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Take Control of iPhone Basics, iOS 4 Edition
Feb 17, 2011

Take Control of iPhone Basics, iOS 4 Edition

Using an iPhone 3G? This is the ebook for you!

You can take control of iPhone basics (and beyond) with Karen G. Anderson. Join Karen as she discusses common accessories, and explains how to handle basic startup tasks. You’ll learn about power management, how to connect to the Internet, set up a Bluetooth headset, transfer songs and other media from a computer, create a security passcode, and make folders to hold an expanding app collection. You’ll also receive help with syncing calendar events and contacts, and buying apps.

Although we are not actively updating this ebook, most of the information in it should work nicely with the iPhone 3G, which can’t be updated to a newer version of iOS.

Karen takes you on a tour of the important default apps that come from Apple, so whether you want to understand the mechanics of receiving and placing a phone call, check for voicemail from your boss, run a FaceTime call with your cousin, take a photo and send it to your Mom, play Game Center games with your friends, listen to a podcast, map a route to your next appointment, or match certain contacts to specific ringtones, you’ll find help and advice.

More Info

This ebook covers the iPhone 3G, 3GS, and 4, including the Verizon iPhone 4, running iOS 4:

Find answers to these basic questions:

  • What is the purpose of the slots and buttons on my iPhone?
  • How do I connect my iPhone to a computer, and why would I want to?
  • How do I turn my iPhone on, and what if it doesn’t?
  • How do I control the touchscreen with my fingers?
  • How do I answer and “hang up” the phone?

Get help with basic setup tasks including:

  • Connect to networks.
  • Customize your voicemail greeting.
  • Set up your email accounts.
  • Use the Safari Web browser while maintaining your personal security.
  • Move Web bookmarks from your computer to Safari.
  • Transfer songs and podcasts to your iPhone.
  • Set up a Game Center account and invite friends to play with you.
  • Sync calendar and address book info between your computer and your iPhone.
  • Customize the image on your iPhone’s screen.

Here’s a sample of things you’ll learn how to do:

  • Organize app icons into folders.
  • Quickly switch to a recently opened app.
  • Place a call using your voice to “dial” instead of your finger.
  • Make a FaceTime video call.
  • Turn your iPhone into an alarm clock.
  • Look up a date on your calendar.
  • Take a photo and email it to a friend.
  • Get directions and determine which way you’re headed.
  • Quickly access the iPod playback controls.
  • Find your apps and other information on the iPhone.
  • Shop for third-party apps, share them your family, and keep them updated.
  • Create or buy ringtones, sync them with your computer, and assign them to contacts.
What's New

What’s New in Version 1.1

Quite a lot has changed with the iPhone since this ebook was released in September of 2010. Here’s a quick list of the highlights of the changes in this version of the ebook:

  • Decide What to Buy now talks about the pros and cons of the new Verizon iPhone 4.
  • I added a few paragraphs that explain the basics of two important new iOS 4.2 features: AirPrint and AirPlay.
  • The iBooks topic in Use the Core Apps talks about enhancements to Apple’s iBooks app.
  • In MobileMe, I’ve added a mention of the fact that Apple’s Find My iPhone and Remote Wipe services are now free in some circumstances.
  • I’ve added Appendix A: Buy and Make Ringtones.

Which version of iOS 4 does this ebook discuss?

In early 2011, we updated the ebook to cover iOS 4.2.

Which iPhone models does this ebook cover?

This ebook explains the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 4, including the Verizon iPhone 4. In all cases, the ebook assumes that you’re using iOS 4 as the operating system running on the iPhone.

The original “classic” iPhone cannot run iOS 4. For help with an original iPhone, see Take Control of iPhone OS 3 or Take Control of Your iPhone Apps.

How can I figure out which iPhone I have?

An Apple support article has photos and other details to help you pinpoint your model.

Does this ebook cover the iPod touch?

On the one hand, yes, it does. Nearly all the information in this ebook that does not concern using the camera or the cellular data network applies to the iPod touch, so there’s a good-sized helping of iPod touch information. However, the ebook does not have special tips or details for iPod touch owners. We wanted to include the iPod touch, but we felt that specifically including it would bog down the text with too many asides about what the iPod touch can and cannot do.

Does this ebook care which type of computer I sync my iPhone with?

Whether you sync with iTunes on the Macintosh or Windows, this ebook has you covered.

Update Plans

October 20, 2011 – At this time, we do not plan to update this ebook.

