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A note about iOS 5 hints iOS devices
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.

Thanks -- Craig A.
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Quickly changing volume on a password protected iPhone iOS devices
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.]
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Silencing sound when choosing an iOS Alarm iOS devices
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.

[crarko adds: It does indeed work.]
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Organize iPhone folders by icon iOS devices
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.]
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Playing animated gifs saved in the ios Camera roll iOS devices
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.]
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Keep 3G connections alive while also using WiFi iOS devices
IRC is blocked at my work and I enjoy sitting in the chat rooms for live podcasts on my lunch hour while I listen. I'm fortunate to have rolled my unlimited data iPad 1 plan over to my iPad 2, but sometimes being on 3G can get annoying. But I don't want to drop the chat room connection either.

If you have a service like IRC that's blocked by your WiFi or you'd prefer using 3G network than WiFi then this is the ticket.
  • Disable WiFi in the Settings app so that you are getting internet through 3G.
  • Connect your app to the service you want off of the local WiFi
  • Re-enable WiFi in Settings app.
  • Switch back to your app and see if the connection remained. I tested this working with Colloquy (IRC app).

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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Preparing textual PDFs for easy reading on iPhone iOS devices
This hint facilitates right-sizing text documents so that you can save them as PDFs for easy viewing on iPhone, typically in Stanza or some other reader app. I haven't used it on iPad, since the screen is large enough that the special preparation is not usually necessary. It has not been tested in iBooks, but I think it would work well there.

It's probably most useful with small text documents, not book-sized docs or images. I used it to create a list of requirements and prices for use while selecting a pay-per-use-cell phone at the store.

The key is to make the text narrow enough that it is readable on the iPhone without requiring continual horizontal scrolling. A downside is that the PDF will probably be unreadable on iPhone until you zoom in on it some.

Prepare your text in TextEdit or some other word processor that has the concept of a page width; I'll describe the process for TextEdit in 10.6.7 (probably the same for all 10.6 versions).

Once it's ready, select File » Page Setup, and in the Paper Size menu select Manage Custom Sizes.

In the resulting dialog, click the '+' near the lower left to add a custom paper size.

In the Paper Size field at upper right, set a narrow width (I used 15 cm, about 5.9 inches). Set Height as you wish, or leave it unchanged. The width is the important setting.

Below that, ignore Non-Printable Area, and move on to set the margins so:
  • Top: .2 cm (.08 inches) or whatever suits you as whitespace
  • Left: 0.0 cm
  • Right: 0.0 cm
  • Bottom: 0.1 cm (.04 inches) or whatever suits
It's important to make left and right margins small; 0.0 is suitable, as you'll see when you view it on iPhone.

Double-click 'Untitled' in the top left and rename the setting suitably; I chose 'iPhone text PDF'. Hit OK, and you're done with this part, which only needs to be done once.

Whenever you want to use the setting, select it in the Paper Size menu in the Page Setup dialog.

After selecting the paper size and hitting OK, you may need to go to TextEdit's Format menu and select 'Wrap to Window.' Once it looks nice and narrow on the screen, probably surrounded by a thin box, you are ready to select File » Print and print it to PDF (menu at bottom left of Print sheet), or select File » Save as PDF. Note that if it's still wrapped to the window width, it won't create a narrow PDF, so hunt down the setting you need to do that.

Now you can transfer it to iPhone, using your favorite method to get it to your favorite app. It may look tiny on-screen, but it will zoom up to an easily readable size which doesn't require horizontal scrolling.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described.]
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Downloading from Public iDisk to iPhone/iPad iOS devices
On a desktop computer everyone can access someones Public folder, when that person has MobileMe account.

But on a iPhone or iPad that Public folder isn't so public anymore. Only people who have a MobileMe account can go to the Public folder of someone else with the iDisk app. I found a way to download public files without being a MobileMe member and without the iDisk app.

You need the Atomic Web Browser, not the light, but the paid version. You'll find this in the App Store, and here is their web page.

You put this URL in the address bar, substituting the correct user name:

If you see the warning 'Unsupported,' just continue. Then select the file you wish to access. Remember the extension, jpg etc. You will need this later.

You'll see a big download button, which doesn't work. Go to the little download symbol in the blue bar of the webpage. It's the down arrow in circle. Touch that. The address in the address bar changes. That address is the one you will need.

Go into the bar, don't wait too long. Select All and Copy. Then go to and touch the download symbol of the Atomic Web Browser. Now you get the download screen.

Choose 'New Download.' Under 'Name' you type the name of the file, but you may choose any name you want. What's important is to use the right extension for the file type.

Paste the URL in the address bar. Then at the top you touch 'Save.' Now the download starts. When the file is downloaded you can open it in Atomic Web Browser or in an app of your choice.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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Exchange Text Between an iPhone and a Mac Without Internet Access iOS devices
I was on a ferry this morning with no WiFi access to the Internet, an iPhone from which I could e-mail via 3G and an e-mail on my Mac I needed to send. With no wireless modem, no tethering plan and no Internet, I didn't think there was anyway I could get the text of the e-mail onto my iPhone without retyping it.

After a little thinking, I came up with the following solution that makes use of iPhone apps with WiFi syncing and the Airport menu's create network command.

First I tried setting up a network with the Mac, but an iPhone won't stay on a WiFi network unless it has an internet connection. So while I could initially find the network from my iPhone, it wouldn't stay connected.

It turns out you can defeat this by turning off 3G and Cellular Data in the Network section of General Settings.

With 3G and Cellular Data switched off, you can open up WiFi settings on your iPhone and select the network you've created with your Mac. In a minute, you should see the WiFi bars on your iPhone and you can sync using an app like Things that uses a shared WiFi network between devices.

[crarko adds: I've done things similar to this when in areas with no external access.]
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Increase music volume on the iPhone iOS devices
This tip describes how to increase the volume of music on your iPhone. It actually works on all the iOS devices.

Some people want to increase the volume of their music, especially the ones living in the EU, because Apple limited the volume to about 75% (EU regulations). If you don't want to jailbreak your iPhone or you are already on 100%, the trick is to disable the equalizer.

The equalizer on the iPhone doesn't strengthen the lows or highs, it only lowers the other frequencies so that the lows (or other) seem to be louder than the other frequencies.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. Do this at your own risk, and please be careful with your hearing.]
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