Prepare your Mac for iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by neven, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. neven macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #1
    (Sorry about the long post - I wrote this for my website but I didn't want to just post a traffic-baiting link. I hope some of you find this helpful.)

    Before I got my first iPod, I made sure I was familiar with iTunes. I imported all my music and organized it to some extent. I knew I didn't want "Track 01" on my iPod.

    Before I got my current PowerBook, I first bought a case for it. I didn't want to risk any damage to it, so I got a (sturdy but ugly) Samsonite case.

    Before I bought my last car, I first bought a detailing kit. No, seriously.

    Little steps like that make you feel like you already own the product, and the utility is sometimes important as well (my friend Larry just got a MacBook Pro and dropped it in the first few days of ownership.) With that in mind, here are some steps you might want to take to make sure your iPhone comes to a welcoming home on June 29th (or whenever mortals can get their hands on one).

    Clean up that Address Book. Remove old and bogus contacts. Add those you have on your phone (or in your organizer) but not in Address Book. Don't be afraid to add info beyond just people's digits - birthdays and mailing addresses come in handy. Dig through your photos and find some nice 256 x 256 px pictures to use (actually, use any large image - you can scale and crop in Address Book). If you don't have any, that's ok - you'll be able to take them with iPhone.

    Create some Address Book groups if you have a lot of contacts. My groups include: Work, Family, Biz (local businesses - I call the pizza place a lot), Mac users (in case I'm sending something Mac-specific), Croatians (I'm from Croatia and sometimes I want to notify everyone of something in Croatian).

    Use iCal. Maybe you already do - even so, clean it up and think about what all events and appointments it would be helpful to have on your phone. Don't be afraid to add events far off in the future to your calendar - I've added events for 2010. When I read about a movie I might be interested in, I add its release date to my iCal.

    Make an iPhoto Smart Album for iPhone. Even with 8 GB of storage, chances are you won't want to carry all your digital pics on your iPhone. Do what you might be doing with your iPod or AppleTV already - make a Smart Album (in the File menu) of your photos from the last 30 days (or less, or more, depending on how much of a shutterbug you are).

    Which brings us to...

    Make some good iTunes Smart Playlists. Smart Playlists are absolutely beautiful. If you have one of them fancy 80 GB iPods, you may thumb your nose at them, but... you shouldn't. Here, for instance, is what I sync to my 4 GB Nano:

    - 2 GB of songs not rated 1 or 2 stars, last played more than 5 days ago, not skipped in the last 7 days, selected randomly
    - 500 MB of songs rated 4 or 5 stars, not played in the last 30 days, selected randomly ("Old friends")
    - 200 MB of songs not rated 1 star, added in the last 30 days, selected by date added ("Recents")
    - 100 MB of songs, selected by rating ("All-time faves")
    - All unheard podcasts

    There are some other factors there (I don't include certain genres, like Experimental, and I filter out videos and podcasts) but overall, it's a nice mix of random, kick-ass, good-but-not-overplayed, and recent songs. This same thing will go on my iPhone, leaving room (hopefully) for all the other iPhone stuff.

    Clean up your Safari bookmarks. Make some bookmark groups. Mine are Business, Local, News, Research, Mac, Nerd. Remove things you once bookmarked only temporarily, add things you visit often, but always type in. Shorten gigantic bookmark names. Order bookmarks within groups.

    Nothing new, right? These are all good habits to get into on any computer, but I think you'll find that when you combine iPhone's miniature form factor and sweet features, you'll want to include things you've probably ignored so far (Address Book pictures, I bet) and de-clutter things you've thrown all over your desktop because you have ample storage and screen space (bookmarks, iTunes).

    Your iPhone will thank you.

    (a humble link to my website: http://www.mrgan.com)
     
  2. StrayRooster macrumors member

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  3. ero87 macrumors 65816

    ero87

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    #3
    very helpful post, thanks!

    i'm adding photos to my address book now... will that take up much space on the iphone, though? how much space do you think a few hundred tiny address book photos would take up?
     
  4. neven thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    If the photos on iPhone are about 64px square (as we've seen so far) you're looking at 1-5 Kb per picture. If there is some view that would accommodate bigger pictures (Contact Cover Flow, perhaps?) then it could be as high as 30-50 Kb per picture.
     
  5. ero87 macrumors 65816

    ero87

    Joined:
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    Location:
    New York City
    #6
    thanks! so, do you think I should just freely add photos to most of my contacts?
     
  6. neven thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 10, 2006
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    Portland, OR
    #7
    I think the convenience (and sheer coolness) of having pictures of your contacts on the phone is worth the space they'll take up (which will even in the most extreme case be less than the file size of a single song).

    If this is the first time you've added contact photos in Address Book, you'll be pleasantly surprised when they start popping up elsewhere as well (in Mail, if you use it).
     
