October 29, 2011

iOS 5 Tips & Tricks Guide by Lifehack (-Tech Reads)

Now that you've downloaded iOS 5, you're probably eagerly trying to uncover the many secrets hidden therein. Some are obvious and easy to find, others take a little research. Personally, there's nothing I love more than to delve into the software and ferret out secrets. Today we are presenting you with a guest post: Lifehack’s iOS 5 Tips and Tricks Guide (one of my favorite sites because of its useful and productive articles) on iOS 5 Tips & Tricks. Read on to see what Lifehack has to say about this new operating system that has so much to offer.


Quick access – To get to your camera quickly just double tap your home button when your iPhone is locked or asleep. You will see a small camera button on the bottom left of the lock screen. Touching it will take you to your camera app. Snap away.

Grid – Under options, where the HDR option is, you are now given an option to place a grid over your shot, allowing you to line it up. Power of thirds!

Slide to album / camera – When you are on your camera screen you can flick the camera to the right to go straight to your album. Then you can flick left to get back to your camera.

No need for too many camera apps – The iPhone’s camera app now has built in cropping, red-eye removal, and auto-enhancements. So for quick and simple editing you can stick with the built in app.

Hardware snap – You can now snap a picture by clicking your volume up button while in the Camera app.

Notification Center

Notification Center is a much needed addition to iOS as the very modal popups have gotten quite annoying over the years. Notifications are now on par with Android and could be even better by some aspects.

Organize your notifications – It’s easy to organize what notifications you want to see and in what order you want to see them. Going to Settings > Notifications you have access to all the apps that support the new Notification Center. Tap the Edit button in the top right and you can organize the order as well as move some apps’ notifications to “Not in Notification Center”. Also, you can skip organizing notifications by order and choose to view them by time.

Adjust your notifications – By tapping on each app in Notification Center you can adjust the alert’s style (None, Banners, and (old school) Alerts). You can also control the app’s badges and if the notifications show up in the lock screen.


iCloud is a huge advancement in iOS 5. Here are some of the things that you will love to know about it.

iCloud Backup – When you are setting up iOS 5 for the first time, you are asked whether-or-not you want to backup to iCloud. Regardless if you answered yes or now you can always go to Setting > iCloud > Storage and Backup and turn on iCloud Backup. Your iPhone will now backup automatically when you are connected to power and WiFi and with your screen locked. You can backup manually by pressing the Backup Now button. You have to be connected to WiFi to backup.

Managing iCloud storage – If you are running low on iCloud storage, which you can check by going to Settings > iCloud > Storage and Backup > Manage Storage, you can easily delete backups of iOS or even documents that you have put “in the cloud”. That is if you have any iWork apps on your device.

General sync items – Of course, you can turn off any iCloud sync items from Settings > iCloud.


Multiple route choices – The biggest addition to maps is the ability to choose among multiple routes when getting directions. To choose a different route after getting directions, simply click on the alternate route’s blue line.

Reading List
– Oh, no! Is it an Instapaper killer!? Not really at all. But it is easy to use and a great feature to have integrated into the OS. When you are on an article that you want to read later, click the middle bookmark button and choose “Add to Reading List”. Then to get to your Reading List click the little Open Book Button (the second from the right) and choose Reading List. There you will see a list of all the articles that you added.

Reader – Reading List doesn’t inherently do much of anything other than give you a simple list of stuff you want to read later. The real magic is in the Reader function of Safari. This strips down the page and lets you see just the content of the article in a nicely formatted way. On any article in Safari, just tap the Reader button in the address bar.

Twitter integration. It’s a shame that no other apps can hook into iOS this way, but it’s very nice to see Twitter get the rock star treatment.

System-wide sign in – Go to Settings > Twitter. You can sign in with your Twitter credentials as well as install the official Twitter app. You don’t “need” to install the official Twitter app to take advantage of using Twitter in mobile Safari. After signing in you can update your iOS contacts with information from your Twitter contacts.

Tweeting from Safari – On any page in mobile Safari tap the middle “Bookmark” button. In the list choose “Tweet”. Fill in your Tweet. Couldn’t be easier and more convenient! You can also add your location by tapping the “Add location” label at the bottom of the Tweet prompt.


The calendar on iOS is pretty mature but there were a few tweaks that iOS 5 brought to it.

Adjust appointments – To adjust the time-span or time of an appointment long tap on the appointment and then drag it wherever you want to move it to. After long tapping you can let go and then adjust the span of the appointment by dragging the small top and bottom handles.

Week view – You can go to week view by rotating the device to landscape.

Year view – On iPad you can go to year view by rotating the device to landscape.


I was super excited about reminders when they were announced at WWDC. The idea of having a nice, simple task and reminder manager built directly into iOS is compelling. Personally, I am an OmniFocus user, but to set up a quick reminder, Reminders is the is perfect.

Add and adjust lists – Tap on the list button on the top left and then tap “Edit” on the top right. You can then adjust the order of your lists as well as add new lists by tapping “Create New List…”

Navigate and using lists – You can navigate all of your lists by swiping left and right or by tapping the list button in the top left and then tapping which list you want to go to. Adding tasks is simple. Just hit the plus button on the list and type the name of the task.

You can rapidly type in tasks by typing and tapping return and typing more. Tapping Done on the top right will get you out of “task adding mode.” To edit a task, tap the task and edit the task’s details. You can add a reminder for the task at your current location, or set a specific due date. You will then be notified through Notification Center (as long as you set up the notification).


I don’t like to use any email application more than I have to and with the new iOS 5 enhancements to the stock mail app, Apple has made it easier and faster to use.

Searching mailboxes – To search any “mailbox” (that is any label for you Gmail peeps or any folder for you regular mail guys) tap which one you want to search then scroll up all the way and start typing. When you start typing four buttons show up below your query allowing you to search the fields From, To, Subject, or All. All searches every aspect of your email messages.

Notifications – This goes with any app that allows notifications. You can turn on lock screen previews of your incoming mail, choose how many messages you want to see, choose the way you want to be interrupted (I mean notified) by the message, and also turn off the mail unread count badge completely.

Rich Text – You can now add some rich text formatting to your messages. Long hold on any word, select the text you want to format, tap the small right arrow, then tap ‘BIU’ to choose either bold, italics or underline. You can also change the quote level of the sentence you are working on.

Move recipients – You can quickly move mail recipients from the To, CC, and BCC fields by long holding their little blue name labels and dragging them to the desired field.

Well, there's much more to see on this very helpful page and site. So to continue learning more about features of iOS 5, stop on by Lifehack and get your iDevice working up to its full potential!


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