Helpful tips on using iOS

So, I came up with this thread because, while most of us look out for the more glaring features of a newly announced iOS version, there is usually a lot of hidden stuff. I can't say for sure that there are, in fact, "more than 200 new features", but let's find out, shall we?

I'll go first.

Get your iOS device to read back to you


Not saying it will be the most used feature, but it is nice to discover it exists.

To enable: Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Speak Selection > On. You could even choose your preferred dialect to listen to, how fast the words are read back to you, and if the words should be highlighted as they are being read.

It ought to work in most apps (I hope). I tried it in Facebook, Twitter, Catch Notes (pictured above), Mail, Safari and Notes.

Insert photos/videos while composing an email


Just so you don't have to always use the Share option in the Camera/Photos app without being able to add a wall of text, when sending a picture/video to someone via email.

To enable: Tap a blank part of the canvas of the mail you're composing to bring up the contextual menu. Tap the arrow after Select, Select All, Paste, and then choose Insert Photo or Video to bring up the page from the Photos app.

Playback controls using your hands-free earphones

I was forced to discover this one via a Google Search out of pure frustration. Yes, it takes a lot to admit your carefully created playlist doesn't always bring up the right song next while, let's say, you're on your morning power walk. And I don't want to have to bring out my phone to change the track from the lockscreen. So, what to do?

To be truly happy: To skip a song, tap the centre button (between Volume Up and Volume Down buttons) rapidly twice. To go to previous song, tap the centre button rapidly thrice (3x). To fast forward, tap the centre button twice and hold. To rewind, it's tap thrice and hold.

Quickly pull up an old email draft



Saves the need to start going through the Drafts folder of the individual account where you were composing a mail.

To use: Open the Mail app and tap and hold the Compose New button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen (first picture), in order to bring up the quick access drafts list (second picture).

Customise your Auto-reply messages for calls you can't take


Sometimes, they just can't understand that you just can't take that call right now. You know, like, when The Vergecast is live and you really want to hear what Nilay is saying at that moment in time? Just kidding.

To make changes: Go to Settings > Phone > Reply with Message, and type what you will.

Other Helpful Hand gestures

To get to the top of your screen without having to manually scroll endlessly (e.g. on a Tumblr page), just tap the Status bar on your screen. The status bar is the one that contains your Network, Time and Battery indicators.

iPad ONLY: Swipe upwards with four or five fingers to reveal the multitasking bar. Swipe sideways to flick through open apps with four or five fingers, also. Pinch fingers together to return to home screen.

So, that's that. Of course, this list is in no way exhaustive. And there's more hidden stuff, which I occasionally discover from time to time. If you know any other tips not mentioned, now would be a good time to let us in the know, in the comments section. Fire away!