By Steve Green on Sat, 10/18/2008
With the release of the iPhone, users have always been trying to do more with this incredibly useful smartphone. As subsequent firmware has been released with new features and the curiosity of devoted follower’s has come a bevy of tips, tricks and hidden features. Here are some of the better ones.
Some of these tips and tricks are version specific and may require the latest firmware to work.
Make a Call Fast:
Ever want to get to your speed dial list quickly? Double-tapping the home button on the front will jump to your favorites list by default.
Do More With Less:
It’s very handy to have the ability to take a call while using your headphones. The included headphones have a mic and a button to do just that. Pressing the button will answer a call and pressing it again will hang up the call, but you can do much more with that innocuous looking button. To send an incoming call to voicemail, simply press and hold the button for 2 seconds. When another call comes in while on a call, click the button to switch to the new call and put the other call on hold. A single click let’s you switch back and forth between the calls or click and hold for 2 seconds to hang up with the person you are talking and revert to the on hold call.
Which Way Do I Go:
It’s buried in the settings menu but there are AT&T specific features that will allow you to check your remaining minutes, pay your bill and more. Within Settings, go to Phone, then AT&T Services.
If you need to get to your iPod controls in a hurry while music is playing and the screen is off, you can double-tap the home button to bring up the controls. The same works for when you want to start playing music and don’t want to have to navigate back to your iPod to start your music.
Not crazy about the layout of your iPod icons? Change them easily by going into iPod mode, select the ‘More“ icon and tap the ‘Edit’ button. Hold and drag the desired icon onto the icon bar at the bottom of the screen. You can also reorder the icons by dragging them left or right to suit your tastes.
The included iPhone headphones use that handy button to help you navigate your iPod as well. You may already know that pressing the button will pause and play songs but did you know that double-clicking it will advance to the next song? Well triple clicking will jump back to the previous song and quadruple clicking will jump back to the previous song and pause it too. Anything more than that will wear out your button.
Save Your Digits:
The keyboard in Safari has a handy .com button to quickly mash out a URL, but what about my lousy website that has a .net? Not to fear, simply press and hold the .com button and up will pop an extension list that contains all of the usual suspects. The .tv and .info people are still out of luck.
Dig That Pic:
Saw a great picture on a webpage using Safari? You can’t right click to save that image but now you can touch and hold it. An option menu will pop up and allow you to save the picture to your photos.
Will the Real URL Please Stand Up:
A cool feature when you see hyperlinks is that you can touch and hold them and the link is revealed along with the link title. Releasing will take you to the link or sliding your finger off of it will cancel. This actually works in email and other applications as well.
Now this is one of my personal favorites and it’s super easy to do within any application. To screen shot your current screen, press and hold the power button then briefly press the home button and release both. If successful, the screen will flash and you’ll hear a camera sound. Your new images are saved in your camera roll.
The Way We Were:
Need something reset? Maybe your dictionary offers a word you misspelled or your home screen is a mess and you’d like to set it back the way it looked when it came out of the box. Simply go to your settings then navigate to General then Reset. Here you can reset or restore your content and settings, network settings, keyboard dictionary, home screen layout or location warnings. Be warned these resets can’t be undone but, if you have a passcode in place rest assured it won’t be reset accidentally without entering it first.
Move That App Icon:
So you just downloaded that killer app you wanted and you need it on your main screen but it’s loaded six pages back. Trying to drag it back is impossible. Go to the screen with the favorite program then hold one of the icons until they all start shaking. Drag one of your four main icons from the dock onto that screen, then drag your favorite program onto the dock. Now move over to the screen you want it on, start the shaking business again and move it off. Wash-rinse-repeat! It’s like playing Freecell.
You can easily add alternate letter types by holding the appropriate letter on any of the keyboards.
I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up:
Most of us know that holding down the power button on top of the iPhone will give the option to power off the phone. But what about when the phone is locked up and we need to reset it when that feature does not respond? Try holding down the power button then press and hold the home button and keep holding them until the phone resets or shuts off, then let go.
Rising To the Top:
A handy tip when you need to get back to the top of a long list, email, web page, etc. Simply tap the title bar at the top of the screen and you’ll be back at the very top instantly. This works for most applications.
It seems to be sage advice that when you download an application from the App Store make sure to restart your iPhone. It cures a number of crashing issues for some applications that are freshly installed. I expect this may be resolved with future firmware updates.