This is a simple tip but useful. I've come to rely on the sound of the keyboard on the iPhone since there's no tactile response. However, when typing a particularly long message, the sounds can get irritating (both to myself and those around me).
Fortunately, there's a quick way to silence the keyboard without digging in the settings menu: turn the ringer switch off. This not only silences the ringer and message notifications, but also the keyboard.
Its hard to get arbitrary files onto the iPhone. No disk mode, iPhoto scales down big images, and forwarding yourself files and trying to read PDFs or word docs in iPhone's Mail app is a pain.
The freeware Filemark Maker is a small droplet app that aids in encoding data URLs, aka filemarks, which store the actual bytestream of the file inside a bookmark -- meaning you can sync your favorite eBooks or hi-res photos (like subway maps) to your shiny new iPhone and read them in style, even offline. Simply drop a file on Filemark Maker, bookmark the generated link, and then sync it to your phone.
One needs to sync the bookmarks to the phone, as trying to bookmark the filemark links on the phone crashes it.
Don't try images much bigger than about 1500x1500, which can crash Safari on the iPhone.
Huge PDFs of text work fine, but something fancy like the NYC MTA map brings it to crawl (but it works).
The app is written in Perl and compiled into a droplet using Platypus. Source available on the site.
[robg adds: By way of full disclosure, jamiew is one of the Filemark Maker coauthors. However, given that it's a free open-source app, and it seems to work really well, I felt it worth sharing. Note that if you want to store files on your iPhone, you might want to try iPhoneDrive, which lets your iPhone work in a sort of "disk mode" like that of the iPod. I haven't tested the app myself yet.]
I realized that if an iPhoto album is photocasted, it does not appear in iTunes as available to be synced with the iPhone. The solution is really simple: control-click on the album name and pick the Duplicate Album option. The copied album is not photocasted, and it will appear in iTunes so you can sync it.
With every cell phone that I have owned, they have had a way to put your name on it -- either on the boot up screen or on the main screen (such as with Windows Mobile). But the iPhone doesn't have any way for someone to get the device back to you if it's lost or stolen. Sure, they can go through your phone book and call each contact on that list, but then how would you like getting a call from a stranger claiming to have a cell phone that you may or may not know who it belongs to?
The iPhone lets the user chose a .GIF or .JPG file and use it as your wallpaper (the screen you see when you first turn the iPhone on, and when you're making a call). It's easy to do and can help others (like the police) in getting your iPhone back to you safe and sound. Just add your personal info to any 320x480 image you'd like to use, and then set that as your wallpaper. Read on if you'd like more detailed instructions.
[robg adds: This is a good idea; I've edited Plasma Design's iPhone wallpaper collection to include some contact information. It won't help if the phone is stolen, but if an honest person happens to find it, maybe I'll get it back...]
This blog post contains a bookmarklet to force links in Safari on the iPhone to open on new pages. As noted there:
After experiencing and thoroughly enjoying the iPhone for the weekend, I've found that one of my biggest gripes is that there's no "Open in New Tab" command, which makes all the sense in the world since there is no right click anywhere in the OS.
[robg adds: This works nicely, though I wish the iPhone had the concept of background page loading, so you wouldn't navigate off the frontmost page when clicking a link. Alas, that's not the case, but this is still better than losing your starting page each time you click a link. To get it onto your iPhone, add the bookmarklet to Safari's bookmarks on your Mac, then sync the phone. To put it to use, load the page in question, then click the "Open in New Tab" entry on your bookmarks bar. This will add the "open in new page" icon to each link on the page.]
While this might only help a few...I have a Volvo iPod hookup in my car, and it works with my iPhone, but a screen titled "Accessory Attached" appears. In this mode, I am not able to navigate my iPhone's music. Instead, I am limited to the first 10 playlists on my phone.
Holding the Home button for six seconds releases the iPhone from the car's clutches, and I can now navigate through (while stopped) and play any song I want on my iPhone through my car's speakers.
I hope this trick not only helps other Volvo owners, but possibly others who have devices that are locked up on playback by their accessories.
The system requirements for the iPhone state that it requires a computer with a USB 2.0 port. In actuality, however, I had observed that iTunes would sync with an iPhone on a iMac G4 with only a USB 1.0 port. Hence, I was surprised when iTunes running on a 20" iMac G4 computers could not see the iPhone, but iPhoto could. Because calling Apple Support was not an option (iPhone requires USB 2.0 ports), I attempted to solve the problem myself.
The 20" iMac G4 has three USB 1.0 ports. Surprisingly, the System Profiler indicated that the iPhone was attached to a fourth, phantom USB 2.0 port. This did not seem correct, as other iMac G4 computers showed the iPhone connecting to one of the three physical USB 1.0 ports.
I decided to remove the phantom USB 2.0 port. Be warned that the following procedure, while working on my system, may, if followed, prevent your system from restarting or impair its operation in some horrible manner. If you decide to remove a phantom USB 2.0 port, proceed at your own risk after being sure you have a current backup of your system.
So you had an iPod that would nicely plug into your car. You get the iPhone and because the iPhone's headphone connector is recessed, your cable does not exactly fit. You can't hear the music through your car stereo.
Instead of hacking your $20 Monster cable, buy a couple of cheap parts from Radio Shack and create an adapter for the existing cable in your car. You'll need a 1/8th inch coupler (part number 274-1555) and a 1ft Stereo Audio Cable (part number 42-2497). With a sharp knife, cut about 1/4th inch of one side of the cable's plastic casing at one end. On the other end, plug in (push hard) the coupler and then plug in your car cable to the cable. You are all set.
Now you can remove the special iPhone cable at any time for old iPods, and your iPhone works in your car. No hacking of the nice car cable required.
Safari on the iPhone is pretty happy with Google Docs and Calendar (especially with the slim mobile calendar view that Google automatically sends to the iPhone), but it chokes on Spreadsheets. If you accept the compatibility warning when opening a sheet, it will load it, but not ideally (e.g., it won't scroll to the bottom of long documents).
My solution for viewing Spreadsheets is to load the Preview view of the sheet. This can also be bookmarked for quick access to the most up-to-date version of the sheet. Of course you can't edit that way, but reading works great with zooming, scrolling, etc.
If you are like me and noticed that not all your emails were being sent when you were on a wi-fi network because of SMTP server settings for local networks, or you noticed that emails set to send via AT&T's SMTP server would only send when connected to the EDGE network (or you're paranoid about sending email via AT&T servers), you can use Gmail as your master SMTP server that will work over both Edge and wi-fi.
I noticed this issue when setting up my work email with the iPhone. My work email only uses the local SMTP of our ISP. My immediate solution was to use AT&T's SMTP server cwmx.com. But I noticed that this would only send if I was solely on the EDGE network. So if I were at home and I was connected to my wi-fi, I would have to turn off my wi-fi on the iPhone and get on the EDGE network to respond to a work email. I found this annoying.
My solution was to use Gmail's SMTP server with an account that I have there, and then use Gmail to spoof my return address so that the emails would appear to come from my work address.