Apple sold more than 4 million new iPhone 4S’s in the first three days it was on sale, making it the fastest-selling phone in history and one of the fastest-selling electronic devices ever. That’s more than any phone manufacturer will sell of any other single model all year.
There’s a whole wave of new iPhone users who have come to me in the past week who are a bit puzzled about what to do next.
So here are a few important tips every beginning iPhone owner needs to know. Another exclusive Oh My Tech clip-and-save!
Find my iPhone » There’s nothing more horrifying than spending $200 on a new phone and then losing it or having it stolen. So the most crucial thing to do — even before downloading “Angry Birds” — is sign up for Apple’s free cloud service called iCloud and turn on the “Find My iPhone” feature on the phone.
If you lose your phone, you can log into iCloud through www.icloud.com, where it calls up a map displaying where your phone currently is using its built-in GPS receiver. You also can remotely tell it to play a sound if it’s buried under the couch somewhere. And if it is stolen, you can remotely lock the phone so someone can’t access it. Or you can completely erase the data so thieves can’t steal important information from it.
Adjusting the volume » You might automatically think that to turn down the volume for an app you just turn the volume down at the phone’s main menu. Not so. If you turn the volume down at the main menu, all you’re doing is turning down the phone’s ringer volume. The volume for apps is different than the ringer volume, and you have to launch an app to adjust its loudness. Don’t make this mistake or you may accidentally turn down the ringer and miss that important call.
Shooting pictures and video » New in iOS 5 is turning the phone’s “up” volume button into the camera shutter button when the camera is on, a long-desired feature. But it’s a problem if you’re right-handed. To take a horizontal picture or video, you would naturally hold the camera so your right-hand finger presses that shutter button on the top. But if you do, the picture or video will display upside down when off-loading it to a computer and playing it on a lot of photo and video players. That’s an oversight on Apple’s part. When taking a picture horizontally, you should remember to hold the phone with the volume/shutter button on the bottom left-hand corner (I suppose you could use your left thumb to take the picture) and the virtual on-screen shutter button on the right of the screen. That ensures your photos and video will be right-side-up.
Home button » People don’t know this, but if you double-press the home button from the main menu, it calls up a list of recently used apps so you can go to them directly. If you’re playing music or a podcast, you also can double-press the home button when the screen is off to immediately go to the iPod controls.
Sending pictures and photos » To tweet, text, email, print or post a video or picture from the phone, you just go to the picture or video you want to send. There will always be an icon on the bottom that looks like a square with an arrow in it. Press it and you get a list of ways to send that picture or video.