How do you make the point that the iPhone has changed the world? The easy answer is “use statistics”—200 million sold, 750,000 downloadable programs on the iPhone App Store, 25 billion downloads…. Trouble is, those statistics get stale almost before you’ve finished typing them.
Maybe it’s better to talk about the aftermath. How since the iPhone came along, cell carriers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and so on) have opened up the calcified, conservative way they used to consider new cellphone designs. How every phone and its brother now have a touchscreen. How BlackBerry, Google (Android) phones, and Windows 7 phones all have their own app stores. How, in essence, everybody wants to be the iPhone.
The thing is, it will be tough for them to catch up technologically, because Apple is always moving, too. In October 2012, for example, it introduced the sixth iPhone model, the iPhone 5—thinner, faster, taller, better in almost every possible way.
More importantly, there’s a new, free version of the iPhone’s software, called iOS 6. (Why not “iPhone OS” anymore? Because the same operating system runs on the iPad and the iPod Touch. It’s not just for iPhones anymore, and saying, “the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch OS” takes too long.)
Why is it so important? Because you can run iOS 6 on older iPhone models (the 3GS, 4, and 4S) without having to buy a new phone. This book covers all phones that can run the iOS 6 software: the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5.
Well, it’s a cellphone, obviously. But it’s also a full-blown iPod, complete with a dazzling screen for watching videos. And the iPhone is also the best pocket Internet viewer 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 tricked out with a tilt sensor, a proximity sensor, a light sensor, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, a gyroscope, and that amazing multitouch screen.
Furthermore, it’s a calendar, an address book, a calculator, an alarm clock, a stopwatch, a stock tracker, a traffic reporter, an RSS reader, and a weather forecaster. It even stands in for a flashlight and, with the screen off, a pocket mirror.
But don’t forget the App Store. Thanks to the hundreds of thousands of addon programs that await there, the iPhone is also a fast, wicked-fun pocket computer. All those free or cheap programs can turn it into a medical reference, a musical keyboard, a time tracker, a remote control, a sleep monitor, a tip calculator, an ebook reader, and so on. And whoa, those games! Thousands 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.
(Apple probably should have called it an “iPod,” but that name was taken.)
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. That 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 iPhone. (If you have an original iPhone or iPhone 3G, you really need one of this book’s earlier editions. If you have an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, or iPhone 4S, this book assumes that you’ve installed iOS 6; see 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. To picture where the iPhone will be a few 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. To keep in touch with updates we make to it as developments unfold, drop in to the book’s Errata/Changes page. (Go to www.missingmanuals.com click this book’s name, and then click View/Submit Errata.)
Writing a book about the iPhone is a study in exasperation, because the darned thing is a moving target. Apple updates the iPhone’s software fairly often, piping in new features, bug fixes, speed-ups, and so on.
This book covers the iPhone’s 6.1.4 software. There may be a 6.1.5, and a 6.1.6, and so on. Check this book’s page at www.missingmanuals.com to read about those updates when they occur.
iPhone: The Missing Manual is divided into five parts, each containing several chapters:
Part 1, covers everything related to phone calls: dialing, answering, voice control, voicemail, conference calling, text messaging, iMessages, MMS, and the Contacts (address book) program. It’s also where you can read about FaceTime, the iPhone’s video-calling feature, and Siri, the “virtual assistant” in the iPhone 4S and 5.
Part 2, is dedicated to the iPhone’s built-in software programs, with a special emphasis on its multimedia abilities: playing music, podcasts, movies, TV shows, and photos; capturing photos and videos; the controversial new Maps app; reading ebooks; and so on. These chapters also cover app management: installing, organizing, and quitting apps—and, of course, the iPhone’s special version of multitasking.
Part 3, is a detailed exploration of the iPhone’s third talent: its ability to get you onto the Internet, either over a WiFi hotspot connection or via the cellular network. It’s all here: email, Web browsing, and tethering (that is, letting your phone serve as a sort of Internet antenna for your laptop).
