Tuesday, January 8, 2008

iPhone Hints and Tips: Get a bigger keyboard for Web browsing

Like any other iPhone function requiring data entry, tapping Safari's address bar summons an on-screen keyboard. However, if you rotate the iPhone horizontally before tapping the address bar, the Safari window will switch to horizontal mode; then, when you then tap the address bar, the onscreen keyboard also appears horizontally. More important, it will also be much larger than the standard vertical keyboard, making data entry a little easier. By the way, Safari is currently the only iPhone application in which this horizontal keyboard appears. (Also worth noting: If you summon the keyboard before rotating your iPhone, then Safari won't rotate.)—DAN FRAKES

iPhone Hints and Tips: Use your iPhone as a storage device

One of side benefits to the iPod beyond its music-playing capabilities is the fact that you can use it to store files. You can't do this with an out-of-the-box iPhone. But with the help of a $10 program—and a Mac—you can. The app is iPhoneDrive, a small utility from Ecamm Network that displays the free storage area of an iPhone in the manner of a Finder window in Column view. To add files to the iPhone, either click the Copy to iPhone button or drag a file or folder to the iPhoneDrive Window; dragging from the iPhone or clicking on Copy From iPhone puts iPhone files on your Mac. Note that music and photo files for use on your iPhone are off limits.—CHRISTOPHER BREEN

iPhone Hints and Tips: Create a home page in Safari

With the regular version of Safari that runs on your Mac (and now your Windows-based PC), setting a particular site as your home page is as simple as going to the General tab in Preferences and typing in a URL. You can't do that on the iPhone, however. But you can use this work-around: 
Add your would-be home page to your bookmarks list and then move it to the top of your bookmarks list. Yes it's an extra tap—first the Bookmarks button and then the bookmark itself—but it will get you to your favorite Web page with a minimum of fuss.—DF