"Buried" Features of iOS: Markup


By Dan Koch @danvkoch I enjoy using Apple products because of their ease of use. After reading “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson, it’s clear that the company prides itself on including features that are made painstakingly simple; sometimes at the expense of people’s livelihoods within the company. iPads and iPhones currently run iOS, a proprietary operating system designed specifically for Apple’s “mobile” product line. At the time I write this, iOS is currently in it’s ninth life cycle, iOS 9.3. With every release, Apple promises new feature sets and enhancements from the previous version of iOS, often boasting about them at conferences such as their WWDC Keynotes and special events, with classic “Appl-y” branding, noting flagship features such as Siri, AirDrop, and HealthKit.


iphone_PNG5740As a teacher, I work in a one-to-one environment in which every student in our district is given an iPad for the school year. Some of the features, like the ones mentioned above, get woven into the fabric of what we do every day, even before we had the devices. Sometimes, though, Apple includes features that they do not boast about at their developer conferences or special events, and instead “softly” integrate them into iOS quietly without much fanfare. These are features that simply “work,” but aren’t made into spectacles. After some reflection, I thought it would be beneficial to highlight some of these “buried” features, because while they may not be the stars of the show, they can prove to be just as useful as the “A-Lister” ones.

Email Document Markup

Email is still the way most teachers contact each other and how information is sent across our campus regarding schedule updates, enrollment numbers, and other important things.  While there are many third-party apps that allow you to draw and annotate on the iPad, such as Notability, did you know that Apple has a built-in feature buried in the “Mail” app that allows you to quickly annotate and mark up an image or PDF?

1. To quickly mark up an inserted image or PDF, simply tap on the attached file and select “Markup.”


2. To mark up the document, choose any of the annotation tools on the Markup screen. iOS Markup has some pretty neat basic tools, such as drawing, text overlay, inserting a signature, and "magnify." Make any annotations you want and then tap "Done."













3. Your file is now annotated! Your marked up file can now be sent through the Mail client.


Check back next time for another edition in my series "Buried" Features of iOS!

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