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Take Control of iPhone OS 3
Using a classic iPhone? A first-generation iPod touch? This is the ebook for you!
This ebook takes you under the hood of the iPhone operating system and hardware and uncovers mysteries surrounding many topics, including backups, batteries, Bluetooth, buying third-party apps, damage control, jailbreaking, Location Services, MobileMe, networking, passwords, problem-solving, recovering, restoring, ringtones, root access, security, SIM cards, syncing, tethering, voice control, volume control, and more.
Running iOS 4? For help with setting up and generally getting up to speed in many aspects of iPhone use, read Take Control of iPhone Basics, iOS 4 Edition.
Although we are not actively updating this ebook, the majority of the information in it should work nicely with the classic iPhone and first-generation iPod touch. These models cannot be updated to newer versions of the iPhone/iOS operating system.
You'll discover how to navigate the many options in Settings so you're up and running quickly, and learn important techniques—such as searching and copying text—for using your iPhone effectively. You'll also get help with many specific iPhone questions, including these:
Plus, you'll find detailed troubleshooting techniques to use if you run into a problem, including:
iPad & Kindle
About the Author
Thanks to books like Sad Macs, Bombs & Other Disasters, innumerable magazine articles, and the founding of MacFixIt, Ted Landau has become the undisputed guru of Macintosh troubleshooting. He is also a professor emeritus of psychology and in 1984 was the U.S. National Othello Champion.
Reviews of Previous Editions
Table of Contents
Read Me First
This book helps you get the most out of your iPhone, providing a compendium of information about many common (and some not-so-common) uses of the iPhone’s OS software and hardware. It focuses on the various options in Settings, as well as on explaining related aspects of apps such as Safari, Maps, and iTunes. It goes beyond the basics when it comes to helping you avoid and solve problems. Although it has the word “iPhone” in the title, it was tested on an iPod touch and has touch-specific details. This book was written by Ted Landau and edited by Dan Frakes, with assistance from Tonya Engst.
Welcome to Take Control of iPhone OS 3. While the title is new, this is the third edition of a book that was previously titled Take Control of Your iPhone.
Why the change? Because, as the iPhone continues to mature and the wealth of information related to the iPhone continues to expand, it was no longer possible to include all the topics from the previous editions in one Take Control book. So we decided to split the content into two books. In the future, we may need three or more books.
For now, Take Control of iPhone OS 3 is mainly about the iPhone OS itself, how it works—and how it sometimes doesn’t work—in more depth than you’ll find in any other end-user iPhone book. I focus on working effectively, avoiding problems, and fixing things when they go wrong. The book also covers all the major new features in iPhone OS 3 (currently at version 3.1) and the iPhone 3GS, from Spotlight to Voice Control. It also covers information about the iPhone and its software that is not app specific, such as syncing, networking, security, using the keyboard, and general troubleshooting. In some cases, the book mentions app-specific features that directly relate to these more general topics. For example, it covers syncing iPod content and pushing Mail messages from MobileMe.
For details on how the preinstalled iPhone apps work, including tips and hints and hidden features, get the companion volume, Take Control of Your iPhone Apps.
Even as a guide to iPhone OS features, Take Control of iPhone OS 3 is not intended as a novice’s introduction to the iPhone. However, if you are at least comfortable using your iPhone to make phone calls and surf the Web, you already know the basics, and you’re ready for this book. Otherwise, start with Apple’s free iPhone User’s Guide.
Unless otherwise specified, this book assumes that you are using an iPhone 3G or 3GS running iPhone OS 3. Where there are new features in an OS update (such as what’s new in version 3.1 as compared to 3.0), I note them. Where there are differences between the iPhone 3G and 3GS in terms of how the hardware relates to topics covered here (such as Voice Control and video in Camera), I note these, as well.
If you have an original iPhone, don’t worry—most of the book applies to this model, as well. The exceptions are a few features that are unavailable in the original iPhone (such as GPS), because of missing hardware present in later models.
Although I emphasize the iPhone, I do point out noteworthy differences between the iPhone and the iPod touch. In fact, because I don’t spend much time covering iPhone-specific apps, such as Phone or Messages, most of the book applies equally well to the iPhone or iPod touch. The main exceptions are coverage of iPhone-only data services. If you own an iPod touch, you can just skip over those sections.
This book assumes you are using iTunes 9.0 or later.
Given the Macintosh focus for the Take Control series and the self-imposed limits on the book’s page count, I don’t discuss Windows.
