Ios 4 Features

How to use VoiceOver for iPhone

VoiceOver is part of Apple's accessibility features, a gesture-based way to have your iPhone speak what is written on your screen. First available on the Mac, Apple brought it to the iPhone with iOS 3 and improved it again in iOS 4. It doesn't get the attention of copy/paste or multitasking, but that might simple be because people do not know much about it or how to use it.

For an overview of VoiceOver and the various ways it can be used, stay with us after the break.

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iOS 4 features: Background app killing

iOS 4's new fast app switcher interface also allows you to kill both Apple and 3rd party App Store apps that may be causing problems in the background.

To access the fast app switcher in iOS 4, double click the home button on iPhone 4 iPhone 3GS, or iPod touch G3. The interface will slide up and reveal a second dock-like set of app icons "in the background". To kill an app, tap and hold the app until the icons begin to jiggle, then tap the minus symbol (-) at the top left corner. The app will then disappear, "deleted" from the background dock (but not from your iPhone or iPod).

This force quiwill do a couple of different things depending on the type of app.

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iOS 4 features: Sync multiple IMAP accounts with Notes

With iOS 4, the built-in Notes app gets the ability to sync with multiple IMAP accounts, including MobileMe and Gmail. When you set up MobileMe or Gmail (not via Google Sync/ActiveSync/Exchange but via the Gmail button) there's a toggle to turn notes sync on or off.

If you enable notes sync for multiple accounts, you get a new Accounts button at the top left of the Notes app. Tapping it takes you to a new screen where you can choose to view All Notes, just the notes on your iPhone, or just the notes that are synced via IMAP to your email account(s).

Those notes then appear in your desktop and web-based IMAP clients as well, like Apple's Mac Mail.app (in Marker Felt, ugh!) and Gmail.com.

If you're using multiple IMAP Notes accounts, let us know how it's working for you. For more features, see our complete iOS 4 walkthrough.

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iOS 4 features: Search the Web, Wikipedia

While iOS 3 (iPhone 3.0) introduced Spotlight search for on-device information like contacts, songs, and apps, iOS 4 examples Spotlight to search the Web and Wikipedia as well.

From the main home screen, just swipe to move left to Spotlight, or click the home button to toggle to it, and start typing your search. You may see the aforementioned local results start to pop up but you'll also see a Safari icon saying Search Web and a curiously blank icon saying Search Wikipedia.

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iOS 4 features: Keyboards and Emoji

One of the huge advantages of iOS 4's virtual keyboard is that, for people who write in multiple languages, changing from English to Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese, or other non-Roman options involves a simple Settings change. This is helpful for language students and business travelers alike. It can also be fun, especially when it comes to things like Japanese Emoji (think emoticons gone wild).

Kyle sent this our way:

When turning on the japanese romaji keyboard, if you return to the keyboards menu you will be given a new option "edit user dictionary" where you can add a new word/Yama (if I remember that right) to the auto-correct dictionary and I assume the spell-check as well.

After tinkering for a bit, I saw the Chinese Pinyin keyboards work as well for the dictionary. Now, while meandering through the Japanese keyboard, I saw this "^_^" key under the '123' tab. Tap it and you'll be given a gigantic list of 'emoticons' if you will and some of which include symbols like those of a character map.

I HIGHLY recommend you see these as some are a bit funny looking and it really makes you think why Apple would put these on here, and why so many?

We're guessing it's because iPhone is popular in Japan, Emoji are popular in Japan, and Apple's using the latter to increase the former. If any Japanese readers have a better theory, let us know!

More pics after the break, and more on iOS 4 in our walkthrough...

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iOS 4 features: Spell-check and text replace

Spell check, which debuted in iOS 3.2 for iPad, is now a system-wide addition to iOS 4 for iPhone and iPod touch as well. Words that the OS thinks you've misspelled will be underlined in red (familiar to any Microsoft Office or Mac OS X user). Tapping on them will give you a popup containing a recommended replacement. Tapping the popup replaces the misspelled word with the (hopefully!) correctly spelled one. Combined with the iPhone's existing, fairly stupendous, predictive auto-correct, it's a powerful combination.

What makes it even more powerful is the addition of "replace" to the cut, copy, and paste popup. This is also something that debuted on the iPad but moved over to iPhone and iPod touch with iOS 4.

As an added bonus, if iOS 4 autocorrects a word and you immediately backspace, a popup will appear offering to replace the correction with the originally typed word.

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iOS 4 limitations: Multitasking saves state, doesn't check for timeline updates

We've had a few TiPb readers ping us to ask what's going on with timeline-based apps like Twitter, IM, RSS, etc under iOS 4 multitasking -- specifically why they aren't updated or updating any more when they open. The answer is the current timeline update conundrum.

First, it's important to remember that Apple didn't include background timeline updates in their multitasking API. Apps can stream music, they can wait for VoIP activity, and they can handle location for navigation or check-in, but they can't update your Twitter, IM, or RSS the way Apple's own Mail app can. Apple's SVP of iPhone Software, Scott Forstall said they prefer iOS handle that via push notification instead.

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iOS 4 feature: Linked contacts

When you sync contacts from more than one source (i.e. Exchange and MobileMe, on-device and Google Sync, etc.), and there are duplicates, rather than showing the same contact twice iOS 4 will instead create a single, linked contact. This works on any iOS 4 device, including iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, recent iPod touch, etc.

When you look at a linked contact, the header will show Unified Info at the top so you know it's linked. At the very bottom of the contact it will show you the source of the links (i.e MobileMe, Google). Tapping on the source lets you see the original, non-unfied info from just that source.

If you don't like the idea of your contacts being linked, you can tap edit and hit Unlink. If iOS 4 missed linking a contact that ought be linked, tap edit, scroll down to the bottom, tap Link Contact and choose the contact you want linked.

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iOS 4 features: SMS/MMS failure exclamation badge

iOS 4 will now put an exclamation badge on the Messages app as a way to inform you when an SMS text or MMS multimedia message fails to send.

Previously, the exclamation badge was only present inside the Messages app itself, beside the message that failed to send. Unless you were there and checking, you might not see it, especially not right away.

Now, if and when there's been a failure to send, as long as you pass by the Messages icon on your home screen, there's a good chance you'll see it.

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iPhone live podcast #105: Special delivery

iOS 4 release, iPhone 4 hits the streets, features we like most, bugs with both, apps that have been updated and iPhone 3G... belated. Listen in!

...because we're done. Week over. That's it. That's all. We need some sleep!

(Feel free to chat away while we're unconscious though, pick any topic above or just talk the night away. We'll be zzzzzzz--)

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