5 iPhone Tips & Tricks

I been meaning to get this post out for ages, and wanted to share a few of my iPhone tips and tricks. I often get stopped and asked about setting up a new iPhone and what cool apps to put on, so here is my 5 best tips & tricks

1. Get a US iTunes account

I have had a couple of requests from people asking me where to buy iTunes Vouchers, and after a whole lot of research, I have found that EvoPoints , iTunesUSA , Maximus Cards or WildTwig who accept PayPal are all fantastic !

I can undoubtedly say, that this is probably the most important thing that you can do when you have an iPhone. By having a US iTunes account, you are able to download all of the cool apps, compared to whats available on the crappy South African store. You can also buy songs from the iTunes store. Hows how to do it:

  1. At the bottom of the screen in the iTunes store page, choose United States from the drop down. Make sure you are signed out of the SA iTunes Store if you have oneChoose US Store
  2. On the right of the US iTunes store you should see the Top 10 Free Apps. Select anyone one of these apps, and click get app. BE SURE TO SELECT A FREE APP, otherwise this will NOT work !!!!Top 10 Free AppsGet App
  3. You will now be asked if you would like to sign in with an existing account or if you want to create a new account. Click “Create New Account”Create New Account
  4. Go through all the steps required to create a new account.Tips:
    • When selecting your address you will need to put in a US physical address. There is validation done, so it needs to ensure you have a valid address. You can use to generate an address & telephone number, or simply use the address of a fancy hotel in the US that you “own” :)

      Apple have recently implemented an address verification system on the address. My suggestion is to use a hotel address in Florida or a head office of some big shot corporate company in California. Google is your friend ;)

    • Use a valid email address, as you need to verify the account before you can use it. You will need to use a different email address to what you have registered to the South African store, otherwise it will shout at you.  A neat trick is if you use a gmail address, for eg. [email protected], you can also use [email protected] and you will still get the mail. Put a dot anywhere in your gmail address and you instantly have a new email address. Clever hey :)
  5. When you get to the”Provide a Payment Method” of the signup, you are asked for payment details. Make sure you choose NONE on the right. Make sure you aslo have United states selected at the bottom
  6. Payment Type

  7. You now have a fully fledged US iTunes account, but only able to get free apps ? But wait, there is more. Buy a iTunes voucher, load it onto your account, and you can now buy all the cool apps as well. Go to EvoPoints , iTunesUSA , Maximus Cards or WildTwig who accept PayPal, and then you can buy vouchers which are emailed to you from the above site. Works a charm.

I have been using this method for ages now and have never had any issues. Leave a comment if you get stuck :)

2. Get some cool apps

Now you have the flashy new US iTunes store, some credit to spend, and now for the cool part. Some nice shiny new apps. I’m pretty sure that if you own an iPhone the first question you get asked, is what cool apps you got ??

Well here are 5 of my favorite apps:(Links below open iTunes)

  1. Shazam (Free). This should be the first app EVERYONE downloads when firing up the iPhone for the first time. You know that time when you and your mates were dancing in that dodgy club at 2am, and suddenly they play that awesome song. You know that one. The one where you all go crazy and shout; “I LOVE THIS SONG !!!”. But what the FREAK is it called. Simple. Whip out the iPhone, let it listen for 10 seconds, and magically Shazam comes back and tells you, the name of the song, the artist. It also lets you view more info on the artist, as well as lets you tweet that you found THAT song. It has to be one of the most awesome apps available on the iPhone. Really. just get it.
  2. Pano ($2.99). This has to be my most favorist photo taking app on the iPhone. It allows you to take up to 16 photo’s in sucession and then stiches them seamlesly together. Take a look at one of the pics I took yesterday of the new 2010 soccer stadium and surrounds in Durbs.

