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.
...to your desktop. (This path is for iPhone OS 2.2.1; it may have changed with OS 3.0.)
Open it with Property List Editor and unfold the iconState » iconLists. Icons are ordered by page (from 0 to 8), then an iconMatrix (line from 0 to 4, and column from 0 to 4). Each app is identified by a displayIdentifier code. Hex codes are for Safari desktop favorites, and integers 0 for empty spaces. Here's a screenshot so you can see exactly what it looks like.
So you 'just' have to copy/paste items to change the order as you wish, and put the file back to the iPhone and restart it. If you get the default alphabetical order, just try again!
For all those missing the backspace key in the Calculator (to remove a number you just tapped), just think like Apple: a little swipe over the display will do it.
Seems quite consistent to me, as you also do this to delete stuff in other parts of the UI, like lists. I don't really understand why this isn't mentioned in the User's Guide -- are they betting on when someone finds out? ;-)
[robg adds: I don't know if this worked in iPhone OS 2.x]
After upgrading to an iPhone 3GS, I was pleased to see the new option to send photos and movies to MobileMe. I have two MobleMe accounts configured in Mail on my iPhone: my 'primary' MobileMe account, and a MobileMe sub ('family') account. The primary account is set to only sync Mail to my iPhone, and the family account is set to sync Mail, Contacts, Calendars and Bookmarks (since you're only allowed to fully sync/push one MobileMe account on the iPhone.)
The problem I found was that when trying to send a photo or a movie to MobileMe, the account that the iPhone insisted on using was my primary account. I searched settings and could not find anywhere to change this. I called Apple iPhone tech support, and although they understood the problem, they did not have a solution. (I called the day after the iPhone 3GS release, so they were understandably swamped!)
I just could not believe that the iPhone would not allow me to choose a different MobileMe account. Frustrated, I decided to find my own solution.
What I discovered is this: iPhone uses the first MobileMe account it finds on your phone when choosing which account to default to for sending Photos and Movies (regardless of whether it's a primary or family account.) As I had two MobileMe Mail accounts on the phone, and the first one listed in my Mail app was my primary account, the family account was being ignored.
My solution was this:
Using the Mail app settings, delete the undesired primary email account from the iPhone, leaving only the family account.
Check the Camera app and see that the default MobileMe account has changed to the remaining account -- yes.
Using iTunes, add the primary email account back on the iPhone. The order of the accounts in the Mail app is now different, with the family account listed first, and the primary account listed last.
Upload photos or movies to the desired MobileMe account from the Camera app.
[robg adds: I only have one MobileMe account, so I can't test this one.]
For a long time, I've wanted the ability for the iPhone to speak the name of the caller, based on matching the inbound number to the numbers in Contacts. I waited and waited for iPhone OS 2.x ad then 3.x to do this for me, and do it better, but got sick of waiting. So instead, I wrote an AppleScript app I call Contact Caller ID + Sound Ringtone Maker [44KB download; Mac OS X Hints mirror (v 1.1)]. I've used this script to generate over 100 in-use ringtones, and use it to customize a ringtone for a contact or two almost daily now.
This AppleScript will generate a spoken name file, optionally looking for first, last, and nicknames, for selected Address Book Contacts. For example, "Jennifer Frickin' Connelly is calling....". It will optionally add a traditional (or other) ringtone of your choice to either the beginning or end of a new spoken-text ringtone file:
"Rob Griffiths is calling... [old phone ring here]; [repeat]"
"[old phone ring here] ... Steve Jobs is calling... ; [repeat]"
The script will then add that newly-created file to iTunes, ready for your next sync with iPhone.
You may optionally enter Custom Text (hint: phonetic spelling) when Alex fails to pronounce some of your more exotic friends' and family's names. But it is worth easily minutes of giggles to hear what he comes up with on his own.
You can test these custom entries over and over until you are ready to commit to a finished ringtone. You may enter any text you wish spoken, but the longer it is, the bigger the finished ringtone file, and the longer it takes to repeat a loop on your phone. I suggest six to ten seconds, with 30 seconds max. There's a reason most ringtones are short; don't try to make 'In a Gadda Da Vida' into a ringtone.
On that note, I have not tested this script with overly large add-on ringtones; QuickTime may slow down considerably when trying to export very large files, and may thus produce timing and/or timeout errors. If your files hang, try smaller ones, or add delays after the export command in the script. If you still have problems, try this script with this Old Ring.m4r ringtone.