Thursday, October 04, 2012

What I learned from reading the iPhone 5 manual

I've spent thousands of hours on iOS since I bought my 3G, but it was only two weeks ago that I learned I could control appointment color assignment (iOS 5).
Clearly, I needed to read the manual. So, on a recent flight, I began with the current iPhone 5 [1] doc (I have a 4S on iOS 5, I'm waiting until more bugs get worked out). I got about 1/4 of the way through because I was learning so many new things I started taking notes. 
So, for the benefit of fellow veterans who haven't read the manual for a while, here's what I didn't know (most is iOS 5 and higher, a few are iOS 6)
  • If you encrypt your iOS backups then your credentials will be backed up (otherwise you need to reenter them)
  • Prevent iPhone from trying to correct a word or phrase:  Create a shortcut, but leave the Shortcut field blank.
  • Siri (the user guide has more detail than I've seen in any article, FAQ or book)
    • To cancel a request and start over the magic word is "cancel". (I couldn't find out how to do that last Feb)
    • Remember to tell Siri which Contact is "you". (I thought I had, but it was null). Add phonetic pronunciation of unusual names. Add relatives (wife [2], mother) and kids. Add work address. Add distinctive nicknames for people who are hard to pick out from the crowd. (This enables things like: "Remind me to call my daughter when I leave the office")
    • When you start using Siri listen for two quick beeps. That means she's listening.
    • If Siri doesn't respond when you bring iPhone to your ear, start with the screen facing you, so your hand rotates on the way up.
    • Headset call button: press and hold. To continue a conversation with Siri, press and hold the button each time you want to talk
    • If want Siri to relearn your voice, turn it off and on (this can help if Siri is persistently unavailable too, easier than a full communications reset)
    • Training Siri
      • use headset you use in car and without
      • don't talk into bottom of phone
      • make a bunch of requests and correct: tap on Siri description 
  • If documents and data are enabled iCloud will share your personal dictionary between devices. (Don't know if it will share Siri speech files.)
  • Dial pause: press and hold *
  • Dial wait: press and hold #
  • Last number redial: tsp call
  • Conference calls to five are GSM only. Call forwarding and call waiting may be GSM only too. 
  • FaceTime: you can move your local image around the screen.
  • Get voicemail when visual voicemail isn't available:  Dial your own number (with CDMA, add # after your number), or touch and hold "1" on the numeric keypad.
  • Change the indentation (quote)level:  Select the text to indent, tap the right arrow icon at least twice, then tap Quote Level.
  • In iOS 6 there are a lot of interesting advanced options for email, some of which make Gmail less awkward.

I suspect there are at least as many gems in the rest of the very well done manual. I wonder if anyone else has ever read it (excepting book authors).

[1] I read the iBook version.
[2] Siri can't understand Emily's last name, but 'my wife' she gets. If I say "my son" I get a list of all my children (sons and daughter) and it's easy to select one. If I say "friend" then Siri scopes the search to friends in my contact. These tricks help when you have large numbers of contacts (ex > 1,0000). 

No comments: