This is the required hidden gems questions for iOS 6.

Here are the rules:

  • One feature per answer
  • Also include how you use the feature or why it is useful
  • Must be an under-documented feature. No "flag pole" features like VIP's in Mail.
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    I have made this CW and let's see how the community reacts to this. Not only are CW surveys not required - they work best when people can collaborate on one useful answer as opposed to a beauty contest where certain things get voted up or down for criteria that are vague at best. (e.g. "flag pole" to me certainly isn't the same to you. The whole idea of "under-documented" is so relative and a moment in time as Apple writes KB articles and all the details come out here, in reviews, and in training as people explore the OS.) – bmike Sep 19 '12 at 19:04
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    On devices with a magnetometer, tapping the location button in Maps a second time will make the view rotate with your device. (Posting this here for whoever starts following bmike's suggestion to use) – ughoavgfhw Sep 20 '12 at 0:27
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    "Required" question. lol – Jason Salaz Sep 20 '12 at 7:48
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    Rather than add a bunch of answers - here is one of many good articles written to survey the little things in iOS 6. iOS 6 Features I Didn’t Know About by Chad Williams – bmike Sep 20 '12 at 16:39
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    @ughoavgfhw That's not a new feature in iOS 6. – Mark E. Haase Sep 21 '12 at 0:32

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There is a new French keyboard setup under Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboard: Accented AZERTY.

This layout adds an extra context-sensitive key between N and backspace. It will switch between an apostrophe and various accents depending on the first letter to the left of the input cursor:

Accented AZERTY Context-sensitive key

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    Wow, great, thanks! I am intrigued by the “encrypted” mention on your mail, though. What trickery is this? – MattiSG Sep 26 '12 at 8:27
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    @MattiSG iOS supports S/MIME (since 5.0, I believe). If you have a certificate you can import it into your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch to sign and encrypt outgoing messages. – user11633 Sep 26 '12 at 17:20


Now we have a better control over application that require personal data!

With the privacy field on "Settings", we can see which application have access to your contacts, your calendar, your photos, your bluetooth, and disable this access directly from "Settings -> Privacy".

(By my point of view this is very important!)

  • I didn't understand. Which kind of control? – Tom Brito Sep 25 '12 at 12:53
  • This is opinion, what feature(s) specifically has been added to support this? – Mort Sep 25 '12 at 15:43
  • @Mort The Privacy panel on Settings! – user30397 Sep 25 '12 at 16:28
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    Screenshots or specific examples of how this is useful will prevent further downvoting... – Josh Newman Sep 25 '12 at 18:46
  • @JoshNewman Done. – user30397 Sep 25 '12 at 19:41

Safari on iPad now lets you open up to 24 tabs, up from 8 previously. The iPhone is still limited to 8, sadly ;(

Also, the + button for opening a blank tab becomes disabled once you reach the limit on both iPhone and iPad, although you can still lose tabs inadvertently by opening links in new tabs after reaching the limit.


In iOS 5, Apple added a "Store" button to the upper-left of the Music app. It used to drive me nuts because I'd tap it as I was backing out of a long stack of views (for example, traversing back from now playing, to artist's album list, to the artist list).

In iOS 6, a slight delay has been added to that button. If you back up through the stack in 6, the first tap on the Store button no longer activates it.

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    This is excellent, and undoubtedly the result of intense attention to how users interact with the app – Redandwhite Oct 6 '12 at 12:18

Opening a new tab in iPad's Safari now focuses the URL Bar instead of the Search bar.

  • Very annoying feature :-( – Matthias Sep 23 '12 at 20:46
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    Still not sure why there are even two bars. They changed it in Mountain Lion. – asmeurer Sep 26 '12 at 4:49
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    @asmeurer, it's so the OS can display an appropriate keyboard. It makes it easier to type a URL when that's what you want to do. Still, Apple could fix this. – Tyler Mumford Jan 29 '13 at 10:03

Reference Dictionaries for French, German, and Spanish (in addition to the one for Chinese mentioned in Apple's "new features" list).

These could be downloaded when I tapped the "define" option for a selected word in those languages.


The animation in an app does not stop when double-pressing the home button. For example, go to the messages app, scroll in a long conversation and double-tap the home button.


Improved accessibility features

iOS 6 gains some really neat features concerning accessibility. For example, there is the all new Guided Access feature which allows you to prohibit people from leaving a specific app or even from using certain interface areas. It can also disable sleeping the screen and motion controls (like rotation and shaking).

Also, Apple added the ability to adjust the speed with which you have to double- or triple- click the home button.


When you are viewing a location's details in Maps the 'distance' ticks up/down as you get closer/further, I really love this.


Apple's new iOS 6 Maps support automatic offline use for a wide area

Vector maps in iOS 6 are so efficient that Apple can cache a very large surrounding area for offline browsing and GPS navigation under Airplane Mode or when traveling outside of data coverage.

Map data cache is available even after power cycling. Hybrid and 3D building model are cached.


It is now possible to add an Internet link to your Reading List straight from Mail. You no longer have to open the link in Safari before saving it to your Reading List.

More globally, this is made possible by the OS-wide Reading List API, enabling any app to interact with the Reading List.


Open in.... for documents is no longer limited to the last 10 suitable apps. That is, if one taps and holds a PDF mail attachment, for example, all the apps capable of opening the PDF are presented for selection (may need to swipe to second screen, but they are all there).


Delete own Shared Photostream comments

You can delete shared Photostream comments by tapping and holding on your own comment until the Copy | Delete options appear. The option to "Delete" only appears on comments you have made.

This can be very helpful if you happen to mistype, or if you say something you later wish you hadn't.


Rearrange mailboxes. I receive email from about 8 different email addresses and now you can rearrange the order in which they appear.

From the Mailbox Screen, select Edit in top right hand corner of the panel. The three transparent grey lines that indicate moving/rearranging appear. Drag and drop accordingly.

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    This answer was already posted previously. – user11633 Sep 26 '12 at 3:28
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