Thursday, December 30, 2010

New to iPhone iPod touch - Here are some features to remember, Pt 1

I have found that when I get a new gadget, especially one with tons of features, it is best to learn all you can right away, After you have had it for a while, your routine familiarity with the device overcomes your eagerness to learn. So, with my iPhone 4 only two days out of the box here are a few features I have found useful. Many of these feature are available on earlier models of the iPhone (iPod touch as well), so, really they are just new to me. They may be new for you as well, so, bookmark this post, you might find it useful.


Originally, there were no apps. Then came apps and the iPhone could have pages of icons, swipe left and right. After enough time and apps and a failure to keep them organized, this becomes a confusing mess. With the iPhone running iOS 4.2 you can create folders to consolidate your applications and then have pages of folders if your collection of apps is very large. This is very handy and can keep you from having to scroll though pages to find similar apps.

I have a folder called "Social," and it has Facebook, Twitterriffic, Instagram and a few other utilities that I like to use with my social media sites. I keep the folder on page 1 and it is far easier than trying to locate these programs in a sea of icons. Give folders a chance.

Most recent programs

Double click the home button and your last four programs will be revealed. Yes, it is that simple. And if you will remember it is there, you'll find it handy as well.

Voice Control

I hate fumbling with the phone while driving. Press and hold the home button and you will activate voice control. Say, for example, "Call Mary" and the iPhone will guide you thorough all the Mary's in your contacts and then through a specific Mary's various phone numbers.

HDR photos

HDR = High Dynamic Range photograph. Here is a link to some HDR examples on flickr. Truly captivating technique. Basically, HDR photography is three shots of the same scene sandwiched together. One frame is underexposed, one normally exposed and one overexposed. Bring the three together and voila, lots of detail.

The iPhone implementation is not as good as the examples from flickr. Not even close, but, in low light and bright light situations, it does bring improved photos taken from a cell phone camera. Here is an article explaining the iPhone HDR implementation better.

For some added fun, try using the filtering programs like Instagram or Camera Bag. iPhone HDR then can deliver some impressive, interesting results. (for a cell phone camera)

That's enough for now. Look for Part 2, I have more. (Also, I don't own an iPod Touch, so I don't know what is and isn't available on that device, but, much of this is, I suspect.)

Next post on this subject: Cases and Typing

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