In the first year of the iPhone's existence, Apple sold 6 million of them; brought the thing to 70 countries; and inspired an industry of misbegotten iPhone lookalikes from other companies. By the end of Year One, you could type iPhone into Google and get 229 million hits.
Now there's a new iPhone, the iPhone 3G. More importantly, there's a new version of the iPhone's software, called iPhone 2.0. And then there's the iPhone App Store, which offers thousands of add-on programs written by individuals, software companies, and everything in between.
This is huge. Remember how mystified everyone was when Apple called its music player the iPod—instead of, say, iMusic or iSongs or something? The reason was that Apple had much bigger plans for the iPod—photos, videos, documents, and so on. Maybe they should have saved that name for the iPhone.
Yes, the iPhone is still an iPod. And it's still the best Internet phone you've ever seen. It shows fully formatted email (with attachments, thank you) and displays entire Web pages with fonts and design intact. It's still tricked out with a tilt sensor, proximity sensor, light sensor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and that amazing multitouch screen.
Therefore, it's still a calendar, address book, calculator, alarm clock, stopwatch, stock tracker, traffic reporter, RSS reader, and weather forecaster. It even stands in for a flashlight and, with the screen off, a pocket mirror.
But now, thanks to the App Store, the iPhone is a fast, wicked fun pocket computer. All those free or cheap programs can turn it into a medical reference, musical keyboard, time tracker, remote control, voice recorder, tip calculator, e-book reader, and so on. And whoa, those games! Hundreds of them, with smooth 3-D graphics and tilt control.
All of this sends the iPhone's utility and power through the roof. Calling it a phone is practically an insult.
By way of a printed guide to the iPhone, Apple provides only a fold-out leaflet. It's got a clever name—Finger Tips—but to learn your way around, you're expected to use an electronic PDF document. This PDF covers the basics well, but it's largely free of details, hacks, workarounds, tutorials, humor, and any acknowledgment of the iPhone's flaws. You can't mark your place, underline, or read it in the bathroom.
The purpose of this book, then, is to serve as the manual that should have accompanied the iPhones—both the original and the iPhone 3G. (If you have an original iPhone, this book assumes that you've installed the free iPhone 2.0 software, described in Appendix A.)
Writing computer books can be an annoying job. You commit something to print, and then bam—the software gets updated or revised, and suddenly your book is out of date.
That will certainly happen to this book. The iPhone is a platform. It's a computer, so Apple routinely updates and improves it by sending it new software bits. That's fortunate, because there's certainly room for improvement; there's a long list of common cellphone features that the iPhone is still missing (Copy and Paste, MMS picture messaging, voice dialing, video recording, a To Do list, and so on).
But it will happen. To picture where the iPhone will be five years from now, just look at how much better, sleeker, and more powerful today's iPod is than the original 2001 black-and-white brick.
Therefore, you should think of this book the way you think of the first iPhone: as a darned good start. This book will be updated by free, periodic email newsletters as developments unfold. To get them, register this book at www.oreilly.com. (Here's a shortcut to the registration page: http://tinyurl.com/yo82k3.)
iPhone: The Missing Manual is divided into five parts, each containing several chapters:
Part I, The iPhone as Phone, covers everything related to phone calls: dialing, answering, voicemail, conference calling, text messaging, and the Contacts (address book) program.
Part II, The iPhone as iPod, is dedicated to the iPhone's ability to play back music, podcasts, movies, TV shows, and photos. This section also covers the iPhone's built-in camera.
Part III, The iPhone Online, is a detailed exploration of the iPhone's third talent: its ability to get you onto the Internet, either over a Wi-Fi hot spot connection or via AT&T's cellular network. It's all here: email, Web browsing, YouTube, Google Maps, RSS, weather, stocks, and so on.
Part IV, Beyond iPhone, describes the world beyond the iPhone itself—like the copy of iTunes on your Mac or PC that's responsible for filling up the iPhone with music, videos, and photos, and syncing the calendar, address book, and mail settings. These chapters also cover the iPhone's control panel, the Settings program; the exploding world of add-on software, courtesy of the App Store; making your own ringtones; and how the iPhone now syncs wirelessly with corporate networks over using Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync—and with your own computers using Apple's MobileMe service.
Part V, Appendixes, contains three reference chapters. Appendix A walks you through the setup process; Appendix B is a tour of accessories like chargers, car adapters, and carrying cases; and Appendix C is a master compendium of troubleshooting, maintenance, and battery information.
Throughout this book, and throughout the Missing Manual series, you'll find sentences like this one: Tap Settings→Fetch New Data→Off. That's shorthand for a much longer instruction that directs you to open three nested screens in sequence, like this: "Tap the Settings button. On the next screen, tap Fetch New Data; on the screen after that, tap Off." (In this book, tappable things on the screen are printed in orange to make them stand out.)
Similarly, this kind of arrow shorthand helps to simplify the business of choosing commands in menus, like File→Print.
To get the most out of this book, visit www.missingmanuals.com. Click the Missing CD-ROM link, and then click this book's title to reveal a neat, organized, chapter-by-chapter list of the shareware and freeware mentioned in this book.
The Web site also offers corrections and updates to the book; to see them, click the book's title, and then click Errata. In fact, please submit corrections yourself! Each time we print more copies of this book, we'll make any confirmed corrections you've suggested. We'll also note such changes on the Web site, so you can mark important corrections into your own copy of the book, if you like. And we'll keep the book current as Apple releases more iPhone updates.