Category: Mobiles

iPhone tips – Optimize your iPhone or iPod touch for maximum battery life

There are times when you need to squeeze the most juice out of your iPhone or iPod touch battery. Ideally, you’ll have one of these babies with you so you can charge it on the go without having to tether into a computer. But even if you do have a portable charger power can still be a premium because let’s face it, without battery power your iPhone or iPod touch is just a shiny brick. You can also tweak many of your iPhone’s features to get optimal battery life. Read on to learn more tips on saving battery power for your iPhone and iPod touch.

Take advantage of the sleep/wake button when you are not using your device. This allows you to keep the screen turned off, but still be able to receive calls or messages. Accidental touches to the screen in sleep mode will not turn it on so you’ll save a lot of power by just doing this. Also, please remember that batteries don’t like heat, so keep your iPhone out of direct sunlight. Keep it off of your dashboard when you leave it in your car and stash it somewhere out of the sun’s rays.

Adjust Brightness
Dimming your phone’s screen is another way to extend battery life. Go to Settings > Brightness and drag the slider to the left to lower the default screen brightness. Additionally, turning on Auto-Brightness allows your phone’s screen to adjust its brightness based on current lighting conditions. Go to Settings > Brightness and set Auto-Brightness to On.

Turn off Wi-Fi
If you rarely use Wi-Fi, you can turn it off to save power. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi and set Wi-Fi to Off. Note that if you frequently use your iPhone to browse the Web, battery life may be improved using Wi-Fi instead of EDGE.

Turn off Bluetooth
If you rarely use a Bluetooth headset or car kit, you can turn off Bluetooth to save power. Go to Settings > General > Bluetooth and set Bluetooth to Off.

Change Mail Auto-Check
Turn off Mail auto-check or increase the auto-check interval. To turn off auto-check, from the Home screen choose Settings > Mail > Auto-Check and tap Manual. To increase the auto-check interval, go to Settings > Mail > Auto-Check and tap Every hour. Note that this is a global setting that applies to all active mail accounts on your iPhone except push mail accounts with push mail enabled.

Turn off Push Mail
If you have a push mail account, turn off push mail when you don’t need it. Go to Settings > Mail, choose the push mail account, tap Advanced, and set Use Push Mail to Off. Messages sent to this account will now be received on your phone based on the global Auto-Check setting rather than as they arrive.

Auto-check fewer Mail Accounts
You can save power by checking fewer mail accounts. This can be accomplished by turning off a mail account or by deleting it. To turn off a mail account, go to Settings > Mail, choose a mail account and set Account to Off. To remove an account, go to Settings > Mail, choose a mail account and tap Delete Account.

Turn off EQ
Applying an equalizer setting to song playback on your iPhone can decrease battery life. To turn EQ off, go to Settings > iPod > EQ and tap Off. Note that if you’ve added EQ to songs directly in iTunes, you’ll need to set EQ on iPhone to “Flat” in order to have the same effect as “Off” because iPhone keeps your iTunes settings intact. Go to Settings > iPod > EQ and tap Flat.

Playboy delivers the bunnies to the iPhone in classic Playboy style

Here at Touchtip, we truly appreciate beauty, like the sexy design of the iPhone, or the female form. Playboy magazine, the procurer of lovely airbrushed women, has been delivering the goods to us for over 50 years, starting with print, then on the web. And now Hef, never content to be late to the party because he is the party, brings his bunnies to the iPhone and iPod touch. Gone are the two-creased centerfolds and in their place are digital images of Playboy girls for your pinching pleasure on your touch screen interface. Playboy’s new iPhone-optimized web experience contains some interactive features that’ll keep your sweaty fingers tapping well into the night. Read on to find out what Hef and company have in store for you, including a link to download some tasty wallpapers for your iPhone and iPod touch.

Playboy for the iPhone is only slightly like the magazine. Yes, there are scantily-clad women that are unfortunately, scantily-clad. That’s right, no nudes, at least for now. There is a Battle of the Sexiest feature asks you to look at two celebrity hotties and vote for the sexiest. For those of you who love Playboy for the articles (wink wink) there’s also Playboy Scout, a feature that delivers lifestyle news for the distinguished male interested in libations, gadgets, and women, and not necessarily in that order. There’s also a nightlife guide, On the Scene, which sounds like a great feature but doesn’t currently have much content. Who wouldn’t love nightlife suggestions from the party-all-night experts themselves? You’ll also find a link to Playboy Radio, where you can listen to an audio version of the magazine, discussions with playmates, game shows, and a talk show hosted by Hugh’s girlfriend and her dog (ahem, no, not her cat).

And then there’s our favorite feature, Ask Hugh, where our favorite robe-wearing, viagra-poppin’, swinging bachelor offers nuggets of wisdom we can all live by. Hugh sheds light on some dicey subjects like the difference between a Bunny, a Playmate, a Centerfold, and a gatefold. He also waxes on about politics (a woman in the White House?), spirituality, ghosts, plastic surgery, and the difference between sex and making love (wait, there’s a difference?). If you want to find out the answers to these questions, or why Hugh doesn’t date women his own age (isn’t that obvious?), then go visit Playboy’s newest offering for the iPhone and iPod touch now.

