iPhone Life magazine

Getting to Know Your iOS Device

What's inside your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad?

iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

HardwareIPhoneITouchOut of the box, the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad are powerful devices with plenty of built-in features to satisfy your daily requirements for productivity and fun. Whether you're thinking about buying an iPad, a longtime user of the iPhone, or a brand new user of the iPod touch, a refresher course in the basics will come in handy. Out of the box, here's what you get when you purchase an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

iPhone 4 & iPod touch (fourth generation)

The iPhone and iPod touch are similar in appearance and have many of the same features (see graphic above right). Of course, the iPod touch does not have a built-in cell phone. In addition, there are minor differences in the placement of buttons and ports, which are indicated in this graphic.

iPad (first generation)

HardwareIPadAlthough much larger, the iPad has many similar hardware as the iPhone and iPod touch. 

Buttons, switches, ports, and other hardware features

Features and specs described here are for the iPhone 4, iPod touch gen 4, and iPad. 

Battery, Li-Polymer rechargeable (all devices):

  • iPhone 4: 3.7V, 1420 mAh; Usage (mfg. est.): up to 7 hours talk time (3G), 14 hours talk time (2G, GSM only), 300 hours standby, 40 hours listening to music, 10 hours watching video, 10 hours Web browsing (Wi-Fi), 6 hours Web browsing (3G);
  • iPod touch gen4: 3.7V, 930 mAh; Usage (mfg. est.): up to 40 hours music, 7 hours videos;

  • iPad: 3.7V, 6750 mAh; Usage (mfg. est.): up to 10 hours music, videos, or Web browsing via Wi-Fi; 9 hours Web browsing via 3G connection.

Camera, front-facing (iPhone & iPod touch): The front-facing camera can shoot VGA quality video and still images.

Camera, rear-facing (iPhone & iPod touch) and LED Flash (iPhone 4 only): The iPhone 4's camera can take 5-megapixel still images; the iPod touch can take 720x960 pixel still images (less than one megapixel). Both devices can record video at up to 720p HD. Earlier versions of the iPod touch have no camera at all.

Multi-touch display (all devices): The iPhone and iPod touch have 3.5-inch diagonal color touch screens with 960x640 pixel resolution. The iPad has a 9.7-inch diagonal color touch screen with 1024x768 pixel resolution. The iPhone 4 uses Apple's new "Retina Display," which has 326 dots per inch resolution; about four times the number of pixels as previous iPhone screens. The multi-touch display lets you select apps, type messages, dial phone numbers, and otherwise interact with your iOS device.

Dock connector (all devices): The iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad have identical 30-pin iPod dock connector ports on the bottom edge of the devices that let you connect to your computer and sync data, music, videos, and other files using the USB cable that ships with the devices. You also charge the device with this port, using the AC power adapter that ships with the devices.

Headphone jack (all devices): This headphone jack is a standard 3.5mm audio jack that you find in most audio devices. You can use your own headphones, but if you want to talk and listen at the same time, you'll need to purchase an add-on adapter with a microphone.

Home button (all devices): It's your shortcut out of the app you're using and it takes you to the Home screen. Pressing the Home button again will take you to the Spotlight search screen. For more on what the Home button can do, see page 20.

Microphone (all devices): The iPhone uses an internal microphone found at the bottom right corner of the device. It serves many purposes including making phone calls, recording voice messages, using voice control and more. The 4G iPod touch also has this microphone, and you can use it to record video and sound.

Processor (all devices): A4 processor capable of running at 1-GHz (actual speed varies between device types).

RAM memory (all devices): Used to run iOS and apps. iPhone 4, iPod touch gen 4: 512MB; iPad: 256MB RAM.

Receiver (iPhone only): Place your ear close to this to listen to incoming calls. (You can also use the headphones that came with your iPhone.)

Ring/Silent switch (iPhone, iPad): On the iPhone, this switch toggles between activating the ringer or putting your phone is silent mode. Since this switch only silences the ringer, you can still listen to music through the phone's speakers. With iOS 4.3, the switch toggles between screen orientation lock and silencer. When in silent mode, you don't hear any of the beeps and other sounds associated with opening and using the apps. Like the iPhone, you can still listen to music.

SIM card tray (iPhone, iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G): The tray accepts a micro-SIM card, which is needed to connect to AT&T's GSM network. SIM cards are not used with Verizon's CDMA network. If you ever need to eject the SIM card, you can do so by inserting the end of a paper clip into the tiny hole on the side of your device.

