Ten Tips and Tricks I’ve Learned About the iPhone

Yes, I’m still enjoying my iPhone. Yes, I’ve been using it a lot — probably more than is healthy. I’m going to end up with thumbs that look like Popeye’s forearms at the rate I’m going. There were a number of things I had to learn about by experimenting or looking on the web. Here’s ten that you can make fun of me for not knowing.

Delete mail by swiping your finger across it. Right-to-left or left-to-right works. Other apps use this same approach — the iPhone app for the task-management site Remember the Milk lets you swipe tasks to mark them complete.

Hold down the .com key to pop up a list of other top-level domains such as .net and .org. This has made typing URLs in Safari much easier for me.

On keyboards where there is no .com button, you can hold down the period to get a list of top-level domains. That’s especially useful in Mail when you’re typing an email address.

When typing a single number, punctuation mark or symbol, press and hold the 123 button, then slide your finger to the number or symbol you need. The keyboard will then reset to letters automatically.

Double-tap a column or image in Safari to make it resize to fill the screen. Yeah, yeah, I know, they showed this in the iPhone commercials. Bite me.

Use two fingers to scroll list or entry fields in Safari. One finger scrolls the whole page, but two fingers scroll just the field.

Scroll to the top of any page by tapping the top bar.

Take a screenshot by holding the home button and then pressing the sleep button.

You can change what double-clicking the home button does. Look under Settings/General/Home Button. I set mine so that double-clicking the home button takes me to the iPod app.

Double-click the home button while the phone is locked to bring up iPod controls. I’ve set my phone to lock after a minute or so, and when I’m using the iPhone to play music, it’s nice not to have to fully wake it up to change songs.

Any tips I’ve missed, fellow iPhone users?

1 thought on “Ten Tips and Tricks I’ve Learned About the iPhone

  1. Good stuff.
    On the ipod touch (which I have) there’s no Settings>General>Home button, incidentally. Double clicking the home is permanently set to bring up those ipod controls over the top of any application.

    One hint that I read that’s useful is that while adjust the volume, you can touch the volume slider, then slide your finger down vertically so that you can actually see what you’re adjusting the volume to.

    Also – if you find the keyboard in vertical position difficult – grab an app like Wide Email – which allows you to compose emails using the wide keyboard (w/ expanding text blurbs even)

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