The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4S

Though iPhone OS 4's real potency will come when developers seize the new tools and build multitasking apps that do crazy, crazy things, many of the OS's inherent secrets are coming to light. Updated: More secrets.

You might have spotted some of these screens in our thorough hands-on videos, but most of nuggets below are new discoveries. If you are playing with the iPhone OS 4 beta and notice some cool features we didn't spot, send a screenshot our way (to Rosa or Wilson), making sure to black out any embarrassing personal data, and we'll verify it and add it to this compilation.

Thanks to Dan E., DC, Zach, Lazardo, Zev, Mike O., Jeff H., Frank G., Jason, and Jeffrey W. for sending in screenshots and tips.

To bypass gallery view, click here, but no guarantees of how good the pics will look.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4

Cellular Data On/Off

You now have the option to toggle cellular data off.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4

SMS Character Count

Guilty of running long on short messages? Now you can turn on a character count for SMS.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4

SMS Search

Just as you can search your inbox, you can now search SMS messages.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4

Home Screen Backgrounds

You can set separate backgrounds for your lock screen and home screen.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4

Camera Zoom

By tapping the screen or sliding the little bar, you can zoom in and out when taking a picture.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4

Web and Wikipedia Search

Can't find what you need on the phone? Jump to the Web or Wikipedia straight from the global search screen.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4

Borderless Document View

When screens are small to begin with, every millimeter counts. Document previews in the Mail app now eliminate pesky iPhone borders, giving you the most space you can get. (Still not much, but a marginal improvement.)

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4

Streamlined "New Contact" Screen

You can now enter more contact data without leaving the main screen. When you consider that every green plus signifies an annoying jump to another screen, you can easily see how much better it is now.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4

Events, Faces and Places in the Photo Menu

If you are an iPhoto user, you can now sync pics to the iPhone (and iPad) via Events, Faces and Places, meaning less reliance on the artificial act of creating new albums.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4S

Lyrics/Podcast Data Toggle

UPDATED: Though viewing lyrics you pasted into iTunes (or podcast data) on your iPod Touch or iPhone can be fun, apparently some people wanted to be able to turn it on or off globally. Now there's a toggle. Happy?

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4S

Spellcheck!

Now, wherever you're typing, those little red underlines aren't far behind. Just remember that Apple's blind-eye-towards-profanity policy will certainly apply here, as it does with auto-correct.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4

Resize Photos While Sending

This very cool time-saver pops up when you're emailing a photo, just after you hit "Send." Depending on how big the file is, you can have two to four size options, including "Actual Size."

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4

New Playlists

On-the-Go Playlists seem to be officially dead in iPhone OS 4, replaced by a more sensible "Add Playlist..." The benefit here is that you know it's something that will be synced back to iTunes, and you get to name it up front.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4

Art in Album View

When you browse albums, and find one you like, you get more than just a list of tracks and a shuffle command. You get a little thumbnail of the album itself, and the length, track count and release date.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4

App-Specific Location Services

By heading to Settings > Location Services, you'll be able to toggle which apps you're allowing to find your location and see which ones used the privilege recently based on the little compass arrow icon next to them.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4

Game Center

There's not much that can be done in the Game Center right now, but one day it'll allow you to play against your friends, compete for high scores, and earn achievements.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4

Email Threading

You can set your email messages to thread.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4

Long Alpha-Numeric Passcodes for Lock Screens

No longer are you limited to guarding your precious data with four numbers! Now you can set longer, alphanumeric passcodes for your lock screen.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4

Unified Inbox

You can view all your emails in one spot or segregate them to separate inboxes.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4

App Folders (with Alerts)

A lot as been said about app folders, but did you know that if any alerts hit any apps inside a folder, the folder gets an exclamation point?

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4S

Contact Pictures in Emails

If you receive an email from a person who has a picture in your contacts, you'll now see a tiny image of him or her in the corner.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4S

Folders in the Dock

It's not surprising, but it's good to know that you can in fact stick folders into the dock.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4S

Closing Apps

Curiously enough, it's possible to actually close apps from the app tray. All you do is hold down an icon—just as if you're trying to delete it—and wait for the minus sign to pop up.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4S

A Shiny New Calculator Icon

It's not a crazy feature, but the calculator icon does look a bit different now—same old calculator app though.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4S

Birthday Calendar

There's a birthday calendar—which you can toggle off—which compiles all the birthdays from your contacts.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4

Smart Links For Dates and Addresses in Emails

Addresses and dates in emails now turn into links which can be used to look up the locations or add the dates as events. This is similar to what you see in the Gmail web client.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4

Double-Tap and Hold Brings Up Phone Favorites

Not our favorite hidden secret, the beloved Phone Favorites shortcut has been demoted. Instead of the double tap—which now brings up the task manager—you have to double-tap and hold. Single-tap holding of course triggers Voice Control. Now, what the hell happened to double-tap for iPod controls? Anyone know? Apparently double-tapping the home button when music is playing will still bring up the iPod controls when the screen is locked.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4S

Bluetooth Keyboard Pairing

You can now pair your Apple bluetooth keyboard with your iPhone.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4S

Failed SMS Notification

In the past, you wouldn't be aware if an SMS failed to send until you actually checked in the message screen. Now you get a lovely little exclamation mark to notify you that something went wrong.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4S

Note Syncing

Hello! There's now a toggle allowing you to turn on sync for notes.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4S

In-Page Video Playback in Mobile Safari

Instead of bumping you to a QuickTime mini app every time you stumble upon compatible video, the new iPhone Safari browser does what the iPad does, and shows you the video right there on the page. If you want to go full screen, you give it a tap. It's your choice now.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4S

Vertical YouTube

You can finally watch YouTube videos in a vertical orientation.

The Hidden Secrets of iPhone OS 4S

Keyboard Layouts

You can switch to your preferred type of keyboard layout.