Sleep/Wake button (all devices): This turns the screen on and off to conserve power. The iPhone will still receive calls with the screen off, and all devices will continue to play music. Pressing the button again or pressing the Home button will turn the screen back on. To turn off your device completely, press and hold down on the Sleep/Wake Button until "slide to power off" appears; then move the slide to the right. Turn your device back on by pressing and holding down on the Sleep/Wake button. Press the Sleep/Wake button once to silence an incoming call on your iPhone, and press it twice to send the call directly to voicemail.

Speaker (all devices): The speaker is located at the bottom left edge of the iPod touch and the bottom right edge of the iPhone and iPad. It projects speakerphone calls on the iPhone as well as music, movie audio, and other sounds on all devices.

Storage memory & price (all devices): All iOS devices come with built-in flash memory to store music, videos, data, and other files. Current models available: iPod touch 8GB ($$229), 32GB ($299), 64GB ($399); iPhone: 16GB ($199), 32GB ($299); iPad with Wi-Fi: 16GB ($499), 32GB ($599), 64GB ($699); iPad with Wi-Fi +3G: 16GB ($629), 32GB ($729), 64GB ($829). The iPhone price requires a new 2-year wireless service contract with AT&T or Verizon Wireless. The iPad is sold without a service contract, but to use the 3G capabilities you will need to purchase a monthly service contract.

Volume up and down buttons (all devices): These buttons control the volume of calls, sounds, and audio/video playback.

Accessories that ship with iOS devices

Dock connector USB cable (all devices): Connects your iOS device to the power adapter or to a Mac or PC computer for syncing.

Documentation (all devices): Minimal getting started instructions are included. You can download full user guides in PDF format from Apple's website (support.apple.com/manuals).

These standard white earbuds come 
with many Apple products.

EarphonesEarphones (iPhone, iPod touch): The iPod touch ships with a standard set of white stereo earphones that connect via cable to the headphone jack. The iPhone ships with earphones with a built in mic, which can be used for phone calls or to listen to music. The iPhone's earphones (shown above) have a remote control built onto the cable that lets you adjust volume, change music tracks, and answer and end calls. The remote has some neat control features built into it: To pause playback, squeeze the control once. To resume playback, squeeze it again. To skip to the next track, squeeze it twice. To go back to the previous track, squeeze it three times. To send an incoming call straight to voice mail without answering it, squeeze and hold for a few seconds. When you're on a call, you can switch to another incoming call by squeezing once. To switch back to the original call, squeeze and hold.

Power adapter (all devices): Wall socket power adapter to charge your iOS device.

Apple software built into iOS devices

Unless otherwise indicated, the following software is built into all current versions of the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. 

Operating system: The "iPhone OS" was renamed "iOS" with the release of version 4.0. As of early March, 2011, the latest version was iOS 4.3. iOS is based on Mac OS X.

AirPrint: Lets you print photos, e-mail, Web pages, and more to an AirPrint-enabled printer.

AirPlay: Lets you stream music, video, and photo content to the latest version of Apple TV.

App StoreApp Store: Lets you browse the App Store and purchase/download apps from your iOS device. (Internet connection required.)

CalculatorCalculator (iPhone, iPod touch): Lets you add, subtract, multiply, and divide. Rotate the device horizontally and the app becomes an expanded scientific calculator.

CalendarCalendar: Make and track calendar appointments. Receive alerts when appointments come due. Sync with Mac OS X or Windows calendars. View and search MobileMe, iCal, Microsoft Exchange calendars.

CameraCamera (iOS devices with cameras): Take photos, and record videos. Tap to focus on a specific object or area. Trim and save video clips. Upload videos directly to YouTube. Take a friend's picture and set the iPhone to display it when that person calls you.

ClockClock (iPhone, iPod touch): View the time in cities around the world and create clocks for your favorite cities. In addition, the app features alarms, a stopwatch, and a countdown timer.

CompassCompass (iPhone 4): Use the built-in digital compass (iPhone 3GS or later) to determine your heading. Get your current coordinates. Choose between true north and magnetic north.

ContactsContacts: Enter and access contact information; sync info with Mac OS X or Windows address books. Sync over the Internet with MobileMe, Google Contacts, Yahoo Address Book, and Microsoft Exchange.

