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How to prevent iPhone audio interference in speakers iOS devices
Ever since I started listening to music in my car from my iPhone, I've been dealing with the annoying electromagnetic interference problem (loud buzz / static / popping / digital noise coming through car speakers). I set out to find a solution today, and to make a long story short, here's what I settled on: taping two small pieces of aluminum foil on the back of the iPhone in a specific location, as seen in this picture. Here's what I did:
  1. Cut out a 2" x 3" piece of aluminum foil.
  2. Fold foil in half horizontally (foil is now 2" x 1.5").
  3. Tape foil from the bottom right corner (on the back of the iPhone) up to the middle of the text iPhone (Picture #1, Picture #2) using electrical tape.
That's it; no more buzz/static/popping sounds coming out of your speakers!

Another solution which avoids using tape (although electrical tape leaves no residue whatsoever on the iPhone) is simply placing the iphone on a sheet of aluminum foil. This might be a better idea for people experiencing this problem in a static environment rather than a car (i.e. iPhone on office desk with nearby computer speakers). After discovering this solution, I also saw another potential solution online, using aluminum foil wrapped around the audio cable coming out of the phone. I haven't tested that method, but it looks much more obtrusive.

For me, other materials didn't work (at least not perfectly). I also tried various sizes of aluminum foil in various locations -- you could probably get by with a smaller amount of foil, but this amount works 100% (so far at least). I guess it should also be noted this solution could potentially work for other GSM phones with this issue (i.e. Blackberries, Sidekicks) -- you'll just have to experiment with the size of the foil and its location.
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Set up Hotmail on the iPhone via Gmail iOS devices
I know a few people who have had Hotmail address for a long time and don't want to change. They also have bought iPhones and now have no way to use the built-in client on the iPhone to read mail. This solutions lets them read Hotmail on their iPhone. (Actually, the same setup can apply for Apple Mail, too.) One catch here is that your Hotmail account must support Forwarding. You can see it is does under the Hotmail Options.

Basically these instructions help you set up forwarding in Hotmail so that incoming messages are forwarded from Hotmail to a Gmail account. This also sets up Gmail and the iPhone to make replies and new messages look like they come from Hotmail. When complete, you can read, reply, and send messages in Gmail and the iPhone as if you were on Hotmail.

With this solution in place:
  • Email people send to your Hotmail address will be visible on your iPhone in the built-in iPhone Mail software.
  • If you reply to a message on the iPhone or in Gmail, to your recipients it will look like it came from your Hotmail address.
  • You can still check mail using Hotmail on the web if you like.
  • You can also log into Gmail and see your Hotmail messages there.
  • An added bonus is that you will benefit from Gmail's junk mail filter, which is excellent.
  • Since Gmail supports IMAP, the iPhone and the Gmail mailbox is synced nicely as you read, delete and filter messages.
Note: While you can still read email on the Hotmail website as you currently do, there is an advantage to reading your Hotmail in your new Gmail account. The iPhone and the Gmail account will be synced -- so for example, Gmail and the iPhone will keep track of which messages you have read on either device. If you get a message and read it on the iPhone, when you check your Gmail account it will also show as read. Were you to check your mail on, messages you have already read on the iPhone will show as new.

The same goes for deleting messages. If you delete a message on the Gmail site, these will be deleted from the iPhone, too. The same is true for filters. You can set up filters on the Gmail site, and this filtering will by synced to the iPhone. None of this is synced with the mail you see on So basically, if you implement this, you are better off just checking and reading your Hotmail messages in Gmail, but its up to you.
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Create iPhone SMS favorites list (of a sort) iOS devices
Searching and selecting recipients for SMS on iPhone can be a bit tedious if you regularly text certain people. You can create a sort of SMS favourites list by pressing Clear when viewing a message from your favorite recipients. This button doesn't (as I assumed) delete the whole SMS (like deleting in the inbox does), but rather clears the only the conversation. The 'person' remains in your SMS inbox easily accessible.