Playboy on the iPhone and iPod touch

Playboy wallpapers for iPhone and iPod touch
Download now

Instructions for installing the wallpapers

Double-click the downloaded zip file to decompress it.
To import the photos into your iPhone, connect the iPhone, go to iTunes and select your iPhone under Devices in the left column. Then click the Photos tab, check “Synch photos from” and select the iPlayboy Wallpapers or Album folder.
To import the Playboy Radio mp3 and the Playboy Video clip, simply drag them onto your iPhone in the iTunes window.

An iPhone portal with free iTunes music, games, and much, much more

Sure, we know that web portals are soooooo nineteen ninety-eight, but we also know that the iPhone age is breathing new life into these destination sites, especially when they are optimized for the iPhone and iPod touch. Take for example. At first glance this looks like another iPhone portal site offering a convenient starting point for web surfing from mobile Safari. However, a deeper dive into myijump reveals a virtual cornucopia of web sites and web apps that are all optimized for the iPhone or iPod touch. The web apps are all categorized under tap-formatted buttons designed for the touch interface. With games, entertainment, news, sports, social networking, productivity, free iTunes music, and more, you will find something for everyone here making worthy of a web clip on your device.

What’s really nice about this portal is that it’s not just another collection of any site with an iPhone UI, but rather an offering of high quality iPhone web apps that have been thoroughly vetted by the proprietors of The web apps are all categorized under tap-formatted buttons designed for the touch interface. There are other iPhone portals out there. Leaflets looked promising when we told you about it last summer although it doesn’t look like they’ve added much to it since then. However, we’re still loving MockDock which has a ton of great web apps for your iPhone and iPod touch, and it is customizable. isn’t customizable yet, but it does have its web apps segregated for iPhone, iPod touch, and by geography. This is valuable since not all web apps work on both iPhone and iPod touch, and some are really only for U.K. users. Like the time I used MockDock to get football scores for the Denver Broncos and got some blimey soccer team.

Free digital magazine reader for iPhone and iPod touch – Texterity

Texterity is a web portal designed specifically for reading digital versions of popular magazines on the iPhone or iPod touch. Texterity does more than just display the article text, it displays the text in it’s original print layout format with the beautiful typography and all the images. Texterity uses mobile Safari so there’s nothing to download or install, and it cleverly uses the unique features of mobile Safari to preserve the richness of magazine reading. The reading experience Texterity manages to accomplish is quite impressive and highlights the iPhone’s strength in rendering readable text and images. After using Texterity you really have to wonder why anyone would buy a Kindle book reader from Amazon when the iPhone and iPod touch are both capable of so much more.

With over 50 magazines available in Texterity, there’s something for everyone here from Modern Plastics to Rachel Ray. The list includes popular magazines like the Farmer’s Almanac, Vibe, and Popular Science. You’ll also discover many niche magazines like Drug Delivery Technology, Microwave Journal, and Powder Bulk Solids (huh?). If you like reading magazines then you’re sure to find something here you like.

Texterity’s start screen lists all the magazines available. To start reading you simply tap on a magazine cover or title. Tapping the ‘Pages’ button will reveal thumbnails of all the pages in the magazine. You can flick scroll through the thumbnails and tap one of them to jump right to that page in the magazine. Each page is flanked by arrows allowing you to page forward or backward through the magazine sequentially.

You will also see a ‘Menu’ button which contains some very handy features like ‘Search’ that performs a full text search on the magazine, and ‘Contents’ which is a table of contents that you can tap to go to a specific page. The menu also contains a ‘Share’ feature that lets you email a magazine link to your iPhone or iPod touch buddies. And if an article contains links, you can find those handily collected for you in the ‘Links’ menu so you can jump to additional information related to an article.

Texterity is a wonderful example of the potential that mobile Safari offers as a serious information delivery platform. We hope they continue to add more choices to the portal and would gladly pay for this service if they had our monthly must-read magazines available. We’d also like to see Texterity add a download feature or use local caching in the browser for offline reading.

To start reading digital magazines with Texterity,

Keep prying eyes away from your iPhone pr0n with privacy screen

If you own an iPhone or iPod touch then you know what an eye magnet it can be out in the wild. As soon as you pull it out and start flicking photos or pinching web pages, a small crowd of rubber-neckers begins to form around you like a bathtub ring. It’s a nuisance. Now you can enjoy more privacy in such situations by shielding your screen from wandering eyes. The Privacy Screen from Case-mate is a vinyl, static cling film that sticks to your screen without impeding its touch response. The Privacy Screen provides multi-directional, crystal clear viewing for you while displaying a blacked out screen to others trying to see what you are doing.

