David Pogue and his team have done it again with the iPhone Missing Manual, 5th Edition, for all iPhones using iOS 5.0.1. This is a terrific full-color book with hundreds of screen captures and illustrations. The topics are logically introduced and explained for the new iPhone user and there are details and secrets of iOS 5 for those who have been using the iPhone for several years. The Missing Manual covers the differences in the iPhone 3GS, 4, and 4S models as well as the idiosyncrasies between iPhones using AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon when there is a difference. (If you haven't upgraded your iPhone 3GS or 4 to the free iOS 5, instructions are included for doing the upgrade.) The instructions are not all dry and dull as there is a lot of humor in the book (such as "You don't have to say "call" or "dial" in English. The iPhone recognizes the equivalent words in 32 languages. Collect them all!" (page 94)). One of the best features of "The Missing Manual" is that it does not go out-of-date, even as Apple releases updates to iOS 5. Page 5 of the book describes the website where you can find errata, corrections, and updates for the book. And be sure to see the inside back cover for "The Missing CD".
The book is extensive in that it covers pretty much all aspects of using the iPhone: phone calls, FaceTime (video calls), texting/messaging, email, Siri (the virtual assistant using voice recognition), settings, how to use the built-in apps (programs), how to find more good apps, navigating with GPS, maps, the camera (taking photos and shooting HD videos), editing photos, the iPhone as an iPod--playing multimedia (including playing music, TV shows, movies, and more), reading ebooks, surfing the internet, iCloud, WiFi connections, tethering (connecting the iPhone to your laptop to access the internet), finding your iphone and locking it remotely if you misplace it (set up this feature before you think about losing your iphone), syncing with your computer and/or corporate network, printing (AirPrint), troubleshooting, accessories, and a lot more.
The section on Siri (the virtual assistant on the iPhone 4S) may expand the ways that you use your iPhone. There are more than 250 sample questions and commands for Siri. Some examples are: "call Mom at work," "play more songs like this," "Tell Cindy I'm running late," "Show yesterday's email from Jan," "Reply, Dear Jan,...," "Where's the closest gas station," "How do I get to the airport," "I'm hungry for some pizza," "Remind me to ... when I get home," "Google Benjamin Franklin," "Convert $23 to euros," "Graph x equals 3y plus 12," or "What is the meaning of life?" There are also advanced commands for posting to Facebook or Twitter. [Note: the iPhone 3GS and 4 also have some voice control features.]
I just recently got my first iPhone. I thought all Apple products were supposed to be very user intuitive, so I didn't know there was a secret undo command which is to shake the iPhone (page 57). I really appreciated the keyboard tip on how to select numbers and special characters with only one key press (page 49). My phone locked up once and would not turn on, so it was time to read "Reset: 6 Degrees of Desperation" on page 504. And I had managed to avoid using iTunes up until now, so I'm still trying to learn all the details about syncing the PC with the iPhone when you have 50 gigabytes of media and a 16 gigabyte phone (Chapter 13). The Missing Manual states that iTunes copies contacts and calendars in both directions during a sync. But the Manual didn't explain why after I deleted about 8 contacts on my iPhone, iTunes wanted to delete 77 contacts on my subsequent sync. Nor did the Manual explain why iTunes was taking more than an hour to sync my Solitaire app.
This is the fifth Missing Manual book that I've purchased, and it may be the best.