Lesser-Known new iOS 4 Features

iOS 4 Software Update

Besides a couple of the very helpful new features of iOS 4 like folders, multiple Exchange accounts, and unified inboxes, there are a few things I've been finding in my use of the new OS that are underrated, but very helpful improvements:

  • In the iPod app, you can now edit, delete, and create playlists.
  • If you plug the iPhone into a device which may cause interference, instead of giving you a vague popup asking you to put the iPhone into Airplane mode (which was almost always unnecessary), a popup simply says "there might be interference with this device," with only one button to dismiss the message.
  • The Contacts app is much faster when searching an Exchange global address book. Still can't browse the global address book, though.
  • Multiple apps/switching is really quite easy, and extremely useful. On top of that, it happens transparently—you don't feel the need to do anything extra to use this feature.
  • 5x Digital Zoom works great with the camera for stills, but doesn't do anything for video (not like I'd want to do that anyways—it would result in pretty blurry video!
  • The Photos app has been rearranged in a very good way—now you can tab through Faces, Places, Events, etc. directly, rather than having everything in one huge album list.

There are a few small quibbles I have so far, like Pandora's inability (so far) to run in the background—that will have to wait for an update—but on the whole, I'm glad I tried out the golden master preview of iOS 4 on my iPhone 3GS.


"In the iPod app, you can now edit, delete, and create playlists."

In editing, can you remove and add songs to non-smart playlists?

Can you create smart playlists?


Looks like you can't create, edit or delete smart playlists. To create a playlist, you give it a name, then you can browse through your library like you would normally, clicking a plus icon next to song names, album names, composers ("Add all songs" by this composer), etc.

I love the new multitasking features. Put it on my iPod Touch last night and enjoy how seamless it is. The multitask apps for jailbroken iDevices were nowhere near as elegant. Apple makes us wait for these features, but their effort shows. It will be great when Pandora is updated.

Folders are also great - about time.

The annoying thing is that I so want these new features on my iPad now!!!

I'm afraid I disagree with regards to your comment about airplane mode being unnecessary. Turning on airplane mode is exactly the thing that you would want to happen if you plug your phone into a device that has speakers attached to it. Otherwise you get continuous interference.

I heard somewhere that it was a infringement of someone elses copyright and that Apple had to take it off ios 4. I don't know if this is true but I can't think why Apple would remove such a useful feature and replace it with a dismiss notification.

In my experience, very rarely did any interference occur, and it happened almost exclusively when Edge was the only available network. I've used it with only three or four different devices though, so your mileage may vary.