The really cool thing about smartphones is how updates can happen right under your nose. Sure, you notice the big stuff, like when iOS 6 replaced Google Maps with Apple Maps. But there's always little changes happening underneath, too.
Here's a list of 10 minor features that have been built in to the iPhone text and email user experience; some we've seen, some we've read and some we've noticed on our own.
• iPhone notoriously auocorrects certain words and contractions once you hit the spacebar. When the iPhone autocorrects a word that you didn't want it to, hit the backspace button once to remove the space at the end of the word. It will give you the option to change back to the originally typed word.
• Create customized shortcuts for words, phrases and information you use frequently. For example, type "@@" into a text, email or login screen and have your iPhone expand it to your email address.
• Annoyed at long threads in iMessage and replies from people you don't know? You can turn off group texting. You'll still get the original mass text, but you won't get everyone else's text when they reply to it. Go to settings, and then messages and you should find the Group Message toggle.
• Send animated GIFs. Find a cool GIF you like online? Save it to your photo stream. When you paste it into a text to send a friend, they'll see the GIF animated in a text bubble.
• Press and drag for numbers and special characters. Need to type a comma? Hold your finger down on the "123" key, then (without lifting your finger) swipe over to the comma button. When you lift your finger, you've inserted the comma and you're back to the default alpha keyboard without any extra clicks.
• Press and drag for capitalization. To quickly capitalize characters, press and hold the shift key, then swipe to the chosen letter. Alternatively, if you want to activate Caps Lock, just double- tap shift; tap shift once more to end Caps Lock mode.
• In Mail, hold down the "new email" button to display all of your open email drafts.
• You can use rich text styling in the mail app. Douple-tap to select the text and bring up the context menu, then press the right arrow. You'll see options to bold, italicize and underline your text.
• When editing text in any application, a two finger swipe to the left over the text will select the entire current paragraph. This will let you quickly copy, cut or paste big chunks of text.
• To completely clear out all the text from a box simply shake your phone. A little popup will ask you if you want to undo your typing, and let you either clear the box or cancel.
(Images: Apple, Mark Grambau)