My enthusiasm for the iPhone grows with each new update. I rank the iPhone as my favorite technological device of the still young twenty-first century. I hope to share this excitement in the pages ahead.
More Tips and Hints Online: There are an assortment of tips that, while they didn’t find a place in this book, were too important to leave out altogether. They primarily cover additional topics such as activating an iPhone, accessing voicemail and other Phone features, the new Messages app, sending and receiving email, and opening email attachments. To see these tips, check the online FAQ for this book.
You needn’t read this book from cover to cover. If you have a specific problem or question, you can go immediately to the section where the answer is likely to be found. However, reading the entire book does have its benefits—you’ll learn a lot about operating your iPhone, and not only will you pick up useful tips, but you’ll also learn techniques for avoiding and solving problems before you encounter them unexpectedly.
Yes! In fact, it covers the iPhone OS through version 3.1.2. And, since it was released in November of 2009, it also covers a few changes that came up with the release of iTunes 9. It even has a tweak for iTunes 9.0.2. It does not cover iTunes 10, which was released in September 2010 (though the vast majority of the iTunes information should be identical).
Yes—although the text of the book refers generally to the iPhone, it is meant to include the iPod touch. We even had someone who uses an iPod touch take a special tech edit pass through the entire manuscript.
Although quite a bit of the information in this ebook applies to the iPad, Ted didn't write this ebook with the iPad in mind, since the iPad was not yet announced. For iPad information, see the free Take Control of iPad Basics as well as various other Take Control titles about the iPad.
Alas, no. To keep the ebook to a reasonable size, we've focused any computer-related coverage on the Mac. We estimate that about 85% of the ebook will apply equally to Windows users, though.
Although most of the information in the ebook applies to everyone, no matter where they are or bought the iPhone, the ebook does assume that you bought in the iPhone in the United States and that you are in the United States (it does have advice for what to do if you are traveling abroad from the United States). So, a tiny bit of the advice won't apply if you are elsewhere on the planet.
There are lots of great ways to read our ebooks on these devices. For more details, please read our latest Device Advice.
Feel free to ask us if you have a question about this title!
How could we not publish such kind words? If you'd like to send us your comments (good or bad, though we hope they're all good), just click the Feedback link on the cover of your copy of the ebook. Be sure to let us know if we can publish your comment. Thanks!
Although author Ted Landau decided not to update this ebook for iOS 4 and the iPhone 4, other writers have stepped in:
Take Control has continued to create new ebooks about newer versions of iOS and related topics—check the catalog to see what we've been working on.
June 14, 2011 --
Apple today quietly began selling unlocked iPhones via the online Apple Store. Mark Anbinder's TidBITS article, "Apple Quietly Adds Unlocked iPhones to Online Apple Store," 14 June 2011, explains what it all means.
—Michael E. Cohen
June 8, 2011 --
On June 6, 2011, Apple announced a new service called iCloud that will appear at some point later in 2011 ("fall" in the northern hemisphere), and will replace MobileMe from Apple's perspective. Until then, MobileMe continues unchanged, except that Apple is no longer selling subscriptions or charging for renewals; all current members automatically have their accounts extended through the end of June 2012.
When iCloud becomes available, existing MobileMe members will be able to migrate to the new service, which will be free (albeit with optional paid features, such as iTunes Match and additional storage). So far, Apple hasn't released details about the fate of iDisk (including file sharing and iWeb publishing); MobileMe Gallery; Back to My Mac; the Backup application; Web-based access to Mail, Contacts, and Calendars; or Mac-to-Mac syncing of things like preferences and keychains.
In the meantime, you can learn more about iCloud and what it might mean for MobileMe users in the following places:
October 7, 2010 --
In MacVoices podcast episode #10114 Karen G. Anderson (author of Take Control of iPhone Basics) swaps iPhone tips and insights with MacVoices host Chuck Joiner. In this wide-ranging conversation, Karen and Chuck talk about why some people call the iPhone 3GS the "iPhone Give Spouse," how they approach learning about iPhone features, various interesting third-party apps, and what they like—and do not like—about the iPhone.
October 4, 2010 --
Apple's release of the iPad and their decision to keep it at iOS 3.2 while the iPhone and iPod touch jumped to iOS 4 has created some confusion for users: although some differences among current iOS devices will disappear once they are all running iOS 4.2, other differences between the iPad and its smaller brethren are inescapable.
