So you’ve got the new iPhone OS 3.0, and you might even be running it on your brand new iPhone 3GS. You probably think you know everything there is to know about the device and the new features the latest firmware update gave to it. You’ve probably even read our article “How To Use The Best 40 Features Of iPhone 3.0” and decided that with those 40 features you became a three-oh-pro. Well I beg to differ, because here’s 22 more hidden iPhone 3.0 features that you might not have known about. And if you knew them all, congrats!
1. Control Scrubbing Rate
Scrubbing refers to rewinding or fast forwarding through a video, song, podcast, or audiobook by scrolling the grey “position” ball left or right near the top of the screen. You may have noticed in the past that it was difficult to get to the exact spot you want to be.
With iPhone 3.0, simply hold the ball, and slide your finger down. The lower you slide your finger on the screen, the slower scrub rate you will scroll with.
When you scrub directly on the position bar, you go at Hi-Speed. When you scroll down some, you go at Half Speed. Some more and you get Quarter Speed, and a bit more you get Fine Scrubbing. Apple made it very easy to get to where you wanna be in a media clip.
Note: This works even for videos on websites where it doesn’t explicitly say what “scrub speed” you’re operating at.
2. Hold “Live” Phone Number
When you come accross a phone number in Safari or anywhere else that’s “live”, meaning highlighted blue like a URL, you can press and hold it for the following options:
- Call #
- Text message
- Create new contact
- Add to existing contact
In the screenshot above I pressed and held the “1-800-MY-APPLE” number on Apple’s support site. Just tapping on the number without holding it prompts the familiar “Call” option.
3. Email More Than 5 Photos At Once
In our 40 tips article the “share up to 5 photos via email” tip was mentioned. Turns out (thanks to one of our commenters) there’s an easy work around to the 5 photo per email limit. Simply use “Copy” instead of “Share”.
How it works:
1. Go to your camera roll
2. Click the arrow in the bottom left corner
3. Select as many photos as you’d like
4. Press copy
5. Open Email
6. Paste and send all the photos you want!
4. Press And Hold A Number For Other Font
I’m not quite sure as to the purpose of this new feature, but it certainly is a new one. When typing, hold any of the numbers (0-9) on the keyboard and you can choose to write the number in a larger, different styled font.
Notice how the alternate font is also less bold.
5. View .gif Images
You can now view .gif images on your iPhone. When you receive a gif file as an attachment via email, it will be displayed in all it’s semi-automated glory. However, when you try to save the image, it only saves a still shot of whatever position the image was at that moment. Even though .gif images aren’t all that common these days, it’s still nice to know that your iPhone can handle them.
I’m sure you already know what I’m referring to. Apple decided to annoy the world by making the phrase “lol” always auto-correct into “LOL” on all iPhones, no matter where you’re typing (SMS, Email, etc…). The problem with “LOL” is that it makes it sound like you reaaally found something funny, when in reality you just want to portray a slight smile or maybe just fill some space with a meaningless three letter acronym. Luckily, on iPhone 3.0 “lol” stays “lol”. No capitals.
7. Rewind 30 Seconds
When watching a video, listening to an audiobook, or tuning into a podcast on your iPhone, you can tap a button to go back exactly 30 seconds. The reason for this feature is to help you get back to where you were after zoning out. We’ve all zoned out while trying to listen or watch something on our iPhones, and it’s a pain to get back to where you think you were. You end up going back too far, and then going too far forward. That’s where easily going back 30 seconds comes into play.
Note: This only works for media bought and downloaded from iTunes.
8. Text Message Box Increased In Size
When writing a long text message, the text-message box used to only stretch to about 4 lines in width, causing you to have to scroll back through the message if you need to go back. The box now stretches all the way to the top, right up to the recipients name.
9. Swipe Stocks Mini-Graph
You probably heard about the updated stocks application, but you might not have noticed that you can scroll through three different information panels where the mini-graph is (the bottom rectangle.) Just swipe left or right iPhone style to see top news about the company and other stock info. Also, pressing on the number to the right of the company name now includes market cap as one of the display options.
10. Contact Edit
No matter how you get to the contact, you now have the “full” version of the contact available, meaning that you have full access to edit the contact’s info. In the previous firmware, when accessing a contact’s info from somewhere like SMS, you could only view their information, and not even all of it. This minor mistake was fixed, and it’s worth remembering that you can now edit a contact no matter how you get to it.
Here’s a sample of accessing “Edit Contact” via “Contact Info” inside of a text message.
