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Lifehack’s iOS 5 Tips and Tricks Guide

Lifehack’s iOS 5 Tips and Tricks Guide

    The latest, greatest OS from Apple has been out for almost a week. Now that we have started to put it through its paces we can bring Lifehack readers some tips and guidance.

    This article is simply about iOS 5 specific enhancements. Later this week we will cover Siri and and how you can use it to increase your productivity.

    Check out the list below and click on the thumbnails to see a more detailed view of the screenshots. If you have a tip that you love about iOS 5 that isn’t covered here, add it to the comments!

    Camera

    Quick access – To get to your camera quickly just double tap your home button when your iPhone is locked or asleep. You will see a small camera button on the bottom left of the lock screen. Touching it will take you to your camera app. Snap away.

      Grid – Under options, where the HDR option is, you are now given an option to place a grid over your shot, allowing you to line it up. Power of thirds!

      Slide to album / camera – When you are on your camera screen you can flick the camera to the right to go straight to your album. Then you can flick left to get back to your camera.

      No need for too many camera apps – The iPhone’s camera app now has built in cropping, red-eye removal, and auto-enhancements. So for quick and simple editing you can stick with the built in app.

      Hardware snap – You can now snap a picture by clicking your volume up button while in the Camera app.

      Notification Center

      Notification Center is a much needed addition to iOS as the very modal popups have gotten quite annoying over the years. Notifications are now on par with Android and could be even better by some aspects.

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        Organize your notifications

        – It’s easy to organize what notifications you want to see and in what order you want to see them. Going to Settings > Notifications you have access to all the apps that support the new Notification Center. Tap the Edit button in the top right and you can organize the order as well as move some apps’ notifications to “Not in Notification Center”. Also, you can skip organizing notifications by order and choose to view them by time.

          Adjust your notifications – By tapping on each app in Notification Center you can adjust the alert’s style (None, Banners, and (old school) Alerts). You can also control the app’s badges and if the notifications show up in the lock screen.

          Weather widget – Just a quick one. The weather widget in Notification Center can be swiped to see the five day forecast.

          iCloud

          iCloud is a huge advancement in iOS 5. Here are some of the things that you will love to know about it.

            iCloud Backup

            – When you are setting up iOS 5 for the first time, you are asked whether-or-not you want to backup to iCloud. Regardless if you answered yes or now you can always go to Setting > iCloud > Storage and Backup and turn on iCloud Backup. Your iPhone will now backup automatically when you are connected to power and WiFi and with your screen locked. You can backup manually by pressing the Backup Now button. You have to be connected to WiFi to backup.

              Managing iCloud storage – If you are running low on iCloud storage, which you can check by going to Settings > iCloud > Storage and Backup > Manage Storage, you can easily delete backups of iOS or even documents that you have put “in the cloud”. That is if you have any iWork apps on your device.

              General sync items – Of course, you can turn off any iCloud sync items from Settings > iCloud.

              Maps

              Multiple route choices – The biggest addition to maps is the ability to choose among multiple routes when getting directions. To choose a different route after getting directions, simply click on the alternate route’s blue line.

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              Safari

              Mobile Safari is probably one of the apps that I am in most of the time. There are some small enhancements that make it even better.

                Reading List – Oh, no! Is it an Instapaper killer!? Not really at all. But it is easy to use and a great feature to have integrated into the OS. When you are on an article that you want to read later, click the middle bookmark button and choose “Add to Reading List”. Then to get to your Reading List click the little Open Book Button (the second from the right) and choose Reading List. There you will see a list of all the articles that you added.

                  Reader – Reading List doesn’t inherently do much of anything other than give you a simple list of stuff you want to read later. The real magic is in the Reader function of Safari. This strips down the page and lets you see just the content of the article in a nicely formatted way. On any article in Safari, just tap the Reader button in the address bar.

                  Twitter

                  iOS 5 comes with “deep” Twitter integration. It’s a shame that no other apps can hook into iOS this way, but it’s cool to see Twitter get the “rock star” treatment.

