iPhone Tips and Tricks

by William Bonin 

Are you smarter than your Smartphone? These tips and tricks will help you get the most out of your iPhone.

 Camera Tips:

Is your subject too close or too far away? No more walking closer or backing up to try and capture the magic moment. When shooting video or photos, a tap on the screen will bring up a slider that you can use to zoom in or out and bring your picture into focus.

Are your pictures looking a little shaky? The iPhone doesn’t have an anti-shake feature but if you hold the shutter button down and get yourself steady, when you release the button you should have a pretty good shot.

If there’s something on your screen you want to save, do you need another camera? Not at all — just have your iPhone take a screenshot. Press and hold the Home button and then press the Sleep/Wake button. After your screen flashes, your screenshot will appear in your Camera Roll.

Now that you have all these great pictures and screenshots and want to share them with someone else, simply send multiple photos at the same time. Open a photo album on your iPhone and tap the icon on the upper right hand portion of your screen. Select the photos you’d like to send and tap Share.

Navigation Tips:

Get around your iPhone more quickly and efficiently:

When reading a long email or if you are at the bottom of a web page, there’s no need to scroll up and up to get back to the top. Tapping the status bar at the top of your iPhone’s screen will take you back immediately.

Done with the text message or email? Swipe your finger from left to right across a message to bring up the delete icon.

If your iPhone is locked, a double tap of the home button will bring up your iPod controls. There’s no need to unlock your iPhone to start listening to music!

Is there a website you visit frequently? Rather than start Safari every time and navigate to the site, create a website shortcut on your home screen. Once you are on the site in Safari, click the ‘+’ sign located on the bottom of the screen and select ‘Add to Home Screen.’

Is your home screen cluttered? Move app icons in to folders.  Hold a finger on an icon until it starts to jiggle. Then, drag the icon onto another icon that you’d like to add to the folder.  Repeat these steps for each app that you would like to add. Your iPhone will name the folder automatically or allow you to change the name.

Keyboard and Typing Tips:

That keyboard is pretty tiny, isn’t it? However, these tips will help you get up to speed when composing messages and emails:

At the end of a sentence, you don’t need to type a period—just tap the space bar two times to end a sentence.

Have text you want to edit or copy? You can easily cut, copy and paste by double-tapping a word. The options will appear and you can use the grab points to adjust your selection. Then, press the appropriate choice.  To paste cut or copied text, repeat the process by double-tapping where you would like to insert the selection.

When entering a URL in Safari, pressing and holding the .com button on the keyboard will reveal other domain suffixes, like .edu, .gov, .net, etc.

Speed up switching between entering numbers and letters when typing: hold down the ‘.?123’ key and then slide your finger to the number of punctuation symbol you wish to use. When you release your finger, the keyboard will return to the alphabet.  This one is a bit tricky at first but with a little practice, you’ll find it really speeds things up.

Correspond with a lot of foreign acquaintances? Seńor Smith will no longer be offended once you learn how to unleash the special characters hidden in your iPhone’s keyboard. Hold a letter down to see the special characters.  Holding down some of the punctuation symbols also reveal special characters. Bonus: There’s a little surprise under the zero button—you’ll never have to type ‘degrees’ ever again!

Get annoyed when the iPhone always suggests ‘we’ll’ when you are typing ‘well’? You don’t have to click that tiny ‘x’ to dismiss a suggested word—you can just tap anywhere on the screen.

Just as with word processing software, you can add often-used words and phrases to your iPhone’s dictionary and avoid the suggested words. This is a strange one to enable: go to Settings and select General and then Keyboard and International Keyboard. Select Add New Keyboard and select Japanese Ten Key. Return to General, Keyboards, Edit User Dictionary. You can now add any word you want your iPhone to recognize.

Voice Control:

Your wish is the iPhone’s command with the Voice Control feature. Control iPod playback and make phone calls with voice commands by holding down the Home button until the Voice Control window appears and you hear a beep. Calling a contact is as simple as saying ‘dial’ or ‘call’ and the person’s name. You can also dial a phone number by saying ‘dial’ or ‘call’ and then the number. When listening to the iPod, you can use music playback commands such as ‘play’ and the name of the artist, song, or playlist.  Shuffle a playlist with ‘shuffle’ or find out more about what you’re listening to with ‘what’s playing?’ or ‘Who sings this song?’ To exit Voice Control, just say ‘Cancel’ or ‘Stop’.

Headphone Tips:

There’s more to those cheap looking headphones than meets the eye!

You can use your headphones for hands-free phone calls. Answer and end calls by pressing the center button. Refuse an incoming call by holding the center button for two seconds. Two beeps will confirm that you declined the call. Press the center button to switch between an active call and in incoming call or a call on hold. To end your current call and switch to an incoming call or a call on hold, hold the center button for two seconds. Two beeps will confirm that the call has ended.

The headphones can also be used to control your iPod’s playback. Pause a song by pressing the center button and press again to resume.  Skip to the next song by quickly pressing the center button twice. Three quick presses of the center button will return to the previous song.  To fast forward, quickly press the center button twice and hold. To rewind, quickly press the center button three times and hold.  Volume can be adjusted by pressing the + and – buttons.

General Tips:

Did you forget to turn off your ringer before the movie started? You can quickly mute a ringing iPhone by pressing either the home button or the volume button. Your phone will mute instantly.

Do you find that some days the battery life doesn’t seem nearly as good as the day before? You may have left an application running in the background. To make sure an application is not running after you are done with it, press the Home button and then lock your iPhone. All active apps will stop running.

Ever find yourself wanting to use a ‘real’ computer but you don’t have an Internet connection? With Internet Tethering, you can use your iPhone as your modem.  You will have to call AT&T or visit their website to enable Internet Tethering on your account so it’s best to set this up sooner rather than later. Be sure to check how many gigabytes of data are included in your broadband package—you might find yourself with an overage charge sooner than you would expect!

You may find on occasion that an application will stop responding or the entire iPhone will freeze. When that happens, you can reboot your iPhone by holding down the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button. After a few seconds, you will see the Apple logo again.  In fact, it’s a good idea to restart your iPhone once every week or two.  An iPhone that has been running for weeks and weeks without a break may start to act a little sluggish. A reboot will quickly return you to peak performance.

Now that you’ve learned all these tricks to get the most out of your iPhone, it would be a shame if you lost it, wouldn’t it? Fortunately, Apple provides a service called ‘Find my iPhone’.  If your phone is lost or stolen, you can locate your iPhone on a map, send a message to the screen, set a passcode to unlock the phone or even wipe all of the iPhone’s data remotely. Register by visiting http://www.apple.com/iphone/findmyiphonesetup/.

About Erin Lang Masercola

As Business Unit Editorial Director at Beckett Media, I lead creative teams in technology, gaming, collecting, autos, home decor, outdoor sports, and more.

Posted on July 29, 2011, in iPhone and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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