11. Copy A Text Message Bubble
You’ve probably mastered copy and paste by now, but this little trick makes copying a text message even simpler.
How it works:
1. Double tap a text message bubble
2. Press Copy
12. 11 Maximum Pages
In the previous iPhone firmware, you were only allowed 9 pages on your device. Now, probably due to Spotlight search, you can have up to 11 pages on your iPhone, which means you can have up to 180 total icons on your iPhone (including the basic ones that your iPhone came with.)
13. Promo Codes
iTunes offers promo codes in various ways. You can either buy (or be gifted) an iTunes gift card, which automatically adds money to your iTunes account so you can buy whatever your heart desires. You can also get a promotional code from an iPhone app developer as a “tester”. The new 3.0 firmware allows you to redeem promo codes of both types directly on your iPhone.
We at iSmashPhone give away promo codes for applications on our Twitter page, so be sure to follow us there. It works on a first come first serve basis
Go here to learn more about how iTunes promo codes work.
To access promo codes, simply open up iTunes on your device, go to “More”, and go to “Redeem”.
14. Keyboard Update
There are several little changes to the keyboard. While these certainly won’t change your iPhone experience, it doesn’t hurt to know as much as possible about this extremely expensive little rectangle. That being said, here’s what’s new:
- Holding “.” now gives you the option to type “…”
- Holding the quotation mark button (“) allows you to chose whether you want straight or curved quotation marks.
- Holding the quotation mark also allows you to input this: “>>” or “<<”
15. Curse Words
This is one of the most convenient updates in the iPhone 3.0 firmware. The iPhone no longer tries to auto-correct every single curse word you use. I’ve tested it out in notes, and I even got creative. The iPhone lets everything slide, auto-correct free. Just test it out on your own.
16. Tethering Hack
There was an iPhone hack recently released that allows U.S. iPhone users with AT&T to start using internet tethering now, even though AT&T does not yet support it.
Go here for step by step instructions.
Of course, keep in mind that you are doing this at your own risk. And also be cautious because since tethering is not yet approved for the iPhone by AT&T, you may get billed extra for it. While it’s unlikely, it’s certainly possible.
17. iTunes U
The new firmware has enabled all iPhone and iPod Touch users to access Apple’s awesome iTunes U educational video collection directly from the mobile device. There are tons of recorded lectures (by the entire semester!) Be sure to check out Walter Lewin’s physics lectures from MIT (they’re second best only to Feynman’s lectures!)
To access iTunes U, open iTunes on your iPhone or iPod Touch, go to “More”, and go to “iTunes U”. Everything there is free, so enjoy.
18. Interruption By Phone Call
When you are running an application and it gets interrupted by an incoming call, the application automatically comes back to life after the phone is hung up. This is a very convenient feature, even though it doesn’t work smoothly by any means. I am almost positive that this feature is not constant, and fails for some applications.
Note: The app doesn’t restart from where you left off, but rather it reloads again. So if it’s a game, yes, answering the call will cause you to lose progress.
Here’s an example of a good game of Touch Grind getting interrupted by a phone call:
19. Revert Back To App After Syncing
Just like number 18, if you are running an iPhone app when you start syncing the device with iTunes, the app automatically revives once the sync is over. In the past the main home screen would just appear. Just like with phone calls, an app will automatically fire back up rather than “instantly resume” as we’d all like it to.
20. Close Apps While They Are Opening
You’ll have to test this one out to believe me, because there’s really no way of capturing screenshots that depict this process. As you open an application, tapping the home button as soon as the app starts opening does exactly what the home button should do – it takes you home. In the past, the iPhone would have to first load the app, and then it would close it back up. The whole process was all buggy and slow, but not in 3.0. Try it out (use a game or some other app that typically takes a longer time to load.)
21. Jailbreak With redsn0w
The word jailbreak says it all. Go here to read a step by step guide to jailbreaking your iPhone 3.0 using redsn0w on either a Mac or a PC. It’s very simple, and there’s nothing to be afraid of.
22. Unlock With ultrasn0w
If you need to unlock your iPhone 3.0 to use it with an unsupported carrier (such as T-Mobile, the most popular non-authorized iPhone service), you’ll need to follow this guide to unlocking your iPhone with ultrasn0w. Unlock is not available for iPhone 3GS at this time.
If you know of any other interesting iPhone 3.0 features that weren’t listed here or in the previous list then please comment below! It’s thanks to you readers and your comments that we can create such extensive lists Thanks.