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Did you know the iPhone can…?

iPhone 5On the 4th of July, with my emails completed and not much to do before the barbecue, I sat back and decided to explore the inner workings of my iPhone to see what more I could learn about this device that is constantly with me.

Since we use Dropbox, I have dragged my feet installing iCloud. But after a little research and loading, I am now able to synch my browsing history between my phone and computer and can even track my phone! If I should ever lose my phone (as long as it’s turned on) I can track it and see where it’s located through iCloud. (Ahhh. . . technology.)

Now that I had the iCloud installed, what more was I missing? What I found was that the iOS 5 system added features to the phone to help those of us who work hard at perfecting multitasking. Ever open up your iPhone Safari browser and see the “Reader” word show up in the browser? If you click on the “Reader” icon, this new feature in iOS 5 will strip away ads from the webpage, enlarge text and fill the entire screen with the article to make it easier to read.

Reader is one of my favorite and most-used features introduced in iOS 5. You activate it by tapping a button that appears in the browser’s address bar:

If you’re waiting for the page to load and it’s taking much longer than you anticipated, tap the “X” in Safari’s address bar to stop the rest of the page from loading. Then tap the “Reader” button! The page will load much faster and be easier to read. And, for the documents you want to reference again, you can now add them to the reading list and read it later.

For those of us who have not used Siri to the fullest extent, she can help with a variety of information, including sports. Asking – what’s the score of the Orioles game? Suri will give you the answer. If you’re looking for a movie, Suri will give you a list based on their reviews on Rotten Tomatoes – and the theater’s proximity to you. She will also open apps for you!

When Siri just can’t understand you, which happens to me from time to time, I use the talk feature and dictate text messages and emails. If you use the feature just as you would dictation, then the voice speech recognition software will actually insert punctuation. Phrases like ‘full stop’, ‘exclamation mark’ or even ‘new line’ will produce the desired result. I also learned that the purple bar moving in the microphone picture actually means something. (It reflects the volume and pattern of your speech.) Try and keep the purple meter to around half-to-three-quarters full to maximize results.

Lastly, when your day is done and,  like William, you enjoy listening to music before you fall asleep, set your timer and change the “when timer ends” to “stop playing.” Now you can enjoy that music until you fall asleep and not worry about a drained battery in the morning.