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iPhone Tips From the User Guide

Published on Tue, 15 July 2008

I read through the 150 odd pages of the iPhone user guide looking for tips and shortcuts and for information on usage that I haven’t discovered yet. The following is a collection of the things I found useful or interesting, some may be well known already but they’re mainly here for my reference. However they may be useful to others as well; Particularly those who’ve just picked up an iPhone for the first time following the worldwide release of the iPhone 3G.

The quotes are mostly copied verbatim from the iPhone User Guide (PDF), Copyright Apple Inc. As noted at the end of this post the iPhone User Guide is also available for viewing directly on the iPhone at http://help.apple.com/iphone.

General Usage

[When scrolling] you can wait for the scrolling to come to a stop, or tap or touch anywhere on the screen to stop it immediately. Tapping or touching to stop scrolling won’t choose or activate anything on the screen. To quickly scroll to the top of a list, webpage, or email, just tap the status bar.

The point about tapping status bar is useful. It also mentions that in Safari tapping the status bar will reveal the address bar allowing you to search or enter a URL.

Handy tips for more efficient typing:

Quickly type a period and space
Double-tap the space bar.
Turn caps lock on
Enable caps lock (see “Keyboard” on page 108), then double-tap the Shift key. The Shift key turns blue, and all letters you type are uppercase. Tap the Shift key again to turn caps lock off.
Type letters or symbols that aren’t on the keyboard
Press and hold the related letter or symbol, then slide to choose a variation.

See a link’s destination address:

[In Mail, Safari] touch and hold the link. The address pops up next to your finger. You can touch and hold an image to see if it has a link.

Save a photo attachment to your Camera Roll album:

Press and hold the image, then tap “Save Image.”

Applies to images in Safari too.

Deleting messages in Mail or SMS:

You can also delete a message directly from the mailbox message list by swiping left or right over the message title, then tapping Delete.

Phone

Jump to favourites from anywhere:

Double-click the Home button.

Requires setting to be enabled under Settings > General > Home Button.

Bring up the last number you dialled:

Tap Keypad, then tap Call. Tap Call again to dial the number.

Block calls and maintain Wi-Fi access to the Internet:

In Settings, turn on Airplane Mode, then tap Wi-Fi and turn it on.

Set iPhone to add the correct prefix when dialling from another country:

In Settings, tap Phone, then turn International Assist on. This lets you make calls to your home country using the numbers in your contacts and favourites, without having to add a prefix or your country code.

Safari

Scroll within a frame on a webpage:

Use two fingers to scroll within a frame on a webpage. Use one finger to scroll the entire webpage.

Submit a form:

Once you finish filling out a form, tap Go or Search. Most pages also have a link you can tap to submit the form.

Close the keyboard without submitting the form: Tap Done.

iPod

Convert a video to work with iPhone in iTunes:

Select the video in your iTunes library and choose Advanced > “Convert Selection for iPod/iPhone.” Then add the converted video to iPhone.

Return to the iPod browse lists:

Tap ← Or swipe to the right over the album cover.

You can display playback controls at any time when you’re listening to music and using another application – or even when iPhone is locked–by double-clicking the Home button.

Requires iPod Controls to be enabled in Settings > General > Home Button

Unlike music you can delete videos on iPhone:

In the videos list, swipe left or right over the video, then tap Delete.

Set a sleep timer:

From the Home screen choose Clock > Timer, then flick to set the number of hours and minutes. Tap When Timer Ends and choose Sleep iPod, tap Set, then tap Start to start the timer.

Photos

Add a photo to your Photo Library:

Press and hold the photo, then tap Save Image.

Maps

To conserve battery life, turn Locations Services off when you’re not using it. In Settings, choose General > Location Services.

Just speculation but this might help when location services go AWOL

Zooming out:

Pinch the map. Or tap the map with two fingers. Tap with two fingers again to zoom out further.

See a list of the businesses found in the search: From the Map screen, tap List.

I wasn’t sure what the List option was for. It seems kind of out of place next to Map, Satellite and Hybrid.

Settings

Setting the double click function of the home button:

Choose General > Home Button to set preferences for double-clicking the Home button. You can set iPhone so that double-clicking the Home button goes to either to the Home screen, Phone Favourites, or the iPod screen.

Reset the keyboard dictionary:

Choose General > Reset and tap Reset Keyboard Dictionary. You add words to the keyboard dictionary by rejecting words iPhone suggests as you type. Tap a word to reject the correction and add the word to the keyboard dictionary. Resetting the keyboard dictionary erases all words you’ve added.

Reset the location warnings:

Choose General > Reset and tap Reset Location Warnings. Locations warnings are the requests made by applications (such as Camera and Maps) to use Location Services with those applications. iPhone stops presenting the warning for an application the second time you tap OK. Tap Reset Location Warnings to resume the warnings.

Its a pity this and the one above it are all or nothing.

Set iPhone to add the correct prefix when dialling from another country:

In Settings, tap Phone, then turn International Assist on. This lets you make calls to your home country using the numbers in your contacts and favourites, without having to add a prefix or your country code (not available in all areas).

Store

Checking for updates to App Store apps is all automatic:

Whenever you access the App Store, it checks for updates to applications you’ve installed. By default, the App Store also automatically checks for updates every week. The App Store icon shows the total number of application updates available. If an update is available and you access the App Store, the Updates screen appears immediately.

Ensure all iTunes and App Store items on the phone are listed in iTunes:

You can use iTunes to verify that all the music, videos, applications, and other items you bought from the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store or App Store are in your iTunes library. You might want to do this if a download was interrupted. Verify your purchases:

  1. Make sure your computer is connected to the Internet.
  2. In iTunes, choose Store > Check for Purchases.
  3. Enter your iTunes Store account ID and password, then click Check.

Purchases not yet on your computer are downloaded.

Update: This did not entirely solve the problem I had where not all apps on the phone were appearing in iTunes. However The Apple Blog seemed to have solved it with their ”Transfer Applications from iPhone to iTunes” post.

Troubleshooting

Restart iPhone:

Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the red slider appears. Slide your finger across the slider to turn off iPhone. To turn iPhone back on, press and hold the Sleep/Wake until the Apple logo appears.

Reset iPhone:

Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time for at least ten seconds, until the Apple logo appears.

It isn’t made clear what the difference between restart and reset is.

iPhone Doesn’t Respond

Mainly included this quote for this point on force quitting apps.

iPhone Is Too Warm

If the interior temperature of iPhone 3G exceeds normal operating temperatures, you may experience the following as it attempts to regulate its temperature:

Important: You cannot use iPhone while the temperature warning screen is displayed except to make an emergency call. If none of the above measures succeeds in lowering the internal temperature, iPhone automatically goes into a deep sleep mode until it cools. You cannot make an emergency call when iPhone is in this mode. Move iPhone to a cooler location and wait a few minutes before trying to use iPhone again.

Interesting that this calls out the iPhone 3G specifically.

Final Notes

The iPhone User Guide, optimised for viewing on iPhone, is available at: help.apple.com/iphone

My Notes

Pressing the number/symbol button and sliding to the appropriate key is a quick way of adding punctuation and single numerals.

Time scanning after sitting idle is a strange UI anomaly. Could be related to network time. Update: This one was fixed at some point and no longer occurs.

There’s an interesting section on Backups and managing them in iTunes that I won’t repeat here, pp. 139.

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