Blog: iPhone

I recently helped a customer having trouble with FaceTime and iMessage not working with his iPod touch. He was able to browse the web and get to the App Store, but the FaceTime and iMessage applications would not work. I connected my cell phone and was able to use FaceTime, a WiFi only application. I assumed this meant the problem was with his iPod, not his wireless Internet. However, his iPod worked correctly when he connected to a different wireless network. The problem fixed itself for about a week at his house, then started happening again. I did some reading and found that this could have been caused by DNS. I changed the DNS servers on his router to use different DNS servers. Immediately the problem was fixed.

Thinking back on my testing, I did not take into account that my phone could have been using 3G DNS servers during the first test. The lesson here is to be careful when using cell phones to test wireless connectivity.


Below are the steps to reset the passcode on an iPhone.

Warning: this will wipe all files, settings, and apps from the iPhone, including the passcode 

  1. Need computer (with iTunes) and USB cable
  2. Make sure iTunes in running on your system
  3. Press and hold the Home and Power button at the same time until the iPhone turns off
  4. Release the Power button, but continue to hold the Home button
  5. Plug the USB cable into the computer & iPhone (while holding the Home button)
  6. Continue to hold the Home button until an alert message in iTunes appears that reads “iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode.  You must restore this iPhone before it can be used with iTunes.” – click OK
  7. In iTunes, under “summary” tab, click the “Restore” button to restore the iPhone


Ever since upgrading my iPhone 4 to OS5, my battery doesn't seem to last as long as it used to. When I find suggestions for extending battery life, I try it, but it doesn't seem to help. I found another solution, and for some reason, this seems to have helped more so than any other suggestions.

As most iPhone users know, when you double click the home button, it brings up the most recently used apps. If you hold your finger on one of those apps to make it wiggle, they will do that "jig" that they typically do. The difference is there is a minus sign instead of an x. If you click on the minus sign and close each of these apps out, it helps to extend your battery life. MAKE SURE IT'S A MINUS AND NOT AN X, or you're going to delete your app completely from your phone rather than just from your recently used apps.


For those who really like to tinker, iOS5 for the iPhone introduced the ability to change the default vibration pattern for each address book contact.  Here are the steps:

  • Go to Settings->General->Accessibility and turn on Custom Vibrations
  • To change a vibration pattern for a contact, edit the contact entry and select the vibration setting (just below ringtones).  You can select a different pattern or select "Create New Vibration".
  • Use the screen to tap out a new pattern and select Save.
  • You can create a new pattern directly from the Sounds section under Settings.


iMessage is a new feature allowing users to send messages over wireless across Apple devices beginning with iOS 5.  When I upgrade my iPad to iOS 5, I tried out the new iMessage feature & sent a message to a friend with an iOS 5 device.  He received the message and later replied, but his reply only went to my iPad, not my iPhone.  I found you can turn on the iMessage feature on your iOS 5 iPhone (to receive messages across multiple devices) by going to Settings, Messages, and turning on iMessage.  After you do this, messages (text) will be sent as follows:

  • If is being sent to another iOS 5 device, it will try to send over wireless or 3G as an “iMessage” message and will show in a blue “bubble” (note: you will not be charged as a text for iMessages)
  • If it is going to a non iOS 5 device, then it will go out as a “text” message in the traditional green “bubble”.

iMessage by default is linked to your Apple ID, so if you have multiple people using the same Apple ID (for example a family member), then when you turn on iMessage, all of the people using the Apple ID will begin to receive iMessage on all of the devices.  You can go into Settings, Messages, Receive At, and add additional emails (beyond the Apple ID) that you want to receive messages from.
Another cool feature of iMessage, if someone is responding to a message, a speech bubble with “…” will appear indicating they are in the middle of typing out a reply…


There are some four and five finger gestures on the iPad (iOS 4.3) that can be enabled by downloading Apple’s development kit, Xcode. The gestures can be enabled on the iPhone, too, but they seem much less useful on the smaller screen. Xcode costs $5 to download and you have to install it on a Mac, but you do not have to purchase the developer license. This website explains how to download Xcode and enable the gestures. The gestures include:

