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Dear Aunt TUAW: Help me propose on the iSly


Dear Aunt TUAW,

You have been on at me a long time now to make an honest woman of my girlfriend... or at least ask her to be my fiancé, which might or might not be the same thing. But I can't, because I've got an iPhone. Can you help?

You see, we have no secrets from each other. If my phone is nearer than hers, she uses it. So if I call the jewelers to ask about a ring, or if they call me back, they will be in my Recent Calls list. If she happens to notice a strange number there, I know she trusts me but I also know she's curious. And the surprise will be spoilt.

Now I know that I can delete all recent calls from my iPhone. But I tell you, my dear Aunt, that if she accidentally notices a completely empty Recent Calls list, it won't be the surprise that is spoilt, it will be my face. It's not much of a face but it's the only one I've got.

So, dear, wise Aunt TUAW, what can I do? How can I delete a single recent call from my Recent Calls list and get my life moving forward? Apple's instructions give me no way at all. Do we have to go on living in sin, or do I have to commit the worse sin of switching to Nokia?

Your affectionate nephew,


PS: No, I am not asking you how to delete single recent calls from the Recent Calls list because the information will be useful after we are married. Perish the thought!

Dear Joe,

If your phone is jailbroken, you can easily access the calls database -- it's just an SQL database stored in /private/var/wireless/Library/CallHistory/call_history.db. Edit away and store it back. But if you're going to that much trouble, you're doing it wrong.

What you really want to do is this: just visit the jeweler in person, borrow a phone from a friend or work colleague, or use Skype, Google Voice in your browser or some other form of communication that she doesn't track. Don't overthink this.

If you can't borrow a phone, then you can buy a pay-as-you-go cell phone from Target with several minutes of air time (usually 10 minutes or more) for US$15 or under; AT&T sells its GoPhone models starting at $10. Donate the phone to a shelter afterwards and write off the cost on your taxes.

Good luck with the proposal! Auntie recommends flowers, champagne and finding a spot where you can kneel comfortably as you profess your love.


Auntie T.

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