To provide the help that people need right now, we've released two new ebooks: Take Control of iPhone Basics, iOS 4 Edition, by Karen G. Anderson, and Take Control of Mail on the iPhone and iPod touch, iOS 4 Edition, by Joe Kissell.
Take Control of iPhone Basics, iOS 4 Edition is our first book from Karen Anderson, who was the managing editor of .Mac at Apple before the MobileMe transition and who has edited a number of Take Control titles. Her book covers the iPhone 3G, 3GS, and 4, and is designed to help new and prospective iPhone buyers pick the right iPhone model and accessories and successfully complete basic setup tasks. She explains power management, connecting to the Internet, how to set up a Bluetooth headset, transferring songs and other media from a computer, creating a security passcode, and how to get around the interface. Readers will also find help with synchronizing calendar events and contacts (whether via iTunes or over-the-air), buying apps, and finding apps and data on the iPhone. Finally, Karen provides a tour of the important apps from Apple, making sure that readers are comfortable with everything the iPhone can do.
Take Control of iPhone Basics, iOS 4 Edition is for those who are new to the iPhone or who want to ramp up their skill level and expand their comfort zone with Apple's phone. However, there's an area where even experienced users are often frustrated - dealing with email - and that's where our next book steps in.
Take Control of Mail on the iPhone and iPod touch, iOS 4 Edition, by Joe Kissell, looks at email on the iPhone and iPod touch under iOS 4. In its 100 pages it provides the help you need to develop a mobile email strategy that gives you full control of your email and its related accounts, whether you use a regular IMAP account, Gmail, MobileMe, or Exchange.
(This ebook is essentially an updated version of Joe's earlier Take Control of Mail on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch that focuses on the iOS 3 version of the Mail app on all three iOS devices. Since the iPad still runs iOS 3.2, the earlier book remains for sale for iPad users.)
For those using an iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4, Joe shares his real-world recommendations about the best ways to use the Mail app, offering carefully tested advice and directions for how to set up accounts, receive email, read and send email, and file messages. Joe also explains how to solve connection problems and work around feature limitations.
We're fully aware that we've constructed a sand castle on the beach with this title, and the high tide slated to come with iOS 4.2 will erode it. Once all the iOS devices are in sync with iOS 4.2, we'll rationalize the situation in a way that doesn't penalize anyone who buys Take Control of Mail on the iPhone and iPod touch, iOS 4 Edition now. Meanwhile, if you have questions like the following, you'll find the answers in this book.
September 10, 2010 --
If you have an original iPhone or a first-generation iPod touch, the answer is "no," because the device doesn't have the hardware oomph for iOS 4 and isn't compatible with it.
In the case of the iPhone 3G and the second-generation iPod touch, iOS 4.1 comes with good news—many people, including myself, have found that it runs much faster on the iPhone 3G than iOS 4.0.x did. I've read one positive report from a second-generation iPod touch user as well. Apple did not specificy in their release notes if the iPod touch was helped by the update.
For an iPhone 3GS, third-generation iPod touch, or iPhone 4, you won't see any particular speed enhancements from iOS 4.1, but there are several new features and bug fixes. To learn more about what's new in iOS 4.1, read my TidBITS article, iOS 4.1: Does it Work? Should You Install It?.
If you are updating from iOS 3 to iOS 4, note that its best to have a recent backup of your device before you begin the update. It seems that the update will erase your device and then restore from the backup. It also seems that you'll need to re-sync any media after updating from iOS 3 to 4.
July 8, 2010 --
YouTube has introduced a mobile version of its site at m.youtube.com. According to YouTube, the mobile version's features are more in alignment with the full Web site's features and the mobile site does not use Flash, so all the videos should play on the iPhone and iPod touch. If you decide to try the site, note that once a video is playing, you can access the playback controls by tapping the playing video. Once you've done this, the video plays in an app-like interface, complete with playback controls. Rotate the device to the landscape (horizontal) position to view the largest image.
The mobile version may have more to do clashing titans of the tech industry (YouTube's parent company is Google) than with user's needs, but it certainly offers another option for viewing YouTube videos.
If you like the mobile site and want to view it quickly from your Home screen, you can make a "Web clip" of the site: Go to the site in Safari, tap the plus (+) button on the toolbar, and then Tap Add to Home Screen. Then, name the clip and tap the Add button. Your device will switch to the Home screen and show an icon for the clip you created. Tap the icon to quickly return to the mobile YouTube site.
If you'd like to read more about the mobile YouTube site, here are two good resources:
Google Makes the iPhone YouTube App Obsolete (New York Times Bits blog)
The site is currently in English only, but localized versions are expected.
