Definition of pimp according to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary:
make more showy or impressive: he pimped up the car with spoilers and twin-spoke 18-inch alloys.
1. Save it from clumsy hands, drunken nights, your little nephew chucking it around, nuclear war, et cetera
We all tend to drop and get our phones damaged somehow so getting some sort of protective case is a must. A clever option is using a case which doubles as an extra battery, which helps solve the poor battery performance at the same time.
Alternatively, if you find the cases above to bulky or are not too bothered about battery performance, a colleague of mine recommended the d2o cases to me, which are made of a rubber like material which hardens upon impact. An added bonus with these cases is they often have enough space to keep an oyster card or some money wedged between the phone and the outer case.
In addition to a case, you might want to think about getting a protective film for your screen to prevent scratches, although I have found them near impossible to use without getting air trapped underneath.
2. Change your ringtones
Most people tend to stick to the default tones, which can make it confusing in an office environment as you may be under the impression that someone is ringing, emailing or texting you all the time, when actually it’s someone else’s phone – so one of the first things you need to do to preserve your own sanity is change the tones which you can do by going to settings -> sounds -> ringtone/text tone/new mail
If you want your to create your own funky ring tones you can buy and download one from the itunes store, or use a free app to create one from your own mp3s. The second option does require a bit of messing around with itunes, the best free app I could find for this purpose was the “Maketones” app
3. Get some cool apps
There are billions of apps out there, I will just mention a few free ones I have found handy:
- iTorch4 – a good bright torch for finding your keys in the dark
- Atomic Lite – a better internet browser than the inbuilt safari application (allowing multiple tabs for instance)
- Thebrowser – Articles on the net, contains the best bits from numerous publications including the Economist, The Guardian, so on.. actually this is only supposed to be free for the first month, although I think I have had it on my phone longer than that and it has yet to request money from me..
- Tripit – Before trying this one out, I didn’t really understand the concept and only now I realize how frikkin cool this app is – ask it to monitor your email account for travel details, and it will automatically import all accommodation and transport details without you having to lift a finger.
- UK cash point finder – Will locate the nearest ATMs for you, as well as listing if they charge at all and integrating with google maps in order to give you directions
- JaxtrSMS – Free text messaging if you are connected over wifi/3G, it will also display your own phone number to the recipient
- USB Disk – useful for easily transferring any type of file across to your iphone (pdfs for example)
- Flexplayer – multicompatible video player (plays everything including .avi files), allowing you to watch movies you downloaded legally of course (ya right)
4. Get a pair of decent headphones + mic
Iphone earphones are shocking for several reasons:
- they have no clip to hold them in place when trying to speak into the mic
- the earphones are not the type that fit all the way into your ear lobe which means everyone else can hear your music, so you become THAT annoying person on the bus
- the iconic white design means you’re easy target if anyone is thinking of mugging someone for their iphone.
The ones I have are these sony ones, although they still lack a clip
5. Turn it into a GPS
You can get a clamp to hold the iphone on your bicycle or in your car – I have used google maps for this purpose – within this app if you click the icon in the bottom left corner several times it should turn into a compass view which makes navigation very easy. Unfortunately google maps has no bicycle mode, but I have found the pedestrian mode good enough, it just means every now and then you need to be prepared to be going down the wrong way on a one way street. I have tried a couple of other GPS apps but so far they have all been pants in comparison.
6. If going abroad, unlock your phone
Unless you want to rack up a massive bill, make sure you get your phone unlocked at one of the dodgy corner shops selling fake phones. You’ll also need to make sure when buying an overseas SIM card, that it is cut down to the mini size. You can either get a dodgy corner shop to do this for you, or you can get a cutter and do this yourself.
To prevent you from messing around trying to find that app that you always use you can re-organize and move around all your apps on the phone. Simply hold down on any of the icons and you can drag them around – this also applies to the 4 apps that are always on the bottom of the screen as well. Additionally if you place one icon on another, this will create a folder, which minimizes the amount of screen real estate taken up.
8. Save your battery’s life
It’s a well known problem that the iphone battery life totally sucks. There are numerous ways to cut down on the amount of juice your device sucks down each day, well covered here
9. Get a foldable bluetooth keyboard
Turn your iphone into a mini laptop this way – I have one like this, it kicks butt, allowing me to write long emails, blog to my heart’s content and so on.
10. Use Siri to call contacts
Personally I find the virtual assistant function pretty pointless. However, it can be less time consuming by holding down the home key and saying “call Bill” instead of going into your contacts app and searching for Bill.
Disclaimer: all amazon links in the article above are registered with the Amazon Associates referal program which means they give me a few peanuts and a cream cracker every time a reader’s click through turns into an actual purchase. To see my slant on the ethics of referral links, freebies, press trips and gangbangs, I will be writing something up soon, something similar to what this guy says here. Incidentally, I do suggest if you are planning any of the items mentioned here, try ebay first.