Admittedly this is not much better than leaving the conversation but looks a lot neater and helps you see there is no outstanding action associated with a message. Perhaps of some use to neat freaks and productivity nuts.
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Make the iPhone say who's calling iOS devices
Now with the ability to create new ringtones in GarageBand, just record yourself saying the names of the people calling you most, then create ringtones with you saying that name, and add a ringtone following that in GarageBand. Share that as ringtone, and then assign the ringtones to the respective people on your iPhone. And voila, suddenly the iPhone will audibly announce the boss is calling or it's mommy!.
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Start torrent downloads from an iPhone iOS devices
I have a server that I use for, among other things, downloading files with bittorrent. I usually start these torrents by downloading them on my primary computer and then dropping them onto an alias to my server's torrents folder, which my bittorrent client (Transmission) monitors so that it can start the torrents automatically. I occasionally wanted to use my iPod Touch to start these torrents, but Mobile Safari refuses to download torrent files.

My solution was to use Javascript to alter the torrent link to send its URL to my server for download rather than trying to open it. A PHP script on the server could then download that URL to the torrents folder. With both scripts in place, and the permissions of the torrents folder modified to allow Apache to write files, all I have to do is run the Javascript as a bookmarklet before clicking the torrent link, and click the link to download the torrent file. The modified link will pass this URL to the script to download it on the server.
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View all iPhone Safari RSS feeds at once iOS devices
In Safari on OS X, you can view all RSS feeds from a folder together in one feed. Sadly, this feature is missing from Safari on the iPhone. If you want to regain this functionality, all you have to do is open Safari on your desktop, open all the feeds together, and then add that newly-created page to your bookmarks, then sync. Now you can view all your feeds in one go!
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View exchange rates on the iPhone iOS devices
I think it's a real shame that the iPhone doesn't have an Exchange Rate widget. Perhaps someday there will be, now that Apple is opening up the platform. In the meantime, I looked for a Exchange Rate web-app for the iPhone at the Apple site. I could only find one, which isn't too bad, but I was hoping for something with charts, etc., a la the Stock widget.

Then it struck me: since the Stock widget is getting its feeds from Yahoo!, I should be able to use their special codes for the FX market. Voil ! Here are the ones I use:
  • GBPUSD=X $US / £UK
  • GBPEUR=X €EU / £UK
  • EURUSD=X $US / €EU
  • GBPINR=X Indian Rupees / £UK
There's loads more if your needs are different.

[robg adds: You can find more codes using Yahoo's currency page. You can also use these codes in the Stocks widget -- as of 10.4.11, it's now using Yahoo as well.]
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Use custom iPhone ring tones with the 1.1.2 firmware iOS devices
According to some posts on (here and here), it's now (once again) easy to add your own 30 to 40 second (maximum) ringtones to the iPhone.

Just trim down a song or sound (using iTunes, GarageBand, Audacity, etc.), save an AAC-encoded version, change the .m4a suffix to .m4r, and drag the file into the Ringtones folder of the iTunes library (you may have to delete the original .m4a file from the library if it's already in iTunes).

Y ou can add songs longer than 40 or so seconds to the iTunes ringtone section of the library, but they won't sync to the iPhone or show up in ringtones tab of the iPhone sync page in iTunes.
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Quickly reach the home page from a locked iPhone iOS devices
I'm not sure how long this has been around; I'm expecting since 1.1.2 released. If your iPhone locks (sleeps) when it's inside of any application, you can quickly return to the home screen without extra button pushes:
  1. Lock your phone while in an app, like the iPod.
  2. Press the Home button to wake it.
  3. Immediately swipe to unlock. Speed is key; usually the swipe has to be started before the screen lights up.
  4. When the iPhone unlocks, the iPhone returns to Home screen instead of the iPod. (Some apps seem to be tougher to do this with than others.)
This doesn't happen when the phone is awakened with the Lock button, and it's clear that the application isn't crashing, because you can occasionally grab glimpses of the retreating application's animation and the Home screen's animation.

