The temperatures outside are dropping rapidly, and many of you will find your hands wrapped in thick gloves. And then suddenly, an important phone call drops in. Unless you've plugged in your earphones, or connected your Bluetooth headset to the iPhone, it will take quite a long time to get your hands free to slide the button to speak. So how to answer this important call quickly?
There are "alternative" ways to interact with your iPhone without having to uncover your fingers. For basic actions such as accepting a phone call or unlocking it to read a text message, you can use either your nose or, for some more precise gestures, your tongue. I know this isn't the most elegant way to operate your beloved iPhone, but in some cases, it needs to be quick and dirty...
For those of you finding this disgusting, but still don't want to run around with cold fingers, consider buying some fancy iPhone-enabled Dots Gloves. And for true lovers, you can act as if you were kissing your iPhone to speak to your friend!
[robg adds: I, um, haven't tested certain aspects of this one...and I have no intention of doing so! Still, the issue of winter + fingers in gloves + iPhone interaction is a relevant one for much of the world. In addition to the Dots Gloves linked above, Google found a number of interesting solutions to the problem, including gloves with flip-back tips, gloves without thumb or first finger tips, and Tavo gloves (warning: Flash-only site) that use a different material on the thumb and forefinger that apparently allows touchscreen interaction. If anyone has experience with iPhone-enabled gloves, feel free to post your thoughts...]
I'm a bit of an audiophile, and I like to have all my music in Lossless format. I keep a separate library of Lossless files on an external drive, while my internal drive contains my AAC/MP3 library.
I often want to add a Lossless version of a song to my iPhone, for use in my car or with better headphones. So what I did was copy the iTunes Library file from my AAC/MP3 library into my Lossless iTunes Library folder. The AAC/MP3 Library was synced to my iPhone with 'Manually Manage Music' checked.
I then opened the Lossless library by holding Option while opening iTunes. I selected my lossless folder. I then deleted all items from the library with iTunes, careful to make sure not to send the files to the trash. I then added all the music in my Lossless library.
Now I can add music from both libraries to my iPhone without a hitch. In theory you could do this with as many libraries as you wanted, as long as the original library file was synced to your iPhone.
I keep a number of reference documents on a server at work that would be very handy to have access to on my iPhone while at work. The server is Windows 2003, and the iPhone does not provide an easy way to access shared files by ftp or smb. I was thinking about using something like AirSharing, but the files are changing and edited by more than one person, making sync a bit of an issue.
I thought about enabling IIS directory browsing, but this proved too limiting. Eventually, I came across a (free) project called net2FTP, which is a web-based FTP client. Using net2ftp requires that you can host FTP on your file server, and a webserver with PHP (either on the same server, or somewhere else). I installed Filezilla and net2FTP on the server, set up the FTP server to share out the directories I needed, and made some adjustments to net2FTP. net2ftp even includes a "mobile" skin (which you can set as the default) to work better with the iPhone.
Now the directories are password protected, and I can browse them from the iPhone, loading PDFs, excel, or whatever else the iPhone can read. I locked net2ftp so it would only access the local server, and only accept connections from our internal network (since I'm using the iphone over wifi in the office) to make it more secure.
I have six mail accounts that I check on with my iPhone, and for months, I've moved read e-mails to the Trash. What I forgot was that the trash needs to be cleared periodically. I regained a couple of hundred megabytes of space by cleaning all the accounts.
To empty the Trash you must enter each account, then enter the Trash and tap Edit. You are then given the option to Delete All. Select Delete All, then confirm the Delete All. A simple tip, but one that may free up a fair bit of space on your iPhone.
Because the iPhone/iPod touch support multi-touch, here's a simple way to temporarily type in all caps: Hold one finger on Shift, and use another finger to type your word -- just as you would with a "real" keyboard.
[robg adds: While this may seem blatantly obvious to those who have adjusted to the world of multi-tap, I took a small survey -- OK, so it was me and the one other iPhone user I could find online at the time -- and discovered that 100% of the respondents hadn't used this method of temporarily typing in caps on their iPhones...so perhaps this will be useful to more than just the two of us.]
First, go to Settings » General » Keyboard » International Keyboards, click into the Japanese keyboard, and enable the QWERTY keyboard.
Next, open Notes, and start typing a note. Click the globe icon next to the Space Bar to switch to Japanese, and type a character. When you do, the Notes font will change from Marker Felt to Helvetica. Here's a demonstration video.
[robg adds: This works, and the note will remain in Helvetica even after closing and reopening Notes. You can even delete the Japanese character you typed -- once the font has changed, it won't change back.]
