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Choosing What to Sync

On first sync, you'll be asked to name the iPhone and specify what to sync. As with an iPod, selecting the iPhone reveals six tabs (Summary, Info, Music, Photos, Podcasts, and Video).

The Summary tab displays information about the iPhone, including serial number, phone number, capacity, and software version. It also can update the iPhone software (if an update is available) or restore the iPhone if it is experiencing problems. If you do restore the iPhone, the major phone settings (such as phone number and account association) are preserved in a backup within iTunes.

Also on the Summary tab, you can decide whether iTunes should launch and sync automatically when the iPhone is connected to the computer or whether you'd prefer to sync the two manually using the Sync button. If you choose auto-sync and want to prevent syncing during a connection, hold the Command-Option keys (Mac) or Shift-Control keys (PC) as you connect the iPhone. The "sync only checked items" option is useful if you want to sync specific playlists (especially smart playlists).

The Info tab is used to determine what non-iTunes information is synced to the iPhone. This information includes contacts (from Mac OS X's Address Book, Outlook Express on Windows XP, or Windows Contacts on Vista), iCal or Outlook calendars, email accounts, and bookmarks from either Safari or Internet Explorer (Version 6 or higher).

When syncing calendars, you can specify the name of a calendar to which events created on the iPhone are synced. The Advanced options on this tab allow you to force a one-way sync in which information on the iPhone is replaced by information on the computer.

As with an iPod, the Music tab determines whether your entire library or just selected playlists are synced. Given the capacity of the iPhone models, you'll most likely choose to sync only select playlists.

You sync photos to your iPhone from the Photos tab. As with an iPod, you can choose to sync from an iPhoto library (Mac) or either Photoshop Album or Photoshop Elements (PC). You can also sync to a specific folder containing pictures. In all cases, you can select individual albums or folders to sync.

From the Podcasts tab, you can select which podcasts are synced to the iPhone. You can also choose how many episodes of each podcast are synced and whether to sync only new or unplayed episodes.

The Video tab allows you to define what, if any, TV shows and movies are synced. Like podcast episodes, you can specify how many episodes of each TV show are synced and can choose to sync only unwatched episodes.

If you found this article useful, come back to next week for tips on getting the best phone, iPod, and email experiences with your iPhone. If you're looking for some excellent books that are packed with great tips for using and troubleshooting your iPhone, check out The iPhone Book: How to Do the Things You Want to Do with Your iPhone by best-selling authors Scott Kelby and Terry White or The iPhone Pocket Guide by Chris Breen. Both are incredibly handy for getting the most out of your new phone.

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