You can do a lot with the iPhone -- surf the Web, send e-mail, listen to music, and (yes) make phone calls -- with just a touch of a virtual button. But dig a little deeper, and you can do even more. Now that we've had some time to live with the iPhone, we've found a few tricks that help us get the most out of it. Let's start with surfing the Web.
A Bigger Keyboard
As with any other iPhone function requiring data entry, tapping on Safari's address bar summons an on-screen keyboard. If you rotate the iPhone horizontally before tapping on the address bar, the Safari window will switch to horizontal mode; then, when you tap on the address bar, the on-screen keyboard will also appear horizontally. More important, it will also be much larger than the standard, vertical keyboard, making data entry a little easier. Unfortunately, Safari is currently the only iPhone application in which this horizontal keyboard appears. (If you want to use the keyboard in its standard vertical orientation, summon it before rotating your iPhone.)
Create a Home Page
When you're using the regular version of Safari that runs on your Mac (or Windows-based PC), setting a particular site as your home page is as simple as going to the General tab in System Preferences and typing in a URL. You can't do that on the iPhone, but you can use this workaround: Add your would-be home page to your bookmarks list, and then move it to the top of the list. Yes, it requires an extra tap -- first on the bookmarks icon and then on the bookmark itself -- but it will get you to your favorite Web page with a minimum of fuss.
If you want to send a friend the URL of a Web page you're viewing, tap on the address bar, and then tap on Share. A new e-mail message, containing the URL, will open in Mail; just choose one or more recipients, add your comments, and tap on Send.
Scroll in Boxes on a Web Page
If you encounter a scrolling box or list while surfing on your iPhone in Safari -- say you're responding to a post at the Macworld.com forums -- and you try to scroll with your finger, you'll find that the entire page scrolls, instead of just the box. The trick is to scroll such areas with two fingers.
Make a Call from Safari
If you find a phone number in Safari that you'd like to call -- perhaps the phone number of a restaurant where you'd like to make reservations -- you needn't jump to the phone component. Just tap on the number, and the iPhone will dial it for you. (This also works with phone numbers and URLs embedded in e-mails and SMS chats; tapping on either one will place a call or open a Web page, respectively.)
Investigate Links In Safari
If you hold your fingertip down on a link instead of tapping, you'll summon an information balloon that displays the underlying URL. The same thing happens in Mail when you hold on a link. Now when those "account update" e-mails arrive, you can press and hold on the link to find out if you're really going to be taken to the site the e-mail indicates it'll take you to.
Go Straight to the Top of a Long Web Page
If you want to get back to the top, or access Safari's address field, you don't have to scroll all the way up; instead, just tap on the gray status bar at the top of the iPhone's screen. You'll be immediately transported to the top of the current Web page.