  • Pinching the screen with all five fingers to close an app and return to the home screen
  • Quickly switching between apps by swiping four fingers across the screen
  • Opening the multitasking bar by swiping four fingers up the screen


My iPhone was having many different problems, the main one of which was my GPS not functioning as it should. After doing some research I found that when you restore from an older model iPhone to a new one, it carries over some residual data that can cause issues.  I had moved from a 3G to a 3Gs to 4 and each time just restored my old settings. I decided to rebuild my iPhone, I backed it up and made sure all my purchases had been transferred. I then wiped my iPhone 4 and set it up as a new phone. I did not restore from backup. I proceeded to reinstall all my apps, data and email account info. I have yet to have a problem with my GPS and my phone actually hangs up at the end of a call, without me having to push the end call button 10x. [more]
During this process I also found that having multiple backups of iPhones can chew up a lot of drive space. Just by removing old backups I cleared over 12GB.
Just make sure you don’t delete one you may need.
In Mac OS X your iPhone files are backed up at the following location:

~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/

Windows XP stores all of your iPhone backup files in this location:

C:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

Windows Vista and Windows 7 backs up the iPhone files to here:

C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

Obviously if your main drive is not C: then you’ll have to change that, same goes for ‘user’

Note to Windows users: the Application Data and AppData directories and their contents (iPhone backups included) are considered ‘hidden’ so you will need to enable ‘Show hidden files’ within Windows Explorer before you will be able to see the files.


A couple months ago, I had a user who was having problems with the RSA SecurID App on the iphone.  For some reason, his PIN was not hidden after he typed it in.  I found out there is a small “i” in the bottom right hand corner of the app, and if you open it up, there is a little slide-bar that you can move to hide/unhide the PIN.


MobileNoter is an iPhone App which makes Microsoft OneNote notebooks and notes available on the iPhone.

It offers two synching options, cloud and WiFi.  I chose the WiFi version because auditors use OneNote for customer notes and information.  It  costs $15, a lot for an App, not much for business software.

WiFi allows you to synch between the Microsoft OneNote application on your computer and MobileNoter on the iPhone.  Both devices must be on the same WiFi network.  You install MobileNoter on the iPhone and a synch application on the computer.  You then pair the devices to setup the connection between the two.  With that done, you select items from OneNote to be available for synching.  Then you launch MobileNoter on the iPhone and select synch. You can view and edit on the iPhone.

Microsoft has been developing a method for you to get to your notebooks seemingly anywhere. Simply upload your notebook into the cloud (under your Microsoft Live) username and you can log into to a web portal running a lite version of OneNote. If that isn’t quite good enough (and you’re an Apple iPhone user), there’s an MS developed app that can help you out. [more]

This app with sync to your cloud account and let you view a read-only copy of your notebooks. Simply search the app store for Microsoft OneNote.


I had a problem with my iPhone. It was getting hot to the touch. I then discovered that it was chewing up download data... about 5MB every 15 minutes. This was discovered when AT&T sent me a message that my consumption of my monthly allotment was at 90%.

After many hours of work, I discovered that it was the Exchange server “push”   that was causing it to chew through data. Specifically, it was “push” on the Contacts folder. I ended up extracting my contacts folder to a PST file, and re-importing the file and this seemed to fix the issue of chewing through the Cellular Network Data. [more]

At this point, I realized that I had a problem syncing all my contacts. The contacts would just not all load onto my phone. This was not related to the issue above with Cellular Network Data, but the contacts download would just stop before synchronizing all the contacts. I had noticed this problem forever, but had not researched. It turns out that there were two contacts in my address book that were causing the problem. These contacts have been in my list for years.  After removing these two contacts ( I discovered which ones they were by dividing my list in halves  - binary search- until I isolated the culprits) everything works fine. I have not yet discovered the cause as to why these particular contacts will not sync. I sent one of the contacts to a coworker, and it will not sync with his phone (not an iPhone) either …