To my new-to-the-iPhone Verizon-subscribing friends, first of all WELCOME. We are glad you’re here. The party is three and a half years old and it’s just getting started. You’re late, but in six months no one will remember.
Second, you can learn a lot about the iPhone in three and a half years. But, lucky for you, I already learned it, and I’m going to boil it down to the things I think you will really like about the iPhone. Here, then, are the iPhone’s Greatest Hits.
Use the Clock app. It’s terrific. Use it as an alarm clock that goes off at 6 AM on weekdays and at 8 AM (or not at all) on weekends. Set a second alarm to remind you that it’s garbage day tomorrow. Set another one that goes off at midnight to wake you up in case you fell asleep at your desk writing blog entries.
Did I mention “use the Clock app”? It’s also a handy timer. Set it for ten minutes even though you never forget that you have biscuits in the oven.
Get your Apple Address Book up to date and sync it with your iPhone. With good info in your iPhone’s contacts database you can do a whole lot of stuff in just a couple of taps. For example, touch a person’s phone number to dial it. Touch a person’s email address to create an already-addressed message. Touch a person’s home or work address to see it on a map. (And once you’ve seen the address on the map, tap it and get driving directions to or from.)
Keep the screen as dim as you can stand because the brighter it is, the faster the battery drains. And it might drain so fast that you run out of juice before the day is through. (Bonus hint: get a cigarette lighter charger thingy and keep your iPhone plugged in when you drive.) Keep Bluetooth turned off too, unless you need it. And definitely turn off that “Ask to join networks” option. It will drive you nuts. Home/Settings/Wi-Fi/Ask to Join Networks OFF.
When you’re scrolled way down, like maybe in the Zs in your iPhone contacts, touch the time (top of screen) to scroll back to the top. Bonus: it gives you a search box so you can find people by typing a few letters of their names. This works in a lot of places– Mail, Safari, Stocks, Messages, and more. This is a standard iPhone feature, so expect it to work everywhere.
Give the Calendar’s List view a try. It’s really the best way to go.
Explore the App Store. On your Mac, start iTunes, click on “iTunes Store,” and have a look around (or click this link). On the iPhone, touch the App Store icon. There are zillions of iPhone apps and a lot of them are free. You’ll be amazed at what’s out there.
Get to know the Camera app. HINT: it takes pictures when your finger comes off of the button, not when you touch it. That way you’re less likely to shake it. HINT: when composing a picture, touch the screen to show what you want to focus on (and set exposure for). HINT: when composing a picture, touch the screen to get a little zoom slider. It’s not a “real” zoom but hey, it’s free. HINT: when you take a picture, tap the little square thumbnail at bottom left to see what you took. Touch the “Share” icon (box with curvy arrow) to get all kinds of options (email the photo, assign the photo to one of your contacts, use as wallpaper, etc.). HINT: if the “Share” icon isn’t showing gently tap the picture. The icon will come back.
Get to know the Maps app. Touch the arrow at bottom left to see your current location on the map. Touch the turning page icon at bottom right to see options to show and hide traffic and to choose between a map view, satellite view, and a hybrid view. Touch a “pin” on the map to get more info about that location, including (often) a photographic Street View, phone numbers, and driving directions.
Finally, read what I’ve written about iPhones to date here on the Boyce Blog. There’s a search box at upper right, or you can use the menus across the top to find How-Tos relatig to iPhones. As always, send me your questions and if they’re of general interest I’ll answer them here on the blog.
By the way, Verizon has some good iPhone information on their site, and I’m as shocked as anyone. Here is the link. I’d read all of it if I were you.