June 21, 2010 --
After much anticipation, Apple has released iOS 4, a free update for the iPhone 3G, the iPhone 3GS, and the second and third generations of the iPod touch. The latest version of Apple's mobile operating system includes new "folders" for organizing apps, a unified inbox in Mail, and support for the iBooks ebook-reading app. Additionally, multitasking capabilities and external keyboard support are now available for newer devices (the iPhone 3GS and 3rd generation iPod touch). To learn more, check out Glenn Fleishman's TidBITS article, iOS 4 Available for Download (scroll down to the comments section to find real-world data on how long it takes to run the update). Be aware that running iOS 4 on the iPhone 3 (but not 3GS) reportedly causes a slowdown in the phone's overall performance, so be sure the new features are worth a speed decrease before you install it.
June 8, 2010 --
Yesterday's Apple Worldwide Developer Conference keynote, given by Steve Jobs, revealed important software- and hardware-related details for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch, plus dates for when you'll be able to download the new operating system version and buy a new iPhone.
June 8, 2010 --
During his keynote speech at yesterday's Apple Worldwide Developer conference, Steve Jobs discussed the upcoming version of iBooks, Apple's ebook-reading app. When the new version of iBooks ships later this month, we'll be able to enjoy these new features:
Multi-device support: The new version of iBooks will run not only on the iPad, but also on any iOS 4 device. (I'm not certain if it will run on an iPhone or iPod touch under iPhone OS 3.)
Sync: If you have iBooks running on multiple devices set to use the same account, you can wirelessly sync ebooks, bookmarks, notes, and current reading position across all devices. There is no charge for iBooks syncing. (This is similar to the Kindle's Whispersync service, which works among Kindles and various Apple devices.)
PDF support: Steve showed PDFs being loaded into iBooks through iTunes, and he noted that an option in the Mail app will let you save attached PDFs into iBooks. However, he did not clarify whether (or when) PDFs will be offered in the iBookstore. He did say that better PDF reading was "one of the biggest requests we've gotten for the iPad." PDFs wil show on a separate shelf, accessed through a button at the top of the iBooks screen.
Many publishers, including TidBITS, are excited about this change, because the PDF format allows us to retain "page fidelity." Page fidelity means that we can retain the layout we created in the ebook. Page fidelity works well for anything that has a lot of graphics or tables—cookbooks, technical books, children's books, text books, and so forth. EPUB is best for books that have a simple layout with only a few graphics or with graphics that can sit nicely on a line by themselves.
Notes: You'll be able to afix virtual notes to pages in your ebooks, much like attaching a sticky note to a real-life sheet of paper.
Fast bookmarking: You'll be able to tap in the upper right of the iBooks screen to bookmark a page. Also, there appears to be a few new options for working more efficiently with bookmarks and a table of contents.
June 4, 2010 --
As of June 7, AT&T will offer new data plans for iPhones (as well as for all their other smartphones) and the iPad. Here's all you need to know about the new plans, plus some thoughts on Internet tethering options in iPhone OS 4.
March 18, 2010 --
In Take Control of iPhone OS 3, and in previous editions, Ted discusses third-party protective films that you can install on an iPhone or iPod touch screen. These films reduce smudging from greasy fingers, prevent some scratches, and sometimes have glare-reduction properties. For the iPhone 3GS (the model introduced 2009), which has an oil-resistant screen, the film is less useful, since fingerprints are less of an issue.
Recently, Apple announced that it plans to stop carrying such films in the Apple Stores. This caused Ted to analyze why Apple might have done so and to share his latest opinion on the films, which you can find in his essay, Apple's so-called "ban" on protective films.
If you considering installing a film, note this bit from Ted's essay: "These products are notoriously difficult to 'install.' Frequently, you wind up with air bubbles or dust specks under the film.... Added to this is that the 'oleophobic' coating on Apple’s latest products make such films less needed (although not entirely without value). It’s a toss-up. Personally, I no longer use these films. But I know others who swear by them."
February 20, 2010 --
If you log in to www.me.com from the Safari app on your iPhone or iPod touch, you'll find that Apple now provides more options. Most notably, you can access Find My iPhone, making it possible to hunt for your missing device from a friend's or colleague's iPhone or iPod touch instead of from a regular computer. You can also now set up Mail, Contacts, and Calendars, and tap buttons for installing the iDisk and Gallery apps. For a few more details and screenshots, see the TidBITS article, MobileMe Site Adds Some Mobile Safari Support.
