iPhone Life magazine

Tips for iPhone 3GS and OS 3.0

We announced the new iPhone 3GS and OS 3.0 in the last issue of iPhone Life. In this issue, we take a more in-depth look as some of the added features.


Fall 2009 Tips

  • With OS 3.0, you can now attach up to 5 photos to an e-mail message, up from one in the previous version of the OS. Follow these steps:Launch the Photos app and open the desired photo albumTap on the arrow icon in the lower left corner of the screen.Tap on the desired photos to select them.Tap on the Share button in the lower left corner and hit the Email button in the pop-up screen.Fill out the To, Cc/Bcc, and Subject fields, add a message, and hit the Send button.  This feature makes it easier to send a series of photos to family, friends, or associates. At iPhone Life, we capture many iPhone and iPod touch screen shots for articles. We use this new 3.0 feature to e-mail them to our desktop computers, where we do most of the editorial work.
  • OS 3.0 lets you quickly and easily e-mail contact info to another person. (When AT&T makes MMS available, you’ll be able to share contact info via instant messaging as well.).Select the desired contact and display it in full-screen vie w.Go to the bottom of the screen and tap on the Share Contact button. This opens a new e-mail with the contact info attached as a .vcf file.Fill in the e-mail address and hit send.
  • Undo and redo typing quickly: Shake it, baby! The new OS takes advantage of the accelerometer to let you do some quick, basic editing in any app that accepts text. Simply shake the iPhone or iPod touch to undo the text you just entered. A pop-up appears, allowing you to confirm the action by hitting the Undo Typing button, or cancel it. If you decide you didn’t really want to undo the typing, shake the device again. This time, the pop-up will let you Redo Typing. This feature only works with text you just entered in the current data field. For example, if you create a note with the phrase “Pick up hardware for door” and close the note, that text cannot be deleted with the shake feature if you open the note again. Also, if you’ve filled in the To field in an e-mail message, and move to the Subject field, you can’t go back and use the shake feature to delete the address. Fortunately, there are other ways to delete text that cannot be shaken away.
  • Even the music in your favorites list can get old after a few months. If you want to skip a song you’ve heard too many times, you can always tap on the Next button in iPod’s Now Playing screen. But with OS 3.0, it’s even easier. Simply shake your iPhone or iPod touch while you are listening to music and the iPod app will skip to the next song. This feature also works with videos and audiobooks. Note that you must be in the iPod app for this feature to work. You can’t be listening to music in the background while you’re using another app.
  • I have some news that should resolve the overheating issue that has been plaguing a percentage of iPhone 3GS owners since its release. I have not experienced this issue myself, but have a very reliable source who has and who claims to have solved it. It apparently has to do with a corrupt software image of OS 3.0 that was flashed onto the devices during production. If you are experiencing this problem, the solution is to do a full restore of the iPhone OS 3.0 software from iTunes. This is accomplished by selecting the Restore button in the device Summary tab. DO NOT restore data and apps from the backup of your device that iTunes creates—this may restore the corrupt image. Restore the iPhone to its original condition and then manually reinstall all of your applications and data. This is a time consuming process, but I have been assured that this will solve the overheating issue. Steve Green (iPhoneLife.com/blog)
  • OS 3.0 adds Cut, Copy, & Paste capability to the iPhone and iPod touch. This system-wide feature works with any app that accepts text entry. Before you can cut or copy text, you first have to select it. To do this you have to do the following:Press and hold down on the text you wish to cut until a magnifying glass pops upPosition the cursor exactly where you want to cut or copy textLift your finger from the text to display the selection bubbleTap on SelectFinally, use your finger to move the blue grab points to select the exact text you wish to cut or copy. It’s far easier to double tap on part of the text you want to highlight. That will immediately display the blue grab points. The iPhone tries to anticipate your need and provides you with the most obvious choice between cut, copy, or paste in the bubble. If it can’t be determined, all three choices will be displayed. To paste a word or phrase into a document, press and hold down on the place you wish to insert the text until the magnifying glass pops up. Use it to position the cursor exactly where you want to insert the text; then lift up your finger and tap on Paste in the pop-up bubble.
  • Spotlight Search is one the best new features in OS 3.0. Given that you can now have up to 11 pages of apps, swiping constantly to find them can be a bit irritating. Spotlight Search is the fastest way to find an app, contact, e-mail, song, video, or other piece of data. Simply open the Spotlight Search window, begin entering your search query, and a list of possible results is displayed and refined as you type. When you see what you’re looking for, tap on it to open it. To go to Spotlight, go to the Home screen and swipe left. You can also press the Home button from the Home screen to open the search screen. Finally, you can configure the system (Settings >General >Home) to go directly to Spotlight by hitting the Home button twice. (You can also configure the iPhone to open the Camera screen when you hit Home twice.) This app is excellent to use; I even found e-mails from the trash during a recent search. It really mitigates what was becoming a double-edged sword of the iPhone’s apps: there are so many good ones that it can fill up your Home pages pretty quickly.
  • The new Spotlight search feature can be accessed directly from other apps. From Mail: Open your Inbox or other folders and tap on the Search field at the top of the list. (You may have to scroll up to get there.) Select whether you want to search on the From, To, or Subject fields (or All). Enter your search word or phrase and hit the Search button at the bottom of the screen.From Notes: Open Notes, scroll to the top, key in your search, and hit the Search button.From iPod: Open Playlists, Songs, Videos, (or any of the tab options), scroll to the top, key in your search, and hit the Search button.  
  • In previous versions of the OS, you had to open a note and tap on the trashcan icon to delete it. You can now swipe across an item in your Notes list (from left to right, or right to left) to display a Delete button.