    Moses Mabhida Stadium iPhone pano

    If you would like to see more panoramics I have taken check out my Pano Photo set on Flickr, or check out the Pano Group on Flickr. Well Worth the money spent

  3. Tweetie ($2.99) My most used app on my iPhone, allows me to keep my Twitter addiction in check. Simple to use, and loads all your tweets fast. Also provides support for multiple accounts. Definitely the best Twitter client out there on the iPhone. Well worth the money spent, I have tried them just about all. Trust me on this one.
  4. Prowl ($2.99). With the advent of push notifications in iPhone OS 3.0, prowl is the ultimate push notification app. If you have a Mac, you should know all about the growl app that displays notifications when you have a specific task happening on your system. Prowl intergrates with growl and then pushes these notifications to your iPhone. So for example, if you are using Tweetie on your Mac desktop, you can set it to send you a push notification when you recive a direct message or a mention on twitter. You can also set up adium to alert you when someone is trying to chat to you. Really works awesome. Oh, and if you a Windows user, be sure to check out Growl for Windows, which allows you to do exactly the same thing. The twitter plugin for Windows is called Trowl, check it out. Awesome little app. If you want to be notified on almost anything, just get Prowl :)
  5. Doodle Jump ($0.99) An insanely addictive little game, which I haven’t been able to put down for over a week. Must.Get.Highest.Score. (It’s THAT bad)

There are loads more apps I could recommend, but I promise I will try and do a seperate post sometime about some of the other gems I have come accross. If you got some suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

3. Get MMS & Internet tethering enabled in South Africa

If you are a regular of my blog, you will know I did a post recentley about enabling MMS & Internet tethering. Go to this post, for step by step instructions on how to get it all up and running. Rumour has it that in OS 3.1 (Apparentley out in Sept) should fix this issue. YAY !!

4. How to Sync your iPhone with multiple computers

Apple have annoying feature that only allows you to sync your iPhone with 1 PC. I have an issue with that, cause that means I cannot add cool things onto my Phone when I am at work, because I sync all my stuff at home. Silly. But never fear. Follow this awesome tutorial below, and you will be clicking sync in no time.

How to sync your iPhone with multiple computers

5. Enable Emjoi Icons on your iPhone

Emoji Icons are all the rage in Japan at the moment, and allow you to put pretty pictures in your messages, which other iPhone users can see.

Pretty hey ? :P To do this, follow these simple steps

1. Install Spell Number from the iTunes App Store (it’s free)

2. Launch the app

3. Type 91929394.59 (Seriously !)

4. Press the Home button

5. Go to Settings > General > Keyboards

6. Select Emoji under Japanese

7. Delete the app (if you want) because the emoji icons will still be there

8. Now you will see a new icon next to your space key on your keyboard. If you choose this, it will open the Emoji Keyboard, and you can put your pretty icons in.

[Via iSmashPhone]

And thats a wrap folks !! If you have any other cool iPhone tips & tricks, please feel free to leave them in the comments. I am hoping to get another post our like this sometime.

76 replies on “5 iPhone Tips & Tricks”

Thanks for the tips. I am so glad I got the tethering working, thanks to you last month. I just modded it a bit. When you send more than one sms the phone reverts to group mms (cool cost saver, but not if you have a sms bundle or some of your friends don’t use mms). The allow group mms boolean took care of it.

Nice post!

Downloaded Pano last night, awesome app!

Just a note about the iTunes store hack, even though you have the ability to pay for music etc. it is still illegal in South Africa to own any of it. I may be wrong, but I believe that this is just as illegal as downloading the song for free from limewire etc.

Two extra tips that I have picked up in the last 2 months are:

1. When your phone is locked, double tap the home key to bring up the ipod controls (no need to unlock to change song)
2. When typing a message, double space inserts a full stop and spaces correctly for your next sentence.

While I think of it, another cool tip for those that don’t already know: To take a screenshot of your current iPhone screen, hold the power button and simultaneously press the home button. You should see a white flash, and then the pic will be stored in your photo roll.


I tried the new account with US address. The payment options on my setup no longer has a “none” option, thus requiring a valid CC and CVV number set for the US?

Awesome Marc! I was always bummed about the apps in the SA iTunes store! Cant wait to start downloading apps!

