Apple has said that iOS 5 sports more than 200 new features for your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Most of us know of the big ones: iCloud, Notifications, iMessage, Twitter integration, and improved Safari and Mail apps. But many of us are discovering the smaller ones as each day passes. For example, do you know that you can assign custom vibrations for contacts, or hold down on a day in the month view to add a whole day event?
Here are five of our favorite undocumented shortcuts and features we’ve found when we went on a touching and swiping excursion.
When you’re in the Camera app, swipe right to go into the Camera Roll. This is great when you've just snapped a photo, and want to see how it looks like; there's now no need to return to the home screen to fire up the Photos app. When you’re done browsing the photos, swipe left to return to the Camera app. You can’t enter the Camera app if you start off from the Camera Roll though.
While designed primarily for those with a physical disadvantage, the new Assistive Touch feature (Settings app > General > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch) is useful for everybody. For example, use the on-screen controls (instead of hardware controls) to adjust volume, lock the screen, mute/unmute, or return to the home screen (great if you’ve a broken home button). You can even create custom gestures.
Here's another tip for photographers: you can use the bundled earbuds' inline remote as a remote shutter release for the iPhone's camera. And it couldn't be simpler: just press the '+' volume control. This helps to further minimize camera shake when you've your iPhone mounted on a tripod, because you don't even need to touch the phone now.
If you’ve set a notification to be displayed as a banner, it’d appear at the top of the screen and go away automatically; tapping it will fire up the app. For the impatient lot who couldn’t afford that five seconds, you could swipe to the left (or down slightly and let go) to dismiss it. Strangely, swiping right doesn't do anything.
Besides managing the home screen, the Springboard is also in charge of several system tasks. For jailbreakers, ‘respring’ is often the quickest way for low-level file changes to take effect. For iPhone 4S users, Siri can do that too: just say, well, ‘Restart’. Now, if only Siri could turn on/off Wi-Fi.