I travel with a work MacBook and an iPhone, and I'm not home all the time to sync and create backups of my iPhone on my personal MacBook at home. If I'm away from home for a few weeks on business and something happens, I want to be able to recover my emails, my contacts, and text message history without waiting until I travel back home (sometimes a week or two).
After discovering that there was no official way to sync my iPhone to multiple iTunes libraries, I did some searching, and found a workaround. (I did try the method suggested on many sites, such as this one, but I wasn't able to get it to work.)
While poking around, I inadvertently discovered that if you check (or uncheck) Encrypt iPhone Backup (on the iPhone's Summary tab in iTunes) that this forces iTunes to create a new backup of the iPhone (after you are prompted for password) -- even if it's not a phone that is normally synced with that library.
While I suppose that this could have certain security risks, it gives me the ability to force a backup. Of course it's a full backup, so it takes a few minutes, unlike the normal sequential backups that happen with a normal sync.
This is especially handy right now, since I'm away from home and potentially taking my iPhone to have service done (battery problem)...and the first thing they ask you is 'Have you backed up recently?' Should anything bad happen, I want to be sure I'm covered. And now, I think I am!
I've experienced problems with both my iPhone 3G and my iPhone 3GS, where the remote on my Apple headphones has stopped working. I'd assumed it was an issue with the cable but turns out that this is not the case. I can't take the credit for this info as I found it online after doing some Googling, but it turns out that the
Clearing the fluff (and therefore curing the problem) is easy. Just turn your phone off and gently use a pin inserted into the headphone socket to root around and extract the fluff. Hey -- presto -- your remote (and/or mic) will work again!
I was very surprised at just how much fluff had collected in my headphone socket, and suspect the same may be true for anyone else who regularly carries their phone in their pocket.
If you’re like me, you read a lot of webc omics, and for a lot of web comics, the best joke comes only when you hover your mouse over the image, and a tooltip shows up with the last word. These are sometimes called “alt text” or “title text” jokes, since they are encoded by adding alt="text" title="text" to the img tag’s source code.
This works great on a Mac, but what about when you’re using a iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad? With no cursor, there’s no ability to hover over an image. To get around this, I’ve cobbled together a simple bookmarklet.
This is an enhancement to this previous hint, which only syncs contacts with phone numbers to the iPhone (because Smart Address Book groups are not synchronized to the iPhone).
Because people forget to call that script every time they add a new contact with a phone number, this process must be automated. This hint creates a tool that monitors the Address Book file, and calls a command line app every time it changes. This hint was tested on 10.5 and 10.6.
I have spent weeks looking for a way to move 340 memos on my old Palm Treo to my new iPhone. I found many solutions that involved uploading to a website, and then downloading to the iPhone, but I didn't like the security risk involved. I also found a lot of agonized pleas for easy solutions that were not answered, from people waiting to upgrade from their old Palm to a new iPhone.
I eventually found a solution using the combination of Missing Sync for Palm OS and PhoneView. This method is free, as you can use demo versions of both programs, but I recommend buying both -- or at least the PhoneView software, as it has a bunch of uses down the road.
Install both programs, then run Mark/Space Notebook, which is included with Missing Sync for Palm OS. Notebook will automatically download all of your Palm Memos into Mark/Space Notebook.
Mark/Space Notebook has an option to export your memos into a folder on your Mac's hard drive. Do that, and the program will create individual text files of each of your Palm Memos.
Launch PhoneView, and click on the Copy to iPhone icon in the toolbar. Navigate to your folder of exported Palm Memos and tell PhoneView to use that folder. Phone View uploaded 340 Palm memos into the Notes app on my iPhone in about 15 seconds.
Some other solutions I've seen involve a bunch of messing around with formatting columns, which would be great if I was a database genius, but I'm not. This method requires two downloads and two clicks -- one in each program -- and you're done in about half an hour.
I haven't seen this documented anywhere, but I discovered that you can select an entire paragraph of text by quadruple-tapping on it when entering text in the iPhone. For instance, when replying to an email, you can quadruple-tap on paragraphs in the quoted reply, then cut them.
