The MacCast » tip

iPhone 3.0 has brought some fantastic new features that are well known like Cut, Copy & Paste. However some smaller tweaks have been made to the operating system that provide a better user experience. To me most of these changes effect Podcasts. For example you now have easy access to the speed controls and a 30 second skip-back button incase you missed something. Fantastic for shows that go in-depth on specific topics like Security Now!


Also seen in the screenshot is the little envelope icon. This button allows you to share current podcast with a friend via an iTunes Link. This does not work on podcasts not featured in the iTunes store, so if you’re subscribed to an RSS feed you are unable to share.

The feature most important to me for daily use isn’t MMS, but the ability to quickly see the remaining battery life. My way around this was a little app called Free Memory, which has the auxiliary feature of telling you the battery life percentage. The app is still worth keeping around if you own an original iPhone or an iPhone 3G and for the ability to free some memory on your device. For iPhone 3GS owners, you now have a nice little option to show the battery life in the top tray of the iPhone.

To access the battery life option, head over to your settings button on the iPhone home screen. From there tap General, then tap Usage, and there will be a slider button on the top. This option is turned off by default and hidden in a screen most people never make there way into.

Battery Percentage

iPhone OS 3.0 has been great to me so far, but my big excitement is over the speed of the new 3GS which I was reluctant to pick up at first. A full review of my 16 GB 3GS White will be coming up soon. In the meantime, what features of the iPhone 3.0 update have proved useful to you?

Updated: Added text to help clarify that the battery percentage feature is an iPhone 3GS only feature. Thanks to the astute folks in the comments for pointing this out.

iTunes 8: Advanced Options Missing?

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Hints & Tips

Frequent emailer to the Maccast Robert noticed a little something in the recent iTunes 8 update. Something that has become a very common and un-Apple like annoyance in iTunes updates. For some unknown reason Apple re-designs or moves significant functionality between versions of the software. With iTunes 7 the one that got me was them moving the “chapter” options for enhanced podcasts to the menubar. In iTunes 8 the most confusing example is their removal of the 3 tab options (General, Importing, Burning) from under the ‘Advanced’ menu in the iTunes preferences. iTunes 8 simply has one ‘tab’ of Advanced options. The other two former ‘tabs’ have mysteriously vanished. Or have they?

The import and burning options have actually been moved to other locations. In case you find yourself searching for these options, like I have been over the past few days, here is a quick overview of the process for setting these options in the latest version of iTunes.

Importing Settings

To set the import settings do the following:

  1. In iTunes 8, choose ‘Preferences’ from the ‘iTunes’ menu (Command + , ).
  2. In the ‘General’ tab, press the ‘Import Settings…’ button.
  3. In the dialog box set up your desired import format, bit rate, etc. and click ‘OK’ when finished.
General settings Import Settings button Import settings dialog

CD Burning

To burn a CD do the following:

  1. In iTunes 8 create a playlist. If you want to burn a whole album you can drag the album from the new ‘grid’ view over to the playlist section in the left sidebar. This will create a new “playlist” for that album. Now select the playlist you want to burn.
  2. In the lower right corner of the main iTunes window click the ‘Burn Disc’ button.
  3. Now in the dialog box set up your desired disc burning options. You can choose the burning device and speed, select the disc format, set the gap between tracks, etc. Then insert a blank disc and click ‘Burn’.
Select playlist Burn disc Disc burning options

I am not sure why Apple chooses to move major functionality between versions like this. I personally find it annoying, but at least now you know what has changed this time around.