Know your gestures
Tap: As clicking is to a desktop computer, so is tapping to an iOS device. It’s the most common and basic gesture
Tap, hold and drag: For some functions, such as highlighting text, copying and pasting, or deleting and moving apps, you’ll need to tap and hold down on the screen. When you do this on a piece of text, it will be highlighted in blue, and editing handles – vertical lines with blue dots – will appear on either side of the highlighted area. You can tap, hold and, while holding down, drag your finger to increase or decrease the selection
Pinch: To zoom in or to open something, place your thumb and index finger, pinched together, on the screen and spread them apart. To zoom out, do the reverse
Double-tap: Tap an object twice in succession to effect a double-tap. These are primarily used for zooming in or out on text
Flick and swipe: Swiping is one of your primary navigational tools. You use a left or right swipe to move through app pages on your Home screen or images in the Photos app; and you use an up or down swipe to read text in Safari, iBooks, Newsstand or elsewhere. It’s an easy gesture to learn
Rotate: You can even rotate some elements with two or more fingers. Just place two fingers on the screen and make a circular gesture, clockwise or anticlockwise
Get to know the phone
iPad owners, look away now. Making and answering phone calls on the iPhone is a piece of cake. There’s also plenty you can do while on the device to manage multiple calls or locate useful information. And if you miss a call, the iPhone automatically creates a list of callers, who you can then call back at your convenience thanks to Visual Voicemail.
Receiving and returning calls: Slide the green arrow across the screen to unlock your phone and answer a call. If someone calls when you’re using the iPhone, you’ll instead see options to Answer or Decline the call. The Reply With Message option lets you acknowledge the caller if you can’t take the call. Remind Me Later and the location or time-based Do Not Disturb feature that automatically sends calls to voicemail are handy when you need to get stuff done, or are travelling overseas and don’t want mid-slumber interruptions.
Favorites and VIPs: Favorites lists your most frequently called numbers and is the iPhone’s equivalent of speed dialling. To designate a favourite, tap the ‘+’ sign at the top of the Favorites screen. The iPhone 5 has an override feature for VIPs – anyone, such as your spouse, kids or boss, you’ll always take calls from.
In-call options: Six buttons appear during phone calls: Mute, Keypad, Speaker, Add Call, FaceTime and Contacts. Tapping the Mute button turns off your microphone; you’ll still be able to hear callers on the other end of the line. If you tap and hold the Mute button, you’ll put the caller on hold and mute both ends of the conversation. Tap the Speaker button to put the call on speakerphone. You can use the keypad while on a call to navigate phone trees or dial extensions. If you need to look up a number or an -address while on a call, tap Contacts to access your Address Book. You can have more than one person on the call. Tap the Contacts button or the Add Call button to add another.
Recents: The Recent calls screen offers two views: All or Missed. Tap the blue arrow next to a caller’s name to view the date and time the call was logged and its duration.
Get in touch
Email: Apple slimmed down its Mail program for iOS, giving it fast and powerful features to make up for the lack of a physical keyboard.
When you first set up your device, iTunes will ask if you want to transfer your existing email accounts from your computer. On a Mac, you can transfer accounts from Apple Mail. On a Windows PC, you can transfer account details from Windows Mail, Microsoft Outlook Express or Outlook.
If you use a different email program, you’ll have to enter your account information manually. On the Home screen, tap the Settings button and then select Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Under the Accounts header, tap Add Account. You’ll see a screen with buttons for Microsoft Exchange, iCloud, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL and Other.
Every time you view your Inbox – either by tapping it from the Mailboxes screen or by returning to it from another app – your device will check that account for new mail. You’ll see a preview of each message, including the sender, the time it was sent, the subject line and, if desired, a few lines of text. Unread messages display a blue dot to the left. Mail you’ve replied to or forwarded will have small indicator arrows to the left of it.
Messages: You can text non-Apple users, of course, but the iPhone also has an exceptional function called iMessage that lets you exchange text, photos and video with other iOS devices using internet data.
Unlike regular SMS text messaging, iMessage supports niceties such as delivery receipts (indicating that your message has been delivered), read receipts (telling you your message has been read) and live typing status (so you can know your friend is replying). Note, however, that by default, your iOS device won’t tell your contact when you’ve read their message; you must enable that.
When you compose a message on the iPhone, iOS will automatically switch to the iMessage protocol if your recipient is also an iMessage user. For non-iOS conversations, it will default to regular old SMS.
You can tell iMessages from regular messages because they appear with a blue background instead of green. The great thing about iMessages is that they don’t cost a penny to send, and they can also be sent to an iPad (unlike an SMS, which can only be sent to an iPhone or other mobile phone).
Conducting webcam-based calls on a laptop or PC is nothing new. FaceTime extends the concept of video chatting to tablets and smartphones. You need a Wi-Fi or 3G cellular network connection, and for whoever you’re calling to have a FaceTime-compatible device (an iPad 2 or later, an iPhone 4/4S or iPhone 5, or a 2010 or later iPod touch).
To initiate a FaceTime call on iPhone, you can make a voice call as usual and then switch over to a video chat by tapping the FaceTime button. A question mark will appear if your iPhone isn’t sure that the other party has FaceTime abilities. If they do, the recipient will be presented with a screen allowing him or her to decide whether to accept your FaceTime request. If they decline, you’ll stay on the phone without video. If you accept it, FaceTime will launch.
iPad users can activate the FaceTime feature by clicking the FaceTime icon and selecting someone with a compatible device from their contacts list – you’ll need to select or input their phone number (if you’re contacting an iPhone) or the email address they’ve linked to FaceTime on their iPad.
FaceTime now works over cellular as well as Wi-Fi, but you may need to turn it on by going to Settings > FaceTime and changing the Use Cellular Data setting to On. This can use a lot of data.