Sure, you’ve heard about Siri and iCloud, but did you know that Apple introduced more than 200 other new features with iOS 5? Here are eight lesser known but extremely useful tips, tricks and shortcuts to help you get the most out of Apple’s newest mobile operating system.


1. In the native Weather App, tap on the current day’s weather card to reveal an hourly forecast for the next 12 hours.

2. There’s no need for switching keyboards to insert a period each time you’re starting a new sentence anymore. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard and turn on “.” Shortcut. Now, when you are composing a message, tweet, blog post, etc., simply double tap the space bar and voila! Your phone will type out a period and a space.

3. Extremely popular in Japan, Emoji are fun and colorful emoticon characters great for expressing yourself in text/IM messages. Now you can add Emoji to your keyboard without a third-party app. Turn this feature on by going to Settings > General > Keyboard > International Keyboards, and then select Emoji.

4. iOS now has built-in text expanding capabilities. This feature is under Settings > General > Keyboard > Shortcut. Here, you can assign a “shortcut” to any word or phrase. When you type the shortcut, it will automatically “expand” into that word or phrase.

5. One cool new voice feature in iOS 5 is the ability to highlight a section of text in any application and have your iPhone read it to you out loud. To turn this on, go to Settings > General > Accessibility, and activate Speak Selection. Fiddle with the “Speaking Rate” to find a pace comfortable for you. Now, when you highlight any text, you will see a “Speak” option in the context menu. Press that and your device will begin reading your selection to you.

6. Get a quick glance at your schedule for the week by rotating your screen into landscape mode while in the Calendar app. Calendar will automatically switch to Week View.

7. When you are in the Camera app, the “Volume Up” button on the side of your phone will work as a shutter button. And no need to drag the zoom slider anymore– just pinch the screen in or out to adjust to zoom before taking a snapshot!

8. Another cool Camera improvement — you no longer have to unlock your phone to get to the Camera. Double click the Home button while your lock-screen is on and a Camera button will appear to the right of the slider at the bottom of the screen. Press that and you’ll immediately be in Camera mode. This is great because you’ll be more likely to catch those fleeting, picture-worthy moments that you might have missed in the time it took for you to unlock your phone and open the camera app.


Hopefully the tips in this list will help you get the most out of your iOS5 experience. Did we miss anything? Got any other iOS 5 secrets you’re dying to share? Let us know in the comments!


Photo credit: Apple