Getting a new iPhone is exciting, but it can be overwhelming to learn its new features. Luckily, there are things you can do to make your phone easier to use. Keep in mind that these tips are for iPhone users running the most current version of iOS, but many of them will work with older iPhones as well.
Activate “Find My Phone”
This is one of the first things you should do when you get a new iPhone. If your phone is ever lost or stolen, you can use "Find My iPhone" to locate it. See this article from Apple on how to set up this service.
You can also use it to find any Apple device registered to your account. When you select a device, you have the option to play a sound, get directions to where your device is located, tag your device as lost or remotely erase your device.
Try “Find My” App
This is new in iOS 13. You can use the “Find My” app to share your location with your family and friends. Open this app from the home screen. You will see your current location listed under the “People” tab. Press the “Start Sharing Location” button and then enter the contact you would like to share with. The person must be on your phone’s contact list.
We often pass our phones to others to show them a picture, but you may have pictures that you don’t want others to see when they’re swiping through your images.
You can hide the photos that you don’t want others to see. To do so, open the Photos app on your iPhone. Select the image or images that you want to hide. Then tap the “Share” button and choose “Hide.”
The photos will be hidden but you can view them in the folder named “Hidden” in your albums.
Organize Apps Using Folders
Instead of scrolling through multiple screens to find the apps, create folders to organize them. Store similar apps in the same folder for easy access. For example, you can have folders for music, games, communications, productivity and more.
To create a folder, press and hold an app and then drag it into another app that you want to group together in a folder. To give the folder a name, tap the “Name” field and type a name.
Do this for all similar apps. Once the apps are organized into folders you can just drag and drop new apps into the folders you have already created.
Display Contact Information on Your Lock Screen
If your phone is lost, you can display your name and alternate phone number or other contact information on the lock screen. so that if someone finds your iPhone, they can contact you.
Use the Apple Health app to do this. You will find it in the settings menu. Tap “Medical ID” and then tap “Edit.” Enter the information you want to be displayed. Turn on the option “Show when locked.”
The Medical ID is designed to be used to display your medical information in case of an emergency but can be used for identification purposes as well. Once the Medical ID information has been saved, it will appear on the lock screen under “Emergency.”
Reboot Your Phone Occasionally
Many people never think to reboot their iPhones, but doing so can free up resources and close apps that are running. If you notice your phone is slowing down or acting buggy, restarting should help get things back to normal.
Create Emoji Shortcuts
If you often use the same emojis in text messages or emails, you can create text shortcuts for them so that they are easier to access. Open the settings menu and then tap “General” and then “Keyboard.” Find “Text Replacements.” Tap the plus (+) icon and then choose the emoji you want to create a text shortcut for. Once this is set up, each time you type the text shortcut, that emoji will be shown.
Set Up Text Replacement
Similar to emoji shortcuts. you can use the text replacement feature to enter words or phrases you use often. It’s great if you often type longer lines of text. Just tap Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement.
Tap the plus (+) to add a new replacement then enter your text shortcut and what text you want the shortcut to replace. For example, you might use the shortcut “WTD” for “Did you walk the dog?” Tap “Save” when finished. You can set up as many text replacements as you like. Just tap the plus sign again to add another. You can remove any text replacements you have saved in the same menu. Tap “Edit,” then tap “Delete.” Tap “Done” when finished.
Use a Timer To Stop Playing Music and Videos
Maybe you like to listen to music or watch a video while you’re falling asleep or while you’re performing a certain task, but you would like the music or video to stop playing at a certain time.
Open the clock app and tap “Timer” in the bottom right corner. Tap “When Timer Ends.” and then scroll down and tap “Stop “Playing.” Then tap “Set.”
When you use this feature, you want to be sure that when you’re finished, you go back into the clock app timer setting and change the “Stop Playing” action back to a ringtone. If you don’t do this, the timer app will not play a ringtone for other timers you have set up.
Update Your Apps
The apps on your iPhone are updated regularly but not all at once, and updating them all might take some time. You can manually update all of your apps at once. Just open the app store and click your image at the top to open your account. Scroll down and click “Update All.”
Speed Up Charging
You may need to charge your iPhone quickly. Maybe you need to leave your house soon and forgot that your battery was running low. To get a quicker charge turn on airplane mode. Open the settings menu, tap “Airplane Mode” and then slide to turn it on.
When airplane mode is turned on, other services such as Wi-Fi, phone calls, text messages, email and mobile data will be disabled. Once charging is complete, turn airplane mode off.
You can also speed up charging by turning your phone off while it is charging. Since everything is shut down, it will charge much faster.
Try Dark Mode
IOS 13 has a dark mode. Many people prefer this as it is easier on the eyes. The dark mode is well suited for low-light situations, so it can be less disturbing to you and the people around you. When you enable dark mode, it will apply to the entire operating system and to Apple native apps.
Consider Visual Notification of Alerts
This feature can be very useful if you’re in a noisy location or if you are hard of hearing or deaf. The phone will flash when calls, text messages and other notifications come in. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual. Turn on “LED Flash” for alerts.
Block Unknown Callers
Millions of spam calls are made every day. You can set it up to that calls from numbers not in your contact list go directly to voice mail. Open settings > Phone > Silence Unknown Callers and then slide to turn that feature on.
You can also commit to never answering phone calls from numbers you don't know.
Use Night Shift
Looking at a bright screen in the evening can disrupt sleep patterns. You can use “Night Shift” to automatically adjust the display so that the brightness level is adjusted to a more comfortable tone for the evening.
Go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift. You can adjust the time to activate and adjust the brightness level.
Pair Multiple Headphones
New to iOS13 is the ability to use two sets of AirPods or Beats headphones on one phone so you can share your music, podcasts and other content with someone else. You will first need to pair the devices then just start sharing. See more on setting this up from Apple here.
Use Your iPhone as a Tape Measure
Did you know you can measure real-world objects using your iPhone? The Measure app uses the camera. It is a handy feature and even includes a level. Read more here from Apple on using the Measure app.
These are just some of the valuable features you can use. Explore your iPhone to find even more and check out the support page at Apple for more information.