The iPhone and iPod touch are very easy to use and the basics are well covered in the user manuals that come with the devices. If you've misplaced your manual, you can download a PDF version from Apple's support Web page (apple.com/support).
You'll master the basics pretty quickly. Once you do, you'll begin to discover that the iPhone and iPod touch have some powerful but less obvious features that can make the devices easier to use. This article contains tips that will let you access some of that hidden power.
Making conference calls
Note that your wireless carrier must support this feature. If it does, you can make conference calls with up to five different persons. Here's how you do it:
- Place the first call. When that person picks up, tell them you will be placing them on hold to connect the other parties.
- Tap on the "Add Call" button and make the second call. This automatically places the first call on hold. Tell the second person you're putting them on hold.
- Repeat the second step until you've connected to all the people in the conference call.
- Finally, tap the "Merge Calls" button so that everyone can hear each other.
- You can drop a person from the conference call by tapping on the "End Call" icon next to the desired phone number and then hitting the larger "End Call" button.
- You can talk privately with one individual in the conference call by tapping on "Conference" and then on "Private" next to the desired phone number. Tap on "Merge Calls" to reconnect with the conference call.
- Finally, you can add an incoming call to an ongoing conference call by tapping "Hold Call," then on "Answer," and finally on "Merge Calls."
Add and size contact photo
You can add a photo to a contact by opening Contacts, tap on the desired contact, press the "Edit" button in the upper right corner, and tap on the square labeled "add photo" to the left of the contact's name. Next, tap on the "Choose Existing Photo" button and you are taken to the Photos app where you can select the desired photo.
If you have an iPhone, you can take a photo of the person and select that for the contact photo. You can also import photos of the individual from your Mac or PC using the iTunes sync feature. Finally, you can attach photos to e-mails and send them to your iPhone or iPod touch.
Once you've selected the photo you can size the photo to zoom in on the face. Tap on the photo, which at this point should be labeled "edit." Then, tap on the "Edit Photo" button in the pop-up menu. This takes you to the "Move and Scale" screen where you can adjust the picture.
You can use pinching gestures or double tap on the screen to change the size of the image. You can also use your finger to drag the image to center it. When you're satisfied with what you see, tap on the "Choose" button and the photo is saved to the contact. Look over the contact info one more time to make sure everything is accurate and press the "Done" button in the upper right.
Practical, everyday uses for Camera
You can use the Camera app on your iPhone to take photos of your family and friends, but there are other very practical uses for this function:
- If you're in an accident, document the location and damage to your car with photos; take a photo of the other car's license plate. You can e-mail them to your insurance company or if necessary, the police.
- If you leave your car in a large mall or airport parking lot, take a photo of it and make sure you have one of the parking lot ID signs in the photo (e.g., "Lot E4"). It will help you find the car when you are leaving.
- If you see something you want to buy at a store, but need input from your partner before you make the purchase, take a photo of it and e-mail it to him or her. These can be items of a personal nature, like a living room lamp, or work related, like a piece of office equipment.
- Take a photo of all your pets and keep it on the iPhone. If they go missing, you can reproduce it for your "missing pet" posters or to show people what the pet looks like.
- If you're visiting a home or business and see a room design that you like that you may want to reproduce in your own home or business, take a photo of it.
- Take a photo of important documents (wills, birth certificates, Social Security Cards, etc.) and keep them on your device.
- Take a photo of the hand-drawn map to the potluck or the handwritten recipe for your mom's delicious key lime pie.
There are many, many more practical uses for the iPhone's camera.
Start camera app quickly
If you take a lot of photos with your iPhone and want to be able to launch the Camera app quickly, attach it to the Home button by going to Settings >General >Home and selecting Camera. This configures the iPhone so that pressing the Home button twice in quick succession launches the Camera app.
Access extra punctuation marks and symbols quickly
We've mentioned before that if you hold down on a vowel in the iPhone's pop-up keyboard, you are presented with accented variations of the vowel used in other languages. You can also enter less common punctuation marks and symbols using this method.
For example, go to the number/symbol keypad and hold down on the following keys:
- Hold down on the double-quotation mark key and you get ascii (straight) quotation marks, typeset (curly) quotation marks, and other options.
- Hold down on the dollar symbol and you get the symbols for other major world symbols.
- Hold down on the dash key and you get the option of entering the longer "em-dash."
- Hold down on the quotation mark and you get the option of entering the inverted quotation mark used at the beginning of sentences in some languages.
Other alternate symbols are available by pressing other keys.
Forwarding or turning a "read" message into an "unread" message
Even with a spam filter, you can end up getting a lot of e-mail. You probably respond to or delete most of it, but there may be a few that you don't want to (or can't) respond to immediately. You can deal with these in one of two ways.
First, if you know what needs to be done with the message, you can forward it to yourself with a description of what needs to be done in the message header or the text body. On the iPhone or iPod touch, simply open the message in your Inbox, hit the "Reply/Forward" button at the bottom, and select "Forward."
Second, if you need to look at it again but don't know what needs to be done, you can mark it as unread. On the iPod touch, open the message, tap on "Details" and select "Mark As Unread." On the iPhone, open the message and tap on the "Mark As Unread" button.
Search for missing album cover art
To search for missing artwork, open iTunes on your PC or Mac, select Advanced >Get Album Artwork. As long as you have an iTunes account and an active connection to the Internet, iTunes will attempt to retrieve artwork for any albums and videos in your library that is in the iTunes Store's catalog.
Jumping to the Home screen; switching between screens
If you like to download and install third-party apps, you quickly wind up with multiple Home screens. A flick of the finger will take you from one Home screen to another. A quick way to get back to the main Home screen from other Home screen pages is to press the Home button. (This feature is available from version 2.2 onward.) In addition, you can switch between Home screens without swiping by tapping the lower left and right corners of the screen.
Rearranging your icons
As you add apps to your iPhone or iPod touch, they appear as icons on the Home screen. When the Home screen is full, a second screen is added which can accept icons for another 16 apps. You can have a total of 11 screens holding 176 apps (including the apps built into the iPhone).
By default, app icons are added to these Home screens in the order they are installed. The pre-installed apps (Messages, Calendar, Photos, etc.) appear on the first screen; apps you download from iTunes fill up that Home screen first then appear on subsequent screens. If you've installed a lot of apps, it can be difficult to find them.
Fortunately, you can rearrange app icons so that the order makes more sense to you. For example, you can arrange them in alphabetical order or place all the games on one screen and utilities on another. You could also place your most-used apps on the first Home screen and your least used apps on the last. The easiest way to do this is from iTunes:
- Connect your iPhone/iPod touch to your Mac or PC and open iTunes.
- After syncing is complete, click on your device, which is listed under DEVICES in the left-hand column.
- Open the Applications tab and make sure Sync Applications is checked.
- Click on the icon you want to move and hold down on the mouse button.
- Drag the icon to the desired position in the desired Home screen.
- When you're finished moving the icons around, click on the "Apply" button and iTunes will sync the changes with the iPhone/iPod touch.
Rearrange icons from your iPhone or iPod touch
- Go the Home page that has the app icon you want to move.
- Press and hold down on the icon until the icons begin to shake.
- Slide it to the position you want it to occupy on the current Home page. You can also use this technique to move icons from one page to another. Simply slide them to the extreme left or right edge of the screen until the other Home screen page appears. Then move it into the desired position on that page.
- Move any other icon in a similar fashion. When you're finished rearranging things…
- Press on the Home button to exit the "rearrange" mode.