The Arabic keyboard is supported natively in iPhone OS 3.0. However, there are some missing characters like 'hamza' (ء), and different shapes for some, such as 'alef' (أ ,آ), etc. To see these characters, you have to press and hold on the on the plain 'alef' (ا), then you will see a list of similar shapes. You can also do the same thing for 'Ya`' (ي) to get (ى).
Urdu and Perian can also see their extended characters for 'v' -- press and hold (ف) and, for 'ch', press and hold (ج), etc.
Since the release of 3.0, cut-copy-paste has been an amazing feature. I have used and abused it from SMS to Safari and beyond. I will claim I can type up a storm (no pun intended) on my iPhone and will generally leave characters behind, or find words that the auto-correct thinks are different than I do. To prevent confusion, I always double-check and correct my typos.
With the iPhone, you have always been able to press and hold and obtain the magnifying class to get precisely where you want in the text. In 3.0, I have noticed a little lag when doing so (and it may be my 3G; who knows) and trying to edit my text. As such, the easier correction method here is to double-tap the incorrectly spelled word and then start back over clean.
This hint can also be used for mass delete or mass replacement of text.
I just discovered this today, though I'm not sure if it's a feature of iPhone OS 3.0 or if it's been there all along. As you know, you can stream a podcast episode rather than downloading it by double-tapping the episode within the iTunes app on the iPhone. The familiar QuickTime logo will appear and you can listen to the podcast instead of downloading it.
However, a nifty feature is that when you start streaming the episode, you can close iTunes and it will still play. I've been able to open other apps whilst the iTunes app is playing a podcast episode.
I never thought I'd have a hint to post, but I recently learned something that is not well documented about short iPhone battery life. This only applies if you use WiFi on a business or enterprise server.
After getting my first iPhone (a 3GS), I was happy to see that battery life was relatively good and it accessed the web and email quickly on my home WiFi. It also worked, although a bit slower, on a 3G connection. At work, however, mail seemed to hang and the battery died in about four hours .. oh no!
I found that the phone was continuously trying to retrieve email, but was unable to do so. This not only drained the battery, but seemed to make the entire phone a bit sluggish while it tried forever to connect.
The reason for this is that many companies, mine included, block IMAP mail by blocking ports 993 and 587. Because they use Exchange (I don't want to use my iPhone for their mail, only my personal Gmail), they block many ports that are not directly required by their business in the hopes this will block intruders from their system.
In my case, it is a large company and I am a small part, so they will not unblock their ports. The two workarounds are to turn off WiFi (which slows down the Web, Twitter, and other internet-based apps), or to disable the Gmail account in the Mail app and use a web interface for retrieving my personal email. Neither is a perfect solution, but after all, the WiFi network does not belong to me.
It would help if Apple gave us a way to force the Mail app to use either 3G or WiFi, or to tell Mail app to stop looking to connect if it can't connect quickly. I'd appreciate hearing from any others who have a better solution.
Sometimes you want to be able to dock your iPhone and not have the display go to sleep. For example, when you have a 3rd party app like AIM or Twitterrific open that doesn't have a disable lock function. The screen will not lock automatically if the iPhone is docked and music is playing. Simply start playing music and then dock the iPhone and open the app you want to use. The iPhone won't sleep until the playlist, album, or podcast is finished. If you don't want to listen to anything, you can always turn down the volume.
[Ed Note: You can also set the Auto-Lock setting to Never.]
I wanted to have all my calendars sync between iCal, Google calendars, and my iPhone. The master copies of my calendars are the Google calendars. To sync them with iCal, I use Google's free Calaboration application.
To sync with my iPhone, I tried to follow the steps indicated on this page. The problem is that I have several calendars stored on Google. When I opened Safari on my iPhone and went to m.google.com/sync, I got a message that said "This service is not available for your device." The message was in German, since I am in Switzerland. It turns out that this webpage also allows you to choose a different language. I switched to English, and suddenly the service was available and I could continue setting up my calendars. Now all my Google calendars synchronize to my iPhone.
On my iMac I use a multi-clipboard tool like Jumpcut. Copying multiple items is essential for writing on the Web, especially on hand-held devices where it's hard to switch between applications. I don't want to jailbreak my iPhone, so I'm stuck without multi-clipboard abilities for the moment. Here are some options I came up with for copying multiple blocks of text in Safari.
Copy the entire article and edit it down after you paste. This is fine, but the URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) is still another trip to the clipboard.
Copy each bit to a Note. As well as it works, the Notes app has to launch each time you switch back to it. If you're pulling many clippings, this can take a bit of time.
Stack URIs and text in Safari's address bar. Believe it or not you can paste a lot of text into the address bar, but it can't deal with paragraph breaks. So if all you want is a sentence or two, or URIs from several pages, copy the text, tap on the iPhone's status bar, tap the web address, put the cursor at the end of the address, and paste. Next, select all and copy again. Slice it up when you paste it in its final destination.
If you want a couple of paragraphs, you'll need a better pasteboard to assemble your selections. One very Web 2.0 solution is the comment box. You can copy as many interesting items into a comment text box as you can think to copy. You can even format it before selecting all and copying again. To navigate to a comment box at the end of a page, tap on any exposed text box on the web page, then tap the Previous or Next buttons above the iPhone keyboard until you reach the comment box.
If there are no exposed input boxes, you want a pasteboard that's in easy reach inside Safari. If you're writing on WordPress.com, you have the option of saving things in a Draft. Another option is to use iPasteboard, a simple webpage that stores whatever you paste onto it as a cookie.
The iPhone (and iPod touch) automatically switch the screen between landscape and portrait mode when you tilt the device. This can be annoying if you want to read a web page or mail message when reclining in a horizontal posture on your side (while, say, lying in bed).
But you can 'lock' the iPhone/iPod touch in landscape mode by turning it upside down slowly. This is perfect for reading while lying down.
Hold the device in an upright position (default portrait mode). Tilt the device ninety degrees in either direction (switches to landscape mode). Tilt the device another ninety degrees in the same direction, so that it's now upside down. The screen orientation stays in landscape mode, and the text is now aligned for reading on your side in a horizontal position.
This is really two hints for iPhone 3.0 and MobileMe:
Hint #1: Instead of selecting five photos in Camera Roll and emailing them, select as many photos as you want and copy them. Open a new Mail message, and paste the photos in the body of the email. This is an easy way to email more than five photos.
Hint #2: Set up a new album on MobileMe, and make sure to enable email uploading of photos. Retrieve the email address by clicking on the Settings tab after publishing the new album. Then add that address to your contact list (name it MobileMeUpload or somesuch).
Combining these two hints, you can select all the photos you want in the Camera Roll, copy them, and email them to your MobileMeUpload contact. The iPhone 3G tends to slow down when there are more than 10 or so photos, but it still works with more.