I have managed to get a US Itunes account and download a few free applications for my 3GS. However when I sync “All applications ” the US ones are not loaded to the phone. Am I missing something here?

Oh, you can’t create a US iTunes account like that anymore :( The “none” payment option is gone. Any suggestions?

AH, no worries, got the workaround: follow carefully (assuming you have read Marc’s tips above) :)

1. Run iTunes (after selecting USA location etc in iTunes store)
2. Select any random application in Top FREE apps at the right
3. On login screen select New Account
4. Continue registration process. You are allowed to check “None” as a payment method.
5. Check yor e-mail and open verification link
6. Login with your freshly created account
7. Download!

The critical step is clicking on FREE apps; not paid apps, or via the regular registration process.

If this works, and I can get access to the world of real podcasts I’m going to openly weep on the streets…like a man….like a powerful man! Shut it stop teasing me ;)

Hahaha, @Vincent, be sure to record that and let us know how it works out for you…Can’t wait to see a grown man cry ;)

@ Marc – Noticed you cant choose “none” anymore for payment method when creating an Itunes U.S account :(

@ Marc – My bad… i wasnt following ure steps from the beginning…. I was trying to be too clever :)

It works. Holy crap this is awesome. To think I’ve missed out on critical debate for almost two years now…

Subscribed to the podcasts of the vanity fair, The RSA, stephen fry, rolling stone, metalhammer, esquire and more!!

Hell you can also get The Digital Edge on the iTunes store – keep an eye out for it!

The sign up process for a US itunes account now requires that you fill in payment details and the process has been hindered by requiring a valid 3 digit security code (back of card), which is not provided by – any help with this

@Kuman – you are doing it wrong. I also made the same mistake. You have to follow Marc’s steps precisely. You must first get a free app and then create your account, that way you can select “none” as a payment method.

This works. I have already blown a $15 voucher at the store.

As for the comment by Rohland, I beleive that downloading music off of limewire/torrents or spending $1.29 on a track are two very different things. Limewire/torrents I beleive are completely illegal, but in my opinion or the feeling that I have in my heart, is to spend $1.29 on the odd song that you cannot get here is fine in my opinion. Its also illegal due to the fact that we shouldnt have access to the store, due to the music licences or whatever, but you have still paid for the song like everyone else. I dunno, I guess it comes down to what you feel comfortable with. I feel fine with it tho. Its not something i would use all the time, as its cheaper to go out and buy the cd..
Thanks again Marc for these tips. Shazaam is brilliant. I got mybrute seeing it was 80% off, so addicted to it on the pc, the iphone version is so much better :)

Wheh setting up a US iTunes account, once you have entered “none” for payment method, do you fill in your correct name and cellnumber, or do you use the details, including the fake phone number?
Also, once this is set up, will the us account be the default account on iTunes when you connect? What happens to all the apps you have on your SA iTunes account and will you be able to sync your iPhone with both accounts?

This is obviously retarded, but I cant seem to locate the redeem voucher code even though I have purchased a voucher. Any help would be great. Otherwise, thanks for the post.

@ Jeremy – If you are using Itunes version 9, I beleive there is a redeem hyper link on the home store page??
@Gary – I used fakenamegenerators details including phone number. It does seem to become the default account. I did have some issues where there was an update for skype, but it complained that I hadnt downloaded it from the U.S store so couldnt update. I just removed it and re-downloaded. Everything else has synced fine for me, but I had only bought one app off the S.A store. Hope this is of some help

[…] Now for the fun part, the Dev team at MobtionObj have kindly sponsored 3 promo codes for the SimplyTweet app, and you can get a FREE copy of this app, by simply leaving a comment below on this post. The competition will close on Wednesday 23 September 5pm SAST.Winners will be chosen randomly using The codes are ONLY valid in the US iTunes App store (To get a US iTunes account follow the steps here […]

Hi there. Great read, thanks. I realise the focus of the article is on aps and podcasts, but I assume it will be just as easy to buy music?

Hi Marc

Great post – my query is – I created my account & received the email to verify but then the account wont verify – what am I missing?



can you create a southafrican paypal account to purchase aps once you have registered or do you need to create a USA paypal account?