FaceTimeFaceTime (iPod touch; capability integrated into the Phone app on the iPhone): Make video calls to other iPod touch 4th generation or iPhone 4 users over Wi-Fi. Use the front camera to talk face to face, or the main camera to share what you see.

gamecenter Game Center: A social gaming app that lets you play multiplayer games, track achievements, and more.

iPodiPod (iPhone): App that lets you play audio and video content, including music, video clips, movies, audiobooks, and podcasts. (The iPod touch divides these functions into two apps: Music and Videos.)

 iPod (iPad): Lets you play audio media content, including music, audiobooks, and podcasts. (The iPad has a separate app for playing video content: Videos.)
iTunesiTunes store: Lets you access and purchase music, video, and other content from the iTunes store. (A separate app is used to purchase applications: App Store.)
iMailMail: Send and receive mail using many of the most popular email services, Microsoft Exchange, or most industry-standard POP3 and IMAP mail services. You can send and save photos, view PDFs and other attachments, and more. Works with MobileMe and many of the most popular e-mail systems, including Yahoo!, Google, and AOL.

imapsMaps: Find your current location and get detailed driving directions from it to another location. View street, satellite, and hybrid maps of locations around the world. Zoom in on them for greater detail, or out for the bigger picture. Find businesses in your area (and place calls to them on the iPhone with a single tap). It accesses the built-in compass on the iPhone 3GS and 4 to indicate which way you are facing.

MessagesMessages (iPhone): Lets you send and receive MMS and text messages; can include video and photos.

MusicMusic (iPod touch): Lets you play audio media content on your iTouch.

NikeNike + iPod (iPhone, iPod touch): Nike + iPod (which appears when you activate it in Settings) turns the iPhone into a workout companion. Track your pace, time, and distance from one workout to the next, and choose a song to power through your routine. (iPhone 3GS or later. Requires select Nike shoes and a Nike + iPod Sensor, sold separately.)

NotesNotes: Lets you enter quick notes, e-mail them to a friend or associate, and sync them to Mail, Microsoft Outlook, or Outlook Express. You can also sync them over the air with a MobileMe, Google, Yahoo!, or IMAP account.

PhonePhone (iPhone): Supports the built-in phone and allows you to place and receive calls, check your voicemail, make FaceTime video calls, and more.

PhotosPhotos: Lets you organize, view, print, copy, e-mail, and watch a slideshow of your photos. You can attach them to MMS messages on the iPhone or publish them to a MobileMe gallery. You can also use the app to assign a photo to a contact.

SafariSafari: This iOS version of Apple's popular Web browser lets you visit sites over a cellular data or Wi-Fi connection. You can open multiple pages, sync bookmarks with Safari or Internet Explorer from your computer, clip website shortcuts to your Home page, save Web images to your photo library, and more.

SettingsSettings: Lets you adjust all settings, including volume limit, ringtones, wallpaper, screen brightness, and settings for network, phone, mail, web, music, video, photos, and more. Use Location Services settings to set location privacy options for Maps, Camera, Compass, and applicable third-party apps. Set auto-lock and a passcode for security. Restrict access to explicit iTunes content and certain apps. Reset the iPhone.

Spotlight Search: Find apps quickly and search across all apps for information.

Stocks Stocks (iPhone, iPod touch): View stock activity, including current, opening, and average price; trading volume, market capitalization, company news, and more. Rotate device to see detailed charts in landscape orientation. Drag your finger along the charts to track price points, or use two fingers to see a range between points.

VideosVideos (iPad, iPod touch; features incorporated into iPod app on the iPhone): Watch purchased or rented movies and TV shows, music videos, and video podcasts.

Voice controlVoice Control (iPhone, iPod touch): Lets you make phone calls and control music playback with voice commands.

voicecontrolVoice Memos (iPhone, iPod touch): Record voice memos using the built-in microphone. You can play them back on your device, e-mail them to a friend or associate, or use iTunes to sync them to your desktop computer. You can attach them to MMS messages on your iPhone.

WeatherWeather (iPhone, iPod touch): Lets you view up-to-date weather conditions for your favorite cites and a six-day forecasts.

YoutubeYouTube: View videos from YouTube's online collection. The app lets you search for any video or browse featured, most viewed, most recently updated, and top-rated videos. You can also use the app to set up, log in to, and interact with your YouTube account.

NOTE: PhotoBooth, iMovie and GarageBand are available for the iPad 2. PhotoBooth is free, and GarageBand and iMovie are $4.99. GarageBand is available for the iPad.