10 tricks to play on your new iPhone (when it arrives)

Andy Merrett Macworld 2007, Mobile phones

By the time you’ve waited for between 6 and 12 months for your new iPhone, you may have gone just a little crazy. Relieve your madness with these iPhone-busting ideas:

iphonespinit.jpg1. Spin the iPhone

“iPhone’s accelerometer detects when you rotate the device from portrait to landscape, then automatically changes the contents of the display, so you immediately see the entire width of a web page or a photo in its proper landscape aspect ratio.”

See how fast you can rotate the iPhone before the operating system simply gives up trying to reorient what’s on the screen.

2. Grease the iPhone

It’s a touchscreen, man, but you just know that after your morning coffee and doughnut and several grovelling calls to the boss that you might have trouble getting your iPhone to understand your gestures. See how much gunk you can get on the screen before you (a) can’t control the screen and (b) can’t read it anyway.

3. “Venus fly trap effect” for your iPhone

“The proximity sensor detects when you lift iPhone to your ear and immediately turns off the display to save power and prevent inadvertent touches until iPhone is moved away.”

Go on, wave it about near your ear and see how many times it tries to save power and ‘prevent inadvertent touches’ before it just gives up and goes to sleep (or cracks open on your skull)

4. Install Office 2008 on your iPhone

Yeah, baby, Universal Office 2008 is coming around the same time as the iPhone (Stateside anyway). And the iPhone runs OS X right? So put this tiny, happy little application on ’cause you know how much fun typing a Word document on the soft keyboard is going to be, don’t you? And Microsoft and Mac get on so well…

5. Install Windows Vista on your iPhone

Next step up from #4. Hey, why not give it a go? Just because two-year-old PCs will struggle to get the best out of the Vista monster, doesn’t mean your Intel iPhone can’t have a go at running it. Wonder if Aero’ll work?

6. Teach your iPhone new gestures

Some smart-arse developer is going to find out a way to abuse the gesturing-with-your-fingers system and come up with some new interesting ways of controlling the iPhone. Worked for getting the motion detectors on the PowerBooks to flip screens, anyway.

7. Photo feedback loop overload

Get your iPhone to take a photo every second, email it to your Yahoo IMAP account (via your free wi-fi connection of course), then have Yahoo push that email back to you. See how long before that exciting digital flickbook you’ve just created eats up the 4 or 8GB storage.

8. Send rude audio files to a Zune user

Tricky one. First, find a Zune user. Then send him a cleverly concocted iTunes insult (a fart or something’ll do if you can’t be more creative) over wi-fi. OK, so the incompatible DRM could send one or t’other of them into meltdown (my money’s on Billy Zune) but it’s worth a go.

appleiphonewidgets.jpg9. Widget overdrive!

See how many pointless OS X widgets you can cram onto the device. You know the ones – weird animations, quotes of the day from people you’ve never heard of, Sudoku – that sort of thing. Then watch iPhone squirm trying to serve them up to you. 3.5 inches of screen isn’t infinite…

10. Interrogate your iPhone

“An ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the display’s brightness to the appropriate level for the current ambient light, thereby enhancing the user experience and saving power at the same time.”

Pretend your iPhone has done something very, very bad (called Bill Gates and asked for a laptop PC with Vista installed, for example). Shine a very bright light on it and watch it lose it’s ambience.

Get serious iPhone specs and links here | Macworld 2007 coverage | CES 2007 coverage

By Andy Merrett | January 10th, 2007