Features in iOS 6 You May Not Know About

Are you the proud owner of a new iPhone 5 of maybe even the brand-new iPad Mini?  If so, you are using Apple’s latest mobile operating system, dubbed iOS 6.  Even if you don’t have the latest i-device, iOS 6 will work on most all Apple devices – the iPhone 3GS and later, and the iPad 2 and later.

With each new release of its operating system, Apple always includes tons of new features, some of which are better publicized than others.  You are no doubt well aware that Apple’s new Maps app has gone through a rough patch, and definitely has some catching up to do before it can compete again with Google Maps. But there were dozens of small but very useful changes that came with iOS 6, and I thought I’d share three of them with you today.

Setting Up Your VIP Inbox.  Do you need to keep on top of email messages from certain individuals?  Maybe you have multiple email accounts, or receive a lot of messages on a daily basis.  If so, the VIP Inbox was designed for you; it allows you to view email from specific individuals in one convenient folder.  You can see the VIP folder from your Mailboxes view in the Mail app.  Here’s how to set it up:

  • First, make sure the people you’re adding are already contacts on your device.
  • From the Mailboxes screen, tap on the VIP folder to open it.
  • Click Add VIP, and you’ll be taken to your Contacts list.  Select a contact, and it is added to the VIP list (“duh” tip:  the contact must have an email address to be included on the list).
  • If you want to be alerted when you get an email from a VIP, press VIP Alerts and you’ll be taken to the Notification Center, where you can set your preferences.

From now on, when you receive an email from the contacts on your list, a copy of the email will appear on your VIP list.

Attaching a Photo or Video to an Email.  One of the biggest frustrations about iOS is the inability to attach documents, and in particular photos, to an email.  In older versions of iOS you were forced to go into your Photos and send selected images from there; iOS 6 makes some evolutionary improvements on that process, by allowing you to attach photos or videos from an email.

While you’re composing an email, double tap anywhere in the body of the message, where you want to insert the image.  You’ll see a menu with a couple of options.  Press Insert Photo or Video, or press the arrow on the right until that option appears.  After you press it, you’ll be taken to your photos, where you can select the photo you want to send.  Press Choose, and the photo is inserted into the email.

Taking Advantage of Do Not Disturb.  For those of you who need a little quiet time, iOS 6 is pleased to oblige by offering a Do Not Disturb option.  When you enable it, the feature will completely silence everything coming out of your phone, and even prevent the screen from turning on.  Here’s how to set it up:

  • In Settings, press Notifications, then Do Not Disturb.
  • Move the button next to Scheduled to On.  Set the period of time you want to be left alone.
  • Press Allow Calls From and select your preference – Everyone (which sort of defeats the purpose, huh?), No One, Favorites, or Groups.  You can specify here if there are others who should be allowed to interrupt you, if you are expecting a call from someone, or want to always be available for a spouse, boss, or other important person.
  • By moving the button next to Repeated Calls to On, if a person calls twice within 3 minutes, the second call will not be silenced.  This is a useful setting in case there really is an emergency.

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