Delete Text Messages, iMessages, & Conversations from iPhone
Want to delete a text message or conversation thread from an iPhone? Maybe it’s a regretful SMS or embarrassing iMessage conversation from after you had too much to drink, whatever it is you can quickly delete an entire conversation or even selectively delete only certain parts of a message, whether it’s a text, iMessage, or MMS. Here is how to do it:
Quickly Delete Entire SMS & Text Message Threads
This removes any trace of there being message correspondence between yourself and the recipient, on the iPhone at least:
Open the Messages app and tap the “Edit” button in the corner
Locate the SMS thread you want to remove and tap the little red (-) button, then tap the “Delete” button to remove all messages and correspondence with that person
Repeat as necessary for other contacts
Selectively Delete Individual Messages from a Correspondence Thread
Do this if you just want to remove a line or two from a correspondence without deleting all other messages with that person:
Tap the message you want to edit from the Messages list
Tap on the “Edit” button in the corner
Find the text, MMS, or messages that you want to remove and tap them so that a red checkbox appears alongside
Tap the red “Delete” button to remove only the selected messages
Once a message has been deleted the only way to uncover it would be to manually sort through and read SMS backups, which isn’t the most user-friendly task in the world.
If you’re using iMessage here, this will apply to iPod touch and iPad as well, but obviously SMS and MMS will only apply to iPhone users.
07-19-2012 02:23 PM
Add Favorite Websites & Bookmarks to the iOS Home Screen
Have a favorite website? You’re probably reading it this very minute, right? Of course you are, and you can add this website or any other as a homescreen bookmark that is instantly accessible from iOS with just a tap. Setting it up is super easy:
Open Safari from an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch and go to the website you want to bookmark
Tap the [>] arrow icon next to the address bar and tap “Add to Home Screen”
Name the bookmark something sensible, shorter tends to be better, and tap “Add”
You will be sent from Safari to the home screen where the bookmark icon appears. Place it accordingly on the home screen, in the Dock, or create a handful of them and make a dedicated Bookmarks folder for quick access to all of your favorite websites.
Personally, I prefer this to showing the bookmarks bar in Safari on iPad or using bookmarks through Safari in general. I just have a handful of websites on my home screen and access them from there.
If you were wondering, the icon used by Safari’s home screen bookmarks, known as an Apple Touch Icon, can be customized by any web developer on a per site basis rather easily. If a web developer doesn’t specify a touch icon, Safari will use a thumbnail of the index page as the icon instead.
How to Make & Set a Retina-Ready iOS Bookmark Icon for a Website
Web developers and website owners pay attention: you need to set a retina-ready iOS bookmark icon. Called an Apple Touch Icon, these custom images become the icon that is displayed on a users home screen when they bookmark a website on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Without a custom apple-touch-icon set, users will get a boring and often ugly thumbnail of the web page itself, and without using a retina-ready icon, the bookmarks icon will look pixelated and generally awful on the new iPad screen. Here’s what you need to do:
1) Create the Retina-Ready iOS Icon
Use a template or design your own. I used the easy DIY retina icon kit mentioned in a previous post, it’s a PSD file that makes designing nice looking iOS icons as easy as a click or two. Paste in a website or company logo and you’re pretty much good to go. If you don’t have something to edit PSD files, Photoshop CS6 beta is excellent and free to download and use until the final version comes out later in the year.
2) Save as PNG & Name the Retina Icon as Desired
The icon must be a PNG, and it must be named one of two things. Each file name offers a slightly different appearance of the icon as displayed on a users home screen:
“apple-touch-icon.png” will add the highlight bubble overlay to the icon
“apple-touch-icon-precomposed.png” will display the icon as originally created, without the highlight overlay
Use the latter -precomposed option if you created your own highlight, or if you want the icon to appear more flat without ubiquitous bubble that appears on most of Apple’s default icons.
3) Upload the Touch Icon to the Base Web Directory
Use an SFTP client (OS X includes FTP in the Finder, and CyberDuck or Filezilla are free) to copy the apple-touch-icon.png file to the root web directory. This is usually the same location that the sites main index file is located. Once uploaded, confirm it’s in the proper location by opening a web browser and going to “http://SITEURL.com/apple-touch-icon.png” and making sure it loads.
