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30 iPhone Tips and Tricks (16-20)

Niall Magennis


30 iPhone Tips and Tricks – Part 2

The iPhone's intuitive interface appears very straightforward and obvious at first glance, but it hides a number of hidden shortcuts and clever time-saving features, many of which aren't even documented in the official manual. We've managed to round up 30 of them and hopefully you've already read Part One of this short series, so here you'll find our last 15 tips. If you've got any more, feel free to add them in the comments section.

Tip 16 - Turn off SMS preview

The iPhone is set by default to display a preview of incoming text messages when the phone is locked or you're using another app. This isn't very private if you happen to leave your phone unattended, but luckily you can turn off the preview. All you have to do is go to Settings, select Passcode Lock and then turn off the Show SMS Preview setting.

Tip 17 - Change your iPod Shortcut Buttons

The Playlists, Artists, Songs and Videos buttons at the bottom of the iPod interface on the iPhone aren't fixed. You can easily change them to different categories such as Podcasts, Genres or Compilations. All you have to do is tap on the More button to the right of these icons and then tap on Edit. You can then simply drag the new category icon that you want to use onto the bar at the bottom of the screen. You can also drag and drop the existing buttons to rearrange their order on this bar.

Tip 18 - Force quit an application

Like all computer devices the iPhone suffers from hangs and crashes. If an application stops responding you can usually kill it by simply pressing and holding the Home button for at least six seconds.

Tip 19 - Tap and slide for capitals

It takes a little bit of getting used to, but you can speed up typing on the iPhone by using the tap and slide method to enter capital letters. When you need to type a capital letter instead of first tapping the shift key and then tapping the letter you need, try taping and holding on the shift key and then sliding your finger to the letter you want to capitalise. Once you master it you'll be able to enter capitals with a single slide gesture.

Tip 20 - Microphone controls

The microphone on the iPhone's headset doubles as a button (just give it a squeeze) and as well as being used to answer calls it can also be used to control music playback. If you double press the button your iPhone will skip to the next track in a playlist, while triple clicking it will skip to a previous track or to the start of the currently playing song. Pressing it once will pause a song and pressing it once again will start a song playing again. Sometimes the resume playback feature will time out if you've left the phone paused for a long time. If this happens just double tap the home button on your iPhone (Tip 9 must be activated for this to work) and then press the microphone button again.

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