The Privacy Screen provides a 45 degree viewing angle compared to other similar products that have a 60 degree viewing angle. Case-mate privacy screens provide clear viewing for the user whereas others merely create a smoky haze that just dims the screen. The screen provides visibility in either viewing mode, portrait or landscape, and includes a screen cleaning cloth, a graph sheet for sizing, and a soft applicator card. The vinyl is simple enough to install, just press it on and you’re good to go.

The iPhone and iPod touch Privacy Screen is available from the Case-mate web site for $19.99 US.

Case-mate is offering a Valentine’s Day sale for 20% off. Use coupon code VAL20 on the last page of checkout. Offer expires February 14, at Midnight EST, so get on it!

Apple screws the pooch again

Now that the Macworld hysteria has settled we can reflect upon Apple’s announcements this week with unbiased perspective. The purported “leaked keynote” turned out to be as counterfeit as Fake Steve Jobs, and more likely leaked by the real Steve Jobs to ferret out dissidents within the ranks at Apple. Either way, heads will surely roll over that folly. But before we talk about the pooch Apple is trying to mount up doggie style, let’s take a look at the latest revelations from Apple.

The MacBook Air, as it turns out, was not the Apple-Nike-Michael-Jordan basketball shoe mashup, but rather a new ultra-portable, super lightweight laptop so thin you could almost slice tomatoes with it. But at $1,800 for the baseline version, it’s a lot of cabbage to shell out for something that could blow away in a stiff breeze. Maybe they should include a neck laynard for it like the first generation Nanos had so you can wear it like a medal.

Then along came the news about movie rentals in iTunes. This sparked some debate about whether this is the “Netflix killer” even in light of Netflix’s move to give away unlimited video streaming to most of its subscribers. In our opinion, Netflix is easy prey for Apple since their streaming product is PC-only, offers no newer releases, no HD, and has a clunky distribution vehicle that appears primitive when compared to iTunes. In addition, Apple’s movie rental service works with Apple TV enabling integration with your living room, the holy grail of home computing that Microsoft has been hoping to own with the Xbox.

And then, of course, was the announcement of the new firmware update that includes some nifty new features for the iPhone and iPod touch. The home screen and springboard are both customizable now, you can send SMS messages to multiple recipients, and the Map app now displays your current location (surprisingly accurate thanks to cell tower triangulation).

Apple’s stock price indicates that investors were hoping for more iPhone news, but that didn’t bother us at all. No, it wasn’t the lack of iPhone love that got our goat, but rather the announcement about the apps for Mail, Map, Weather, Notes, and Stocks being included in new iPod touches. Existing touch owners will have to fork over $20 bucks to get these apps when the price of new iPod touches remains the same. Say what?

C’mon Apple, these dogs are your early adopters and best customers and your asking them to roll over so you can squeeze them for a few more Milk Bones. This move is reminiscent of the iPhone pricing fiasco last August when Apple decided to drop the price of new iPhones two months after they were released, a move which ticked off the early adopters that had already paid much more for their iPhones. Apple eventually made up for it with a rebate, but they should have considered it before making the announcement and causing anxiety with their most loyal followers. iPod touch owners are feeling the same way now and some have even started an online petition. Do these things actually work? Well, even if it doesn’t work, at least it might send Apple a very clear message. Please don’t screw the pooch. Give existing iPod touch owners the apps for no additional fee.

Portable, universal, and clever USB charger for iPhone and iPod touch

We’ve been pretty impressed with the iPhone’s battery life, but still, with battery life there is no such thing as “long enough”. Thank goodness for the new Powerstick mobile device charger which is our new favorite accessory for iPhone and iPod touch. The Powerstick is a universal USB charger that fills with power via any USB device. It provides charging to power deficient mobile devices the same way, just plug it into a USB port and let it transfer the power back into the mobile device. At $69.95 it seems a little pricey just for a charger, but after you dig into the Powerstick’s specs, you’ll realize it’s worth every cent.

The Powerstick’s lithium polymer battery provides long life, and since it connects with USB there is need for adapters or convertors. You simply plug it into any USB port and wait for the LCD fuel gauge to fill up. After it’s full, you can plug it into your iPhone or iPod touch when you need a charge and press the start button to begin charging your device. You can also use your mobile device while it’s charging so there’s no downtime.

The Powerstick is completely portable offering a recharging solution compatible with any USB port anywhere in the world. USB ports are starting to show up in automobiles and airplanes which makes the Powerstick even more attractive as alternative power source for travelers. No more adapters for European power outlets since any USB will do. And the Powerstick has built-in safeguards to protect all ports.

The Powerstick works with any USB enabled device. It charges your portable device as fast as a wall charger. It takes 90 minutes to charge and provides you double your talk time or audio playback on most popular devices. The Powerstick also features an integrated micro-controller to ensure peak battery efficiency, performance, security, and stability.

The Powerstick is available at for $69.95.