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With the iPhone 4 launch only a few days away, Apple has released iOS 4.0 (aka iPhone OS 4.0) to the masses. Now that we have the latest iOS on our fancy Apple devices, we decided to highlight some of the great new features and give you a some tips on how to fully utilize the OS.
To help you get ready for iOS 4.0, we have an article to help you prepare.
iOS 4.0 only works with the latest version of iTunes. If you haven’t updated iTunes to 9.2, do so now. You can fire up Software Update to get the latest version.
Backup Your iPhone
Before you upgrade your iPhone it’s always a good idea to back up all of your data. While the chances of a error occurring and forcing you to go full restore are slim, it’s always a good idea to backup your stuff.
Plug your iPhone and in iTunes, right click on your iPhone in the left panel. Select backup your iPhone from the drop down menu.
Don’t completely fill your iPhone, leave at least 500MB of room for apps to load and save documents. If you fill it to the rim with media, chances are, you’re going to have a very slow running iPhone/iPod touch.
Check for Updates
Apple’s iOS 4 implementation of multitasking involves developers updating their apps to take advantage of the feature. If an app isn’t updated, it won’t take full advantage of multitasking and will have to relaunch each time it’s selected. So you should update your apps as soon as they are available.
The main feature of the iOS is the ability to multitask. that mans you can more than one application running. Want to listen to Pandora while checking your email? iOS 4.0 can do that. To see the applications running and to quickly switch between apps double tap on your iPhone’s Home Button.
Just tap on your app of choice and the app will load. Magical!
Prior to iOS 4.0 when you would double tap the home button you were presented with the iPod controls. now that multitasking has taken over the home button double tap feature, here is how to reach the iPod controls.
Double tap the home button, when the multitasking drawer pops up, slide to the left and wham, there are your iPod controls.
Bonus: You can control apps like Pandora from the iPod controls in the drawer.
If you’re iPhone is locked, the double tap still brings up the iPod controls.
Quit an Application
Multitasking is great, but sometimes you want to quit a program. In order to quit an app you need to enter the multitasking drawer. Double tap the home button to bring up the drawer. Tap and hold on an app. The apps should begin jiggling with a red circle with a minus sign in the the top left hand corner. Tap on that red circle and it’ll close that app.
Tired of your iPhone switching to landscape in your favorite apps? You can now lock the orientation of your iPhone so it stays in portrait mode. Double tap on the Home Button to bring up the multitask drawer, swipe to the left menu and to the left of the iPod controls, you’ll see the orientation lock. Tap to lock in portrait mode.
You can see the orientation lock status in the menu bar.
Pick a Search Engine
Tired of Google? You can switch to Yahoo! or Bing for all your search needs. Navigate to Settings > Safari > Search Engine. Pick your search engine of choice and have a nice day.
Search The Web and Wikipedia from the Spotlight Screen
Instead of launching safari to search the Internet or Wikipedia, you can do it from mobile spotlight. Navigate to the search screen on your iPhone. Type in what you’re looking for, and you’ll be given the option to choose The Web or Wikipedia.
Mobile Safari will launch and navigate to Wikipedia or your search engine of choice.
If you receive more than one push message, they’ll stack up in front of each other. close one, and an earlier one will will appear.
If you’re running out of Home Screens for all your apps, or maybe you just want a better way to organize your apps, Folders is a great feature. Tap and hold on an app to start your apps jiggling. Drag two apps together to create a folder. Your iPhone will create a folder and automatically give the folder a name based on the category of the apps. You can can change the folder name to something more appropriate. You can then drag up to 12 apps into your folder.
To remove an app from a folder. Open the folder, tap and hold on the app you want to remove. Drag it out of the folder.
Folders in iTunes
If the idea of creating folders and moving apps around on your iPhone’s small screen gives you cold sweats, don’t worry. You can also create and edit folders within iTunes. Plug your iPhone in, click on the Apps tab in iTunes and drag your apps in and out of folders until your satisfied with your app placement. Don’t forget to hit the Apply button when you’re done!
Home Screen Background
Place a background image on your home screens. You can do this by navigating to Settings > Wallpaper. Click on the wallpaper and choose either the iPhone’s wallpaper choices or an image from your Photo library.
Once you’ve chosen an image, click on Set. From there you can choose to place it as a Lock Screen, a Home screen, or both.
You can also choose an image from your Photo app and click the share button. Then just choose Use as Wallpaper.
In addition to auto correct and its ability to take your anger and transform it into “he’ll,” iOS 4.0 will now tell you when a word is spelled incorrectly by placing a red scribble line underneath misspelled words.
To change the spelling of your misspelled word tap it once and the iPhone will give you one or more options. Tap on the correct word and your Tweets and emails will suffer from fewer mistakes.
Copy vs. Share images
With iOS 3.0 you could copy as many photos as your iPhone’s RAM could handle into an email. It looks like Apple has closed that loophole.
Now, you can only copy five images into an email. You can now share up to nine images via MMS and five via email.
When sharing, when you send the email you’re giving the choice of the size of the images just like iPhoto.
If you’re still interested in sending more than five images in an email. You can copy and paste five images at a time into an email. So copy five images, paste them into an email, then copy and paste five more.