  7. ero87 macrumors 65816

    ero87

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    New York City
    #8
    that's exactly what i wanted to hear, thanks neven! :)
     
  8. fastdrive macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    #9
    My only problem is that Iphoto shows the correct orientation of the photo, but when you pull the same picture up in address book it shows the original orientation.:mad: Lots of people in my address book are sideways :D

    What's the best way to fix this?
     
  9. neven thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    I'm not sure how you got these photos into Address Book. This may be super-obvious, but this is how I add Address Book photos:

    Edit the person in Address Book. Double-click the photo. Switch to iPhoto. Hit Cmd+C (copy) on the photo that includes them. Switch to Address Book, Cmd+V (paste). Center the photo and use the slider to get the size right.
     
  10. macfanboy macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 5, 2007
    #12
    lol

    im laughin cuz my cuzin (me and him are HUGE apple fans) spent a day fixing and doin that stuff :apple:
     
  11. KD7IWP macrumors 6502a

    KD7IWP

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  12. ISMPlus macrumors regular

    ISMPlus

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  13. skinnylegs macrumors 65816

    skinnylegs

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    #15
    This is one of the best posts I've read in a long time. Thanks, buddy!
     
  14. skinnylegs macrumors 65816

    skinnylegs

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    Location:
    San Diego
    #16
    What exactly are "Smart Albums" anyway?
     
  15. neven thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I'm glad you're getting something out of my tips. Some of you may notice that I'm talking about using OS X and iLife apps, rather than non-Apple apps which may in some cases be better. The short answer to that is that in the last year or so I've gone from using Firefox, Thunderbird, Adium, and Google Calendar to relying on Apple's apps. The reason is simple - this way, my apps work with one another beautifully, and I know I'll be able to sync smoothly to any iPod, AppleTV, or iPhone I own (and I'll own more in the future - I had high expectations for all three and the first two didn't disappoint).

    Apple Mail isn't perfect, but it's a fine mail client and it does 95% of what I need. iChat doesn't handle all the protocols Adium does, iCal isn't freely available on the web, Safari doesn't have extensions... but you know what? Even if the smoothness of my daily workflow (and I emphasize work) didn't make up for it, many of the features of the apps themselves would. Does Adium do AV chats? Will Firefox have anything like WebClips? Is Google Calendar as responsive?

    Anyway, I'm not trying to convert anyone away from their apps of choice. But there is something to be said for having my whole workflow - email, contacts, bookmarks, music, and hopefully chat - available on iPhone from day one without hacks or imports. I like living my iLife.
     
  16. skinnylegs macrumors 65816

    skinnylegs

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    #18
    You are a prophet! I couldn't have said it better. Now excuse me while I clean up may Safari bookmarks......

    LOL
     
  17. neven thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    A Smart Album is to iPhoto what a Smart Playlist is to iTunes. They are "procedural playlists", meaning that you don't place items into them - you define rules which say, all photos that match these conditions should be here.

    The easiest way to find out is to fire up iPhoto and go to File > New Smart Album. Add something like, "Date is in the last 30 days." Voila, you have a self-updating album of all your photos from the last 30 days. As time passes, the album will change.

    To a novice user this may seem pointless, but to anyone who's worked with database queries it's rather endearing. It's like mini SQL!
     
  18. skinnylegs macrumors 65816

    skinnylegs

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    May 8, 2006
    Location:
    San Diego
    #20
    Thank you! I'll fire up iPhoto and check it out! I just got done creating folders and organizing my pictures within said folders.
     
  19. buymeaniphone macrumors 6502

    buymeaniphone

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    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    #21
    You've really thought this through haven't you. I guess with so many months in anticipation theres not much else to do while you wait.
     
  20. ShellyFM macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Location:
    Florida
    #22
    Smart Group for Contacts w/o Pictures

    Is there a way to create a Smart Group in the Address Book to include all contacts that do not have a picture?

    -Shelly
     
  21. neven thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #23
    No using Smart Groups, no... But here, I put together a quick bit of AppleScript to create a new contact group called "No Pictures":

    tell application "Address Book"

    set theGroup to make new group with properties {name:"No Pictures"}

    repeat with x from 1 to the count of people
    set thePerson to person x
    if not (the image of thePerson exists) then
    add thePerson to theGroup
    end if
    end repeat

    save addressbook

    end tell


    Spotlight "Script Editor" and run it, paste in the green text above, and hit run. Repeat if necessary after you've added a bunch of new contacts. That's the best I can do!

    P.S. Of course, since this is not a smart group, you'll have to remove people from it as you add their pictures. Actually, just delete the whole group and start over whenever you run this - otherwise you'll have multiple "No Pictures" groups.
     
  22. MarkW19 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    #24
    Good tips Neven.

    I've currently got a Pocket PC (yawn)...is there an app I can use to sync the contacts/phone numbers and ideally calendar events into Address Book/iCal on my mac, so that they all go across when I get my iPhone?
     
  23. Shamingo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Location:
    Aurora, IL
    #25
    MissingSync...It's shareware, but I found a copy of it somewhere for a lot less than that (read:free). If you look around I'm sure you could find it.
     

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