Ted Landau, author of Take Control of iPhone OS 3 put this new functionality to use right away—see his blog post, New Find My iPhone from an iPhone Saves Day, for how various aspects of Find My iPhone elegantly solved a frustrating problem.
February 3, 2010 --
If you have an unlimited talk/data plan with AT&T, you may wish to modify your plan. According to an article posted at iPhone Central on January 15th, AT&T is now offering a $100-per-month plan that includes unlimited voice and data, which beats the previous option of $100-per-month for unlimited voice and $30-per-month for unlimited data. Apparently, you can make the switch without penalty or extending your contract.
If you're curious about how much cellular data you receive on your iPhone or deeply interested in the topic, and particularly if you are considering purchasing an iPad, check out Glenn Fleishman's TidBITS article, Can You Get By with 250 MB of Data Per Month?. The article is interesting, but it gets exciting in the comments.
November 13, 2009 --
New tips, hints, fixes, secrets, and assorted other information about the iPhone never stop coming. That's why it's not surprising that, even in the relatively short time between when Take Control of iPhone OS 3 was finalized and when it was published, I learned several things that I would have included in the book, had I known about them in time.
Not to worry. I've made these items available to you. You can read about them in the Online FAQ for the book.
November 12, 2009 --
Tune in to MacNotables #949 and get to know author Ted Landau as he discusses his history with titles changing on the books that he writes, and why Ted's latest iPhone ebook has a new title and tightened focus. You'll also find out what Ted thinks you should do first with a new iPhone, get advice on syncing data to the iPhone, consider whether Flash support on the iPhone is important, and more.
November 12, 2009 --
For anyone who is perplexed by their iPhone or iPod touch, or who feels that they'd get more out of it if they understood it better, two new Take Control ebooks are now available and ready to help.
Much as we wanted to release these ebooks shortly after Apple released iPhone OS 3 and the iPhone 3GS in June 2009, it took time to give these ebooks the depth and polish that we require. Luckily, during that time, Apple updated the iPhone OS several times, plus Snow Leopard and iTunes 9, so we were able to incorporate those changes as we worked. And so we are extremely pleased to announce the release of two very up-to-date ebooks: Jeff Carlson's Take Control of Your iPhone Apps and Ted Landau's Take Control of iPhone OS 3.
You can buy either ebook separately or purchase them together in a discounted bundle:
Take Control of Your iPhone Apps, by TidBITS Managing Editor Jeff Carlson, teaches you iPhone app basics and offers numerous clever tips based on Jeff's real-world experiences with using the iPhone for work, photography, and fun since its initial release. Apps that Jeff covers with the eye of a professional tech writer include Calendar, Camera, Compass, Contacts, iPod, Mail, Maps, Messages, Phone, Photos, Remote, and Safari (and, for iPod touch owners, the Music and Video apps). He also provides pointers to independent apps that further expand the iPhone's capabilities. This is Jeff's first Take Control ebook, though he has written numerous books for Peachpit Press; contributes regularly to TidBITS, Macworld, and the Seattle Times; and has even edited various Take Control titles. We are pleased to have him on board as an official Take Control author, and we have particularly enjoyed his clear, concise text and illustrative screenshots. The 122-page ebook costs $10.
Take Control of iPhone OS 3, by troubleshooting guru Ted Landau, helps you deepen your iPhone and iPod touch knowledge by exploring the operating system and hardware. Ted takes you under the hood to clear up mysteries about many topics including backups, batteries, Bluetooth, buying and managing third-party apps, damage control, jailbreaking, Location Services, MobileMe, networking, passwords, ringtones, root access, security, SIM cards, syncing, tethering, voice control, and volume control, among much else. And, if you run into trouble, you'll find a cornucopia of advice on handling freezes, crashes, and buggy behavior, as well as on solving problems with Safari, syncing, and your network connection. Ted also discusses how to determine if a recalcitrant iPhone might need a hardware repair. The 202-page ebook costs $15.
If you already own Ted's previous Take Control ebook about the iPhone - Take Control of Your iPhone - note that this is effectively the third edition of that ebook. You should have already received an email message with update information; if not, if you bought the second edition after May 1, 2009, get in touch with us. Otherwise, open your PDF of that ebook and - on page 1 - click the Check for Updates button.
If you would like to purchase both ebooks, you can do so at a discount; look on the left side of either of the book pages linked above for a 20% discount on both, or a 30% discount if you want additional ebooks that cover related topics.
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