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5 cool iOS5 Tips & Tricks


So, today is iOS5 day. I have been using iOS5 for a couple of weeks now, and I can promise that this update is probably the best I have seen of all the updates. There are loads of new features included in this release, and definitely make life a lot easier.

So, here are a couple of cool tips & tricks I have found over the last few weeks on how to make the best of iOS5. Some of them are a bit different and not your standard stuff. If you want a complete list of over 200 new features & changes, I highly suggest checking out this post on – iOS 5: Complete List Of 200+ New Features or 15 iOS 5 tips from Cnet.

1. Keyboard shortcuts

Hidden deep in the new OS is a nifty feature called Keyboard Shortcuts, which will help you save time when typing the same message over & over. So like an email signature, or  twitter hashtag. As an example, I have setup “omw”, which expands to “On My Way!”. This pops up in the same way as an auto complete.

To turn this feature on: Settings -> General -> Keyboard -> Keyboard -> Add New Shortcut. Very cool :)

2. iMessage

iMessage is an awesome new addition which allows instant messaging between iDevices. This also means iPod Touches, iPads & iPhones. For the iPad & iPod Touch you can set an email address (your Apple Account) as your contact address, while the iPhone works with Telephone number & email.

To make sure iMessage is turned on, go to Settings -> Messages -> iMessage -> On. To add an email address or phone number scroll down on that page, you can also add additional email addresses under the “Receive At” menu

3. WiFi Sync

Another cool feature is WiFi sync, which allows you to sync your phone over your WiFi network, ensuring you don’t need to plug it in every time. I can promise you this is a HUGE time saver, and syncing your phone becomes so simple. Apparently the phone also automatically syncs when it is plugged into a power source, although I haven’t used this yet. Another feature is you can now use your iDevice in the background while it is busy syncing. No more waiting hours to finish a sync.

To set up WiFi Sync, you need to ensure you have ticked the “Sync This iPhone over WiFi” check box in iTunes. You can do this after updating to iOS5 and your phone is still plugged in with a cable.

To do a manual WiFi Sync from the phone you need to do the following: Settings -> General -> iTunes WiFi Sync -> Sync Now. It will also show you the computer name you are trying to sync to.

4. Custom Vibrations

Ok, might seem like a bit of a silly one, but cause I have a bit of a hearing problem in 1 ear, this has def helped me quite a bit. You can also assign a specific vibration pattern to a specific contact. So if my wife phones me, it vibrates differently to other contacts. Soon you can pick up the differences :)

To set Custom Vibrations on you need to do the following

Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> And turn Custom Vibrations -> On (Another really cool tip here is to turn LED Flash for Alerts on, so your Camera LED flashes every time you get a call, message, or alert. Aka BB)

Once you have turned your Custom Vibrations on, you need to go to:  Settings -> Sounds -> Scroll right to the bottom to Vibration Patterns. Click the Vibration button and You will see a list of predefined vibration alerts. You can create your own vibration pattern by tapping “Create new Vibration” And tap your new vibration sequence out. Loads of fun :)

To assign a Custom Vibration to a contact, go into contacts and edit, and then set the Vibration alert (about halfway down the page)

5. Notifications

Probably one of the best features in iOS5 is the new notification centre, which allows you to see any notifications you have received.

When you receive a notification for any app, missed call or voice mail, you can simply swipe from left to right on the home screen and it will take you directly into that app.

If you need to see all your previous notifications, on any screen in the phone, you simple drag the top bar (where the time is) down. This will bring up all your notifications from all your apps. And you can clear these by clicking on the x above each app. Tapping on a notification will open that app

You can also select which apps display on this screen by setting individual alerts under Settings -> Notifications -> And tapping on each app. You can then select a banner alert (top of screen) or Alerts  (old style alerts) You can also set how many alerts per app you want to see, or turn the alerts off completely.

And that is my top 5 tips & tricks. Of course there are LOADS more. Any cool ones you have picked up on ? Leave a comment below.



16 replies on “5 cool iOS5 Tips & Tricks”

Your blog is the sh*t! Thanks to you, I can understand my iphone soo much better now. Keep up the good work!

For sure, I can see the difference in vibrations from my wife’s call, to that of colleagues and customers! I also request a direct download link if you get one, since iTunes will just fail miserably at queuing the global requests. thanks as always for excellent spot on info.

Nice post Marc,

The nice one I find is that from the lock screen, double click home button and a camera button as been added next to the slider

On the notifications side, the two widgets weather, and stocks are customisable

@Andries is usually on the ball to get the ipsw out very quickly

If your personal hotspot disappeared in IOS5. Go to General–>Reset–>Reset Network Settings. Option will be restored in General–>Network

You can now take photo’s with the volume+ button, you can also use your earphones volume+ button as well which is a bit of a weird one.

Not sure if this is new… but only noticed since installing IOS5.
Double click the home key when the iPhone is locked and you have access to the camera. Nifty for those quick to the draw shots!

Also my personal hotspot has disappeared. I tried this solution. But no luck – any other ideas – I’m quite desperate as I often need the the Hotspot option. Thanks

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