What You Should Know About Getting the Best From Your iPhone

Posted by Dawn Williams on

Can you remember 11 years ago when Apple did this totally mad thing and released a phone?  It seemed like a gimmick – completely cool, but something that they were going to move on from.  Little did we know as we gazed in awe at its delicate glass surface and sleek metal case, as we watched the screen rotated as we moved the phone around that a new era had begun!  Suddenly the Blackberry looked very old and clunky.

And though we all ‘know’ how to use our iPhones, there are some really clever hacks that work like magic!


1. There is a hidden touchpad!

Your keyboard is a hidden touchpad! Depending on what model your phone or tablet is, there are a different of ways to access it, but basically, on newer iPhones, you need to press down on any key, and you will see the keyboard become blank - now move your finger around, and the cursor will move with you. For other iPhones and iPads, hold down the space bar to access this mode.

    This makes a much easier way to move around in a document if you are working on your phone/tablet, or simply need to place your cursor somewhere specific in an email, text or note.

    2. Your Home and Lock screens are changeable!

    To change how your screen looks, go to the Settings menu, then tap Wallpaper, next Choose a New Wallpaper and decide what you want to use! The options are Dynamic, Still, or Live image - you can get wallpapers from Apple's gallery, your camera roll, or download one from a website.

    If you don't want your health and emergency information to be shown on your phone, try a new background.

    And finally, if you don't like the default settings on youe chosen image, that can be changed as well! So, for example, if it's a photo from your camera roll, you can slide it around and pinch to zoom in and out to frame it just the way you want it.

    Now, if you only want to change the wallpaper on the Lock screen - tap Set Lock Screen. If you want to change just the Home screen – tap Set Home Screen. If you want to change both the Lock screen and the Home screen wallpaper, simply tap Set Both!

    3. My phone doesn’t recognise me!

    If your iPhone supports Face ID, you can enjoy the convenience of unlocking your device just by looking at it! However, if your are wearing your glasses, a hat or have a scarf across your face, suddenly you may find your phone doesn’t recognise you!! From iOS 12 on, this shouldn’t be a problem, as you can set your iPhone to recognise a different look.

      Go to Settings >> Face ID & Passcode >> Set Up an Alternate Appearance and then just follow the instructions to teach your iPhone to recognise you with your glasses on!


      4. Be in charge of your notifications!

      Everytime you receive a text, call, or email, a notification comes through to your home screen; apps can also send you updates as well.  That can be a lot of information to be constantly receiving – but you can customise your notifications, so you only hear about the useful ones you want to!

      Choose your notification style by again going to Settings, then Notifications.  You can select the app you want to change notifications for as well as edit how you want your notifications to be displayed for each app – there are different Alerts, Banner Styles, Sounds, or switch them off altogether.

      It is worth thinking about, especially if there are notifications or updates you really don’t want to miss.  Consider giving them a distiinctive sound like a dog or horn honking!

      5. Stand out from the crowds!

      Ever had that panic when a phone rings unexpectedly and you start madly looking to switch it off, only to heave a huge sigh of relief when you realise it isn’t your phone!  Save yourself the stress and change your ringtone!

      All you have to do to change it is head into Settings, choose Sounds and from there, choose the Ringtone that best fits your personality!

      And if the default options aren’t just working for you, you can always go to the iTunes store and pick up some more!

      6. Be kind to your eyes!

      The effects of "blue light" have sparked a lot of discussion in the eye-care community and it has been well known for years that Optometrists aren’t happy about prologued use of backlit screens, especially if you are in a dark room.

      There are things that you can do to help your eyes though and they are worth considering, even if it is only to give them a break every now that then.

      Similar to Dark Mode - go to Settings, then General, then Accessibility. Once there, select Display Accommodations, and then Invert Colors.

      There are two options - Smart Invert or Classic Invert. Smart Invert reverses the colours of the display, except for images, media, and some apps that use dark colour styles; Classic Invert reverses the colours of the display.

      7. Give yourself a break from Siri!

      We all know what Siri sounds like now, she’s has quite an attractive American accent, but after how many years of being told “Please repeat that”, sometimes I’m ready to a have a conversation with another Assistant!  Did you know that as well as changing the gender of your virtual assistant, you can also choose different accents?  I quite fancy the odd morning  of Australian … but you can also go for British, Irish, South African and of course American!

      Go to Settings >> Siri & Search >> Siri Voice and play around with what appeals to you!


      8. Light up the night

      Bored with plain old notifications coming in… you can get rid of the sounds and badges altogether and go for a flashing light instead!

      Open Settings >> General >> Accessibility >> Hearing. From there, select the LED Flash for Alerts slider to on/green. Next time you get a notification, you'll get a flashing instead and/or the sound you have already picked.

      9. Give your callers an identity!

      As well as being able to edit the names of your callers through Contacts, you also add an image or a photo – great if your eyesight isn’t too hot and you want to know instantly who to answer and who to ignore!

      Tap the Phone icon, then Contacts, and choose the person you want to assign a photo to. Tap Edit, then Add Photo. Now, the next time they call you, you'll be greeted with a full screen image!

      10. Set personalised ringtones

      Just like you can set images for different callers, you can also opt to set different ringtones. You can set up something ridiculous for your best friend, romantic for your love interest and ominous for your boss!

      Tap the Phone icon again>> Contacts. Then tap the person whose ringtone you're looking to change. Tap Edit and then Ringtone and select the ringtone you want to attach to that person.


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