Category Archives: iPhone

iPhone OS 4.0 Revealed Today!

It’s always an fun day when Apple reveals the features of its newly updated Operating System (OS) for the iPhone. (Read all my iPhone-related blog posts.)

Here’s what got me excited about today’s announcement:

  1. BLUETOOTH KEYBOARDS.  In a October 2008 post, I wrote: “Only once Apple takes my advice (Ha!) and creates a iPhone-compatible keyboard will I really be able to leave my laptop behind…“. Perhaps that time has come!
  2. Multitasking! iPhone users have been waiting for this one for quite a while. Now, I can use other apps while listening to Pandora, etc.
  3. Folders to group app – which I had been doing anyway by grouping like apps in separate pages. But this will certainly save time and make it easier to navigate. Also, for app addicts, this means being able to have 2160 apps instead of the current possibility of 180.
  4. A better mail app! The ability to read by thread and to have more than one exchange account linked to a particular iPhone!

Check out the full live coverage from Gizmodo and engadget.

Six Great iPhone Apps

This post is the fourth in a series which outlines iPhone applications that I find useful. Check out “My Favorite iPhone Apps” (October 14, 2008), “5 iPhone Apps That Rocked My World” (February 3, 2009), and “Seven Must-Have iPhone Apps” (June 20, 2009) to see my previous recommendations.

Boxed In
Boxed In iPhone Application
I’m not a big “gamer” on my iPhone, but I do enjoy a game that makes me work my brain. Boxed In certainly fits the bill for an addicting, intellectually stimulating game. In this puzzle game, you guide a robot through each level with your finger. There are boxes that must in the correct order and into the correct location in order for the robot to be able to make it through. I swear I used to play Boxed In on the computer maybe, oh, 15 years ago? In any case, it’s a fun little game to play!
LetsTansLetsTans iPhone Application LetsTans is another game I enjoy that allows me to put my problem-solving skills to the test. The premise is to correctly fit eight(?) shapes into an outline. The only downside is that I finished all the different configurations last night and have to say – now what? (There are additional similar games that one can purchase but I’m afraid I’ll run through them just as quickly as the original…)
LoseItLoseIt iPhone Application I’ve included LoseIt in this list because it is a great, user-friendly, simple app to help one track their caloric intake, daily exercise, and weight. The accompanying website also has forums, different exportable reports and even predicts when one will reach their goal weight based on their weight-loss trend. Oh, and for extra motivation there are settings that will Tweet and update your Facebook when you weigh-in!
MeeboMeebo iPhone Applciation I used to recommend IM+ as an all-in-one instant messaging application — until Meebo came out with its own. The “original” Meebo function is to serve as a web-based instant messaging aggregator. Now, the company brings those same capabilities to the iPhone. You can sign in to different instant messaging services while on the go. The interface is easy to use and you can sign in with your existing Meebo log-in (if you have one) or simply with the different services that you’d like to use.
TripItTripIt iPhone Application

I do a fair amount of travel (mostly back to Boston although I have been lucky this year to have a full vacation itinerary as well). TripIt has been really useful for keeping all my airline boarding information in one place. It has further capabilities as well, but that’s what I mainly use it for. The app is an extension of the TripIt website which, again, lets you keep track of your travel. You sign up and then when you book travel, you simply forward the confirmation to an email. TripIt sorts it and allows you to see who will be nearby. A must-have, especially for business folks who travel frequently for work!
WhiteNoiseWhiteNoise iPhone Application Remember those old machines with crickets chirping and rain forest noises that helped the masses (okay, so not the masses, but people from all over) fall asleep? White Noise is exactly what it sounds like – an app that has a variety of “white noise” sounds that can help lull you to sleep. My favorite? Waves Crashing. It takes me instantly to my summers on the Cape. 🙂

Hidden Secrets of the iPhone Revealed

David**The following is a guest post by David, a good friend and former colleague, who loves finding hidden features of the technology he uses. Below, he reveals a few iPhone features you may have missed. (The original post can be found here.)**

Okay, that’s a bit too Penn & Telller perhaps, but there are some fun little nuggets somewhat buried in the iPhone that I’ve slowly been discovering.  I feel like in the past month especially I’ve dug up some good stuff.  I’ll start off with the stuff that most folks know.  If you didn’t, great.  If you did, I never said I was the great Houdini 🙂

Special Characters
We all know that you can find some add’l characters by tapping the 123 then the #+= button on the keyboard.  This provides us with some European currency characters, as well as the important hash tag for twitter.  But what about the eñe in spanish?  Or the upside down exclamation point for spanish?  If you simply tap and hold the “n” on the keyboard, the ñ will appear.  Same with the accented letter “e” or the exclamation point.  If you play around, you’ll find other fun hidden characters lurking above the letters (ooh, m-dash!).

Keyboard Settings: Periods & Caps Lock
I’ll admit it.  I never really got into the whole text speak.  Sure I LOL and might wonder WTF occasionally.  I am also a fan of FML – makes me laugh when I see it.   But I don’t write “Wr U @? C U L8r.”  With full keyboards, the inner English Major in me just can’t stomach it.  I write things out.  I tend to still use proper sentence structure.  Call me fusty, but I can’t help it.

So I like that if I double-space after a word, I get a period.  That makes it nice and easy.  And while I’m not a big YELLER when it comes to texting, there are times when you want to write a bit in Caps.  And hitting the shift key each time is tedious.  There are settings for both these features.

Go to Settings>General>Keyboard.  Toggle “Enable Caps Lock” and “‘.’ Shortcut” to On.  Now when you double-space after a word, the period pops in.  And if you quickly double-tap the shift key, it’ll turn blue and Caps Lock is on.  Pretty nifty.

Contacts View
I mentioned I’m a little old-fashioned.  I can also be a little OCD too.  I have set up my iPhone Contacts to sync with my Google Contacts.  I like having a back-up and over-air syncing is still pretty cool to me.  But the other day I realized I had 6 more contacts in my iPhone than I did in my Google Contacts.  Quite frankly, I’m still confused how this happened.  But to make matters worse, Google Contacts are sorted by first name.  My iPhone Contacts were sorted by last name.  Trying to eyeball over 400 contacts is tough enough, but when the lists aren’t apples to apples, it’s even harder.  Enter Settings.  Settings>Mail, Contacts, Calendar.  If you scroll to the Contacts section (near the bottom), you’ll see that you can change both the Sort Order and Display Order.  While I prefer to sort by last name, it’s nice to be able to toggle this when comparing to Google.  I’m sure there are other benefits to this toggle as well.

I’d seen plenty of people showing their Weather app image on Facebook to indicate a crappy/fantastic week of weather ahead.  I just presumed they had purchased some app that enabled this.  Nope.  The iPhone has a built-in screenshot feature.  Which I think is pretty cool. When you have what you want on your screen, simply push the top button and the bottom home button on your iPhone quickly at the same time.  The screen will quickly fade and come back.  That image is now saved in your Photos.  Pretty nifty.  It is great when you happen to be in 1st place in foursquare or something and you might want to share that with your friends 🙂


I heard at&t will finally be supporting the updated MMS features on September 25th.  I’m looking forward to that.  I’ll be happy if I never see the following screen againg – scribbling down those ridiculous message ids and passwords – only to open a picture of someone’s dog.


Any hidden secrets that you’d like to share?