It’s Tech Tip Tuesday! Hooray!
The iPhone never ceases to amaze me. Apple products are the most user-friendly, aesthetically beautiful devices and the creators seem to know what we want before we know what we want. There are thousands of useful apps for the iPhone, but these built-in features are goodies that work straight out of the box! I have compiled a list of 10 built-in features of the iPhone that you may or may not know about. My favorite discovery was #1. Wow. Awesome. Chris’ favorite was #7. Because is he directionally challenged or what? Always.
1. Volume-up Button to Snap a Photo
Instead of snapping your photos with the “take picture” button in the camera app, the “volume up” button does the job too. Sometimes it’s a little easier to access. Useful for all those selfies!
Press the “home” and “lock” button simultaneously and a screengrab will be added to your camera roll. If you really want to throw someone for a loop take their phone, take a quick screengrab of the home screen and leave that image open. They will be tapping on their apps wondering “Why isn’t this working!”
3. Tap to Focus the Camera
This works with video too, and the best part is you can move closer or further away from your subject and re-tap and it will re-focus. Awesome.
Update: Ok. Pause. Are you trying these out and calling me crazy!? That’s what happened to my Mom and we realized she hadn’t updated her software in awhile. Some of these tricks only work with iOS 5. (And now, there’s an update for iOS 5.1.1). If you need to update your phone to iOS 5, just plug in your phone to your PC or Mac and follow the on-screen instructions. Once you update to iOS 5, you will not need to connect your phone to your computer to update. It will then just be a touch of a button.
Open the camera app, tap on options and select HDR. When you snap a picture using HDR, the iSight camera captures 3 different photos internally, each with a different exposure and then magically turns those into one great photo! Seriously. This option is especially useful for landscape photos where the sky might be washed out, but everything in the foreground looks good. Now, the entire picture will be at the perfect exposure. The iPhone will save the original and the HDR photo in your camera roll.
iMessages are text messages sent between iPhones. They are unlimited and appear blue on your text message interface. A regular old text message appears green. And the “…” that pops up after you send an iMessage means the recipient is sending a response right that minute. Neato!
6. Save Images From the Web
In Safari touch and hold an image and you will be given the option to Save Image, which will save it to your camera roll. Or you can copy it to paste into a message or email.
7. Use the Compass with Maps
In the maps application, tap the “location” button twice and voila! The map is now based on whichever direction you are turned. Didn’t you hate not knowing which direction was which? I know my husband did.
8. Create Web Clips on Your Home Screen
Do you frequent a website? Next time you’re there, tap the “go to” icon at the bottom of Safari. Choose “add to home screen”, give it a name and now it’s easily accessible from your home screen. Now you can get rid of all those browser windows.
9. Create Shortcuts for Texts
Setting up shortcuts in your keyboard settings can save you a bunch of time. I text Chris “I love you!” all the time. Now when I type “lu” the iPhone automatically writes “I love you!”. Pretty neat. To do this, go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Add New Shortcut and set up a few shortcuts to make texting quicker.
Sidenote: When you are typing a text double tap the spacebar and it will automatically add a period, a space and then capitalize the next letter. Who knew?!
10. Slide & Review
When your phone is locked and a push notification pops up, such as instagram, instead of sliding to unlock your phone, tap and slide the instagram icon to directly open the notification in the instagram application. I learned this one on accident. Happy accidents.
A few other great features that did not make the list:
« Notification center.
« Switch quickly between apps.
« Siri: Raise to speak.
« Drop a pin in Maps.
« Emoticon Keyboard (so geeky, but awesome).
What are your favorite built-in iPhone features?
iPhone image from Apple. Modified by me.