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OK, so you've either got a shiny new iPhone 4 or you've upgraded your previous iDevice to iOS 4 and now you're trying to sort though it all. Well I thought I would share 10 random tips on the iPhone 4/iOS 4 that might not be so obvious or just to make your life just a little more fun. So here they are in no particular order and completely off the top of my head:


1. Put More Apps in the Dock


The iPhone has always been limited to only 4 Apps in the dock at once. The iPad takes it up to 6. However, now with iOS 4 and folders you could theoretically have up to 48 Apps in the dock for quick access. Granted I don't need 48, but I do need more than 4. So what I did was create a "Productivity" folder and I put it in the dock so that those 12 Apps are accessible to me no matter which Home screen I'm on.

2. Choose a Different Home Wallpaper

If you're on an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 or an iPod touch 3rd generation, you can now change your home screen wallpaper. You could always use a custom wallpaper that appeared on the lock screen, but now you can have a separate one that appears behind your apps. Also I highly recommend using an App like Adobe Photoshop to create a custom Wallpaper for your lock screen that actually has your name and contact info on it in case you lose your iDevice and someone is nice enough to want to return it. You could also put I.C.E. (in case of emergency) contact info on it too. OK, so that's really two-three tips 🙂

3. Zoom

Your iPhone running iOS 4 just got a 5x digital zoom. However, it doesn't give you the zoom slider until you actually tap the screen. 

4. Sync Notes with MobileMe

One of my favorite new features is the ability to finally sync Notes with MobileMe wirelessly (or any other IMAP based service). Just turn it on in the Email account settings and when you make changes or add notes on your iDevice they will be waiting for you on your computer and vice versa.

5. Quit an App

If you're on an iDevice that supports multitasking, double tapping the Home button will bring up the Multi-tasking bar at the bottom of the screen. You will always see the last apps you launched and any apps that are still running will be there too. As a matter of fact it seems like every app you've ever run is there. Don't worry. Only the ones that can run in the background are actually running. The other ones are there for quick access. However, if you want to quit one or clear it from this display, hold down your finger on the icon until they start to wiggle and then tap the minus symbol to close that app and remove it from the list. It will of course reappear the next time you launch it.

6. Keep your HD HD

The iPhone 4 can shoot in 720p using the back camera. However, if you edit it or simply just share it from the iPhone 4 it will be downsized to 568×320 even if you're on a WiFi connection. So at this point the only way to keep your high def 720p video high def is to transfer it to your computer before attempting to share to to YouTube or other services. My preferred transfer method is to use Image Capture  on the Mac.

7. Use Your iPhone as a Modem

You can see the details here. However, with iOS 4 and the addition of tethering to your AT&T data plan, you can now use your iPhone's 3G data connection on your laptop. So if you're on the go and don't have access to a WiFi hotspot you can either connect to your iPhone from your computer using USB or Bluetooth and the iPhone will provide an internet connection to your computer. 

8. Reorder Spotlight Results

iPhone OS 3 brought us a system wide search. However, now in iOS 4 you can dictate which results are listed first. Just go to the Spotlight settings and rearrange them to your preferred order.

9. How much data are you using?

If you're still on an iPhone unlimited data plan you can probably skip this tip. However, if you've switched to a less expensive limited data plan or you're a new AT&T customer, you might want to check at a moments notice to see how much data you've actually used in a billing cycle. Just dial *3282# and you'll get a SMS text message back detailing your current usage. 

10. Hook up to a projector

One of the accessories introduced for the iPad was a Dock to VGA adapter. Rumor has it that  this same adapter works on the iPhone 4. So you can put your movie (or supported 3rd party app) on the big screen for all to see.


Check out iPhone App reviews and the latest on Apps updated for iOS 4 here.

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12 Responses to 10 iPhone 4 / iOS 4 Tips

  1. Alex Krivov says:

    Thanks Terry! Great post as always. The *3282# is very useful indeed. BTW is there a list of these codes somewhere. Would love to add them all into AT&T contact in the iPhone AB.

    Keep up the great work.


  2. Kenny McLean says:

    Hi Terry,
    Nice work 🙂
    I’m based in the UK and the *3282# trick doesn’t work.
    I don’t suppose you know if there’s a similar code for O2 users in the UK?



  3. henrysurfs says:

    The *3282# is easier to remember by spelling *data#

  4. Alex Krivov says:

    @henrysurfs – Never thought of this. This is great. Thanks for pointing this out.

  5. Richard says:

    According to comments on the Apple site for the VGA dock connector, it only works with certain applications.
    The composite and component connectors for TV work with iPhones running iOS4. This is an easy way to display photos and videos on TVs. Both kits include a power supply as well.

  6. Donita Cone says:

    I have a new iphone 4 and can’t figure out why I only have one alert available to remind me of appts. My husband has the same phone and still has 2 alerts available.

  7. Jeremy coggins says:

    What about iPod Touches that have been upgraded to iOS 4? Does the VGA adapter work with them?

  8. Majorsyn says:

    Hey there’s another trick I discovered u can actually snap a pic of whateva u look homescreen facebook games etc whenever u want jus simply push the homescreen button and the poweroff button at the same time an like magic you’ll see your phone blink like it snapped a pic even tho it don’t send u to your cam roll go check it out I believe u will see the previous page ya looked at it’s pretty tight

  9. Daniel says:

    While the *data# is a good tip, AT&T has a great free app for checking your wireless and data usage for all phones on your account, plus pretty much any info you’d want access to. The app is called “AT&T myWireless”.

  10. noel says:

    Do you have instructions how to do Put More Apps in the Dock?