You have to do it pretty quickly, and take care not to move your finger too much between taps. Try it a few times, though, and you'll get the hang of it. And yes, I know it might sound weird, but I actually find it quite useful sometimes.
[robg adds: This works, and isn't covered in the iPhone user's guide.]
Sometimes I visit a website on my iPod Touch that is almost unreadable due to the expected size of a screen on a desktop computer. Even when zoomed in, some sites have the text continue off screen, meaning I'd have to scroll left and right to read a whole line of text.
I have MobileMe and sync my bookmarks between computers and my iPod Touch. And one day I happened across just such a too-small site. Frustrated, I decided to just try my Readability bookmarklet, and was happy to see it worked!
You'll need either an iPhone or iPod Touch and a computer that you sync your device to via USB or MobileMe. From a computer, navigate to Readability and set your desired options. I like Inverse, Extra Large text, and Extra Narrow margins, but pick what you like. Drag your bookmarklet to your bookmark bar, as the site instructs. (You can move it to your Bookmarks menu, anywhere, or into the sidebar of Safari's Bookmark organization, so it'll be one of the first items you see on your iPhone's bookmarks).
Using either MobileMe or iTunes, make sure you have Bookmarks selected under your device's settings. Sync the changes. To use, navigate to a site with text you want to read, press the bookmarks button, select the Readability bookmark and voila!
[robg adds: You should be able to set this up directly on the iPhone/iPod touch, though I haven't tried.]
If you have entire albums, artists, or playlists excluded from shuffling in iTunes (The 'Skip when shuffling' flag is set), your iPhone 3GS will fail to play these albums, artists, or playlists when you select them using Voice Control if it has shuffle play mode enabled.
The manner in which it fails makes it seem as if something is seriously amiss (hence this hint): It acknowledges your voice input, indicating that your selection is about to play (e.g., 'Playing album Avatar'), but then returns to whatever had been playing before. If nothing had been playing before you gave the voice command, the iPhone will remain resolutely silent after acknowledging your input.
The solution to this 'issue' is, of course, to simply to turn off shuffle play mode. Unfortunately you can't do this with a voice command (as far as I know).
I do a lot of podcast listening and I hate the long sync times in iTunes to get the freshest content on my iPhone. As a result, I do most of my podcast downloading directly on my iPhone. When you have old episodes in your Podcast section, you can touch the Get More Episodes button to get thrown to the iTunes app and download a new one.
But if you always delete shows when you're done (to save precious space), the quick link is gone -- instead, you have to type the relevant podcast name into the iTunes app's Search bar. What a pain! So here's a way to make podcast links list in Mobile Safari that toss you right to the show's page in iTunes:
Go to iTunes on your Mac/PC, look up the podcast you want to bookmark in the store.
Right next to the Subscribe button is a down arrow; click that and choose Copy Link.
Paste this link into an email addressed to the account you access on your iPhone (or any other method for getting text snippets from your computer to your iPhone). Send a bunch of links in one email and save time.
Open the email on your iPhone. A long press on the link pops up the option to copy it.
Open Mobile Safari and bookmark whatever page is showing. (It doesn't matter what it is; we end up editing it anyway.)
Go to the Bookmark menu, find the bookmark you just made, and tap Edit. Change the name to the name of the podcast, clear the old URL, and paste the link in the URL field.
That's it! That link will now take you straight to the iTunes app to download the newest podcast without searching or retyping.
[robg adds: I haven't tested this one, but if you're willing to sync one time, it seems you could simplify it by bookmarking the podcast URLs on the Mac/PC version of Safari first, then syncing your iPhone (assuming you sync Safari bookmarks).]
For you iPhone/iPad/iPod touch developers out there, did you know you can change the name of the carrier that appears in the iPhone Simulator? The default carrier name is Carrier, but you can change this to a custom name of your choice.
In Terminal.app, run this command, replacing your_user with your user's short username: