iOS 4: the "must do" first steps

You're getting ready to upgrade from your iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS or iPod touch to iOS 4, and why shouldn't you, it's free. But aside from plugging your Apple device into iTunes and saying yes to the update, here are seven things that you'll want to do straight away to get the most out of the new operating system and its new features.

Create folders

We know, you've got tonnes of apps and trying to find anything over the last couple of months has been well, hard. iOS 4 has a new folders option that allows you to group together up to 12 apps in a single folder so you can organise your phone.

It means that you can, if you went mad, get everything down to a single page without the need to swipe around finding that app you are after.

To create a folder all you have to do is go press on an app until it starts jigging and then drag it on top of another app that you also want in the folder.

The folder will then create a name for this based on the category of the app - like Entertainment and you can either opt to keep with this, or change it to something that you want.

While this gives you the opportunity to be creative, it's worth noting that any word longer than "photography" will start to replace characters with "..."

Once your folder is created you can then drag more apps up to, as we've said, 12. Pressing on the folder reveals its contents.

Change your wallpaper

You've been enjoying that amazing picture of your family, your dog, your girlfriend, etc... since you took it last summer on your iPhone lock screen and now that you've installed iOS 4 it's everywhere behind your app icons. That's fine if it's a simple picture but if it's not it's going to look ugly.

Zip over to Settings, Wallpaper, and then choose the image you want. The new iOS 4 comes with a  range of random pattern images that will work just fine and selecting on the image you want and setting it as the Wallpaper prompts a choice.

Do you want to "Set Lock Screen" do you want to "Set Home Screen" or "Set Both".

Press whichever one you want and when you go back to the "Home Screen" your selection will have taken place. Family happy, usability happy.

Switch to a single Mail box

Another new feature in iOS 4 is the ability to have multiple Mail inboxes in the same queue so you don't have to keep checking between the two to see that you've got new mail in the other account.

Go into Mail, Click on the arrow that allows you to see all your accounts (top left) and then select "All Inboxes". Now your various inboxes will be fed into a single inbox. Thankfully the separate inboxes are kept separate so you can still opt to revert back to one or the other if you want to switch off at the end of the day.

Check out Multitasking

Multitasking is one of the biggest selling points of the new iOS 4 and if you've got the iPhone 3GS you'll be able to multitask without the need to upgrade to the new iPhone 4.

Double tapping quickly on your home screen will bring up a hidden dock and within that dock are the apps that are running at the moment. A click on the apps will then allow you to switch between them.

However, it is worth pointing out that the app in question will need to have been updated to support multitasking. On launch day that means all Apple made apps and nothing else.

App creators like TomTom have promised to update their apps quickly, but your favourite app, just might not support it.

Download your app updates

Cunningly tied in with you checking out multitasking, the final job you should do once you've installed iOS 4 on your iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G or iPod touch, is to go to the app store and make sure you're all up to date.

Hopefully your favourite app has just enabled multitasking.

Download iBooks

It's free and you might as well. Plus you get a copy of Winnie the Pooh and you'll be able to use it to read pdf documents on the go. Not essential and it is probably worth checking out the Kindle for iPhone app as well, but at least it's a new app that you can't or probably haven't yet played with on your phone before.

See where you've been

Yep, your iPhone unbeknownst to you, has been tracking you every move for the last year.

With the new iPhone iOS 4 update, Apple has updated the Photos app on the iPhone to include support for Albums, Events and Places. It's actually rather nifty, giving you greater control over your images (certainly from a cataloguing point of view) and the ability to share multiple images at the same time (up to five).

However most interesting of all the features is that if you had geolocation on, and there is no reason why you wouldn't have had, your iPhone 3GS will now show you where you've been over the last 12 months, and your iPhone 3G the last 2 years.

Yeah - we had forgotten that boozy trip to the Jersey shore as well.

Focusing in on the matter

Now that you've quickly deleted all those shots of that stag party in Barca, you can get about using the camera to take more shots of the dirty weekend you're planning in Vegas.

The new iOS 4 brings with it the new camera settings, and while you won't get a 5-megapixel camera appearing out of thin air, you do get the ability to now "tap to focus" for both the camera and camcorder and the 5x digital zoom for stills.

And yes you will spend 10 minutes checking out the new focus feature, it really does change the quality of the picture.

You

What new features have you found on iOS 4 that you would recommend to other readers? Let us know in the comments below.