@Antony – you can definitely buy music just as easy. Although it is technically illegal to do so. Depends how it makes u feel at the end of the day. Ive bought a couple of tracks, but its been more so out of frustration that the south african music stores are useless and they never have what i am looking for.

Re setting up and using a US itunes account — you say once your us itunes acct is set up you can buy vouchers using paypal and then purchase stuff from us itunes.

Question: The paypal site asks what country one is in. If one answered SA on the paypal site can one still buy itunes vouchers using paypal?


@Michael. Yup thats what i did and the site that Marc mentioned is great , works like a charm. The U.S PS3 PSN vouchers work too ;)

Hi I assume that itunes 9 makes it now very difficult to generate a US account – as the free apps seems to be missing.

iTunes does not send me the verification e-mail so I can verify the account. Has this got something to do with iTunes 9?


Thanks so much for the info. Got itunes to work and have a great way to purchase the gift cards locally from a guy through email at [email protected] You can pay in Rands. Already on my 3rd $50 voucher. The albums are much cheaper as you only pay $9.99. Thanks once again for the info on opening an account

I have managed the US iTunes account and have opened a PayPal account. Please can someone tell me how to get funds into the PayPal account, am I missing something I have been tearing my hair out. I have linked a cc to the account but it will only accept payments from a US bank account.

@ Neil

Just use the link posted in the entry above (Itunes express) to buy the voucher. You dont need fund in your paypal account, you just purchase on your credit card, however through Paypal.

Marc, thanks for the US tips, been using the vouchers for a while now. Does anyone know whether, once your US account is open, can one not pay directly via the Paypal link when buying something from the store – seems a bit simple, but don’t want to try lest my US account gets ‘revoked’.

Sorry think I’ve found my answer – seems that iTunes checks how Paypal is being funded ie. the country of the Credit Card.

So I went to and bought a $30.25 US voucher, which it says is being shipped to my PO BOX address. There is also a transaction ID code.

How do I imput this into my itunes account which I opened (a US account so that I can access their apps. I am in South Africa). Obviously I need the $ to show up in my itunes. If I enter the transaction ID as code to “Redeem” it says that it is invalid.

@hjvr The guy who runs the site will email you a code. You use this code to redeem it in the itunes store. you may need to wait a while before they send it. There is info on the site about which hours it may take longer during

Very cool page, especially the part about hacking an iTunes account. Apple or EMI or Sony BMG or whoever must get with the program. Your choices of apps are somewhat biased but there are one or two good choices in there. The page displays perfectly on my iPhone reading it from a hotspot in Austria. Keep up the good work!

@ Theben
please can you post the name of the video camera app for iPhone 3g


hey im from south africa durban and i did this and it all went fine until i wanted to add em to my iphone and it said my PC is not authorized to this content plz help!!!

Soo… MarcyMarc…oh intelligent one… how do I get an enabler / converter to view flash media on my iphone / ipad / mac…?

Thanks for advice on Itunes, all done and works well. Please help with call divert. Used to have a Nokia and could divert when busy and also set it up that if someone on my contacts list called my it rings, other people it was silent and then diverted off to voice mail.
SO … how do I divert when busy on my new Ipod, can I set it up so that my mates can call me after hours, and annoying other people can be diverted???

ok, so i’m a bit slow and only got my iphone a few days ago. i’ve tried the above trick but apple have changed the options, so that the ‘none’ option is no longer avaialable. i’m desperate for the angry birds game, but it aint available in the south african store. any suggestions?

@Mojoe make sure you are selecting a free app when starting the process. So don’t select the paid version of angry birds, make sure you select the free version of angry birds

Hi Marc, I dis this and have been enjoying my iPad with my us iTunes account for months. Downloading stuff, etc. All very cool. Tonight for the first time I’m trying to download something and it won’t let me – it keeps telling me I have to update my address. I have plenty credit in my iTunes account, it won’t let me download free apps either. Any idea why. What can I do? Get a new fake address?

Thanks :)

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