I’ve been around tech a long time now, but I have to admit I was having trouble finding some of iOS’s new features. Here are a few of the less obvious (to me, at least):

  • iMessage: Don’t bother looking for an “iMessage” app on your phone — there is none. Instead, activate it from Settings–>Messages. Then, in the regular Messages app, create a new message addressed to the recipient’s iCloud address (usually their me.com account). The header will change from “New Message” to “New iMessage” and the color scheme will change from green to blue.
  • Camera app zoom feature: When I couldn’t get this to work with the usual screen tap, I wondered if Apple had removed the digital zoom feature from the built-in camera app. No fear, it’s still there, now invoked with a “pinch to zoom” multi-touch gesture. (Hat tip to @jgamet and a host of Twitter followers for setting me straight on that one.)
  • Reminders: We iPhone 4 and older owners may not get Siri, but it doesn’t mean we can’t use those cool “geo-fence” reminders. (“Remind me to call my wife when I leave work.”) [Update: Location reminders are only available in iPhone 4/4S; they don’t appear to be available in older iPhones or iPads.] They’re there, in the Reminders app itself. Just create a new reminder, then tap it to set the details. Tap “Remind Me” and you’ll see that one of the choices is “At a location.” You can choose your current location, those available in your own Address Book card from any contact in your Address Book. You don’t appear to be able to type in a specific address though. Reminders doesn’t appear to be clever enough to link relationships to contact information as Siri does.
  • Multitasking Gestures for iPad 1: If you were one of the enterprising iPad 1 users who used the not-so-super-secret developers’ hack to add the ability to do things like swipe with four fingers to switch apps, you may be in for a disappointment: it looks like only iPad 2 owners are getting those gestures with iOS 5 — the update not only doesn’t add them to your iPad 1, it removes them if they were already there. Get to it, jailbreak developers!

I’ll keep posting these as I discover or learn about them.

[UPDATE:] Apple says the next iOS update will restore/enable gestures on the original iPad.

A couple more found features related to weather: In the Notifications page, swipe the local weather display for the six-day outlook. In the Weather app itself, tap (or swipe down) on the six-day outlook to get an hourly forecast.