As those of you who rush to buy it on 9 November will soon find out, you can do a lot with the Apple iPhone. Apple's gorgeous gadget lets you surf the internet, send and receive email, listen to music and watch videos with just a touch of a virtual button. And guess what? You can make phone calls too.
The iPhone is a great toy. But dig a little deeper, and you can do even more. Now that we've had some time to live with the Apple iPhone, we've found a few tricks that help us get the most out of it.
- Web surfing and the iPhone
- Create a home page
- Get more from email on the iPhone
- Using the iPod on your iPhone
- Get more from the 'other programs' on your iPhone
- Apple iPhone - the definitive UK review
Web surfing and the iPhone
Get a bigger keyboard As with any other iPhone function requiring data entry, tapping on Safari's address bar summons an onscreen keyboard.
If you rotate the iPhone horizontally before tapping on the address bar, the Safari window will switch to horizontal mode; then, when you tap on the address bar, the onscreen keyboard will also appear horizontally. More important, it will also be much larger than the standard, vertical keyboard, making data entry a little easier.
Unfortunately, Safari is currently the only iPhone application in which this horizontal keyboard appears. (If you want to use the keyboard in its standard vertical orientation, summon it before rotating your iPhone.)
Create a home page When you're using the regular version of Safari that runs on your PC or Mac, setting a particular site as your home page is as simple as going to the General tab in System Preferences and typing in a URL. You can't do that on the iPhone, but you can use this workaround: add your would-be home page to your bookmarks list, and then move it to the top of the list. Yes, it requires an extra tap - first on the bookmarks icon and then on the bookmark itself - but it will get you to your favorite web page with a minimum of fuss.
Share URLs If you want to send a friend the URL of a web page you're viewing, tap on the address bar, and then tap on Share. A new email message, containing the URL, will open in Mail; just choose one or more recipients, add your comments, and tap on Send.
Scroll in boxes on a web page If you encounter a scrolling box or list while surfing on your iPhone in Safari - say you're responding to a post at the PCAdvisor.co.uk forums - and you try to scroll with your finger, you'll find that the entire page scrolls, instead of just the box. The trick is to scroll such areas with two fingers.
Make a call from Safari If you find a phone number in Safari that you'd like to call - perhaps the phone number of a restaurant where you'd like to make reservations - you needn't jump to the phone component. Just tap on the number, and the iPhone will dial it for you. (This also works with phone numbers and URLs embedded in emails and SMS chats; tapping on either one will place a call or open a web page, respectively.)
Investigate links In Safari, if you hold your fingertip down on a link instead of tapping, you'll summon an information balloon that displays the underlying URL. The same thing happens in Mail when you hold on a link.
Now when those 'account update' emails arrive, you can press and hold on the link to find out if you're really going to be taken to the site the email indicates it'll take you to.
Go straight to the top When viewing a long web page, if you want to get back to the top, or access Safari's address field, you don't have to scroll all the way up; instead, just tap on the gray status bar at the top of the iPhone's screen. You'll be immediately transported to the top of the current web page.