10 Things To Know About Your New iPhone

You can do a lot with the iPhone—make a phone call, surf the Web, watch a movie—just with the touch of a button. But dig a little deeper, and you can do a lot more. Those close to me have probably heard my ravings about iPhones. Well, here are 10 tips for getting the most out of the iPhone’s features.

  1. Purchase a screen protector – even with case
    Trust me – I place this as #1 for a reason. Last summer, I learned my lesson when I dropped my iPhone  on a Chicago sidewalk the day before July 4th. The screen cracked and eventually the phone stoped turning on all together. Screen protectors are very wise – and very inexpensive compared to the $200 bucks I dropped on a replacement iPhone.  Once you learn the iPhone experience, you really won’t want to use any other smartphone.
  2. Backup Your iPhone
    Before you install the new OS, it’s a good idea to back up your iPhone one last time before you take the OS 3.0 plunge. You can right-click on your iPhone in iTunes to initiate a manual backup of your iPhone. This is your safety net in case something horrible happens. And if something does goes awry, use Restore from Backup and choose the latest backup to get back to square one.
  3. Make it yours
    Open some of the Apple-provided apps on your iPhone and start customizing them. The Weather app, for instance, defaults to Cupertino, California (home of Apple’s corporate headquarters), which is of no use to you if you live on the east coast. It’s also worth checking your time zone settings, to make sure they’re set to your nearest city. If you have a Facebook account, sign into it in the Facebook app so you can access your profile, friends, news feeds, etc. You’d be surprised how many new iPhone users don’t bother to visit the Settings on their device, and then wonder why certain things don’t work the way they want them to.
  4. Search is just an extra tap awayine – tune your Spotlight search results
    When you tap the Home button on the iPhone while on a secondary Home screen, it’ll return you to your main iPhone Home screen. If you tap the Home button a second time, you’ll be taken to the spotlight search page. You can also reach this page by swiping to the left of your main Home Screen.
    Another iPhone OS 3.0 introduction was the ability to tap the Home button from your main screen to get to the Spotlight search page (or tap the Home button twice from any other page). If you find yourself mostly searching for only certain kinds of files, you can fine-tune what Spotlight seeks out by going to Settings > General > Home > Search Results. Uncheck the options you don’t need and even drag the ones that are most important to you to the top of the screen so they’ll pop up first.
  5. Maximize Battery Life
    There is a separate sensor situated right above the earpiece, that detects ambient light. The iPhone uses this sensor only once per session, just as you unlock the handset. But if you cover the sensor as you unlock the phone, you will trikc the handset into thinking it’s in a dark room, and it will power down the screen brightness. You can Also turn off Bluetooth and WiFi if you don’t expect to use them for a while. You can also set email fetch time to “Hourly” or “Manually”, and turn the “Push” off in order to save energy.
  6. Jump to the top of the page
    Flicking up and down to scroll through a Web page, an email message or a list of messages is fairly quick; however if you’re near the bottom of a long page or list it can take ages to scroll back up to the top. Thankfully there’s a quick way to return to the top: just tap the status bar at the top of the screen.
  7. Double tap space bar for a period
    When typing on your iPhone, double tapping the space bar at the end of a sentence automatically enters a period followed by a space. No need to press “123” to get to the numbers and symbols page where the period typically resides. I use this trick daily and it heavily increases my typing speed (especially when texting).
  8. Screenshots
    Simultaneously press the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons to take a screenshot of your current screen. You’ll hear a camera shutter sound, your screen will flash white, then the screenshot will appear in the “Saved Photos” library of the Photos app.
  9. Conference calls in style
    Many new iPhone users don’t realize that their device is capable of connecting them with more than one person at a time. In fact, you can merge up to five calls! Start by calling the first person. Once connected, tap “Add Call” and make the second call; the first call is put on hold. Tap “Merge Calls” and now you’re on with two friends at once! You can repeat the process to add more callers as necessary. To speak privately with any one caller, tap “Conference” and then tap “Private” next to that caller. To resume the conference, tap “Merge Calls.” You can even add an incoming call by tapping “Hold Call + Answer” and then tapping “Merge Calls.”
  10. Help! Something went wrong!
    Yeah, I sound like a broken record, but if a rogue app goes haywire or other problems crop up, restarting your device should clear things up. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the red slider appears, then slide your finger across the slider to turn the phone off. Let things settle for a moment or two, then press and hold the Sleep/Wake button again until the Apple logo appears. For more severe calamities, try resetting the iPhone by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time for at least ten seconds until the Apple logo appears. If you’re just stuck in an app and need to force quit, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button for a few seconds until a red slider appears, then press and hold the Home button until the application quits.

Click here for a list of some of my favorite apps.


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