                    System-wide sign in – Go to Settings > Twitter. You can sign in with your Twitter credentials as well as install the official Twitter app. You don’t “need” to install the official Twitter app to take advantage of using Twitter in mobile Safari. After signing in you can update your iOS contacts with information from your Twitter contacts.

                    Tweeting from Safari – On any page in mobile Safari tap the middle Bookmark button. In the list choose Tweet. Fill in your Tweet. Couldn’t be easier and more convenient! You can also add your location by tapping the Add location label at the bottom of the Tweet prompt.

                    Calendar

                    The calendar on iOS is pretty mature but there were a few tweaks that iOS 5 brought to it.

                      Adjust appointments – To adjust the time-span or time of an appointment long tap on the appointment and then drag it wherever you want to move it to. After long tapping you can let go and then adjust the span of the appointment by dragging the small top and bottom handles.

                        Week view – You can go to week view by rotating the device to landscape.

                        Year view – On iPad you can go to year view by rotating the device to landscape.

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                        Reminders

                        I was super excited about reminders when they were announced at WWDC. The idea of having a nice, simple task and reminder manager built directly into iOS is compelling. Personally, I am an OmniFocus user, but to set up a quick reminder, Reminders is perfect.

                          Add and adjust lists – Tap on the list button on the top left and then tap “Edit” on the top right. You can then adjust the order of your lists as well as add new lists by tapping “Create New List…”

                          Navigate and using lists – You can navigate all of your lists by swiping left and right or by tapping the list button in the top left and then tapping which list you want to go to. Adding tasks is simple. Just hit the plus button on the list and type the name of the task.

                          You can rapidly type in tasks by typing and tapping return and typing more. Tapping Done on the top right will get you out of “task adding mode.” To edit a task, tap the task and edit the task’s details. You can add a reminder for the task at your current location, or set a specific due date. You will then be notified through Notification Center (as long as you set up the notification).

                          Mail

                          I don’t like to use any email application more than I have to and with the new iOS 5 enhancements to the stock mail app, Apple has made it easier and faster to use.

                            Searching mailboxes – To search any “mailbox” (that is any label for you Gmail peeps or any folder for you regular mail guys) tap which one you want to search then scroll up all the way and start typing. When you start typing four buttons show up below your query allowing you to search the fields From, To, Subject, or All. All searches every aspect of your email messages.

                            Notifications – This goes with any app that allows notifications. You can turn on lock screen previews of your incoming mail, choose how many messages you want to see, choose the way you want to be interrupted (I mean notified) by the message, and also turn off the mail unread count badge completely.

                              Rich Text – You can now add some rich text formatting to your messages. Long hold on any word, select the text you want to format, tap the small right arrow, then tap ‘BIU’ to choose either bold, italics or underline. You can also change the quote level of the sentence you are working on.

                              Move recipients – You can quickly move mail recipients from the To, CC, and BCC fields by long holding their little blue name labels and dragging them to the desired field.

                              iMessage

                              Using iMessage – My experience with iMessage has been limited to my wife. As far as I can tell iOS simply recognizes that my wife has an iPhone with iOS 5 and we can instantly start iMessaging each other with nothing more to set up. Pretty simple.

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                              Accessibility

                              Apple has always made strides to make their iDevices accessible to those that need it. iOS devices seem to be some of the only devices that make it easy for people with special needs to use.

                                LED notifications – There is no small multi-colored LED on the iPhone to notify you that something is happening with your phone, but you can now turn on LED notifications (they use the LED flash on the back of the iPhone) to make the iPhone alert you. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility and switch on the LED Flash for Alerts. When an app alerts you, the LED will flash.

                                Custom vibration settings – You can create custom vibration patterns for any contact. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility and switch on Custom Vibrations under the Hearing subheading. Then go to a contact and tap Edit in the top right. Right under where you can set up their custom ringtone you will now see vibration. Choose that and you can then select one of the built in vibration settings or choose Create New Vibration. On this screen you can tap your vibration and then play it back. Ingenious.

