We have covered the built-in Emoji support in OS X Lion. Turns out that iOS 5 has the same Emoji characters for you when text is just not enough. In order to enter Emoji characters in iOS 5, you need to add the Emoji keyboard.
From Settings app, go to General > Keyboard > International Keyboards > Add New Keyboard. Look for “Emoji” and tap on it to add the keyboard.
Once a keyboard is added, it can be accessed from the globe icon on the keyboard during text editing. Each tap on the globe icon will toggle among the added keyboards from the Settings app.
A new feature in iOS 5 Photos app is the ability for you to create photo albums directly. You can create albums and add photos from your camera roll into them.
One caveat is the albums created on your iOS devices are not standalone folder for you to store your photos. Albums in iOS 5 Photos app is more like grouping or category or tagging for the photos in your camera roll. When you remove from the camera roll photos in an album, the photos are removed from the album. When you remove photos from within an album, the photos stay in the camera roll.
If you have iPhone 4 or 4S which has LED flash in the camera, you can turn on to flash the LED when you receive a call or for an alert. To enable this feature, open Settings app. Under General > Accessibility, turn on the switch for “LED Flash for Alerts”.
One of the new ‘hidden’ feature in iOS 5 is the ability to customize vibrations for incoming calls. Before iOS 5, you have only one default vibration pattern. In iOS 5, you can create and customize the default vibration for all calls, and you can also assign specific vibration pattern to a contact.
To enable custom vibration, tap on General under Settings app. Tap on “Accessibility” and turn on the switch for “Custom Vibrations”.
Once the feature is enabled, you can go to Sound section of the Settings app to customize the vibrations. iOS 5 comes with 5 standard vibration patterns with the name “Alert”, “Heartbeat”, “Rapid”, “S.O.S.” and “Symphony”. Tap on any of these pattern to set it as the default vibration pattern. Or tap “Create New Vibration” to create your own vibration pattern.
The vibration pattern you selected under Settings > Sound > Vibration Patterns will apply to all incoming calls. In iOS 5, you can also assign specific vibration pattern to a contact.
Open the Contacts app and edit the contact where you want to assign a custom vibration. Tap on “vibration” under the contact edit screen. Tap on the desired vibration pattern to set it up for the contact. The next time a call is coming in from this contact, you will get the selected vibration.
Among the over 200 new features in iOS 5 are minor improvements to the system software and bundled apps. For the weather app, you can now have a breakdown of weather info hour by hour. Simply tap on the weather info table to display the hourly forecast. It is a little but useful addition to the weather app.
Apple has released iOS 5.0.1, a bug fixes release that solved the issues affecting battery life and Documents in the Cloud. iOS 5.0.1 also brings multitasking gestures for original iPad and improves voice recognition for Australian using dictation.
iOS 5.0.1 is also the first iOS release that demonstrates the working of OTA (over the air) software update. You can now update this release from within your device. From within Settings app, select Software Update. Tap the “Download and Install” to start the upgrade. No desktop Mac or iTunes required. Please note that OTA software update might not be available in your market yet as the release is still propagating to the rest of the world.
Mobile Safari in iOS 5 adds the ability to browse the web in “private browsing” mode. When you enabled private browsing in Safari, your browsing history, web cookies, cache, logins are not saved. Thus private browsing mode leaves no trace of your online activity to be discovered by prying eyes.
To enable private browsing mode, look for Safari under Settings app. Turn on the switch for “Private Browsing”.
With private browsing enabled, Safari browser switches from the normal blue color to a cool black, a great visual reminder that you are in a somewhat safer browsing environment.
Apple has released to its developer community iOS 5.0.1 beta. The release note of the beta contains the fixes and enhancements we can expect from this minor point release:
- Fix bugs that is affecting battery life.
- Adds multitasking gestures to first generation iPad.
- Resolves bugs with Documents in the Cloud.
- Improves voice recognition for Australian users using dictation.
- Security improvements.
Apple is expected to release iOS 5.0.1 to the public within weeks.