Whether you're a beginner, intermediate or advanced user, you'll find something worthwhile in our Ultimate iPhone User Guide.
What's that, you've gotten yourself a shiny new iPhone? Well done, you! If this is your first foray into the brave new world of smartphones, however, the lack of keypad, call keys, or even a marked on/off button may throw you a little, as may the complete lack of user manual in the box or even a software CD for installing desktop sotware. But never fear, our comprehensive guide to getting the most out of your iPhone will have you up and running in no time.
The beginners sections will get you off to a running start, while the intermediate sections will flesh out the rest of your knowledge and get you using most of the iPhone's main features like a pro. If you really want to be an iPhone master, you can then take your skills to the next level with the tips in the advanced sections. Even if you've been using an iPhone for a while now, you may find some useful tips in the intermediate and advanced sections, especially with regards to some of the newer features in iOS 5. We've also got a separate section coming up dedicated to the best iPhone apps in different categories.
If you’re coming from a mobile with a numeric keypad, one of the first things you’ll have to get used to is the almost complete lack of buttons on the iPhone. Nearly everything is done by touch, whether it’s typing an SMS, dialling a phone number, accepting an incoming call or navigating through a web page. The good news is that using your fingertips this way feels completely natural, and it won’t be long before it becomes second nature to jab things on the screen.
Tapping on buttons and icons is fairly self-explanatory. What isn’t as obvious are the gestures you’ll need to master for scrolling vertically or horizontally across the page. The former is done by swiping your finger across the screen in the same direction you want to move, but scrolling up or down requires you to move your finger in the opposite direction you want to scroll. Sounds counter-intuitive, but again, it’ll feel completely natural after a little practice.
The iPhone also supports multi-touch gestures, which means you can use two or more fingers on the screen to perform different actions. The most common of these is the pinch-to-zoom feature, which consists of pressing your thumb and index finger together on the screen and then drawing them apart to opposite corners to zoom in (ie magnify) a web page, photo or the camera viewfinder. The same motion in reverse zooms back out.
The physical number pad you may be used to from your old phone has been replaced with an on-screen QWERTY keyboard that appears whenever you need to type text in. You can type on this one-handed, but we’ve found the quickest way to type involves holding the iPhone with both hands and using your thumbs to type on the keyboard. You can switch between letters and numbers/symbols by tapping the ‘123’ button in the bottom left corner (this changes to ‘abc’ when you’re viewing the numbers/symbol keyboard), and pressing the ‘#+=’ button from the numbers/symbol keyboard reveals a third keyboard with further symbols. The Shift and Backspace buttons can be found on either side of the second-last row, and tapping on the Shift button twice in quick succession activates Caps Lock.
Obviously, typing on a keyboard with no tactile feedback lends itself to being error-prone, but Apple has made it a lot easier with the iPhone’s excellent auto-correct feature, which automatically fixes any typos that you enter. This is usually very effective and allows you to type faster, as you don’t have to be so careful with the letters you enter, but it does get it wrong every now and then - enough to spawn numerous web sites with hilarious auto-correct errors, such as www.damnyouautocorrect.com. Auto-correct words appear as bubbles above the word you’ve typed before they’re entered, and you can override the auto-correct by pressing the cross button next to the bubble before you hit the space bar. This will then save that word into your iPhone’s custom dictionary so you don’t have to keep on overriding the auto-correct in the future.
If you need to go back to a previous section of text you’ve entered, iOS has made it easy to place the cursor precisely by magnifying any area that you touch and hold on. While the area is magnified, you can then move the cursor to the correct position.COMING UP NEXT: