Whether you know it or not, you have just entered a brave new world where your iDevice (this is especially true for iPhone owners) will become the single most important thing you carry on a day to day basis.[caption id="attachment_23867" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Steve Jobs thanks you for your purchase."]
[/caption] I would honestly feel more comfortable without my clothes than I do without my iPhone. Instead of having dreams about being in meetings with no clothes on, you’ll be panicking over where you left your iPhone. At least with no clothes you could still figure out where the meeting was, who it's with, and why you are going (yes, I am that dependent). Not only do you now hold the most incredible device of its type, but you will soon be one of those crazy iDevice people who, like me, run their lives in a piecemeal fashion through various apps and iPhone tricks (I’m fairly certain that this is a good thing).
In the next week, I, and the rest of the 148apps staff, plan on turning you into an iDevice junky, ready to sling iDevice knowledge with the best of them. But first, the basics.
1. The Buttons - First things first, we need to get the buttons down. I’m going to use the iPhone as the example here, just because I have one right in front of me. On the top right you have your sleep/wake button. Click on it to put your phone to sleep, or to wake it up. On the bottom of your screen you have your home button. Click on it and you’ll go from wherever you are on your iDevice back to the home screen. Ot the left side there is the volume buttons and a little toggle that turns on silent mode/vibrate. If you want to hear sound, make sure you don’t see a red dot in the toggle.
2. Get Past The Screen With The Earth - No, you do not have any kind of secret setting turned on, just click any button and slide your finger where it says “slide to unlock”.
3. Turn The Thing Off - Sleeping is really the only “turn off” method that is really necessary, but the guys at the Apple Store will tell you to turn off the phone a few times a week. To turn the thing all the way off, hold the button on the top right until you see an on-screen slider that says ‘slide to power off’.
4. Turn It Off The Angry Way - if the iDevice is frozen, don’t fret. Just hold the top right button and the home button until the device reboots and you see the Apple logo pop up. It’s really not good to do this too often, but it’s the only way to do a hard reset.
[caption id="attachment_23866" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="If you plug it in it shows a battery... mine is full! Don\'t expect to see this very often."]
[/caption]5. Plug It In - I’ve dealt with enough iDevice users in my time to know that the most important thing to do is to sync the device to your computer. Sure, you may not think that it’s important, but this is the only way to download updates, and it’s the best way to get pictures, apps, phone numbers, TV shows... you get the point. Just plug the thing in every once in a while. Extra bit of greatness.. plugging your iDevice in charges it too.
6. Update, update, update - I mentioned this in #1, but when the little box pops up asking you if you’d like to update the device, just do it. I still meet people occasionally that bought the original iPhones and haven’t updated yet. Poor saps always want to know how to use apps, and all they had to do was update.
7. Sync Your Stuff - See all those tabs up top in iTunes? The ones that say, Summary, Info, Applications, etc.? Click on them all and check off what you want to sync. Don’t over-think this.
8. Move Apps Around - Before we get into what the apps do, I want to tell you how to move the apps around on the screen. I’m telling you this now because it freaks people out. If you hold your finger on an app, all the apps on the screen will start wiggling (I know... scary!). Just drag any app you want into the desired location and it will snap into place. When you are done moving things around, just click the home button and everything will stop moving around.
9. Navigating Past The Home Screen - Eventually, you will have many pages of apps, and you'll need to know how to find things. Assuming that you are as unorganized as I am, you'll find the search feature absolutely priceless. To get to the search screen, just go to the home screen slide your thumb (or finger) to the right. You'll pop to a screen where you can search for absolutely anything on your iDevice, from the app you are trying to locate to a contact that you need real quick.
10. Phone Calls - Assuming the iDevice in your hand is an iPhone, the most important thing to get used to is the phone calling feature. Eventually you’ll start replacing talking to actual people with texting, and then eventually Tweeting, but traditional talking is a good way to start. Go ahead and click on the green ‘Phone’ button to get started. Inside this new menu, click on the ‘Keypad’ button in the bottom of the screen and dial away like you always would.
11. Contacts/Recents/Favorites - Click on the contacts screen now and you’ll see a blank list. It’s quite sad and lonely at first, but after you sync the iDevice with the computer, you’ll have a list filled with all of your closest friends (and a few of those people who mysteriously made it into the list). ‘Favorites’ is where you set up your favorites list (so you can weed out the goony mystery contacts), and ‘Recents’ is where you check your most recent incoming and outgoing calls. Warning: You can’t delete individual items in the ‘Recents’ page. Don’t want your significant other to know you’re calling someone? Don’t call them... or just clear the whole page, but that is awfully fishy.
12. Visual Voicemail - Quite possibly the greatest thing about the iPhone is the fact that you can pick and choose which message to listen to. Instead of digging through a bunch of crap to get to the message you want, all you have to do is click on an individual message and listen. It'll save you all sorts of time.
[caption id="attachment_23857" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Maybe I should call my dad back..."]
[/caption]13. Change Your Voicemail Message - In the voicemail menu, click on the 'Greeting' button in the top left. You could leave the voicemail as the Default one with the robotic women voice, or you can make your own by hitting custom. Please make your own, but don't make it too cutesy.
14. Adding and Changing Things - This is one of the most important beginner tips that I can impart on you. If you are in an app and see a “+”, click on it to add things. For example, the “+” in the favorites area lets you add favorites. Also look for an “i” within apps. The “i” is your key to modifying a slew of apps. Just look for the “i” and click on it.
15. Mail - Mail is fairly important to some, so you should learn how to do it right. One word of warning... if you use your cable providers e-mail service you should stop this very second and move to gmail. In fact, if you have anything that isn’t gmail, now is the time to make the switch... it’ll make your life so much simpler. When you first hit the mail icon, just click on gmail (assuming you took my brilliant advice) and fill in the necessary info. Wallah! You now have a functional mail account.
16. Add a Second Email Account (I know you have more than one)- Adding the second email account isn’t hard to do, you just have to know where to look. on the home screen, hit the ‘Settings’ button, then ‘Mail, Contacts, Calendars’, and then the ‘Add Account’ button. From there you just add your next gmail account (don’t fight it... just get a gmail account).
17. Texting - Now that you are past the whole phone calling thing, you can move onto texting... the true 21st century way to communicate. First, click on the ‘Messages’ app . You should see a blank screen, with maybe one message from your phone provider telling you how happy they are to be charging you astronomical prices for sending a tiny message. Click on the square button in the top right and you’ll be well on your way to texting like a pro.
18. Can’t Spell? Who Cares! - Predictive text on the iPhone is amazing... so amazing in fact that I’ve unlearned 25 years of spelling knowledge in the past 2 years. Just keep on typing and the iDevice will figure out what you actually meant to say.
19. Type Numbers and Symbols - Right off the bat, all you will see on the texting keyboard is letters, but if you click on the button that says “_123”, you’ll get all sorts of goodies.
20. Sending Picture Messages - The iPhone just recently joined the MMS (multimedia messaging service) party, so this comes with some excitement. Inside of the ‘Messages’ app, there is a little camera icon on the left side. From there you can either take a new photo or choose an existing photo... it’s up to you! Boy do I like options.
[caption id="attachment_23860" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Toe or thumb? You decide."]
[/caption]21. Take Pictures - Assuming that you have an iPhone, you have the ability to take pictures... and you don’t have to be sending a text to use it!. Go to the home screen (remember, click on the home button) and click on the ‘Camera’ app. Point and click goodness. If you want to see the pictures you’ve taken, click on the little square in the bottom left. Flick through the photos to by sliding your finger.
22. Crush The Pictures Like A Bug! - If you just hate the picture, don’t fret. All you have to do is tap on it and click on the thing that looks like a trash can.
23. Send The Pictures Away - On the bottom left of the picture screen, there is a little square with an arrow in it. Click on it and you’ll get a bunch of options... all of which have pretty obvious functions.
I’m certainly not done yet, but I’ll let you soak this info up before we go any further. Don’t get frustrated with the thing, it’ll all come to you with a bit of practice. One word of advice... when you are typing, be sure to tap lightly and pick your finger all the way off of the screen to get an accurate hit. Heavy fingers and lazy finger drags will only make things difficult.
Be sure to check back real soon for my next segment about the settings menu, included apps, the iPod function, and the App Store... it’ll blow your mind.