I just got an 8GB iPhone and was loving the iCal syncing (among other things). However, I then noticed that the darn thing was syncing with a seemingly random calendar and not the one I originally chose. I proceeded to change the preferred calendar in iTunes when I noticed to my dismay that it reverted back to the one iTunes chose for me! To make a long story short, there seems to be a bug (go figure) in iPhone syncing.
I noticed that the calendar iTunes chose happens to be at the bottom of my list (in iCal), so I just reordered my iCal calendars so that the one I wanted my iPhone to sync to is on the bottom. Problem solved (until Apple gets around to actually fixing this bug).
[robg adds: I haven't had this problem with my iPhone; the chosen calendar seems to 'stick' just fine. In an email exchange with the author, the problem may be caused by the fact that most of his calendar names begin with an "@," which is related to his use of iGTD.]
There is actually an incredibly easy way to save, organize, and view most kinds of files on your iPhone. This includes PDFs, as well as files from Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Pages, Keynote, Safari, and pretty much any other kind of file you can think of. The application that you need to use on your iPhone is neither Mail nor Safari. It is, instead, the Photo application on your iPhone. You will be able to scroll, zoom, and organize the files however you like. They will be stored automatically in a folder in iPhoto with virtually no effort.
The OS X function that allows all of this is the Print function found in most applications. Print has a special item on the PDF button called Save PDF to iPhoto. This will convert whatever you are printing into a PDF file and send it directly to iPhoto. You will organize your documents in iPhoto for syncing using this method. Here are the instructions to do this:
Open the file you want to view on your iPhone in its native app in OS X.
Select Print. In the dialog that appears select the PDF button on the bottom left hand side.
Now scroll down the pop-up list and select Save PDF to iPhoto.
iPhoto will launch, and you will be prompted for an album name to store the new files. Type in the name of the document, or if you prefer just "iPhone Documents" if you'd like to make this album the repository of all your converted documents.
Sync your iPhone. You'll have to go to the Photo page in iTunes to make sure the folder is selected and that the images sync.
On your iPhone, click Photos and you'll see the PDF has been broken down by pages and is viewable, scrollable, and zoomable like any other photo.
If you are printing in either Word or Excel or other supported programs, you can increase the text size of the document and print the file to iPhoto in landscape mode to increase the quality of the image that is created. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that Preview has this feature. It helps if the document you want to view doesn't have small text. I suspect there must be a way to control the quality of the converted documents somewhere, so if anyone knows how, please post.
This one seems obvious to me, but it's important enough to share. I am happy that my iPhone provides internet access anywhere in my city (San Diego), but of course, it's slow compared to my cable modem at home. Traveling around town and in other cities, I yearn for a faster connection.
So, let's say that I'm in a neighborhood that I'm not familiar with. I ask somebody nearby what the local zip code is (let's say, 92116), and then I go to the Maps widget on my iPhone. I type in wifi 92116 and then hit Search. Up will pop up a whole array of (usually) free wireless networks -- coffee shops, libraries, book stores. Alternatively, I can just search for a Starbucks in the area, and then walk across the street to the coffee shop that Starbucks is trying to drive out of business. The competitor will always have free wireless, while Starbucks never does. :-).
If I'm really stranded, far away from any obvious wireless access, I can just look around for a large condo complex and park in Visitor's Parking. There are usually at least a dozen wireless networks within range, and several won't be locked.
[robg adds: The Maps widget is definitely one of the iPhone's "why didn't anyone else think of this?" features; it's the one I've probably used most since getting the iPhone a week ago. No more fumbling to find some place's name or phone number while driving; pull over, tap a few letters into Maps, and you get not just a map but full contact information for most any place.]
This doesn't appear to be covered in the manual, so I thought I'd pass it along. When you're in the iPhone's text entry mode, if you hold the Delete key down, it will delete letter-by-letter for a few seconds, then it will begin deleting entire words.
This is great when replying to e-mails and you want to trim out the unrelated content.
[robg adds: I wouldn't describe the process as "quick," but "quicker than letter by letter." Being able to select a chunk of text would be the best solution; one press of the Delete key would then make it vanish.]
On the 1.0 version of the iPhone software, there appears to be a bug concerning VPN passwords and the onscreen keyboard. If you save one, it isn't always correctly saved. Upon connecting to the VPN, you'll be prompted to put in a password. Unfortunately, you are presented with only a numeric "dialpad" keyboard with no apparent way to enter text characters.
I've found that I can just put in a number and submit it, and then I'll get another password dialog box that gives access to the full alphanumeric keyboard. I'm guessing this will be fixed shortly, but I hope this helps a few people in the meantime.
Due to space constraints, the virtual keyboard on the iPhone doesn't include any punctuation. Instead, you press a .?123 key to bring up the numbers and punctuation keyboard. However, this is a bit of a pain when typing an email -- adding a comma or a period requires three taps: one to bring up the alternate keyboard, one to press the period, and another to return to the normal keyboard.
However, Andrew McCallum sent a tip to David Pogue, who then published it on this page that makes the process much simpler: instead of using a tap-release, just tap-and-hold the .?123 key, then slide your finger onto the period (or comma). As soon as you touch the period or comma, it's inserted into your text, and the normal ABC keyboard returns! It takes a bit of practice to get used to this action, but once you do, it's much faster.
In the comments to my blog post on the Macworld iPhone page, a reader commented that you can do the same thing more easily by just double-tapping the Space Bar. In my testing, however, I couldn't make that work (at least not in Notes or Mail).
My coworker Dan Frakes uncovered this little nugget: if you're reading an HTML email in the iPhone's Mail app, you can tap-and-hold on the link, and the destination URL will be shown. This prevents inadvertent clicking on spammy URLs, where the spammer has set the link text to one thing, and the link URL to another. Dan's got a screenshot of how it looks on the linked page above.
This also works in Safari on the iPhone, and that behavior is documented in the iPhone's user manual. (The manual is a downloadable PDF, and is not included in the iPhone's box. I imagine that's because the iPhone's functionality will be changing with future updates, and a printed manual would be nearly instantly out of date. Still, it would've been nice to find the download URL in the included documentation, at the least.)
Like many, I was a bit upset over the iPhone's recessed headphone port; it seemingly made it impossible to use most existing headphones with the iPod. However, I was able to modify my headset's connector such that they now plug in perfectly. Basically, my headphone's connector had a small ring of plastic near the base; I snipped it off with a utility knife. This only took about a minute, and it seemed like a relatively safe modification. (Of course, my headphones have a replaceable cord, so if I messed up, I knew I could repair the damage.)
If you try this, you are proceeding at your own risk: any damage to your iPhone, your headphones, or your fingers is your fault, not mine. You have been warned. See the linked blog post for more details, including before and after photos.