**The following is a guest post by David, a good friend and former colleague, who loves finding hidden features of the technology he uses. Below, he reveals a few iPhone features you may have missed. (The original post can be found here.)**
Okay, that’s a bit too Penn & Telller perhaps, but there are some fun little nuggets somewhat buried in the iPhone that I’ve slowly been discovering. I feel like in the past month especially I’ve dug up some good stuff. I’ll start off with the stuff that most folks know. If you didn’t, great. If you did, I never said I was the great Houdini 🙂
We all know that you can find some add’l characters by tapping the 123 then the #+= button on the keyboard. This provides us with some European currency characters, as well as the important hash tag for twitter. But what about the eñe in spanish? Or the upside down exclamation point for spanish? If you simply tap and hold the “n” on the keyboard, the ñ will appear. Same with the accented letter “e” or the exclamation point. If you play around, you’ll find other fun hidden characters lurking above the letters (ooh, m-dash!).
Keyboard Settings: Periods & Caps Lock
I’ll admit it. I never really got into the whole text speak. Sure I LOL and might wonder WTF occasionally. I am also a fan of FML – makes me laugh when I see it. But I don’t write “Wr U @? C U L8r.” With full keyboards, the inner English Major in me just can’t stomach it. I write things out. I tend to still use proper sentence structure. Call me fusty, but I can’t help it.
So I like that if I double-space after a word, I get a period. That makes it nice and easy. And while I’m not a big YELLER when it comes to texting, there are times when you want to write a bit in Caps. And hitting the shift key each time is tedious. There are settings for both these features.
Go to Settings>General>Keyboard. Toggle “Enable Caps Lock” and “‘.’ Shortcut” to On. Now when you double-space after a word, the period pops in. And if you quickly double-tap the shift key, it’ll turn blue and Caps Lock is on. Pretty nifty.
I mentioned I’m a little old-fashioned. I can also be a little OCD too. I have set up my iPhone Contacts to sync with my Google Contacts. I like having a back-up and over-air syncing is still pretty cool to me. But the other day I realized I had 6 more contacts in my iPhone than I did in my Google Contacts. Quite frankly, I’m still confused how this happened. But to make matters worse, Google Contacts are sorted by first name. My iPhone Contacts were sorted by last name. Trying to eyeball over 400 contacts is tough enough, but when the lists aren’t apples to apples, it’s even harder. Enter Settings. Settings>Mail, Contacts, Calendar. If you scroll to the Contacts section (near the bottom), you’ll see that you can change both the Sort Order and Display Order. While I prefer to sort by last name, it’s nice to be able to toggle this when comparing to Google. I’m sure there are other benefits to this toggle as well.
I’d seen plenty of people showing their Weather app image on Facebook to indicate a crappy/fantastic week of weather ahead. I just presumed they had purchased some app that enabled this. Nope. The iPhone has a built-in screenshot feature. Which I think is pretty cool. When you have what you want on your screen, simply push the top button and the bottom home button on your iPhone quickly at the same time. The screen will quickly fade and come back. That image is now saved in your Photos. Pretty nifty. It is great when you happen to be in 1st place in foursquare or something and you might want to share that with your friends 🙂
I heard at&t will finally be supporting the updated MMS features on September 25th. I’m looking forward to that. I’ll be happy if I never see the following screen againg – scribbling down those ridiculous message ids and passwords – only to open a picture of someone’s dog.
Any hidden secrets that you’d like to share?