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.
When I got my iPhone 3GS, I played with all the new features, like everyone else. Then they wore off and I was back to normal use. While playing games, specifically Wild West Pinball, it seemed like all the taps weren't registering properly. Also, when I pressed both flippers at the same time, there was a slight delay.
I thought this was a glitch in the game. But as I used more multi-touch games, it seemed something was wrong with my phone. Before resorting to complaining to Apple, I thought of what could be different from using my old iPhone. Of course, I had turned on the Zoom feature (in the Accessibility section of General Preferences) for no reason other that it was cool that I could do it.
When I turned off the Zoom feature, the taps went back to normal and the multi-touch taps respond quickly again.
Imagine you've purchased a new and shiny iPhone 3GS. Imagine as well that you had an equally-shiny iPhone 3G since day one of its introduction (more or less one year). You set up your 3GS as a new phone in iTunes, in order not to mess with settings and whatnot, only to discover that one year's worth of SMS are lost in your new unit!
Well...fear no more, as you can easily restore the SMS database into your new unit, starting from the backup of the old unit. Read on for the how-to...
This hint doesn't accomplish anything, but if you tap the graphical representation of the mic on the screen in the Voice Memos App on the iPhone (OS 3.0), the VU meter registers just like it would if you were tapping on a real mic. It doesn't register anywhere else on the screen, though; just on the mic.
I was reading a story on tuaw.com about a guy who tracked down his lost iPhone using the new service Find My iPhone. In the post, the iPhone owner wished he could have logged into the the me.com Accounts page and used the service from a friend's iPhone to help track the movements of his lost iPhone, rather than lug a laptop around.
In fact, you can login to the me.com site via the iPhone/iPod touch, but you need an app that uses its own web browser rather than the Safari.app that is on the device. I have done this with an app called iStorage, which uses it own browser rather than switching to Safari.app. It looks like you can also use the browser in IM+ lite 3.0, which is free.
I tested the Find My iPhone feature from my iPod touch, and it worked. It displayed where my iPod touch was at that moment, and I was also able to send a message to it with the alert sound. It was slow, though -- very slow. And I suspect that's why Apple has a redirect when trying to login to me.com from the iPhone/iPod touch. But if needs must...
I don't see why Apple couldn't enable the Find My iPhone page to work as a simple webpage when using an iPhone/iPod touch -- it just needs the map and send message and remote wipe buttons. Until they decide to do this, though, this workaround is a viable solution.
I've been using push notifications with the Beejive app on the iPhone, which got updated recently and it works great. But when using AIM on a Mac, it can be kind of frustrating since you cannot be logged into two Machines at the same time with AIM. So, if you are logged into the iPhone (even in the background), and you connect with iChat or Adium on the Mac, then AIM sends you a message at both places asking you which Machine you want to be connected from.
To me, it would be ideal to only receive notifications on my Mac when I'm using my Mac, and only receive notifications on the iPhone when I'm using my iPhone. This seems to be pretty much attainable when using Google chat (over Jabber) instead of AIM (and thus requiring Beejive instead of AIM on the iPhone). If you are logged into Jabber from two Machines, and someone chats you, it will send the messages to all machines that are logged in, until you reply from one machine. At that point, Google chat will only send messages to that machine, until it logs out. Once you log out, it will then send it to the other machine again.
So the hint is as follows: in Beejive on the iPhone, in Settings, set it to keep you logged in for 24 hours. Then on the Mac, download Adium (instead of iChat -- the desired level of control is not available in iChat), and add your Google account. In Adium's preferences, under the Status tab, set it so that after some period of inactivity (10 minutes perhaps), it switches your account to offline.
Then, when you are using your Mac, Google chat messages will get pushed to Adium (and to your iPhone as well, until you reply to one from your Mac), but after the period of inactivity on your Mac, it will switch you to offline, and those messages will get sent to the iPhone instead. Once you start using your Mac again, message will get pushed there again.
Well, this is not really a hint, but a nice bit of info I didn't read about anywhere: the new Copy function even works in the Calculator app! Just tap and hold your finger over the calculator's results area and select Copy from the pop-up menu. You can then paste the numbers in the app of your choice, of course. Very handy!
Sorry if this was obvious to some readers. I think it's the kind of thing that could have been overlooked, but Apple once again proves they do pay attention to detail. This new copy/paste thing works really all across the board.
iPhone 3.0 contains a log-in overlay that makes logging into many WiFi hotspots easier. Unfortunately, the implementation makes logging into some WiFi hotspots impossible. When you connect to a WiFi network, the iPhone tries to connect to www.apple.com. If the hotspot uses a captive portal (meaning that apple.com would redirect to the captive portal), the iPhone launches a WebSheet that loads the captive portal, which usually allows you to log into the network.
On some networks, however, the captive portal page may not provide a way to login. In my case, the page simply provides instructions saying that I need to connect to the VPN to access the Internet. There's no apparently way to exit the HotSpot login without also disconnecting from the WiFi network, which makes it impossible to connect to my VPN.
If you have a jailbroken phone, a workaround to disable the login is to edit /etc/hosts (using a text editor such as nano) and add this line:
This makes connecting to www.apple.com return an error, and thus prevents the HotSpot login from taking over. If you connect to a network that does uses a captive portal login, you can still login using Safari, as in previous OS versions.
Of course, this also makes it impossible to access www.apple.com, but for me that's better than not accessing anything at all.
I discovered this by accident on my iPod touch. When entering text, hold down one of these keys...
A C I L N O S T U Y Z
...to open a submenu allowing you to choose a modified (with accent, umlaut, etc.) version of that character.
[robg adds: This is mentioned in the iPhone User Guide (11MB PDF), but not in detail. There are extra characters on the two symbol keyboards as well -- nearly every symbol is available in at least two forms, but the following keys have additional extra characters in their pop-up definitions: . ? ! ' - $ " % _. If I've missed any, please post!]
I haven't seen this documented anywhere, so here goes: If you tap the Home button while on the Home screen, the new OS will display the Search screen.
[robg adds: As you can also press the home button once from any screen to get back to the Home screen, you can quickly reach search from any screen by tapping the home button, waiting a small amount of time, then tapping it again.
This feature is documented in the new version of Apple's iPhone User Guide (11MB PDF), but as I know that's not necessarily widely read, I thought I'd go ahead and run this one. I may do similar things with other documented 3.0 features if they haven't been widely discussed. ]