Posted by Adam Engst

  1. Running a Mail Spam Filter on an iPad or iPhone

    Take Control reader Genevieve S. wrote in with an interesting question a few days ago:

    Genevieve: Do you know any third-party app that can filter mail on iPad and iPhone—i.e., apply rules?
    Tonya’s reply: I don’t know of any apps that can filter mail locally on the iPad, but I’ve cc’d Adam and Joe here to see if either of them has a suggestion. Personally, I use my gmail account on the iPad, and Google handles the filtering on the server.
    Joe’s reply: There is an app called ibisMail, which comes in both iPad and iPhone versions, that does filtering on the device. However, I do what Tonya does—let a server-based filter do all the work before messages appear on any of my devices.
    Genevieve: Thank you for responding. I use the Gmail filter too, but the AT&T/Yahoo filter is lousy. This is not a problem when receiving mail on the Mac—the rules in Mail handle the leakage—but if I read the mail on the iPhone, a local filter would help.
    Adam jumps in: You could forward the other account to Gmail to get the benefit of its filter. Lots of people do that. smile
    Genevieve: Great idea!!

    In the third edition of Take Control of Mail on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, Joe touches on email forwarding in “Decide Which Account(s) to Use,” and he references a Macworld article that he wrote—Streamline e-mail with Gmail. The Macworld article discusses how to forward a non-Gmail email account through Gmail.

    Posted by Michael Cohen (Permalink)

  2. Apple Now Selling Unlocked iPhones

    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.

    Posted by Michael Cohen (Permalink)

  3. MobileMe Will Be Replaced by iCloud

    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:

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

  4. iOS 4.3.3 and iOS 4.2.8 Address Location Tracking Bugs

    On April 20, 2011, researchers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden announced that they had discovered a file within iOS, consolidated.db, that seemingly tracked every single location that an iOS device has ever visited. Furthermore, this file was not encrypted and was backed up each time the iOS device synced with iTunes to a user’s computer, making the file available on the syncing computer as well as on the device. Although the file was actually known about for quite some time, a media firestorm erupted following the announcement, with many articles speculating that Apple was tracking users’ every move for unknown, but probably nefarious reasons, and which led to several requests by Congressional representatives for Apple to explain the purpose behind collecting the information.

    Apple responded within a week with a press release explaining what the consolidated.db file was, and why it was storing as much information as it seemed to be storing (see this TidBITS article, “Apple Addresses Location Controversy Questions,” 27 April 2011, for details on that press release). In a nutshell, Apple claimed that a bug was the reason that the file contained so much information, that the file was designed merely to help the iOS device’s Location Services feature establish location more easily, that it actually contained information about nearby Wi-Fi access points and cell towers rather than the device’s actual location, that no user-identifiable information was being sent back to Apple, and that a forthcoming release of iOS would address the bug and keep the file from being backed up to users’ computers.

    On May 4, Apple released two updates to iOS that address the problem. One, iOS 4.3.3, updates all GSM iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 models, iPad and iPad 2 devices, and third and fourth generation iPod touch devices. The other, iOS 4.2.8, updates all CDMA iPhone 4s (see the TidBITS article, “iOS 4.3.3 and 4.2.8,” 4 May 2011). Updated devices now will store only a week’s worth of location information, and that information will not be backed up when the device syncs with iTunes. Furthermore, the location information cached by devices is erased whenever users disable Location Services.

    Posted by Michael Cohen (Permalink)

  5. Tip for Syncing Photos from Windows to iOS

    Reader F.D.M. wrote in to share this tip:

    I’ve had numerous questions from Window users (the ones that do not own Photoshop (Elements)) that are confused about the way iTunes syncs (root) folders and (sub) folders, filled with photos. For instance, if you have a rootfolder called c:\photos with subfolders c:\photos\holiday and c:\photos\work and you sync, selecting “Choose folder” and then “All folders”, which is a logical choice, all your photos are dumped into one big ‘album’ on the iPad, causing great confusion. Instead, in order to create different albums on the iPad, you must select “Selected folders” and then choose the folders that you want to sync.

    I’ve posted this tip in relation to all of the ebooks about iOS, since I assume it works the same regardless of the device.

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

  6. iPhone 4 Tips Blog Covers Apps, Accessories, and Research

    I developed the blog iPhone 4 Tips (“How to do more with iOS 4”) as a companion to Take Control of iPhone Basics, iOS 4 Edition. While the ebook covers core iPhone technology, user interface issues, and apps, the blog takes a more whimsical approach to life with an iPhone.

    I write about accessories (from the Woogie to the iTree); apps (from the Hipstamatic camera to the Square Up credit-card reader); and aspects of the iPhone user experience, including disappointment with the quality of apps in the App Store and the discoveries of a blind programmer who uses his iPhone as a sight aid.

    I’ll be tracking research on smart phone use from the Pew Center Internet & American Life Project, venturing some common sense observations about the latest iPhone rumors, and inviting reader comments. Come join me!

    Posted by Karen Anderson (Permalink)

  7. Karen and Chuck Talk about the iPhone and iOS 4

    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.

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

The Author

Karen G. Anderson is a former magazine editor and arts writer who worked for 6 years at Apple—initially as a writer for the iReview webzine, and later as a writer for the iTunes Music Store, producer for Apple’s iCards, and managing editor of .Mac (the forerunner of MobileMe).


p>Karen lives in Seattle, where she now works as a Web content writer and strategist, writes science fiction, and studies yoga. She blogs at iPhone 4 Tips and at