Mail tip: thwart spam by not loading remote images

Mail load remote images2An increasingly common spammer tactic is to link images in messages instead of attaching them (this is sometimes referred to as “HTML email”). The URLs for these images can contain unique email address variables for each victim on the spammer’s list, which means that when you click the message to load its contents (including the images), the spammer’s servers confirm that your address is valid for spam and selling to more spammers.

An easy way to help keep your email off these lists and cut down on the spam onslaught is to disable the automatic loading of remote images. Like Mail’s desktop version, you can toggle this feature under Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars.

I’m not sure how long this feature has existed in iPhone OS. I’m almost positive it wasn’t in 1.x, and almost as sure that it wasn’t in 2.x either. I’ll be happy to update if you can confirm otherwise in the comments.

Unfortunately, and unlike its desktop counterpart, Mobile Mail does not display a button in messages to load remote images when this feature is off. You’re just stuck with a message full of white outlined boxes and blue question mark warnings where the images should be. Still, this can be useful if you are on the spam offensive, especially because Mail can flip through messages individually and will blindly load everything in an HTML message without prompting.

Tip: Use Japanese voice search in Google Mobile App on a non-japanese iPhone

IMG_0390.jpgBy default, you can use voice search in Japanese with the new version of Google’s Mobile App for iPhone only if your iPhone language settings is also set to Japanese. If the iPhone is set for any other language, the voice search options will be English (Australia/India/UK/US) or Chinese (for some reason, Japanese isn’t on this list).

To enable japanese voice search, change your iPhone language to Japanese (Settings > General > International > Language). If you are not familiar with Japanese characters, do this with someone who is. Then, run Google Mobile App, change Voice Search’s language setting to Japanese (日本語). Finally, reset iPhone’s language settings back to your language.

Your Google Mobile App voice search setting should appear as in the picture above, without any language selected, and you’ll be able to do voice searches in Japanese.

I think this could be very useful for foreigners living in Japan who are capable of searching for addresses, places, names and so on, or even for those who are not familiar with kanji/Japanese characters.

WeatherBug Elite: Tap anywhere for a quick weather report

Tap-and-hold to drop multiple pins and instantly find out weather for a specific region

In WeatherBug Elite, you can tap-and-hold anywhere on the map to drop a pin and get weather for that region. Controls in the popup bubble that appears allow you to refine the distance radius for that region’s weather or to tap through to more details. Note that this is only in the 99¢ paid version, WeatherBug Elite, not the free, ad-supported version.

A faster way to select text

copy_paste_exampleOne way to select a word or a couple sentences on an iPhone is to tap once to place your cursor in a text field, then tap again to choose the Select or Select All option from the popup bubble, then perhaps tap a third time on one of the selection markers if you need to expand the selection.

A faster way is to simply double-tap the word you want to select. If you need to expand the selection to more than a single word, tap-and-hold on the second tap and begin dragging left, right, up, or down from the word you selected. iPhone OS will do the right thing and increase your selection in any direction, keeping the original word you double-tapped as either the beginning or end of the selection.

iPhone OS keyboard swaps smart quotes and straight quotes

iphonekeyboard.jpg

The iPhone OS keyboard displays smart quotes and apostrophes, but swaps them out for straight quotes when you use the tap-and-hold option. With most other keys, the original character remains in place when using tap-and-hold, while any alternative characters or symbols are laid out in the popup bubble.

Specify whether to auto-join some WiFi networks

Auto Join WiFi
Starting at least with iPhone OS 3.1, possibly earlier, you can choose whether your device auto-joins some WiFi networks. I don’t see this option for my home network, but I caught it on the AT&T WiFi hotspot offered at Starbucks.

iPhone apps are doing more with landscape view

Many iPhone apps work in the rotated, landscape view, but an increasing number go beyond a simple rotated, wider version of the vertical UI. Some, like i. TV (below, left) and Evernote (below, right), offer a unique layout or tools when in landscape view.

When an iPhone is held in portrait view, i. TV displays a list of channels and the current show they have on. In landscape view, i. TV switches to a multi-hour channel and show grid akin to TV Guide or other traditional TV listing. Tapping a show in this grid view displays a popup window with a brief overview and a button to switch to the show’s full “showcard” with more features and tools.

In portrait view, Evernote displays a flat list of your notes that can be organized by date, notebook, city (based on geotagging metadata), date updated, and more. But in landscape view, Evernote switches to a side-scrolling thumbnail view of your notes, allowing you to visually flick through your notes and even tap-and-hold to preview titles.

iPhone updates contact info dynamically throughout OS

I just received a message from an unsaved number on my iPhone while the screen was locked. It was from a friend, informing me that I should replace his older number with the one the text was from. I left the message on my iPhone in its unread state, opened his contact information in Address Book on my Mac and made the change.

Since I have MobileMe set up to sync my contacts between my Mac, the web, and the iPhone, the contact details were updated on my iPhone (over EDGE) as well. When I pressed the Home button again ten seconds later, the number on the standby screen display was replaced with the name of my friend. And I didn’t even so much as unlock the iPhone during the whole process.

Lala.com music service has keyboard shortcuts

Lala keyboard shortcutsLala, an online music library, streaming, and shopping service, offers keyboard shortcuts. It’s a beta feature you have to enable, but you have your choice between two different shortcut sets, and some even work in fullscreen mode, another beta feature.

Tweetie 2: Swipe through tweets one by one

Tweetie2SingleTweetTweetie 2 lets you view tweets one at a time. In addition to a couple more features in this view (including a trash option for your own tweets), you can actually navigate tweets this way. Swipe up or down to move to the next or previous tweet, respectively.