I just came across this today by accident. As we all know we can get the Serial Number of our Macs and the Build number of the version of Mac OS X that we are using in the About This Mac window.
The same trick works in iTunes for iOS devices, and here's how:
In iTunes under the Devices section you will see your iOS Device listed click on the name of the device and make sure you have the Summary tab selected, move your cursor to Software Version and left-click, it will change to Build Version and if you click on Serial Number, you'll get the UDID Number of the device.
Now this trick will only work for the iPhone but if you click on your Phone Number, you'll get the IMEI and ICCID. I think this is useful information to know in case you talk to your wireless provider or Apple tech support.
[crarko adds: This may have been around for a while, but I didn't notice it before. It's more important than before since beginning with iOS 5 the UDID is becoming harder, if not impossible, for 3rd-party developers to fetch. There are cases, like using an ad-hoc install certificate, where that's needed. Unfortunately, it look like iTunes doesn't let you Copy this data out easily.
On my Verizon iPhone, it shows the MEID instead of the IMEI/ICCID.]
More a feature observation than a hint, but the Reminder app that comes with iOS 5 will bring in tasks from a MS Exchange server.
I already had my MS Exchange email setup in the Mail app prior to upgrading to iOS 5 and when I went into the Reminder app, I saw all of my tasks from Exchange there. This is something that was really missing for those of us that have to use Exchange and is a welcome addition.
[crarko adds: Are a lot of you using iOS with Exchange out there and has it been a pretty smooth ride for you? My experience has caused me to feel nothing but sympathy for those still using Blackberry with a BES.]
If you're using an iPhone with iOS 5 to send a text message to another iOS 5 iPhone user and you have iMessage enabled, the phone will always attempt to send your text as an iMessage in the first instance. If your recipient doesn't have a data connection, it will eventually timeout and the iPhone will send your text as a regular SMS/MMS message.
If, however, you already know that the recipient doesn't have a data connection, you can force the iPhone to send it as an SMS immediately without having to disable iMessage.
Compose your iMessage as normal and hit send. Then immediately tap and hold on the sent message; a small bubble will pop up with the option to 'Send as Text Message.' The iMessage will immediately be cancelled and your text will be sent over the regular SMS/MMS cell network.
[crarko adds: I tried testing this, but the messages actually went through with iMessage quickly so I didn't get to confirm this.]
When transferring my MobileMe account to iCloud, I found that my contacts didn't make it up to iCloud when accessed through the website (http://icloud.com) even after repeated syncs through iTunes.
To force my contacts up to iCloud, I did the following:
Make sure your iPhone iCloud account is setup. I did mine with a me.com address.
Turn off 'Contacts.'
When prompted, choose to save the contacts on the iPhone.
Turn 'Contacts' back on.
When prompted, choose to merge the contacts.
That did it for me. Almost immediately, all my MobileMe contacts were available on iCloud.
[crarko adds: Since I'm not using iCloud (yet), I haven't tried this. It is very similar to a process I've used in the past to correct iOS sync problems with Exchange servers, so I suspect it will work.]
iOS 5 allows users to set custom ringtones (either those purchased through iTunes or converted to .m4r) for a more comprehensive set of events than before, including new email receipt and email sending.
However, while the built-in alert tones (those that last a few seconds and are suited to single alerts rather than phonecalls) are listed separately from phone ringtones, custom ringtones are listed together. This can make finding alert tones difficult if you have more than a few custom ringtones.
The obvious solution is to use iTunes to add something to the front of the names of alert tones so that they are listed together. The text 'Alert: ' would be functional, but unattractive.
One visually appealing way to list alert tones together is to use Emoji at the start of the tone name. You may browse these in the Edit » Special Characters… menu in most applications, including iTunes for editing these names.
For alert tones, the bell followed by a space works well and moves all such tones to the top of the list. If you prefer to list ringtones first, use an icon such as a speaker, music note, or iPhone at the front of the ringtone names.
Now that the release date has been set for iOS 5 (Oct. 12) I'll start accepting hints about it. Please test them against the GM release if you submit before the Final comes out. I won't be publishing them until the release day though.
This applies to iTunes 10.5 as well.
I know some folks don't approve of iOS related hints here, but as we've seen with Lion the cross-fertilization between the two systems is only going to increase, so it's part of what we do here too.
I am sometimes frustrated when all I want to do is turn my iPhone's volume up or down but have to first put my password in -- correctly -- to unlock the phone, because the ringer volume controls do not work unless the iPhone is unlocked. Well, fret no longer! I found a simple work around. Simply click 'Emergency Call' on the password screen and adjust the volume to your heart's content. Then with one click of the sleep button and the phone is turned off again.
[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described.]
When you choose the sound for a new alarm that you are creating in the Clock application of iOS, I used to quickly select the back button to silence the sound since it always plays a preview of it. This is especially important if you have a significant other sleeping right next to you. However this still will play the sound for about half a second or so, but there is an easy work-around.
Simply double tap the alarm sound you are choosing rather than single tap. Double tapping the tone of choice will select it but not play the audio at all.
I use iPhone folders, but I've always had trouble finding apps. Even if I can remember the name I picked for a group of apps, or which apps I decided to place in that group, I often can't read the folder names. Isn't that what icons are for?
There are no icons for folders, but I realized that I had one favorite of each category: a favorite game, photo utility, book utility, and so on. First I organized all my folders by group, including that favorite app inside the folder. Then I organized the folders how I wanted them in a window. Finally, I pulled the single most used app from each folder and placed it to the left of the folder. Now I visually use the icon of the representative app for the contents of the folder to the right, as if to say: Favorite Music App -- Other Music Apps.
Now I can find things in a snap.
[crarko adds: I've been using something similar to this method for some time myself. It's much easier to arrange things on the iPad where the icons inside the folders are large enough to identify without having to add extra visual cues like this.]
The CompuServe GIF format is my favorite image format. Sure you only get up to 256 colors and sure it's old, but it has a lot to like: a powerful compression algorithm, simplicity, and of course, animation.
This hint will show you how to view animated gifs saved to your camera roll from uiwebviews (pictures synced to your iPhone via iTunes are converted to jpeg, so it won't work for those).
Open the Photos app.
Open the camera roll album.
Tap the gif you would like to view.
Tap the Action button in the lower left corner (it looks like an arrow jumping out of a box).
Select 'Email Photo.'
The email composer will come up, with the animated gif in the body. When you are done watching just hit cancel, and delete the draft message (unless you wanted to send it to someone else of course).
[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. It makes sense since Mail would use Webkit to render the image, just like Safari.]