The iSlate Will Be Announced In

June 22, 2010

iOS4 Tips and Tricks

The latest and greatest iPhone software just came out.   Our interns in Gaum got it 25 hours before everyone else and have discovered a few tips and tricks worth knowing:

SMS Search
Just as you can search your inbox, you can now search SMS messages.  Scroll up to the top of the text screen for this goodness.

Home Screen Backgrounds
You can set separate backgrounds for your lock screen and home screen.  You'll find this in the preferences.  Apple has kindly included a bunch of bland backgrounds which will get you started.  Oddly, this feature will not work on iPhone 3G.  Steve responded to an email about why this is, with the claim that icon animation wasn't good enough on the 3G over a background graphic.  This is odd, because hacked iPhones have had home screen bg graphics for ages.  We think Steve is bullshitting us and that this is a clever way for Apple to visually brand older iPhones.  If you see what looks like an iPhone 3Gs, but it has a black home screen, it's really an iPhone 3g -- which means that poor sucker can't afford an iPhone 3Gs or an iPhone 4.

Camera Zoom
By tapping the screen or sliding the little bar, you can zoom in and out when taking a picture.  This feature basically made 20 or so camera zoom applications obsolete.  Incidentally, the pictures suck when you zoom in.

Web and Wikipedia Search
Can't find what you need on the phone? Jump to the Web or Wikipedia straight from the global search screen.  When you do a spotlight search, this should show up at the bottom of the list.  For some reason, it doesn't always pop up.

Now, wherever you're typing, those little red underlines aren't far behind.   If you use a lot of dirty words (like we do at iPhonePOV) it will take a while for the software to adjust your potty-mouth (but it eventually will.)

Resize Photos While Sending
This very cool time-saver pops up when you're emailing a photo, just after you hit "Send." Depending on how big the file is, you can have two to four size options, including "Actual Size."  This will be a big time saver for iPhone 4 owners who will be snapping 5mp pictures.

New Playlists
On-the-Go Playlists seem to be officially dead in iPhone OS 4, replaced by a more sensible "Add Playlist..." The benefit here is that you know it's something that will be synced back to iTunes, and you get to name it up front.  This is good.

Long Alpha-Numeric Passcodes for Lock Screens
No longer are you limited to guarding your precious data with four numbers! Now you can set longer, alphanumeric passcodes for your lock screen.  If you deal with a lot of top secret tips and secrets like we do, this is great.  We recommend a 22 symbol password with leters, numbers, and symbols.  It should not rhym and should be nearly impossible to repeat.

Unified Inbox
You can view all your emails in one spot or segregate them to separate inboxes.  This is another example of incredible innovation from Apple.  This feature has been available on every mail program for any phone and computer since 1997.
App Folders (with Alerts)
A lot as been said about app folders, but did you know that if any alerts hit any apps inside a folder, the folder gets an exclamation point?  Create an app folder by holding down an icon until it jiggles and then drag it on top of another icon.  We love things that jiggle, so we do this all the time just for kicks.  You can also drag these icon folders to the dock.

Smart Links For Dates and Addresses in Emails
Addresses and dates in emails now turn into links which can be used to look up the locations or add the dates as events. This is similar to what you see in the Gmail web client.  This would be a great feature if it wasn't so stupid.  For instance, mail will now identify "Tomorrow Morning" as a smart link.  Little vague for a smart link.

Double-Tap and Hold Brings Up Phone Favorites
Not our favorite hidden secret, the beloved Phone Favorites shortcut has been demoted. Instead of the double tap—which now brings up the task manager—you have to double-tap and hold. Single-tap holding of course triggers Voice Control.   No one at iPhonePOV can get this to work, but everyone else on the internet claims it does, so we're posting even though we don't think it works.

Bluetooth Keyboard Pairing
You can now pair your Apple bluetooth keyboard with your iPhone.  If you have a need for this, it's time to buy an iPad.

Vertical YouTube
You can finally watch YouTube videos in a vertical orientation.  So basically Youtube goes both ways (not that there's anything wrong with that.)

We'll print more as we find them.