5 Time-Saving iOS 5 Features to Supercharge Your Productivity

5 Ways iPhone 4S and iOS 5 Boost Productivity and Save Time

Today is the day for iPhone 4S, a faster, better camera-equipped, personal assistant-toting smartphone with upgraded iOS 5. It’s safe to say that with the immaculate pre-order sales, many consumers like the features of the new iPhone 4S. But can these features make one more productive? Can it help save time with everyday things? While it’s ultimately up to the user, these tools on the iPhone 4S can save time and augment productivity. Here are five ways iPhone 4S and iOS 5 can help save time and boost productivity:

1. Reminders App
Reminders is a new app that comes with iOS 5. It’s simple, allowing users to create lists of tasks containing a due date, a reminder (either a date/time or location), a name, and a note. It may be simple, but for fans of the productivity system “Getting Things Done,” the reminders app may be more than enough to support their productivity. Reminders also sync with iCloud, so users can access their to-do lists from other iDevices.

2. Fast Camera Access
One of the best features of iOS 5 is quick access to the camera. For those who take lots of pictures for later meetings or phone calls, being able to get quick access is helpful. Simply double-click the home button at the lock screen, and a camera icon will appear. Touch the camera icon, and the camera opens. Compared to other devices, the iPhone 4S won’t have the “shutter of death.”

3. Keyboard Shortcuts
The iPhone keyboard is straightforward and easy to use, but typing and retyping certain phrases may be annoying. For those using TextExpander, TextExpander Touch is likely a familiar feature on the phone. Sadly, TE Touch couldn’t be used system-wide. In iOS 5, under Settings > Keyboard, a new “Shortcuts” section allows users to enter phrases and a shortcut. As soon as you add a shortcut combo, you can type it anywhere on the iPhone. The auto-correct bar will come up with your expanded shortcut. It may not be as robust as TE Touch, but it’ll still save you a lot of time.

4. iCloud Service
iCloud is Apple’s new cloud storage/syncing service that comes with iOS 5. Signing up for an iCloud account gives web access to a new email client, calendar, contacts, Find My iPhone, and documents in the cloud. It’s a time saver since users can use this account to keep their iPhone in sync with the server and with other iCloud friendly devices. iCloud is a feature that the iPhone was missing, which other devices have had for some time now. Apple added the iCloud to enhance productivity by making email, calendar, and contacts ubiquitous, not to mention daily “cloud backups” of iDevices.

5. Siri Personal Assistant (iPhone 4S only)
Siri is the voice recognition/personal assistant that comes with the iPhone 4S. It works admirably, and it can aid users who don’t have typing access to their phones. Siri permits users to listen to and reply to text messages with voice, search for local businesses and map them, search Wolfram Alpha for stats and info, give themselves reminders, set timers and alarms, plus manage their calendar and email. While Android phones have had speech recognition for a while, Apple polished the feature and made it accessible for ordinary people.

Bonus Feature: Notification Center
Any productive iPhone user knows the notifications on iOS can be problematic. They interrupt what you are doing and force your attention to them. In iOS 5, Apple added the Notification Center, allowing users to use a drop-down shade from the top of the iPhone. This feature serves as a place where users can set up notifications for any app that supports it, besides including snazzy weather and stock widgets. The Notification Center saves time as it spares users from having to “hunt and peck” for app badge icons to see missed notifications. Users can set up notification preferences in Settings > Notifications, and can choose how they want them to appear.

In conclusion, while the tools on iPhone 4S won’t change the user’s productivity level, it can enhance productivity by saving time. The reminders app, fast camera access, keyboard shortcuts, iCloud service, Siri personal Assistant (iPhone 4S only), and Notification Center are the tools that can help. By using them, users can make the most of their time and have the benefit of a personal assistant in Siri.

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