  • It’s easy to lose track of how many third-party apps you’ve installed on your iPhone. With OS 3.0, you can find out quickly. Go to Settings >General >About and look at the list. It will tell you the network you are connected to and the number of songs, videos, and photos you have on your device. The fifth item in the list tells you how many third-party apps you have installed.
  • With OS 3.0 you can now sync your Notes with your Mac or PC desktop/laptop computer. You set this up in iTunes by connecting your iPhone or iPod touch to your computer, opening the device screen, clicking on the Info tab, and browsing down to the Notes section. Click on the box labeled “Sync notes with” and select the application you want to sync with from the drop down list. (Usually, there will only be one option.)
  • You can secure the backup iTunes makes when you connect to your computer. To do this, connect to your Mac or PC, go the device screen, and click on the box labeled “Encrypt iPod backup.” You will be prompted to enter and confirm a password. Do so, and make sure you remember it! You won’t be able to access and restore the backup without the password.
  • YouTube Publish videos to YouTube (3GS only) A number of features have been added to the YouTube app, including the ability to sign onto your YouTube account from the iPhone or iPod touch and save favorites, make comments, access subscriptions, and more. You can also publish videos to YouTube from the new iPhone 3GS. Here’s how you do it:While viewing a video, tap on the Send icon at the bottom of the screen and hit the Send to YouTube button.Sign onto your YouTube account.Enter publishing information such as Title, Description, and Tags.Tap on Category and select a category.Tap on Publish.
  • This new app lets you create and save short voice recordings using the iPhone’s built-in microphone, the iPhone headset with mic, or third-party headsets certified to work with the iPhone. Simply open the Voice Memos app, tap on the round red record button, and start talking. When you’re finished hit the square black button in the lower right. Here are some additional tips:The app displays a recording level (VU) meter at the bottom of the screen. You can adjust this level by moving the microphone closer to or further away from the audio source. Experiment with this to find the distance and voice level that works best for you.Recordings using the built-in mic are mono; you can create stereo recordings using an optional stereo microphone.You can improve the quality of your audio recordings by loosely blocking or cupping the microphone hole on the bottom of the iPhone. This is particularly useful when you are outside on a windy day, or when there is a lot of ambient noise.Display and play voice memos. Tap on the bottom right button to display a list of the memos you’ve recorded. Tap on the desired memo until it is highlighted in blue; then, tap the small Play button to the left of the memo.Press the Speaker button in the upper left corner to play a voice memo through the built-in speakers. If you can’t hear your voice memos when you play them, this feature is probably turned off. Hit the button to turn it back on. When on, the button will be blue; when off, blue-grey.Trim voice memos. Tap on the blue arrow button to the right of the memo in the list, and then tap on Trim Memo. Tap and hold on the beginning or end of the blue audio bar until a small time indicator bubble appears. Then, drag your finger to the left or right to adjust the beginning or end of the recording. Tap on the small play button to the left of the blue bar to preview your edit. When you are satisfied, hit the yellow Trim Voice Memo button. (Note: You can’t undo a trim; make sure you’re satisfied before you hit the yellow button.)Share voice memos. You can send a voice memo to a friend or associate via e-mail or MMS message. Tap on a memo in the Voice Memos list and then the Share button on the bottom left. Next, press the Email Voice Memo button. A New Message window will open and the voice memo will already be attached. Fill in the rest of the info and press Send.
  • With OS 3.0, you can open a link in a new Web page. When you see a link you want to open press and hold the link until the pop-up menu appears. Then tap on the button labeled “Open in New Page.” You can also copy the link’s URL to the clipboard and paste it elsewhere.
  • Many Web sites have “Web forms” you need to fill out. For example, you may need to enter your name and address when you purchase something online, or you may have to enter a username and password to log onto a Web site. The new OS comes with an AutoFill feature that lets you use Contact info to fill out Web forms. It also lets your device “remember” usernames and passwords, and fills them in for you automatically. The AutoFill feature must be turned on before you can use it.Go to Settings >Safari >AutoFillTurn on Names & Passwords. (When this feature is on, Safari remembers names and passwords of Web sites you visit and automatically fills in the information when you revisit the site.)Turn on Use Contact Info, tap on My Info, and select an item from your Contacts list. (Usually, this will be a contact with your own, personal info.) Safari will use this information from now on to fill in fields on a Web form.
  • With OS 3.0, you can restrict the use of certain content and apps on an iPhone or iPod touch. For example, you can disallow the downloading of explicit audio/video content purchased via iTunes; disable Safari, YouTube, the iTunes Music and App stores; block the installation of third-party apps and, on an iPhone, disable the Camera app as well. The icons for the disabled apps disappear from the Home screen. Here’s how you do it:Go to Settings >General >Restrictions, and tap on “Enable Restrictions.”Enter and then re-enter a 4-digit passcode. (You’ll need this when you want to disable the restrictions.)Set the specific restrictions by tapping the individual controls on or off (“off” restricts its use). If you want to remove the restrictions, go back to Settings >General >Restrictions. Enter the passcode, tap “Disable Restrictions,” and enter the passcode again.
  • The cache is used to store images and html documents for Web pages you have recently visited. It speeds up the loading of Web pages if you go back to a page you've already visited. The problem is that the amount of memory allocated for the cache is limited. If it is full and you go to a new Web site, it has to delete some of the existing files before it can save new ones. If Safari is loading games slowly or hanging up frequently, you may need to Clear is file cache.Clear out the file cache, history, and cookies folder by going to Home >Settings >Safari.To clear the cache, go to Home >Settings >Safari and scroll down until you see the Clear Cache button. Tap it and confirm your choice when the pop-up appears. This page also lets you clear out the history folder, which tracks the Web pages you've visited, as well as empty the cookies folder.