How to Passcode Lock Your iPhone

9 06 2009

We all worry about misplacing our precious phones or, worse yet, having them stolen. Some may even worry about snoopers trying to read our private info when we’re not looking. In case one of these things happen, you should really consider protecting all of your personal data on the device.

From the homescreen, tap the Settings icon. From there you will want to press the General tab.

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Once you are within the general settings tab you will see Passcode Lock is set to off.

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Now tap Passcode Lock and you will be prompted to enter a four digit passcode.

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After entering your four digit code you will now see the following options.

  • Require Passcode: allows you to select a time period that has to pass before the lock is enabled. If you don’t want to have to enter your code too frequently but still want some protection, you can set this to 15 minutes or even 1 hour or more.
  • Show SMS Preview: on by default, this shows incoming text messages on your homescreen. Turning this feature to off will only display “New Text Message” on the home screen, which can keep the identity of your texter safe from snooping eyes if that’s a concern.
  • Erase Data: simply erases all data on your iPhone after 10 failed passcode attempts. This is the nuclear option, but if you’re really worried about losing your iPhone and have really important data on it, it can be something to consider.

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Once you have configured your settings as you see fit, tap your home button to exit and that’s all there is to it. You have successfully passcode locked your iPhone. It’s as simple as that.





How To Reset Your iPhone When It’s Hung

8 05 2009

hard_reset_iphoneiconYou may have already experienced this…

Open up an iPhone application, it just freezes and hangs there. You probably try to press and hold the POWER button to turn off the iPhone, but it doesn’t respond.

This is not uncommon for you to encounter the above hang problem as you install more iPhone applications. A friend of mine, who have bought the iPhone 3G for around 2 weeks, gave me a call and asked for resolution.

So, what can you do to resolve this problem and bring your iPhone back to normal? For experienced iPhone user, you may know what to know. But for iPhone beginner, this hang may scare you. The solution is trivial and simple. What you have to do is to do a Hard Reset on the iPhone. To reset the iPhone, simply press the POWER/SLEEP button and Home button together. Hold them until you can see the boot screen, which is with black background and Apple logo. One point to note is you have to release both buttons at the same time.





How To Check iPhone Firmware And Baseband Version

8 05 2009

about_firmware_versioniconThis is a iPhone tip for newbie. In some situations (e.g. jailbreak), you’ll need to know the firmware version or baseband version. Where can you retrieve this information from iPhone? All the iPhone configuration information are resided inside the “Settings” screen. For both firmware and baseband version, they can also be found under settings.

So, simply tap on “Settings” screen and then tap “General”. Further, tap on “About” to reveal the information about your iPhone. The “About” screen displays all the general information about your iPhone including number of songs, cellular network, etc. And you can find the firmware version and baseband in the “Version” field and “Modem Firmware” field respectively.

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That’s normal way to check the firmware version. But what if my iPhone is not activated and can only make emergency call. You can dial the secret phone number: *3001#12345#*

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Once you make the call, you can tap on version to reveal the version number. If you dial the above number on normal iPhone, you’ll be brought to a field test screen. The secret code may not work for all iPhone firmware version.





Cydia Store: Now Opened For Business

21 03 2009

You should know Cydia, an alternative to the official App Store for downloading iPhone applications. And, Jay Freeman is the man behind Cydia.

Today, he makes another milestone for Cydia and opens up Cydia Store that lets you purchase apps from it. Why another iPhone App Store? Something you may not know is that not all iPhone developers can put up their crafted applications and sells it on App Store. Apple censors every iPhone application before it can show up on the store. If the application violates any restriction, the app gets buried. And, that’s why you’ll never see iPhone application like “Cycorder” that lets iPhone capture video or applications that lets turns iPhone as 3G modem.

However, Cydia does not impose tight restriction. And, the grand plan of Cydia Store is to let developers to sell hundreds of iPhone apps that cannot make into App Store. The recent article from The Wall Street Journal has a coverage on the Cydia Store. Quoted from the article, Jay Freeman mentioned that,

“The overworking goal is to provide choice,” he says. “It’s understandable that [Apple] wants to control things, but it has been very limiting for developers and users.”

Yes, we like choice and that’s one of the great reason to jailbreak iPhone. And, I believe competition is good. Two stores is definitely better than one.  And, as of now only one jailbreak app called Cyntact is available for purchase on the Cydia Store. I believe more apps will come soon. Anyway, I’ll buy this 1st application to show my support to Cydia Store.





How To Import SIM Contact To iPhone

21 03 2009

This quick tip is for you to start using your brand new iPhone. Simply go to “Settings” -> “Mail, Contacts, Calendar”, you can find an option called “Import SIM Contacts”. Then tap on it and iPhone will import all SIM contacts to your contacts list.

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Can’t find this option in Settings? You may be using an stone age iPhone with older version of firmware (Prior to firmware 2.0). For user with older version of iPhone, I’ll recommend you to upgrade to the latest firmware version. You can just upgrade it by using iTunes or upgrade using my guide here on how to unlock & jailbreak iPhone 2.2.1.





Wifi Grayed-Out: Troubleshooting & Fixes

27 02 2009

wifi-gray-outIf you are on trip, you may to switch on airplane mode to avoid any roaming charge. But sometimes, when I was in a cafe with free Wifi, I turned the Wifi on again. Everything works really fine until I was back home. When I tried to connect my iPhone to my home wireless network, it didn’t work. As I checked out the Wifi option in “Settings” screen, the Wifi option is just grayed out or disable by iPhone itself. Even I rebooted the iPhone, the wifi option still stayed in disable state.

This is not the first time I heard from my readers or other jailbreak iPhone users about this Wifi problem. But, I’m also have same experienced it on my iPhone. And here is the fix:

Reset The Network Setting

Just resetting iPhone’s network setting, the Wifi option comes back to normal. To reset the network settings, go to “Settings” -> General -> Reset -> Reset Network Settings.

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I’m not quite sure if this is the universal solution to the Wifi Grayed-out issue. But this one works for my case





Concept Video: Arrange iPhone Apps Using iTunes

27 02 2009

How many pages of iPhone apps do you have? With nine pages of application on my iPhone, it’s painful for me to arrange application icon from page 9 to page 1. An iPhone user, who shares the same frustration, has published a concept video that utilizes iTunes to arrange iPhone applications on iPhone.

The video is a concept only and there is no sign for any implementation. But it looks really impressive and is one of the approaches to solve the issue.

In my opinion, I’m waiting for a complete solution on iPhone only instead of using iTunes as the controller to arrange the iPhone application. I’d like to easily send an application icon from page 9 to say, page 2. Let’s wait and see how Apple’s engineer solve this user experience problem.