From The Tips Box: iOS 4 Colours, Portable Launchy, Missed IMs

Readers offer their best tips for making your iPhone white-on-black with a shortcut, using Launchy on multiple computers, and checking back on IMs you didn't know you missed.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons — maybe they're a bit too niche, maybe we couldn't find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn't fit it in — the tip didn't make the front page. Got a tip of your own to share? Email it to tips at

Make the iPhone's Display to White-on-Black With a Triple Click

Karim tells us about a new iOS 4 Accessibility shortcut:

Referring back to your post about The New iOS 4 Shortcuts, Features, Settings You Need to Know, I accidentally found that when you triple click on the home button it changes it to Negative display. No clue what that can be used for, I even tried taking a snapshot but it would not take the shot as what you see (as a negative display).

Note that you probably need to turn this on in General > Accessibility > Triple Click Home and choose "Toggle White on Black".

Use Launchy to Launch Portable Apps on Multiple Computers

David shows us an easy way to use Launchy on multiple computers:

I rediscovered Launchy the other day and instantly had a problem when moving from my home PC to work PC as my USB drive letter kept changing. Rather than setting up a standard drive letter on every PC I used I thought I'd find a better method to create relative shortcuts. By using environment variables I managed to find an easy workaround...

First, create a file called LAUNCHY.BAT with the following plain text:

set usbdrive=%~d0

start %usbdrive%LaunchyLaunchy.exe

Second, update the Launchy catalog paths to use the newly created environment variable in the path. For example:



Each time you load Launchy (by running the batch file instead of the executable) on a different PC, all you need to do is press F5 to quickly update your catalog to use the correct drive letter. You won't require admin access to change drive letters and it will work on any PC that you use.

Find Missed GTalk Requests with a Gmail Search

Ram07 shares a way to search for all those missed pings from your friends:

I leave my Gmail account open in many different computers and I would venture to guess that most lifehacker readers probably do the same too. All is well except when some friend pings you on Gmail Chat and it appears only in the window that's open on the corner computer in the office. You would probably never see it and not get back to him. And that's probably not good for your friendship either.

However you can search for all such ignored pings by just searching gmail for "is:chat -me" without quotes. You'd be surprised how many rare pings you have missed in the past.

If you're the type that gets caught in this situation a lot, you could also make a bookmark using the URL for the search results page. It would give you the up-to-date results of the search every time you clicked on it. Also note that for this tip to work, you will need to have chat logging enabled in Gmail's chat settings (Settings > Chat).

Use First-Gen iPhone Dock with the iPhone 4

Josh lets us know an easy way to avoid buying a new iPhone dock:

Last night out of sheer curiosity, I tried putting my brand new iPhone 4 into the dock that came with the original iPhone and it fits! Obviously it's not contoured perfectly, but it seats firmly and charges without a problem. Easy way to save $US29 on a brand new dock.


    The iPhone 3G does not have an Accessibility section under General. Must be 3GS upwards..

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