Thanks to my wife and other inexperienced users of iOS devices, I’m always learning about which features many people are not aware of on their iPhone or iPad. I’ve met users who still don’t know for example how to put apps into folders on their device.
I gather most of my MUO readers know that, but below are a handful of other features and tips that you might not be familiar with if you’re still fairly new to iOS 5, or if you haven’t had the time to look for them.
Any iOS device should set you on the road to paperless reading. These days you can turn any webpage or text document into a PDF and send it to your iOS device via email, Dropbox, iTunes or similar services.
When you open a PDF on your iOS device, in an email for example, you can tap on “Open in…” in the drop-down menu, and you are presented with iBooks as an option to export and view your PDF document to. Any other PDF readers you add to your device will also show up there.
The iPad of course is especially useful for reading PDFs because of its size and form factor. So definitely save yourself ink and printing costs by reading documents on your device.
If you need to print a document from your iOS device, you might be able to use Apple’s AirPrint feature which allows you to print any document (e.g., email, photos, webpages, PDFs) wirelessly over your network.
However, you must have an AirPrint-compatible printer in order to use this feature. Apple lists AirPrint-enable printer models here. If your computer is not on the list, but you really want this type of setup, another option is an Mac application called Printopia 2 which cost $20.
I still run into iPhone users who don’t know they can turn off the clicking sound the built-in keyboard makes on an iOS device. I realize the clicking can help you type better, but in some cases you either should mute the sound on your device, or you can go into the Settings app and click on Sounds. Scroll down to Keyboard Clicks and turn it off.
Notice there are other settings for possible annoying sounds your iOS device makes.
If you use your Notes app a lot, you might not know that Apple gives you a whopping three font styles to choose from – the default Noteworthy, Helvetica, and Marker Felt.
This is not much (pardon the pun) to write home about, but a few different style options is better than none. Again, just go into Settings > Notes to make the font change.
Hide Caller ID
There are occasions when you might not want your phone number to show up on someone’s phone when you make a call. Open Settings > Phone > Show My Caller ID and turn it off.
Notice also there’s a feature for Call Forwarding in which you can set to have all your iPhone calls forwarded to another number.
Your Twitter Contacts
The iOS 5 update now includes Twitter integration which means you can for example send a tweet directly from the Safari app on your device.
But you may not know that if you have the official Twitter app installed on your device, you can go into the Settings app, select Twitter, and then tap Update Contacts.
The app will do a search of all the email addresses and phone numbers in your Address Book and then add Twitter usernames and photos to their respective contact cards. This means you can tweet contacts directly from your Contacts list.
Quit Background Apps
Sometimes if your device is running sluggish, or an app is not working properly, try completely quitting it. Here’s how – double-click on the Home button of your device, and then press and hold on the app that you’re having problems with. When the red dots appear, tap on the dot of that app to completely quit it.
Open the app again from where it is located on your device. If you have a lot of apps open in the background, you should occasionally swipe to the left and quit the ones you don’t use very often, because a high number of opened apps could possibly slow down your device or cause apps to crash.
That’s it for for this round of iOS 5 features and tips. If you’re interested in finding about more of them, check out these two previous MUO articles: