iOS 6 features: everything you need to know

Magnified selections

The iPhone screen may be high resolution, and it is certainly much larger than those found on older mobile phones, but it is still a fairly limited space in which to fit a whole touch-sensitive operating system, with input boxes, graphics and a keyboard. Apple’s software engineers have, fortunately, acknowledged this and integrated a magnifier, which pops up automatically whenever the iPhone judges it may be required.

Test it by firing up the web browser (the Safari icon on the bar at the bottom of the Home screen), entering a web address and, once the page has loaded, holding down your finger over that address on the input bar. A magnifier will pop up and follow your finger as you move to the left and right through the text.

The swivelling screen

Even in its portrait orientation, the iPhone’s screen resolution is so high that it is fairly easy to read the text on many regular, plain websites, such as the BBC News site. However, several applications also work in landscape mode, literally spinning around on the screen as you turn the iPhone on its side, thanks to the integrated orientation sensor.

Not all applications are appropriate to landscape use, but those that are really benefit. Moreover, it makes web pages much more readable by giving on-screen text room to breathe.

iOS 6 keyboard

Some applications only work in one mode or the other while others change their mode altogether, the most notable example being iPod, which displays menus in portrait mode, and album art when tipped on one side, and the Calculator displays a regular adding machine in portrait mode, and a scientific calculator when turned on its side.

iOS 6 rotation lock

If you want to make sure that your iPhone doesn’t change orientation when you’re using it on the move, you can lock it in one orientation by double-clicking the home button to call up the task manager, swiping right to bring up the controls and tapping the orientation lock button on the far left of the bar.

Copy, cut and paste

Copy, cut and paste were late arrivals in iOS, finally arriving in version 3. It’s well implemented, though, and using them is easy: hold down your finger on a word you want to copy and, when you lift off, a selection box appears.

Pick Select or Select all, and then drag the sliders to refine your selection. When you are happy with the selection, pick Copy or Cut from the menu.

iOS 6 copy and paste

Now, if you want to paste, hold down for a second or two on the screen at the point where you want to paste and pick Paste from the pop-up menu.

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