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Apple IPhone Tips: Make the Best Use of Your Mobile Phone

Aug 20, 2008
Listening to music and surfing on the web are two of the main cool features of the iPhone. Here are a few tips you can put to use in getting more out of, and personalizing your preferences to have your iPhone work for you. Let's get going.

1. Recreate some of the iPod's audio controls

If you listen to an audio book on an iPod, you probably know that, ever since the fourth-generation iPod's release, you can alter the playback speed to make it go faster or slower as your preferences dictate. This feature is also available on the iPhone. Just tap Settings and then the iPod option; tap the Audiobook Speed entry and in the resulting screen, tap to choose among Slower, Normal, or Faster.

In fact, that's just one iPod feature that also appears on the iPhone. You can also use the Settings screen to turn on Sound Check (the feature that makes volume more consistent from one track to another) and change the EQ with 22 included equalization presets. Basically, what ever you can do with your iPod you can do with your iPhone.

2. Change your iPod icons

By default, the icons on the bottom of the iPod screen are Playlists, Artists, Songs, Videos, and More. You can change those first four, just as you would the commands that appear on an iPod's main screen. Simply tap the More icon and, in the More screen, tap the Edit button at the top-left of the screen. A Configure screen will wipe up from the bottom and display icons for Albums, Podcasts, Audiobooks, Genres, Composers, Compilations, Playlists, Artists, Songs, and Videos. To substitute one of these icons for one that appears at the bottom of the screen, just tap and hold on an icon and drag it over the icon you want to replace. Tap Done when you're done.

3. Syncing notes with the iPhone

One of the major limitations to the iPhone's Notes app is that you can't sync it with data from any application on your Mac. There's a work-around, however-each contact has a notes field. So create a fake contact and paste any info you'd like to keep with you in the notes field for that contact in Address Book. One sync later, and all that info will be at your fingertips. Just remember that the notes are located in the fake contact. A good idea is to name a contact in a way that it reminds you the subject matter of the notes.

4. Get a bigger keyboard for Web browsing

Like any other iPhone function requiring data entry, tapping Safari's address bar summons an on-screen keyboard. However, if you rotate the iPhone horizontally before tapping the address bar, the Safari window will switch to horizontal mode; then, when you then tap the address bar, the onscreen keyboard also appears horizontally. More important, it will also be much larger than the standard vertical keyboard, making data entry a little easier. By the way, Safari is currently the only iPhone application in which this horizontal keyboard appears. (Also worth noting: If you summon the keyboard before rotating your iPhone, then Safari won't rotate.)

Rotating your iPhone horizontally before summoning the onscreen keyboard produces this horizontal-and much easier to use-keyboard.

5. Find out where those links go

When in Safari, holding your fingertip down on a link instead of tapping it produces an information balloon that displays the underlying URL. The same thing happens in Mail when you hold a link, which makes this tip much more useful. Now when those "account update" e-mails appear, you can press and hold on the link to find out if you're really going to be taken to the site the e-mail claims. The feature is very similar to some of the text Link ads on the Internet. Have you ever had the situation where you hovered your pointer over the anchored text link and an image popped up to show you a snapshot of the site on the other side of that link? Basically that's the same thing.

So what are you waiting for? Get started now and squeeze every bit out of your iPhone.
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