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Because browsing the Web on your iPhone or iPod Touch is so similar an experience to browsing on your computer, you'll probably find yourself visiting and using sites you might not otherwise attempt on other mobile devices, such as your banking Web site or online stores. When it comes to ordering items or managing various bank or credit card accounts, you often have to fill in various form fields, which frankly can get a little tedious and time- consuming on the iPhone keyboard. Fortunately, like its full-fledged counterpart on your computer, Safari for the iPhone and iPod Touch includes an AutoFill feature, which fills in your name, address, and passwords automatically when you tap in form fields.
To activate the AutoFill feature, go to Settings > Safari, and then tap AutoFill. Here, you have two options to turn on and off. The first is Use Contact Info. By tapping it on, you're telling Safari to use the contact information for yourself in your list of contacts. Make sure it's your name that appears in the My Info area. If it doesn't, tap My Info, which opens up your contact list, and then find your personal info and tap it. As long as you leave Use Contact Info on, anytime you tap into a field where you have to enter your name, address, phone number and so on, you'll be able to tap an AutoFill button, which will fill out the form with the info from your contact information.
We'll see this in action in a moment. The second option here is Names & Passwords. With this option on, Safari will offer to remember names and passwords you enter on Web sites, so you won't have to type them manually again in the future. So, let's leave both of these options on for now. I'll press the Home button to close Settings and now I'll open Safari. Here, I have a form at lynda.com for signing up for a promotional pass to the online training library. As you can see, there are several fields to fill out here. I'll tap in the First Name field. Notice in addition to the keyboard appearing, above it I have some buttons that include AutoFill. I'll tap AutoFill.
Just like that, most of the information has been completed. Conveniently, the fields that Safari fills out for you are highlighted in yellow, so you can make sure the information went into the correct fields. If you need to change anything, just tap into the field you need to edit. You could also use the Previous and Next buttons to jump from field to field, so you don't have to constantly tap the fields before you type in them. Again, the information that's filled out here is the information from your contacts, so only the info that you have in contacts can be used to autofill a form. Now, let's look at the Names & Passwords feature in action.
I have the Log In page for Twitter open on another page, so let's switch to that. Here, I need to enter my username and password to access my Twitter account. When I tap Go, I'm asked by Safari if I want to store this information. You want to tap Yes to accept, Never for this Website, which will set it so Safari will never bug you to remember this password again, or Not Now if you don't want to save the username and password at this time, but want the option to do so in the future. I'll tap Not Now. If you do have Safari save passwords for you, you should probably be cautious about which sites you allow.
If your iPhone or iPod Touch is lost or stolen, you probably don't want anyone being able to access your bank account info automatically. Also, be sure to check out the movies in the chapter on keeping your device safe, especially the movie on passcode- protecting your phone, if you intend on storing the passwords to sensitive sites on your device. But for non-sensitive sites, storing your login information could be a major convenience and save you the time of having to type your login information manually each time. Now, I also want to mention here that the Name & Password AutoFill is very inconsistent as of right now. Sometimes, it will offer to save your info; other times it won't pop up at all.
So, don't think your phone or iPod is broken if it doesn't offer to autofill. Sometimes, for some reason, it just doesn't work. Now, that said, if you ever change your mind about which items you want Safari to remember, return to your Settings, go to Safari, tap AutoFill. This is also where you can tap Clear All, which will cause Safari to forget all of the names and passwords you previously had to remember, thereby leaving your iPhone or iPod Touch clear of any sensitive passwords.
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