A quick poll of my two iPhone-owning coworkers think it's a bug, but it's a slightly useful one.
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Create 'calling card' numbers for iPhone contacts iOS devices
I use a another provider for international calls from my mobile: OneTel (although, this hint should work great with others). This service allows me to dial a local number, then, when prompted, enter the international number I wish to connect to and it connects me as usual. This works fine on the iPhone, in that I can use this plan as described. But my previous mobiles allowed me to set-up 'calling cards' which, when turned on, allowed me to dial the international number directly. The phone would then intercept this and dial the local number for me, then enter my destination number. This is, to me, indispensable on a mobile phone, because without it, you have to either memorize the destination number (or write it down again) so you can enter it after the prompt -- a cumbersome task while you're on the go.

Until Apple starts to more properly support calling cards, I improvised by writing an AppleScript which will create 'onetel' versions of the numbers I am interested in. I first created a group in my Address Book called OneTel, and placed within this group all the numbers that I am interested in dialing on my iPhone -- even if they're international.

I then ran the following AppleScript...
set dialerGroup to "OneTel"
set dialerPrefix to "+442070180001pp"
set dialerSufix to "#"
set dialerLabelPrefix to "onetel "
set IDP to "00"
set CC to "44"

to searchReplace(thisText, searchTerm, replacement)
  set AppleScript's text item delimiters to searchTerm
  set thisText to thisText's text items
  set AppleScript's text item delimiters to replacement
  set thisText to "" & thisText
  set AppleScript's text item delimiters to {""}
  return thisText
end searchReplace

tell application "Address Book"
  -- Update all the records in the group "OneTel"
  set ThePeople to the people in group "OneTel"
  repeat with ThePerson in ThePeople
    -- First, we'll clear the old ones
    set PhoneNumbers to the phones of ThePerson
    repeat with ThePhone in PhoneNumbers
      set TheLabel to the label of ThePhone
      if (TheLabel begins with dialerLabelPrefix) then
        -- Effectively delete the old ones
        set the value of ThePhone to ""
      end if
    end repeat
    -- OK, make the new ones!
    set PhoneNumbers to the phones of ThePerson
    repeat with ThePhone in PhoneNumbers
      set TheLabel to the label of ThePhone
      if (TheLabel begins with dialerLabelPrefix) then
        -- We can ignore these now...
      else if (TheLabel contains "fax") then
        -- ignore fax numbers
        -- OK, this looks like a good candidate
        set TheNumber to the value of ThePhone as text
        if TheNumber begins with (IDP & CC) or TheNumber begins with "+" & CC then
          -- Ignore numbers which are for our local country
          if the first character of (TheNumber as text) is "+" then
            set AppleScript's text item delimiters to "+"
            set thisText to TheNumber's text items
            set AppleScript's text item delimiters to IDP
            set TheNumber to "" & thisText
            set AppleScript's text item delimiters to {""}
          end if
          set NewNumber to dialerPrefix & TheNumber & dialerSufix
          set NewLabel to dialerLabelPrefix & TheLabel
          -- Locate the right phone to update...
          set myPhone to null
          repeat with tmpPhone in PhoneNumbers
            if the label of tmpPhone is NewLabel then
              set myPhone to tmpPhone
            end if
          end repeat
          if myPhone is not null then
            set the value of myPhone to NewNumber
            make new phone at the end of phones of ThePerson with properties {label:NewLabel, value:NewNumber}
          end if
        end if
      end if
    end repeat
  end repeat
end tell
The above script does the following: For every person in the group OneTel, it checks each number for the person and if it is not a fax number, but contains a number that starts with either + or the international dialling code (you set this) and a country code other than yours, it will create a new phone entry for the person. The number's label is prepended with "onetel " and it includes the full dialing sequence required for the card and phone number.

For example, if a number has the number home as +331234567890, then a number number onetel home with the digits xxxxxxxxxxpp00331234567890 will be created, where xxxxxxxxxx is the local dialing number for OneTel and each p is a two-second pause

I added this script (which I named Add OneTel Numbers) to the ~/Library » Scripts » Applications » Address Book folder, and this now shows up in my AppleScript menu when I'm in Address Book. When I've made some changes to some of the relevant cards, I run this script, then, next time I sync my iPhone, I'm all set. There's lots of room for improvement, but I felt it was good enough to share. Enjoy!
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