timer nears to 0, the flash will flash rapidly to let you know the photo will be taken soon. This is a great feature because it gives the group a visual indication as to when the photo will be taken. "Say cheese!!"
The final really cool feature of the self-timer is that when the photo is actually taken, not just one photo is snapped, but multiple! I've been in group photo shots too many times when there's just that one person (ahem, me) who isn't smiling or is looking away for a split second. Having multiple photos to choose from in a single shot is really, really handy.