My top 10 secret iPhone tips

Posted November 24, 2011

The big ticket new iOS features are well-publicized (Notification Centre, iMessage, Reminders, iCloud). But I find it’s the little, undocumented (almost secret!) things that make writing and taking photos easier with my iPhone. Here are my fave tips, which should work on any iPhone model from 3Gs forward – so long as you’ve made the system update to iOS5. (Note: the first 3 and the last 2 tips are nothing new, but they’re essential and not well-known.)

1. ZOOM to the top of any list (emails, contacts, browser window, songs, etc.) by tapping the status bar at the top of the screen (like at right). Sorry – I haven’t found a similar shortcut for getting to the bottom of a long list without scrolling!

2. DELETE individual emails by swiping from left to right, then hitting the DELETE button that pops up. This works in other lists too – experiment!

3. UNDO your last edit by shaking the phone.

4. DOUBLE-TAP to select any word when editing your own text – quicker than pressing the word then tapping “select”. (This doesn’t work for text in other applications, on web pages, etc., where you must still press and hold if you want to copy.)

5. DICTIONARY: Get the definition for any word instantly by tapping “define” once you’ve selected a word – a beautiful little dictionary pops up. This works from anywhere: text you type, text on a web page, etc. Combine it with the previous tip to check word definitions as you type.

6. INSTANT CAMERA: When your phone is locked, go straight to the camera with a double-tap on the home button, then hit the camera icon beside the unlock slider. (There are other instant controls at the unlock screen, like the music player.) And – you know this, right? – the Volume + button is now a shutter for Camera.

7. PREVIEW PHOTO: Just took a photo? Preview it instantly by swiping left to right (instead of tapping the tiny preview icon). Return to camera with an opposite swipe.

8. BYPASS HOME SCREEN: When you receive a notice of a text (or anything else at the lock screen) go straight there by sliding the notification (i.e. not the regular unlock slider).

9. DELETE selected photos from Camera Roll by tapping the Share icon (top right), tapping individual photos, then tapping delete.

10. EMAIL selected photos the same way (this is the only way to attach multiple photos to an email – the max seems to be 5 photos).

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