When you are zoomed in to read, for example, a column of text in Safari on the iPhone and iPod Touch, it can sometimes be hard to scroll in a straight line without accidently scrolling left and right. I found this quite frustrating until I changed the way I was scrolling.
The important thing is the direction you start dragging in when you scroll. If you move only vertically then the scroll becomes vertically locked and will not scroll on the horizontal axis until you next lift your finger. Conversely, starting a horizontal drag locks scrolling horizontally. The problem is that it's too easy to start off on a diagonal and drag the column you're reading sideways.
If you scroll by running your thumb along the very edges of the screen then you can always be sure you're moving in a straight line and you won't suffer this anymore. This has the added benefit of keeping your view of the screen uninhibited since your thumb can be practically off the display entirely. Additionally, it's possible to scroll a long page like a forum thread continuously by starting a new drag with the opposite thumb even before you reach the top or bottom of the screen.
I created a short video demonstrating this scrolling method, in case you'd like to see it in action.
I have been continually annoyed with the way that iPhoto would start whenever I plugged my iPhone into my computer. The only pictures I take with my iPhone are to help me find my space in a parking lot, or so I can reassemble something I am taking apart. I do not want to archive these pictures. However, I do still want to use iPhoto to take the pictures off my digital camera. My previous solution was to set Image Capture to disable launching iPhoto in every case of camera attachment, and then manually launching iPhoto when necessary.
Luckily, Sam Stephenson at 37signals provided me with a solution that will launch iPhoto when a camera is attached, but not when my iPhone is attached. Sam realized that within the preference pane of Image Capture, an arbitrary application can be set to launch whenever a camera is connected. This solution utilizes the shell command ioreg combined with grep to search through the USB devices connected to the computer.
The script is able to sort through the connected devices and see if a specific device is connected. If that device is connected, iPhoto will be launched. Since the application is set to run whenever a camera is connected, it provides a method of sorting between the iPhone and a digital camera. Sam does a really great job of explaining every step for those not proficient with the terminal or scripts.
While this is quite useful as is, I wanted a slightly more generic form. I wanted to launch iPhoto for every camera that was connected, but never for my iPhone. Instead of searching the I/O Kit registry for a specific camera, I decided to search for any entry containing the word Camera.
I have never tried using the passwd command on my jailbroken 1.1.3 iPhone, since everyone warns of its use. However, I don't like having the default root password that everyone in the world knows, so I wanted to figure out a way to change it. It's pretty easy actually. On a Mac or Unix/Linux, the openssl command will do what you need like this:
openssl passwd -crypt -salt /s myNewPasswd
The password can only be eight characters long; anything longer will be truncated. I don't know if the salt has to stay the same or not, but to be safe, I just used the same salt as the original password. I doubt this makes any difference, though.
I ssh'd to the iPhone, and ran cat /etc/master.passwd, then copied that output to BBEdit (or other text editor). Then I replaced the passwd section (in between the first two colons) with my new hash for both root and mobile users. Finally, I copied the whole thing, switched back to the iPhone's ssh session and ran:
cat > /etc/master.passwd
I then pasted in the clipboard contents and pressed Command-D. That's it; the password was changed. I ran through most of my apps, put the iPhone to sleep, woke it up, and rebooted all without any problems. You don't need to reboot or do anything else for this to take effect.
If you want to see something in slow motion -- either on YouTube or your videos in the iPod section of the iPhone -- here is something for you. Make sure your video is paused, then just tap and hold rewind or fast forward, and your video will begin to play in slow motion.
[robg adds: I could make this work for the forward direction on my 1.1.3 iPhone, but not backwards. This slow motion feature isn't noted in the iPhone User Guide anywhere that I could find. By the way, Apple updates the iPhone User Guide somewhat regularly; the third revision was released at the end of January. As an interesting aside, it seems Apple optimized this latest version; it's about 4MB, versus 10MB for the first version -- and it's actually longer and has at least as many images as the first one.]
I found that attachments fail to download once the iPhone's scratch disk is full. So when you fail to receive a critical voicemail or document, just reboot -- rebooting the iPhone clears the cache (I think it's 500MB in size?).