Similar to when you Share images, the Mail client will give you an alert that you’re sending large attachments and will give you the option to send smaller photos.
If you have multiple email accounts you know what a pain it is to check the inbox of one account then to back out of that account and check the inbox of another account. Thankfully, Apple recognized this and they’ve created a unified Inbox for the Mail app.
Threaded Email Messages
If you’re a fan of threaded messages in OS X’s Mail client or Entourage, you’ll be happy to hear that threaded messages are available in iOS 4.0 Mail.
To turn the feature on navigate to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars scroll about half-way down and turn on Organize By Thread.
Voice Control Time
Want to know the time without pulling your iPhone out of your pocket while listening to music? Click and hold down on the center button on your headset, or click and hold down on the home Button on the iPhone and ask “What time is it?” Your iPhone will tell you the time in tis creepy girl robot voice.
Bluetooth Keyboard Support
Next time someone tells you that the iPhone doesn’t have a physical keyboard, bust out a full size Bluetooth keyboard and compose an email to them in record time. You can sync a Bluetooth keyboard the same way you sync a Bluetooth headset.
Navigate to Settings > General > Bluetooth. Make sure your keyboard is on and discoverable. You’ll probably have to type in a “secret number” on your keyboard to finish the sync. Sync and start typing.
Bonus fun, you can control the iPod app with some keyboards. Don’t forget to turn off your Bluetooth keyboard, or turn off Buetooth when you’re done. You’ll end up trying to type on your iPhone with no luck.
Messaging Character Count
If you’re concerned about how many characters you’re sending via MMS/SMS you can turn on Character Count by navigating to Settings > Messages. turn on Character Count.
Once you go over 30 characters, the count will pop up while you’re composing a message. Once you hit over 160 characters, some carriers will split your message in two.
If you sync calendars you need to see on multiple computers, but you really don’t need them on your iPhone, you can now hide those unwanted calendars. Launch the Calendar app. Tap on the Calendar button in the upper right hand corner. Tap on a calendar’s check mark to remove the check mark and hide the calendar.
Features from iPhoto ’09 have been transferred to the Photo app. Photos with geo-location data will now be added to the Places feature. A Google map drops pins to all the locations you’ve taken pictures at these include all the pictures you’ve taken with your iPhone.
Faces almost made it into the iOS 4.0 update. But your iPhone won’t be looking at all your photos and determining if your face is in the photo. Instead, it’ll grab the information from iPhoto ’09 as it imports photos during a sync.
Sync your Faces to your Faces photos to your iPhone so you can quickly show the world how cute your kid is.
You need to set this up in iTunes. Navigate to the Photos tab after you plug your iPhone in. Scroll all the down, you’ll see the Faces you’ve set up in iPhoto. Click to sync the people you’d like to see on your iPhone/iPod touch. Click apply in iTunes.
After your iPhone/iPod touch syncs, you’ll have you favorite faces on your device.
The Camera app now has the ability to zoom in picture mode. The 5x digital zoom can be enabled by tapping once on the on the screen. You’ll see the zoom slider. Slide towards the plus sign to zoom, and the towards the minus sign to zoom out.
Remember this is digital zoom, so as you zoom in expect to see some digital noise.
Location services got an upgrade with the ability for users to see when an app is utilizing Location Service via a tiny arrow in the upper right hand corner.
If you no longer what an app to track your movement, you can turn Locations Services off on a per-app basis. Navigate to Settings > General > Location Services.
More Secure Passcode
If numbers as a passcode aren’t secure enough for you, you can now create a alpha-numeric passcode.
Navigate to Settings > Passcode Lock. Turn off Simple Passcode. Go to Turn Passcode On to set your new super long alpha-numeric passcode.
Focus While Shooting Video
While shooting video you can now tap the screen to focus. Just remember to lightly tap an object on the screen to focus, a hard tap will jar your video.
Turn Cellular Data Off
If you’re cruising with the new 200MB AT&T data plan, the ability to turn your data off could be a potential money saver. Navigate to Settings > General > Network to turn off cellular data.
Search Your SMS messages
Now you can search you text messages via a search box at the top of your message list.
Turn off Lyrics and Podcast information
If your Podcast file or song has lyrics or other metadata, you may have noticed that when that file plays in itunes, the metadata shows up over the art. Up until now, there was no way to turn that off. Now the option to turn the feature off is located in Settings > iPod. Just turn off the Lyrics & Podcast Info.
Create a Real Playlist
Sure On-the Go playlists were nice. But they all ended up with that lame name when you synced your iPhone back to iTunes. Now you can create a custom playlist from your iPhone with a custom name that’ll sync with iTunes.
To create a playlist, navigate to the the Playlist option at the bottom of the iPod app. Tap on Add Playlist… You’ll be prompted to give the playlist a name and then you can add artists, songs, albums and other playlists.
Video playback in Page
We’re all used to clicking on a video in Mobile safari and seeing the video payer pop up and take over the entire screen. Now those videos will pay right in the web page. Is it a better option? You decide. the good news is that you can tap on the video and it’ll go full screen.
YouTube videos in Portrait mode
Widescreen too wide for you? Well now you can watch YouTube videos in portrait mode.
Got a tip? Share with us in the comments below, or shoot me an email.
Follow this article’s author, Roberto Baldwin on Twitter
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