Here is an example of a 512×512 retina-ready bookmark icon from OSXDaily.com:
Notice that without the -precomposed flag, the above icon will display the highlight bubble. You can see the difference between the two by comparing the actual icon to the one shown in screenshots as the bookmark.
4) Use an iOS Device and Bookmark the Site
This is the easiest part, grab an iOS device (preferably an iPad 3 to confirm the retina aspect) and open Safari. Refresh the web site you uploaded the icon to, and then tap the arrow icon and select “Add to Homescreen” name the bookmark, then return to the Homescreen to confirm it’s there.
Despite being 512 x 512 pixels, the retina icon will scale down fine on older iPhones and non-retina devices. If you really want to, you can use CSS and HTML to display different sized icons to different devices, but it’s really not necessary.
Now if someone bookmarks your web site on an iPad with a retina display, it will look a lot better on their home screen. That’s really all there is to it. And yes, we’ve written about the Apple touch icon before, but it deserves another mention now that iPad 3 demands significantly higher resolution icons and graphics.
Fix Stuck Podcast, Music, and Video Downloads in iOS
Though you can usually fix stuck app downloads by double-tapping the stuck icon, that doesn’t work with things downloaded from iTunes like podcasts, music, audio books, and video. If you find yourself forever waiting for a stuck media download from iTunes, the solution is very simple:
Launch iTunes and then tap on “Downloads”
Find the stuck download, swipe right on the item and delete it
Redownload as necessary
The file should download again without a problem.
This usually seems to happen when restoring an iOS device, regardless of whether the restore is from backups or a device is configured as new.
Restore your iPhone from Backup
Restoring your iPhone to a previous backup is really easy, so if you’re new to the process of backups and restoration don’t let the techy sounding nature make you shy away.
Here’s how to restore your iPhone from a backup:
Connect your iPhone to the computer and launch iTunes
Right-Click on the iPhone and select “Restore from Backup”
You’ll see the “Last Synced” time and iPhone name to restore to
If you notice that the last synced time is not particularly recent, you just need to backup your iPhone more often! Keeping frequent backups is a good idea across all devices, whether its your Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, or whatever.
Be aware this process restores the contacts, calendars, notes, text messages, and settings, it does not revert to prior iPhone firmware or baseband nor does it wipe the iPhone and restore all factory settings, that is an entirely different process. If you need to unjailbreak an iPhone or iPad the process is quite similar.
Prevent Apps from Being Deleted on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch
If you want to prevent someone from deleting apps on an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPhone, all you need to do is flick a Restrictions setting in iOS:
Open “Settings” and tap on “General”
Go to “Restrictions” and enter your pin code, locate “Deleting Apps” and switch to OFF
Exit out of Settings
You can confirm apps are no longer able to be deleted by tapping and holding on an apps icon to make them jiggle, where you’ll discover the (x) is now missing.
This is one of those must-have restrictions along with disabling in-app purchases if you’re letting little kids use an iPad or iPhone because it’ll stop them from accidentally deleting anything, but it’s also helpful for iOS devices that get public usage, or if you’re brave enough to let your dog or cat play games on the thing.
While you’re in the Restrictions menu it can also be a good idea to prevent the installation of new apps.
Stop iPad Screen from Dimming or Locking Automatically
The iPad screen defaults to automatically dim itself and then turn itself off after a fairly short amount of time of inactivity. That’s great for preserving battery life of iOS devices, but if you’re like me you keep an iPad or iPhone alongside you full time while working as a control panel for Pandora, podcasts, and email, and having the screen lock after a few minutes of inactivity is annoying.
Here’s how to prevent the iPad (or iPhone or iPod) screen from dimming and auto-locking:
Open “Settings” then tap “General”
Tap “Auto-Lock” and choose “Never” as the option
Close out of Settings, and now when you leave the iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch screen alone it won’t automatically lock itself or even dim.
