10 Little Known iOS 5 Tips That Can Save You Time and Taps

iOS 5With every new software update installed on your iPhone, there are a ton of new features added. iOS 5 is the latest software update to hit idevices and brings over 200 improvements with it. Do you really have time to dig through them all? Probably not, even if you wanted to.

After spending a few weeks with iOS 5, here are the tips and shortcuts that the update brings to iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches. Most of them will save you a ton of time and taps in the future.


iOS 5 Tips and Shortcuts

6-Day Weather Forecast in Notification Center

Swiping the weather widget left or right in the notification center will give you a 6-day weather forecast.

Use Volume Up Key to Take a Picture

In the camera app you can you now use the volume up key to snap a picture. This is great for those one-handed photo ops when out with your friends.

Create a Photo Album

iOS 5 brings photo album support to the Photos app on iDevices. To create a photo album, open the Photos app and select the edit option in the top right corner. Select the add option and enter a title for your new album. Once you enter a title you’ll have the option to add numerous photos from your Camera Roll.

You can edit the name of an album from the photos app. To add more pictures to an album, make sure you’re inside of the album and select the add option at the bottom of the screen.

Text Shortcuts

You can now set keyboard shortcuts that can be used when messaging friends. For example, I often text people “I’m in a meeting”. It’s redundant to keep tying this. So, I set the following keyboard shortcut ‘iam’, which stands for “in a meeting”. Whenever I type the letters ‘iam’, my iPhone will fill in the rest for me.

To set your own keyboard shortcuts go to your Settings app. Under General > Keyboard  you’ll find the option to add a new shortcut.

Turn Off Read Receipts for iMessage

When you enable iMessage,  it includes a BBM-like feature that allows others to know when you’ve read their message. Don’t care to allow others to be notified when you have read their messages? You can stop this stalker like behavior within your Settings apps under Messages. There you will find the key.

Get Rid of Bloated Apps

In the same place that enables your battery percentage, you can also see which apps are using up the most space. Previously you were only aware of storage and space usage when plugging an iDevice into iTunes. With iOS 5 you can get a better visual breakdown of your apps and how much space they really take up.

Gestures (iPad 2 ONLY)

Multitouch gestures have been added to the iPad 2 with the iOS 5 update. With gestures enabled iPad users can use 4 or 5 fingers to:

  • Swipe up to access the multitasking bar
  • Pinch the screen to return to home screen
  • Swipe lift or right to switch apps

Unfortunately, these gestures do not extend to iPhones or iPod Touches. Sorry guys, though it would’ve been nice.

Change Your Device’s Name

This is also another feature that previously was restricted to iTunes. You can now change your device name directly from your iPhone. Inside of your Settings app, head to General > About and you’ll see a ‘Name’ section that you can tap to edit the name of your device.

Open Links in the Background

When in Safari, you can now have links load in the background instead of taking you away from your current page. To access this option, head into your Settings app, under Safari > Open links, you’ll be presented with two options for opening links: in a new page or in background. Choose wisely.

How Do You Pronounce That?

In iOS 5, go into Settings apps within General > Accessibility there is an option to enable “Speak Selection”. After enabling this, highlight some text, (as if to Copy it) and select the Speak option. This shortcut should come in handy for students!

*Bonus Tip: Show Your Battery Percentage

This isn’t new to iOS 5, but I’m always surprised by the amount of people that don’t know about this option. You can display your battery percentage near the battery icon instead of guessing how much power your iPhone has left. In your settings app, head to General > Usage and there will be in option to enable or disable the battery percentage.

What Are Your Favorite iOS 5 Tips?

Do you have a favorite tip or shortcut in iOS 5s? Share your insights in the comments below!

Corvida Raven

A natural pioneer at grasping the rapidly changing landscape of technology, Corvida Raven talks tech in plain English on SheGeeks.net.