iPhone 101 for iOS 4: Helpful hints for the new OS

Although some users are still reporting problems with the iOS 4 software update, there have been others who have successfully managed to load and operate the shiny new OS. (If you fall into the former category, hit this link to share your fixes or simply cry on someone’s shoulder.)

As for the rest, we finally got our long-awaited, much anticipated iOS 4. And now, there are a whole new group of people receiving their iPhone 4s early. That’s a lot of new iOS 4 users!

So here are some tips and hints we’ve discovered so far to help you get the most from this new upgrade.

.

Multitasking bar

(1) Double tap the home button to launch the multitasking bar. If you have apps that don’t support multitasking, they’ll still show up here if you launched it recently. This is handy, if you just want to use this as a quick-launch dock for your most recently used apps.

(2) Swipe the bar from the left to the right, to see a much longer list of recent apps, in order of when you launched them. (Not sure if there’s a maximum number. Per screen, there’s only four, but swiping scrolls through several apps. We’re still checking to see if there’s a limit. Haven’t hit it yet.)

(3) To switch to another running app, launch the multitasking bar and hit the desired icon. You’ll resume where you left off.

.

(4) To quit a running app, press and hold the icon in the multitasking bar until it jiggles and a delete symbol pops up (a red circle with a strike) in the corner of the icon. Tap the red circle to close the app. (Apple claims that users won’t really need to fuss with this too much, since the handset will manage it for you. I prefer handling it myself, but your mileage may vary.)

.

(5) Slide the bar all the way to the left, to reveal iPod music controls.

.

(6) The iPod controls change if you’re in Pandora, tying them to that app instead. (Still testing to see if this works with other music apps.)

(7) The portrait lock is directly to the left of the iPod/music controls. The button looks like a circular arrow. There’s no landscape orientation lock, but at least this will prevent iBooks and such from flipping around while laying down and reading.

.

.

Home button taps

(1) If you’re in an app, one tap brings you back to the homescreen. If you’re not in an app, the single tap brings you to your first homescreen. Once there, another single tap brings you to Spotlight Search (just like always).

(2) Two taps brings up the multitasking bar (whether you’re in an app or not).

(3) On the lockscreen, if you’re listening to music, two taps will bring up music controls for the iPod (or Pandora, depending on what you’re listening to).

.

.

Auto-Correct/Spell Check

(1) Type a misspelled word, and iOS 4 suggests a replacement, like always.

(2) Spell check for emails and texts: If you type a misspelled word and don’t immediately replace it with one that iOS 4 suggests, then a red underline shows up under it. Double tap the underlined word, and you’ll get an option called “Replace” which offers alternate words you might have wanted instead. (If you find it annoying, you can shut if off completely by going to Settings, General, Keyboard and switching off the Auto-Correction toggle.)

.

.

Spotlight Search

(1) You can customize your spotlight search by going into Settings, General then Spotlight Search. From here, you can tell your iPhone to search everything but Mail, Calendar or other area.

(2) “Search Web” and “Search Wikipedia” will now show up in Spotlight Search. Just swipe to the left of the first homescreen, and enter a search term to get these options.

.

.

App Folders

(1) Just press and hold an icon on the homescreen until it jiggles, then drag it on top of another one to form a folder. If they’re tagged with the same App Store category, it will be auto-labeled as such. But you can change the name to whatever you’d like. (Be careful not to accidentally hit the “X,” or you’ll delete the app from your device.) Just drag other apps to the folder to add them, up to a maximum of 12.

.

(2) Homescreen bookmarks can also go into app folders. (You can add a homescreen bookmark from Safari by hitting the “+” sign, and choosing “Add to Home Screen.” It will pop up on your phone like an app, with an icon.) Adding a homescreen bookmark to a folder is the same as adding apps — just press and hold it, then when it jiggles, drag it on top of another bookmark or app (or directly into an existing folder).

(3) To see the contents of an app folder, tap the folder to get an expanded view.

(4) To remove an item from a folder, just tap and drag it back out onto the homescreen.

(5) To delete a folder, delete or drag out all items in the folder.

.

(5) You can also manage your app folders in iTunes. Just plug in your iDevice, launch iTunes and go to the Apps tab. From here, you can drag items in and out of folders, or move entire folders. (And remember to hit “Apply” or your changes won’t take.)

(6) Hot TiP: I never use the built-in Weather, Stock, Notes or Voice Memo apps that my iPhone came with. And it always drove me nuts that they took up screen real estate. Using app folders, I can combine these, along with any other built-in apps I can’t remove, but don’t want on my homescreen.

.

.

E-mail

(1) The unified inbox view shows all the new mail in all inboxes of your email accounts. To locate it, launch the Mail app. If it’s not immediately visible, you may already be inside one of your email accounts. You’ll need to back out to the main screen (which reads “Mailboxes” at the top), and then choose “All Inboxes” for the unified view.

(2) You can delete messages within the “All Inboxes” view. Not only that, but you can move them to another folder (or in Gmail’s case, label) within the same account the message is in.

(3) Users can’t directly go into individual folders (or labels) from the “All Inboxes” though. To access those, back out to your main Mail screen again. Once there, pick one of the options under “Accounts,” and tap on the folder.

.

(4) You can enable threaded message views via the Settings app. A threaded email view, which gives you all related messages in a conversation, shows up in Mail via a small number on the right side designating the number of messages in the thread. Tap that, and an you’re in a new screen with all the related emails in a row. This view also lets you delete or move the entire conversation easily from that screen.

(5) Now you can delete or move messages directly from within search results. When you’re in a mailbox, scroll all the way up to the top, to reveal a search window. Put in your terms, and the results appear. Now there’s also an “Edit” button on the bottom right. Click that to reveal new options to move or delete (in the case of Gmail, it shows up as “archive” instead of delete).

(6) Last but not least, you can set up multiple exchange activesync accounts via Settings. Now you can sync mail, contacts and calendars from more than one account.

.

.

Wallpapers

(1) Go to the Settings app and select Wallpaper. From here, you can either choose one of the pre-set options, or a pic from your photo gallery. You can set it as for your home screen, lock screen or both. (Alternately, you can go straight into your photo albums, and set an image as a wallpaper straight from there. Just choose an album, and then photo, and tap the “send” icon on the far left corner. A “Use as Wallpaper” option comes up!)

(2) If you have a large image in your Photo gallery, you can move and scale it around inside your wallpaper settings. Just drag it around until you have your favorite part in frame or pinch/zoom the whole image.

(3) WARNING: Once that black wallpaper background is gone, you can’t get it back. It’s not one of the presets. What you can do, however, is snap a pic of a black wall or a dark room. Not elegant, but at least it works.)

.

.

Camera

(1) 5x Zoom: Tapping to focus brings up the onscreen zoom slider in the Camera app. Don’t zoom in too much though — this is a digital zoom, so the quality will suffer if you go in too close. Note that zoom does not work in vid recording mode.

.

(2) Tap-to-focus: It still works like a champ in the still camera. Now it works for the camcorder on the 3GS. You can also focus on different things in turn, all while in the middle of recording. Just tap on the light or dark, near or far elements that are viewable in frame, and the camera will automatically adjust.

.

.

SMS Search

(1) Just scroll to the very top in your main Messages window, and a search field shows up, just like email search.

.

.

Notes Syncing

(1) Services like Gmail, Yahoo and MobileMe offer online notes, and iOS 4 users can now do OTA (over-the-air) notes syncing with them. You can enable it in your account via Settings, then Mail, Contacts, Calendars.

.

.

Photo gallery

(1) You can organize pics by Events, Faces or Places, but only if you have this feature turned on in iPhoto or Aperture and sync to that, via iTunes. On the handset itself, though, you can still view images (if they were geotagged) on a map. Just click “Places,” then hit the pins to see images by location.

(2) If you don’t like the geotagging feature, you can turn it off in Settings app. Just go to “General,” then “Location Services” and switch the camera toggle to “Off.”

.

.

iPod

(1) You can now create a playlist on the device apart from the “on the go” playlist that used to be the only alternative for mobile music management. Just launch iPod, go to Playlists and tap “Add Playlist…” You can title it whatever you want.

(2) Pop-up iPod controls are gone now, but you can still control your iPod by accessing the Multitasking bar and then sliding it all the way to the left. (On the lockscreen, you can also double tap the home button to bring up music controls.)

.

.

Bluetooth keyboards

(1) Pair them as you would any Bluetooth product. Power up the keyboard, switch on Bluetooth, and your phone should discover the keyboard. (You’ll need to make sure Bluetooth is on under Settings, General, then Bluetooth.) After it discovers the accessory, you just enter a pairing code, and that should be all.

.

.

iBooks

(1) It’s an app, and it’s available in the App Store here. It can sync purchased titles and even bookmarks across iDevices, though it looks like syncing them to iTunes is necessary. We’ll check it out and get back to you. (Anyone tried this and succeeded? Let us know.)

(2) Search works like other Apple apps, by scrolling to the very top to access the search field.

(3) The iBookstore is accessible from within the iBooks app, by hitting “Store” on the upper right. Many titles, including classic works of literature, are absolutely free. (To find them, go the “Store,” click “Browse” and at the top of the screen, choose “Top Free.”)

.

.

Safari

(1) You can now choose your default search engine from Google, Yahoo or Bing. Just go to Settings, Safari, then Search Engine and pick your fav. (We’re sure there’s more to Safari than this, but we’ve only begun to scratch the surface, so stay tuned for more.)

.

.

Data network

(1) You can shut off your phone’s data use via Settings on the handset. That’s handy, if you’re traveling abroad or on a cruise, with no signal at all. Turning it off guarantees your device can only use Wifi for data, thereby saving money or battery power. Just hit Settings, General, then Network, and toggle the Cellular Data option to “Off.”

(2) Tethering: Yes, you can do it. No, it’s not free. But if you absolutely have to share your iPhone’s data plan with a tablet or another device, it’s compatible via USB or Bluetooth. You’d have to sign up for the tethering plan on A&T first, which is only for Data Pro users and costs an extra $20 per month. Then come back to Settings, General and Network to switch it on.

.

.

Push messages

(1) No more multiple push messages knocking each other off the screen. Now they stay put, filing in line on top of each other. Just close one, and an earlier one will show up.

.

Got any other helpful iOS 4 hints or tips to share? Let us know below.

Tags: , , ,

  • Joris

    Adriana warn that you cannot get your black wallpaper back once it’s gone, I think I’ve quite a neat solution:

    http://www.negentiennulvier.nl/content/view/291/2/

  • MARGARET04

    How do you lock the CAPS on the keyboard?

    • andy

      just double tap the ^ arrow to set ‘caplock’

    • Kyle

      All you have to do is double tap the upper case symbol while typing, it will turn blue and you can TYPE LIKE THIS

  • MARGARET04

    Just worked it out. You quickly double tap he shift key!

  • MARGARET04

    Has anyone managed to transfer their contacts to an in car entertainment system. My Blackberry did this but the iPhone says ‘forget this device’!

  • Zainal

    How to delete items from updates folders.
    Thanks