File these under duh, although we didn't think of these two options for making your cell more user-friendly, no matter the cell type/brand. So even though it didn't take a genius to come up with them--just a physics professor--we are the last people to hold it against you if you didn't think of them either. And if you did....
Don't rub it in! You never know when your next phone won't have the functionality you are used to and need.
We saw both of these tips over at Pogue's Posts, specifically about Professor Muller's iPhone workaround. The professor's phone no longer sports the vibrate-then-ring function, which means that he would miss rings if he set it on vibrate and took it out of his pocket, or he'd disturb meetings with the ring if he forgot to put it on vibrate mode.
His solution was to create his own ringtone, leaving the first 10 seconds or so completely silent, so that when the phone rang, the vibrate-and-ring function still acted like his old vibrate-then-ring function.
Jonathan, in the comments of the professor's work around post, said he did a similar thing, but for the viewing functionality of his new Verizon phone: he had a hard time viewing the screen in full daylight, so he took a picture of "black," then changed the lettering to all white, and it became very easy to read.
-Introducing the iPhone pic by Ten Safe Frogs.