Hidden Features in iOS5 You Didn’t Know You HadPosted: November 4, 2011
Yep, you heard that right; there are some pretty well hidden features in iOS5 that I’ll bet you had no idea was there. What do you mean? Why didn’t you know? I just told you….they’re hidden…I kid…I kid…These “Easter Eggs” were not advertised by Apple for whatever reason. Nor do I recall ever seeing them listed in Apple’s “What’s new in iOS5?” list. Regardless that’s not important now, because they have been found and I present them to Tech Corner in order to share them with you.
It certainly appears that iOS5 has been full of surprises; however, despite the frustration caused by the upgrade it was received very well. Within iOS5’s 200+ enhancements there were many features we knew about long before the release. We were all aware of iMessage, iCloud, the Native Twitter app – one of my personal favorites, and the loaded Camera enhancements. The new features that came bundled in iOS5 were copious without a doubt; however there were a few that you likely had no idea existed. It looks as if in order to keep the iOS5 party train chugging’ along your iEncounter; Apple stashed a few Easter eggs in our devices and did so in true – and secretive – Apple fashion no less. I want to clarify a point right out of the gate. Before we dig into these hidden features, please, be aware that some of these “Easter Eggs” are incompatible with the older, pre-iPhone 4 devices.
That being said let’s go see what the Apple bunny put in our iBaskets. Last one in is a rotten….oh…umm…nevermind…
EGG #1 ASSISTIVE TOUCH
I actually stumbled across this little jewel last night while stepping my mother-in-law, over the phone, through the settings in her new iPhone. We were getting ready to wrap up the general settings when I discovered the first egg. It was a feature that, up until that point, I had never even heard of before. I wasn’t real surprised considering it was a setting I hadn’t looked into since I first got my iPhone. That is until last night, of course, as I was going through the features with her. Assistive Touch lets you tilt and move your device, or touch for specific commands. This helps to keep your fingers off of your devices’ screen as much as possible. There are several different motions available to you in order to assign to specific functions; for instance, shaking your iPhone to lock it.
Here is how: Go to Settings>General>Accessibility and at the bottom of the screen you should see “Assistive Touch.” Switch the toggle on and an icon will appear in the lower right hand corner of the screen that has options for up to four finger gestures, whose operation is up to you. There is also an option for “device” that will create commands for your phone; however, the coolest feature, by far, offered here is the ability to “create a gesture”. This is where you can you’re your gesture on the screen, hit stop and save; which will save to your favorites. When selected it will carry out your saved gesture; and while, I’m at not exactly sure of its intended use whatever it is seems pretty cool to mess with.
EGG #2 CREATE CUSTOM LED FLASHES AND VIBRATIONS
What if I were to tell you, that you could create a signaling system that was very discreet? Let’s face it, buying and making ringtones is just…well…getting old. This feature is pretty sweet, as it allows you to design a noiseless, custom notification for specific contacts. For a personalized vibration….now you stop that….you outta be ashamed of your self…..what’s that?….no I don’t think she would’ve said that at all……we digress….ahem….What I was trying to say is….I’m watching you buddy….that to setup a personal vibration, go to Contacts and choose one of them. Now press edit and you should see vibration. All you have to do now is select “create new vibration” and start tapping to create the rhythm you like. Just be careful…I’ve heard the rhythm can apparently get you….that was bad…I apologize for that one… Moving on…
If you would rather have flashing LED alerts, then go into your General Settings> Accessibility. This is where you should find “LED Flash for Alerts” flip that on, and the next time your phone is in silent mode, you will get blinking notifications instead.
The new Camera features are one of the most notable updates rolled into iOS5. While iPhone 4 and 4S users are really going to dig these, unfortunately our 3 series friends will have to ride this one out. The iOS5 update brought us cool camera features such as, having the ability to use the volume up button to take pictures. If that wasn’t enough we also have the ability to access the camera from the lock screen. And, if you still aren’t impressed, how about you just refrain from touching your iPhone all together and snap your pics using the volume up button on your earbuds. Yeah, I thought you might start to come around.
EGG #4 ALTERNATE ROUTES IN MAPS
I am a little mind boggled about this one; not that its bad, IT’s GREAT! I just can’t rap my head around how or why Apple kept so quiet about such an integral update! I can’t believe they didn’t draw attention to this one. Heck. you don’t even need to toggle anything, it’s just waiting for you. This is a feature users have been wanting for years. This was what made the native maps feature suck so bad to begin with; there were no alternative route choices. Now, all you do is load up your map when looking up directions, and notice the options labeled “Route 2” and “Route 3”; assuming there is one, will simply hover right there over the map…And Finally,
EGG #5 DIDN’T THEY SAY IOS5 MADE THE NEWSSTAND IMPOSSIBLE TO HIDE? WELL..GUESS THEY WERE MISTAKEN
While It does seem to be the case, there is one trick that will do this. However, it is really buggy and unstable. NOTE: Before you decide on whether or not to do this, you need to be aware that the Newsstand WILL BE UNUSABLE AND WILL CRASH YOUR DEVICE EVERY TIME YOU TRY GO OPEN IT! As long as you are aware of the consequences. Proceed if you so choose,
All you have to do is pull two apps together and make a folder. While the folder you created is still hanging out there in nothingness grab the Newsstand as fast as you can and drag it over into that folder.
Well there you have it, the 5 features you probably didn’t know existed in iOS5, and if you did know then you should probably start yourself a blog there sugar britches. Were these features ninja’d in on purpose or did we just not pay attention. We don’t know and that’s how the Apple likes it. Well that’s it till next time, keep it saucy…