                                System-wide

                                iOS 5 is all about increasing overall features and functionality. Here are some of the great little tweaks across the entire system.

                                  Dictionary – Don’t know the meaning of a word? No problem. Long hold on a anywhere in the OS to select it and tap “Define”. You are then given a nicely formatted definition of the word.

                                  Keyboard shortcuts – Go to Settings > Keyboard and down at the bottom of the screen you will see the Shortcuts section. You can add custom keyboard shortcuts that can be used in any iOS app. This is great for small signatures, email addresses, and just about anything else you type a lot of that is a pain in the ass to type.

                                  Split keyboard – On iPad you can split the landscape and portrait keyboards so you can thumb type. To do it, tap and hold each side of the keyboard with your thumbs and slide to the outside of the iPad. To put the keyboard back together slide your thumbs together to push both sides of the split together. This is a much needed and much appreciated feature.

                                    Emoji – For all you smiley and little cute graphic lovers out there, an Emoji keyboard now comes standard in iOS 5. Go to Settings > Keyboard > International Keyboards > Add New Keyboard… and tap Emoji. You can then access your pretty pictures from anywhere you can type by tapping the small globe icon by your spacebar. As far as I know, only iOS devices can see these little icons.

                                    There are so many enhancements to iOS 5 that we are still uncovering to this day. What’s your favorite tip or trick in iOS 5? Share it in the comments below!

                                    More by this author

                                    CM Smith

                                    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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                                    Last Updated on June 17, 2019

                                    40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2019 Updated)

                                    40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2019 Updated)

                                    Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

                                    There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

                                    Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

                                    It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone (all categorized based on their functions) to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

                                    For Getting Things Done

                                    1. OmniFocus

                                    This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

                                    Download it here.

                                      2. Forest

                                      Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

                                      Download it here.

                                        3. Things

                                        Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

                                        Download it here.

                                          4. 30/30

                                          Recently covered here at Lifehack

                                          , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

                                          Download it here.

                                            5. Any.Do

                                            A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

                                            Download it here.

                                              6. PocketLife Calendar

                                              This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

                                              Download it here.

                                                7. Asana

                                                We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

                                                , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

                                                Download it here.

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                                                  8. ToDoist

                                                  This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                                                  Download it here.

                                                    9. FlowTasks

                                                    From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                                                    Download it here.

                                                      10. Calendars 5

                                                      This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                                                      Download it here.

                                                        11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                                                        A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                                                        Download it here.

                                                          12. Due

                                                          A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                                                          Download it here.

                                                            13. Checkmark 2

                                                            I use this app

                                                            for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                                                            Download it here.

                                                              14. TeuxDeux

                                                              Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                15. Wunderlist 

                                                                Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                                                                Download it here.

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                                                                  16. Nirvana

                                                                  For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                    17. Priorities

                                                                    An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                      For Building Habits

                                                                      18. Productive

                                                                      With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                        19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                                                        You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                          20. Streaks

                                                                          This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            21. Remember The Milk

                                                                            Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              22. Day One Journal

                                                                              When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                For Files Organization

                                                                                23. Evernote

                                                                                Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                  24. Pocket

                                                                                  You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                                                  Download it here.

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                                                                                    25. Sync.Me

                                                                                    This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                      26. Droplr

                                                                                      One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                        27. Dropbox

                                                                                        Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                          28. iDolly 

                                                                                          In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                                                          Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                            29. Soulver

                                                                                            It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                              For Working Smarter

                                                                                              30. Captio

                                                                                              A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                                31. Drafts

                                                                                                A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                                  32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                                                  This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                                                  Download it here.

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                                                                                                    33. Doodle

                                                                                                    This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                                      34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                                                      I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                                        35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                                                        A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                                          36. GoodReader

                                                                                                          This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                                            37. LogMeIn

                                                                                                            Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                                              For Improving Security

                                                                                                              38. 1Password

                                                                                                              There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                                                39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                                                                You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                                                                All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                                                  40. Truecallers

                                                                                                                  Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                                                    There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                                                    More Great Apps Recommendations

                                                                                                                    Reference

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