This week's tips are a mixed selection of topics that will help just about any iOS user. We'll show you how heavy MMS messengers can save a bit of cash and how befuddled travelers should deal with multiple time zones. Also, we'll teach you tricks about automating your dialing to cut back on finger wear and tear, and show you a way to label your iPhone with your personal information so that your hopes of recovering it are way easier.
iOS allows you to turn MMS messaging off in situations where sending or receiving attachments results in additional fees on your cellular carriers bill. Launch the Settings app, tap Messages, then tap MMS Messaging to toggle it off.
Usually, our iOS devices can self-adjust themselves depending on where we are in the world, but this can cause some havoc with calendar entries. Fortunately, Time Zone Support can straighten these things out.
Launch the Settings app, then tap Mail > Contacts > Calendars and scroll to the bottom to select Time Zone Support. Turn it on to show event dates and times in the time zone you select, which can be configured under the Time Zone Support toggle.
If you turn it off, your events will continue to display according to the time zone corresponding to your current location.
Compatibility: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
If you have a contact in your iPhone contact list that you call frequently, and that person or business has an extension that you need to punch in, you can add it to the dial string. Simply launch the Contacts app, locate the person, and edit their work phone entry so that their extension appears at the end of that number.
You can enter symbols (+. *, #,) and pauses (represented by a comma) into the dial string. For example, if the number is 713-555-1212 with extension #1344, you would dial the number 713-555-1212, pause (with a comma), and then enter #1344 as if you had entered it yourself on the dial pad. You could extend this to include a voice mail password like so: 713-555-1212, #1344, #3232.
In some cases, additional pauses may be required so use them liberally and as needed.
Your chances of getting your device back are a lot better if someone can readily identify the device as belonging to you, which is easy to do with a watermarked image. To do so, you'll need a copy of your favorite background image and access to your favorite photo editor.
Load your image into one of the above and for the iPhone 3G and earlier iPod touch devices, crop or resize the image you selected to 320 x 480 pixels; the iPhone 4 and the latest iPod touch can use 640 x 960 pixel images. Images for the iPad should be 1024 x 1024 to support landscape and portrait modes on that device.
Now using the same editor's text tools, add some text to the image. A good start would be, "Reward if found, please return to David Martin 713-555-5555." Just be sure to use a phone number that's different than the one for your iPhone if that is the device you are creating this image for.
Once you've saved the image there are bunch of ways to sync it to your device. One of our favorites is to e-mail it to ourselves. Open the e-mail on the target device and save the image to the devices photo library. Once it is saved there, you can launch the Settings App, select Wallpaper, Camera Roll, and select the image you modified as your new background.
Now, no one will have any doubt that the device belongs to you when they see the lock screen.
Compatibility: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. iOS 4.0 or higher.