5 More iPhone Tricks

Michael Simon's picture

5 More iPhone Tricks

After spending some time at my local mall during the official iPhone launch, I decided to saunter back to the Apple Store the following day to spend some time with the device, since I could get nowhere near it on Friday. Of course, I had seen the commercials and the keynote, and watched a few customers play with their new toys after the clock struck 6:00 p.m. but there's nothing quite like holding one of Apple's phones in your hands, sliding the unlock bar and watching iPhone's icons glide into position.

 

So, I bought one (two, actually, since my wife and I have a family plan) and spent the rest of the day calling everyone I know.

 

But now that the initial amazement has worn off, it's the little things that continue to astonish me, like the magnifying glass that pops up when you need to edit a word or the seamless scrolling between Weather locations. It would appear that Apple has thought of everything, even a few things that might not be immediately noticeable:

 

1. If you're scrolling through Safari, the address bar comes with you, disappearing after the first few swipes. But no matter how far down you've scrolled, tapping the top of the screen (where the network and wireless icons are) will instantly rocket you back to the address bar.

 

2. If you haven't been to a site with a drop-down search field (like the country chooser on Apple.com), go do so. Apple has even found a way to make that enjoyable.

 

Drop-down menus are easy - and even fun - to navigate.

 

3. It may not seem so, but Apple's virtual keyboard quietly adapts to each task it's asked to perform. When typing an email address into your Address Book, for example, only pertinent characters appear - that is, a plus, hyphen and underscore. Plus, a ".com" key appears anchored next to the @ symbol and period. And when writing a contraction, the iPhone is smart enough to immediately switch back to the letter layout after the apostrophe is pressed. Let's see a BlackBerry do that.

 

4. And there are other tricks, as well. As New York Times columnist David Pogue points out, if you don't lift your finger when typing a punctuation mark, "incredibly, the ABC layout returns automatically."

 

5. Since there's no ability to cut and paste, Apple has integrated email, Safari, and the iPhone, virtually eliminating the need for a clipboard. When I wanted to send the link of my first MacLife.com blog to my wife, for example, a small Share button popped up in Safari, which created a new email and pasted the link into the body. Just hit the address bar to find it.

 

Another hidden gem: sharing URLs over email.

 

And I'm sure there are a lot more tricks to be found. Apple has created an interface that redefines simplicity and strikes a balance between function and necessity, built around an enclosure that can adapt to the task at hand.

 

Even if you never make a phone call.

 

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I tried the trick for the share button, but it didn't work on my iphone 3G? I did as you suggested by tapping on the address bar, but the button doesn't appear? Any ideas?

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Anonymous

I just want to say thanks to you for the tricks and also want to know whether we can add Ipod Movies to our iPhone or not.

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