After using the iPhone 3GS for a week, here’s five of my favorite, non-obvious tricks I’ve picked up.
Show Battery Percentage
The iPhone battery meter is so imprecise as to be useless. But in iPhone 3, you can show the percentage charge. To show the battery percentage, go to Settings>General>Usage and turn on Battery Percentage.
Variable Speed Scrubbing
I listen to a lot of radio shows on the iPhone from my hometown, London. These shows can be a couple of hours long so I often “scrub” through to the best parts. On the iPod with a scroll wheel, this was easy. But on the iPhone, it became an ordeal — the song bar was notoriously fiddly and the track would often jump when you pulled your finger off. But with the 3.0 software, scrubbing can now done be at different speeds. When you hit the song bar it starts glowing, allowing you to scrub through the track from left to right. But the further you drag your finger vertically *down*, toward the “Home” button, the finer you can control the scrolling speed: it goes from “high speed” to “half speed,” “quarter speed,” and finally “fine scrubbing.” No more jumping tracks.
Double Tap “Home” To Launch Camera
I’m using the camera a lot on the new iPhone 3GS. Instead of going to the Home Screen and hunting for the Camera icon, the camera can be launched with a double tap of the Home button. Go to Settings>General>Home and select “Camera.”
(Alternatively, you can map the Home button double-tap to iPod, Phone Favorites, Search or Home).
Easy Email Suffixes
When typing out an email address in the “To” field, there’s a shortcut for adding .net .edu .org .com suffixes. Press and hold the “.” key (the period key) and the suffix options pop up.
This is really an Easter Egg, not a hidden feature, but delightful nonetheless. The new Voice Memos app shows the image of a microphone. Tap the image of the mic, and the VU meter jumps as if you were tapping a real microphone.