I thought something was wrong with my brand new iPhone. I went into the Podcasts section and played a video podcast I had subscribed to. I was dismayed to see a still image from the video while the audio played along merrily.
It turns out that you get audio only if you access a video podcast through the Podcast section. If you access it through the Video section, though, you get both audio and video. The Apple rep I spoke to said this is to conserve battery life if you don't actually need to watch the video while you're exercising. I'm glad to know my iPhone isn't broken. Now I just have to figure out what this "exercise" thing he mentioned is all about.
I just found this out by accident on my iPod touch. And I haven't seen this as a hint before. It's actually possible to trigger a mouseover event in the Safari browser on an iPhone or iPod touch. You just have to click and hold the link that has the mouseover effect. At first, you get a popup with the link or description. If you then release your finger, however, the mouseover effect is triggered!
It doesn't seem to work in every case, but it can be useful sometimes. For example, on websites that make use of a drop-down menu, or that give extra information in pop-ups on mouseover.
I don't know if this is new in the 1.1.3 firmware, but it's a nice detail.
I have a laptop and use an external hard drive for my iTunes library. This system works well for me, except sometimes I found myself frustrated that I couldn't update my contacts and calendars on my iPhone while I was on the go. When I'm away from the external hard drive, iTunes complains.
I recently discovered that if my iPhone is charging over USB, using the Sync system menu (chasing arrows in the upper right corner of the screen) on 10.5 syncs my iPhone to iCal and Address Book. This is great! Now I don't have to launch iTunes unless I want to sync media.
This hint might be generic for the iPod Touch or other iPods, but I haven't tested it.
[robg adds: I'm not sure if this is 10.5 only or not; if someone can test on 10.4, please comment.]
The iPhone mic is not disabled when headphones that don't have a mic are used (Apple's iPhone earbuds have an additional contact ring on the plug). If you have a favorite pair of earbuds from you old iPod, you can use them with your iPhone and take/make calls without unplugging. Simply take/make the call and place the iPhone a bit lower on your face and talk away.
While not quite as great as a fresh pair of $100 microphone-equipped earbuds, it works. Of course you may also need a $10 adapter to get your phones to work anyway. (Credit goes to my daughter for this one.)
Since I've had my iPhone, I've found a few things that I wish I could do with it. I wished that I had a fuel-economy tracker app for my car, an expense tracker for work-expenses and others. I knew I could've set-up a custom web-page backed with a database, but it just seemed that there should be an easier way.
It seems Google thought so too, as they've just released a powerful new Forms extension to their Google Docs app, Spreadsheets. Using Forms, you can essentially create a survey or email-based input form for a spreadsheet you've created. This has great implications for those needing to create ad-hoc surveys for your work-mates, friends, family and more. However, there's nothing stopping you from inviting only yourself to the form.
To get started, go to Google Docs (sign-up if necessary), create a new spreadsheet. If you want, you can add a few columns with a header row to make things a little easier in the next step. Then, go to Share and invite yourself with the 'to fill out a form' option. You'll then be able to configure your form. Here you can add or delete fields, re-order them, and set each field to 'text,' 'paragraph-text,' 'multiple-choice,' 'checkboxes,' or 'choose from a list' (with the choices, where applicable). You can also set defaults in some cases, and add simple instructions.
You'll receive an email with the form embedded, but there's also a link to a web page version of the same form. On your iPhone, click this link from your email (or import this link via Safari). Once it is open in Safari, scale it to fit better on the screen, then press the + at the bottom of the screen and add the page to your home screen.
Now, whenever I fill my tank or make a business expense, I simply press the button on my iPhone, then fill in the form, and press Submit. All results appear in my spreadsheet. It appends a new row for each submission. I've also set up the spreadsheet to automatically take averages, or compute other figures from the submitted data. You just need to put these work cells at the top of your sheet, and refer to your data with deep-reaching cell-ranges like $C$4:$C$999, for example, so that the range will 'see' new data as it comes in.