The WPA password for my employer's wireless network contains a backtick (`), which is currently not supported by any of my iPhone/iPod Touch keyboards (I'm using the latest firmware at the time of this writing, which is v2.1.1). This prevented me from synchronizing information over-the-air while at work.
The iPhone Configuration Utility, available on Apple's iPhone enterprise support page, lets you create wireless network configurations and send them to your iPhone or iPod Touch. However, it only contains a field for entering the SSID, not the network password. Thankfully, Apple's Enterprise Deployment Guide (740KB PDF) references a Password key that we can take advantage of to send the right password to your iPhone or iPod Touch.
This hint will require your iPod or iPhone to have some kind of wireless network access to begin with. But it also requires a Mac or PC, so perhaps you can set it up to share a wired internet connection over the air (more on that here).
Just like music and podcasts in the iTunes Store, you can use Browse mode in the iPhone/iPod touch App Store. You'll find a Browse link in the box at the top right of the App Store home page. Click it, and you'll see the typical iTunes Store three-pane browser. Click on App Store in the first column, then choose a Category in the second column to see a list of all apps within that category.
Because this view is list-based, without the fancy web interface, it's much faster (plus you see all entries in one long list, instead of 21 per page). The really nice thing, though, is that you can add your own columns to the list are. Control-click on the list header row, and select Release Date from the pop-up menu. You can then click on the Release Date header, and you've got a list of every app within the category, sorted by release date. Repeat the process and add Popularity, and you can sort by popularity instead.
This way you can sort the apps the way you like--just click the column header to sort the list by release date, popularity, developer, or even by price. This is a great way to get an overview of all the apps in the App Store.
[robg adds: I must admit I hadn't ever looked at the App Store's browse mode. Now that I have, using the web-like view really seems slow and clunky; browse mode is now my favorite method of digging through the App Store itself. Outside of the App Store, I rely on AppShopper (and its RSS feeds), which does a great job of tracking new apps (free, paid, or both), updated apps, and (most interestingly) price changes for existing apps.]
A while back, this tip appeared, which I really appreciated a lot -- it made it possible for me to turn my mobile phone into a "digital paper." I use this hint daily for flight tickets, shopping lists, important emails, etc. on my mobile phone.
Recently I got an iPod Touch / iPhone. Today I also got the $6 program FileMagnet for my iPod Touch. This program allows me to do wireless transfer of files to my iPod Touch (or iPhone) and view files on my iPod Touch (or iPhone) -- amazing! This was just what I needed to turn the iPod touch into my digital paper. Alas, it involves a number of steps to get a print of a complicated webpage onto the iPod. Consider my electronic flight ticket that I've just bought: First I need to print this one as a PDF from the web page where it's generated, then I need to locate the PDF, then I have to drag-and-drop it into FileMagnet, and then wait for next sync with my iPhone. Finally, I have to delete the generated PDF on my Mac if I do not need this one. That's five steps.
Well, it can be automated easily. Simply make a custom Automator Workflow, which will be empty to start. Add Open Finder Items to the flow, and select FileMagnet as the application. Then save the workflow in /Library/PDF Services -- I called mine Print to iPod Touch.
Now you can print to to FileMagnet from any app using the PDF pop-up menu in the lower left of the Print dialog, and selecting Print to iPod Touch. The file is printed and transferred to FileMagnet where it waits for next sync. That's two steps, and at the same time, it works around the bugs that my iPod has showing complicated doc/ppt/xls files, as it's a PDF that's transferred. (There are no files to be deleted, as the "printed" item goes into /private/tmp, which the system empties once in a while...but if you wish, the original file can be located by clicking the magnifying glass next to the file name in FileMagnet.) You can print to other formats as well if you wish -- but PDF works really well for the iPod Touch/iPhone -- and it insures that the filename of the printed document makes sense without further scripting.
Perfect for my use -- and I think a lot of others can use this too, as this turns our iPods/iPhones into digital paper.
I wanted to upload a copy of the book collection I keep in Delicious Library 1 to my iPhone. Since Delicious Library can't sync to the iPhone like it can to iPod (via the notes feature), I decided to print the collection to a PDF. I uploaded it with the AirSharing application, but I could just as well have emailed it to myself. I ended up with a multi-page PDF the required difficult scaling and dragging to read.
To make things easier, I did the following:
In Page Setup, I created a page 3.5 inches wide by 300 inches long.
After printing my library to the PDF, I opened the PDF on my Mac in Preview.
I chose File » Save as, and saved a copy. I left the Format pop-up menu set to PDF, and set the Quartz Filter pop-up to Reduce File Size.
This gives a very readable single-column document that doesn't take up much space. I do wish I could get rid of more margin, but it's not a bad solution as is.