Part 4, describes the world beyond the iPhone itself—like the copy of iTunes on your Mac or PC that can fill 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; and how the iPhone syncs wirelessly with corporate networks using Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync—or with your own computers using Apple’s iCloud service.
Part 5, 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→Airplane Mode→On. 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 Airplane Mode. On the screen after that, tap On.” (In this book, tappable things on the screen are printed in orange to make them stand out.)
To get the most out of this book, visit www.missingmanuals.com. Click the Missing CDs link, and then click this book’s title to reveal a neat, organized list of the shareware, freeware, and bonus articles 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 View/Submit 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.
There’s no one headline new feature in the iPhone 5, no breakthrough along the lines of Siri or the Retina screen. Instead, just about every component has been upgraded and crammed into an even thinner body. For example:
The new case, in all black or white, now has a Gorilla Glass 2 front and an aluminum back. At 0.3 inches, it’s the thinnest smartphone in the world, Apple says. It’s lighter than before—just under 4 ounces—and that’s the part that hits most people the first time they try it.
The screen has grown taller by half an inch—176 very tiny pixels. You gain an extra row of icons on the Home screen, more messages in email lists, wider keys in landscape orientation, and so on. Apps that haven’t been rewritten to exploit the larger area sit in the center of the screen, flanked by skinny black bars.
The screen has better color reproduction.
The back camera’s sapphire lens and other improvements give it much better low-light sensitivity. Shot-to-shot times have been improved by 40 percent. And you can now take stills even while recording video.
Maps. Here’s the big one, the controversial one: the new Maps app, which replaces the Google Maps app that has been on the iPhone since its debut in 2007.
It’s a beautiful app with some great features, but in the initial version, the underlying data is deeply flawed. Directions are wrong, buildings aren’t where they’re supposed to be, and many of the aerial photos show melted bridges and other distortions. There’s no Street View or public-transportation details built in. Apple vows to keep working on Maps until it’s fixed, and it recommends rival apps like MapQuest and Waze in the meantime.
Call smarts. When a call comes in, you can flick upward on the screen to reveal two new buttons: Remind Me Later and Reply With Message. The first button programs the phone to remind you to return the call later; the second fires off a canned text message like “I’ll call you later.”
Do Not Disturb is like Airplane mode—the phone won’t buzz, ring or light up—except that (a) it can turn itself on during certain hours, like your sleeping hours, and (b) it can allow certain people’s calls or texts through, like people on your phone’s Favorites list.
Siri enhancements. Siri, the voice-activated servant, now understands questions about movies, sports, and restaurants. You can also speak Twitter or Facebook posts (“Tweet, ‘I just broke my shin on a poorly placed coffee table’”) and—hallelujah!—open apps by voice (“open Camera”). That’s a huge win.
FaceTime over cellular. Now, at last, iPhone 4S and 5 owners can make video calls (to other iPhone, iPad, Touch and Mac owners) even when they’re out of WiFi range, out in Cellular Land.
Camera panoramas. You can now capture a 240-degree, ultra-wide-angle photo by swinging the phone around you in an arc. The phone creates the panorama in real time (you don’t have to line up the sections yourself).
Safari. You can now save a Web page to read later, even when you don’t have an Internet connection later. Also, in landscape mode, a full-screen browsing mode maximizes screen space by hiding toolbars.
Shared photo streams. You can “publish” groups of photos to specified friends; they can view the pictures on their Apple gadgets or on a Web page. They can add comments or “like” them.
Mail. In Mail, you can indicate the most important people in your life; they get their own VIP folder in the Inbox, helping to lift them out of the clutter. And at long last, you can now attach photos to a Mail message you’re already writing, instead of having to start in the Photos app.
iOS 6 also gives you the option to publish utterances, photos, or other bits to Facebook from a bunch of different apps. A new Privacy settings screen provides on/off switches for the kinds of data each app might request (access to your contacts, location, and so on). The App Store, iTunes Store, Reminders, and Videos apps have been redesigned. (Check “what’s new in iOS 6” in the index for an even more complete list of tweaks.)
It’s a lot of tweaks, polishing, and finesse—and a lot to learn. Fortunately, 500 pages of instructions now await you.