iOS 5 New Features Tips and Tricks for the iPhone 4 and iPad 2

I’ve reviewed iOS 5 as a whole, but I’d like to offer some advice on how to fully utilize some of its new features such as quick camera access, photo albums, iTunes WiFi sync, and man more.  I don’t know about you, but whenever I get new technology to play with I have to feel like I master all of its features before I can rest my geeked out mind.  Due to this OCD like behavior I tend to pick up on the smaller features that other users may not know how to use yet, so I’d like to impart some of this ultimately pointless knowledge to you, my most excellent readers.  Head on down below to get learned on the ways of iOS 5.  You’ve been needing this…

iOS 5 Tips and Tricks for the iPhone and iPad

Quick Access Camera

iOS 5 introduces a much faster way to access your phone’s camera than ever before.  Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t really give you a how-to guide with an update, so I had to do some digging to figure this new feature out.  Luckily, it’s quite a simple process to launch your iPhone’s camera from the lock screen.  All you have to do is double-click the Home button while your phone is locked and you should be presented with a screen similar to the one below.  From there all you have to do is click on the camera icon, and you’ll be snapping pics of your friend’s hairy a*s in no time!

Double-click Home Button for Quick Camera Access and Music Player

While we’re on the subject of cameras don’t forget that there are built in editing tools within the default camera app now, as well as grid lines for you shaky a*s mother f*ckers.  This can be toggled on and off from the options menu from within the camera app itself.

Photo Albums

With iOS 5 you now have the ability to manage various different photo albums right on your iPhone.  You’re no longer left with just the Camera Roll and Photo Library repositories.  For example, if you sync to a folder on your computer for pictures you’ll now see that same folder on your phone.  You could create a wallpaper folder to just hold wallpaper rather than mixing them in with other non-wallpaper pictures.  It’s quite easy to set this up as well, which is detailed below.  Just know that you can manage folders on both your device as well as the computer that it syncs to.

Photo Albums in iOS 5

Managing Photo Albums on the iPhone: Go into Photos, Select a photo or group of photos you’d like to put in a new album via the usual share arrow, Once all images are selected you should see an Add To button in the bottom right corner of your screen, Click Add To and create your new album.

Managing Photo Albums on your computer: Create the desired folders on your computer and fill them with pictures, Go into iTunes with your iPhone connected and click on the Photos tab, Choose the sync method that allows you to select specific folders, Select the folders you just created and hit sync.  Booyeah!  You now have photo albums on your iPhone.

Notification Center

For the most part Notification Center runs itself, but you do have a host of options when it comes to how this new tool notifies you for specific apps.  To customize these settings click on Settings, then Notifications, then choose whichever app you’d like to toggle the NC settings for.  From within this menu you have the option to disable the NC for an app, set the type of notification, toggle badges and sounds, as well as choose if you want the notification to appear when the phone is locked.  You can see from the image below that this process is much more simple than it sounds.

NC Settings Tab



For those of you that didn’t really comprehend what iMessage truly is let me explain it this way – It’s Blackberry Messenger for the iOS lineup.  What this means is that any user on an approved iDevice can freely send text messages, photos, videos, etc to another iMessage user.  Data rates do not apply, so as long as you have access to WiFi you can instant message with any of your friends that are cool enough to have iOS 5 running on their particular iDevice.  You can toggle receipt message to confirm your submissions and to confirm that the other party read your message.  Just know that other iMessage users can send you data based on both your phone number and Apple ID.  For it to work on the iPad someone would have to send their message to your email address.

iTunes WiFi Sync

One of the nicest features about iOS 5 is that it not only brings iCloud to store your data, well, in the Cloud, but it also allows you to wirelessly backup your iPhone using iTunes WiFi sync.  This option needs to be toggled on your computer that you use to traditionally sync your phone to for it to work.  To accomplish this follow the steps below.

1. Hook up your iPhone to your computer with the USB cable

2. Before you sync check the box under the Summary Tab -> Options to Allow this device to sync wirelessly

3. Run a sync with that option checked

4. Disconnect your iPhone from the USB cable (Don’t eject it from iTunes)

5. Welcome to iTunes WiFi Sync

[UPDATE] I’ve personally tested WiFi Sync without my iPhone plugged into power, and it worked fine.  As a matter of fact it had less than 30% power and it still synced with iTunes wirelessly.  I also tried doing an online backup to iCloud, and it had success as well.  According to Apple, to have this process occur automatically you would have to have your iPhone plugged into a power source, but I didn’t find this to be the case.  Regardless, the tech is very functional and a breeze to set up, so I dig it.  Give it a go yourself to see how simple and smooth the whole process is.

iPad’s New Split Keyboard

One of the new iOS 5 features that is only available on the iPad is the ability to create a split keyboard, which essentially allows you to type on the device as if you were holding one big a*s phone.  The iPad keyboard can also be undocked now and moved about the screen.  To accomplish either of these keyboard options all you have to do is hold the keyboard button in the bottom right corner of the keyboard, and then it’ll give you the option to Split, or Undock.  Once you make your choice the keyboard will transform like magic right in front of your eyes.  To revert the keyboard to its default setting just hold the keyboard key again and Dock it.  It’s magic I tell ya!

Keyboard in Split Mode on the iPad 2

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Tags : iDeviceiOS 5New FeaturesTips
Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he’s not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB’s Star Wars Time podcast show.