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The ultimate Apple iPhone user guide

everything you need to know to use an iPhone.

Here's everything you need to know to get started with a new iPhone.

The screen

The touchscreen is your mouse, keyboard, dialing pad, and note pad. It's going to get fingerprinty and streaky, although it wipes clean with a quick rub on your sleeve. You can also use it as a mirror when the iPhone is off.

But what about scratches? Fortunately, Apple learned its lesson on this one. The iPhone screen is made of optical-quality, chemically treated glass — not polycarbonate plastic like the iPod's screen. It's actually very difficult to scratch glass; try it on a window pane some day.

If you're nervous about protecting your iPhone, you can always get a carrying case for it. But in general, the iPhone is far more scratch-resistant than the iPod. Even many Apple employees carry the iPhone in their pockets without carrying cases.

Screen icons

Here's a round-up of the icons that you may see in the status bar at the top of the iPhone screen, from left to right.

Phone signal As on any mobile, the number of bars indicates the strength of your mobile signal, and thus the quality of your call audio and likelihood of losing the connection. If there are zero bars, the dreaded words "No service" appear here.

EDGE Network When this logo appears, your iPhone can get onto the Internet via O2's very handy, but very slow, EDGE data network. In general, if you have a mobile signal, you likely have an EDGE signal.

Airplane Mode If you see the airplane instead of signal and Wi-Fi bars, the iPhone is in Airplane mode.

Wi-Fi Signal When you're connected to a wireless Wi-Fi internet hotspot, this indicator appears. The more "soundwaves," the stronger the signal.

iPhone locked This means that the screen and most buttons don't work, to avoid accidental presses, whenever it goes to sleep.

The clock When the iPhone is unlocked, a digital clock replaces the Lock symbol.

Play indicator The iPhone's playing music. Before you respond, "well, duh!" keep in mind that you may not be able to hear the music playing. For example, maybe the earbuds are plugged into the iPhone but aren't in your ears. So this icon is actually a handy reminder that you're running your battery down unnecessarily.

Alarm You've got an alarm set. This reminder, too, can be valuable, especially when you intend to sleep late and don't want an alarm to go off.

Bluetooth connection The iPhone is connected wirelessly to a Bluetooth earpiece or hands-free car system. (If this symbol is gray, it means that Bluetooth is turned on — and draining your battery — but it's not connected to any other gear.)

TTY symbol You've turned on Teletype mode, meaning that the iPhone can communicate with a Teletype machine. (That's a special machine that lets deaf people make phone calls by typing and reading text. It hooks up to the iPhone with a special cable that Apple sells from its website.)

Battery meter When the iPhone is plugged into its cradle (which is itself plugged into a wall outlet or computer), the lightning bolt appears, indicating that the phone is charging. Otherwise, the battery logo "empties out" from right to left to indicate how much charge remains.

Tip: Camouflaged behind the black glass above the earpiece, where you can't see them except with a bright flashlight, are two sensors. First, there's an ambient-light sensor that brightens the display when you're in sunlight and dims it in darker places. You can also adjust the brightness manually. Second, there's a proximity sensor. When something (like your head) is close to the sensor when you're using the phone functions, it shuts off the screen illumination and touch sensitivity. Try it out with your hand. (It works only in the Phone application.) You save power and avoid tapping buttons with your cheekbone.

Apple iPhone

This article is extracted from David Pogue's 'iPhone UK The Missing Manual' (OReilly 2007).

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