A caveat to remember is this will always be in effect, meaning you will have to lock the screen yourself using the top power button when you do want the screen to go dark. That’s especially important for when you’re on the go, if not to prevent battery drain than to help protect your personal data in case you happened to lose the device (don’t forget to use a strong passcode too). In an ideal world, there would be different power management settings for auto-locking for if a device was plugged in and if a device was on battery, but iOS isn’t there yet.
Use This Mac App To Print From Your iPhone or iPad Without AirPrint [iOS Tips] | Cult
When worlds collide – this is ostensibly an iOS tip, but it involves a Mac App, which should technically be an OS X tip, but hey – you probably know how to print from your Mac. It’s more likely that, like me, you have a printer that you use with your Mac and it isn’t one of them newfangled fancy AirPrint ones, neither. While AirPrint protocol has been around since iOS 4, I still haven’t bought a printer with it built in. Hey, mine works just fine, still!
If so, you can print from your iPhone or iPad to the printer connected to your Mac, using Printopia 2, a $20 Mac utility available from developer eCamm.
If your Mac can print to your printer, so can your iOS device. Grab the trial version of Printopia to check this out, and decide if it’s worth the $20 for the full version. Once downloaded, open the .zip file, which will become the folder Printopia Demo. Open that folder and double click on the Install Printopia Demo icon to install the preference pane that makes this all work.
Once it’s installed, Printopia 2 will launch your System Preferences app and navigate to the Printopia settings panel. All the printers you have available, including USB or networked printers, will show up in the list. Check the printers you want to use with your iPhone or iPad and you’re ready to print from any iOS app that supports printing. Which should be almost all of them, these days.
The cool thing? Printopia lets you print to your Mac, which is a lot like Print to PDF on your Mac as well. Note the last couple of options in the Printopia preference pane, Send To Dropbox on Mac, Send to Evernote, and Send to Mac. These become ways for you to get your files over to Dropbox, Evernote, or just your Mac, via the iOS print dialog. Printopia will figure out the best format for the actual thing you are printing, and send it to the right place on your Mac. Brilliant!
Reset AutoCorrect on iPhone or iPad to Fix Improper Word Corrections
Autocorrect in iOS is pretty smart and usually gets things right, it also learns your habits and frequently typed words and will start autocorrecting what you type to the words you have used in the past. This can be a blessing and a curse, because if you accidentally corrected a word to a wrong one or a typo, the iPad/iPhone dictionary will want to use that new erroneous word as the correction. The solution to that problem is to reset autocorrect by clearing out the keyboard dictionary, here’s how on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:
Open “Settings” and tap on “General”
Tap “Reset” and then tap on “Reset Keyboard Dictionary”
This clears out the entire autocorrect and keyboard dictionary letting you start over from scratch. Open up Notes or any other app that lets you type and you can start teaching iOS the proper words again.
Contrary to some claims, you do not need to reset the iPhone or iPad to factory defaults to fix improper word corrections, though if you had a great dictionary before it got messed up you can restore from a previous backup to get the better autocorrect dictionary back.
There are also some suggestions that resetting Keyboard Dictionary helps with Dictation accuracy as well if it’s learned the wrong words, though we haven’t been able to verify that completely.
Forward Or Delete iMessages Right From Your iPhone
Here’s an obvious yet often overlooked tip – something that I’ve personally looked at every time I use the Messages app on my iPhone, but never really “connected” with.
I’ve often needed to send along a specific text message, to a boss or co-worker, or even to a family member. I’ve often copied an individual message, then pasted it into a message of my own to the new person.
Starting in iOS 5, though, there’s an easier way – forwarding it. Here’s how.
Open up your Messages app on your iPhone (or iPad – it works there, too). Tap into the conversation with the person you want to forward the message from. Tap the Edit button in the top right corner, and then tap on the message you want to send along to another contact. Tap the Forward button in the lower right corner.
A New Message page will slide up from the bottom and allow you to type in the name of the contact you’re sending the message to. The message you’re sending is placed into the message field, and will be sent with a quick tap on the Send button, as per normal.
To delete individual messages, follow the same process as above, but tap Delete instead of Forward.
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