The recent appearance and quick disappearance of two early prototypes of the iPhone on eBay complete with fledgling versions of the user interface give us an indication of just how much work went into the iPhone's operating system.
The result of all this work (with version 3.0 on its way too) is an OS that's so intuitive that many of us have never even felt the need to glance at the manual. The iPhone is just so easy to use that it almost feels instantly familiar the first time you pick it up. However, under that friendly exterior there are some hidden useful features that are not quite as obvious. In fact, we've managed to round up thirty of them. We'll cover the first fifteen in this instalment and bring you the final fifteen later in the week.
Tip 1 - Extra characters
Need to use foreign accents on characters in an email or note? Just tap and hold on the main letter on the keyboard and several variations will pop up above that key. Simple, but very useful.
Tip 2 - Take screenshots
We're ashamed to say it, but we originally kind of stumbled across this one by accident. One day while fumbling with the buttons on our iPhone the screen flashed and later we noticed a screenshot in our Photo Roll. A little bit of investigation later and we discovered that to take a screen grab you just press home button and standby button at the same time.
Tip 3 - Quickly scroll to the top of a page
When you're at the bottom of a long webpage or in the middle of a list of contacts it can take multiple swipes of your finger to get back to the top. However, Apple has included a handy, but little known shortcut to quickly jump to the top of any page or list. Just tap at the top of the screen and, hey presto, you'll find yourself back at the top of the page or list.
Tip 4 - Access that search icon
The Search icon in the contacts book can be maddeningly difficult to accurately hit with your thumb. Usually you either end up staring at the 'A' entries in your phone book or the Add Contact screen. A better way of accessing this icon is to simply tap and hold on the right hand column of letters and then push upwards to the Search icon. Success every time! Double-tapping at the top of the screen also works, but is a fraction slower to bring up the search box.
Tip 5 - Save images
Come across a picture on a webpage or in an email that you want to save for later? To quickly save an image just tap and hold on it and then select Save Image in the box that appears. You'll then find the image saved in your camera roll.