Did you get a new iPhone for the holidays? Even though using an iPhone might be quite simple, adjusting a few settings can have a significant impact on how you use the phone. Additionally, there are plenty of settings for you to adjust if you’re new.
Perhaps you’re ready to go, but you’re finding that your battery runs out too soon, or you want to save time by creating a shortcut that will play your preferred workout music as soon as you enter the gym. You just need to know where to look for the shortcuts and hacks that are available to you.
1. Disable location tracking on apps.
Applications such as Doordash and Postmates need to know your precise position to bring food to you or the appropriate area. However, this does not mean that every app on your iPhone has to be aware of your exact location at all times. For this reason, you can stop an app from pinpointing your precise location.
Select an app (such as Instagram) from the Settings app, tap Location, and turn off Precise Location. You can only get an app that knows its approximate location, up to a few miles away, if you disable Precise Location.
2. Make your iPhone’s back become a button.
You can utilize the back of your iPhone as a hidden button to perform several functions, like taking a screenshot, turning on low battery mode, or launching a shortcut that will start playing music as soon as you walk into the gym. If you don’t own one of the two versions, the action button on the back of your iPhone functions in the same way as it does on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Here’s how you locate the option, though it’s buried deep in your settings.
Go to Accessibility > Touch > Back Tap in the Settings app, then select between double tap and triple tap. Tapping the back of your iPhone should bring up a variety of functions, such as opening the camera, turning on the flashlight, and navigating up and down. Tap an action or shortcut to enable it with Back Tap.
3. Enable Live Voicemail to get real-time voicemail transcriptions
When someone calls, you may not always want to answer unless it’s urgent. Sadly, you won’t find out unless you listen to the voicemail that was left following the call. On the other hand, iOS 17 allows you to read a transcription of any voicemail that is left in real-time. Yes, you can check voicemails on your phone and decide to answer them, which will allow you to speak with the person who left the message.
You must enable Live Voicemail by going to Settings > Phone > Live Voicemail as it isn’t enabled by default. And that’s it!
4. Restore full-screen notifications for incoming calls.
When you get a call on an unlocked iPhone, a notification in the form of a banner appears at the top of the screen with the choice to accept or reject the call, along with a small photo and the caller’s name or phone number.
Not always was this the default setting. When your iPhone was unlocked in the past, incoming calls would fill the screen. It was disruptive, sure, but it also got the job done. Because the banner is more covert and lets you use your phone while on the phone, it might be a move that many people are glad to see.
Go to Settings > Phone > Incoming Calls and select Full Screen if, for some reason, you prefer the more visually striking full-screen alert over the banner.
5. Disable any 5G coverage that you do not wish to have.
Apple claims that its 5G phones have a unique feature called Smart Data that allows it to seamlessly switch between 4G LTE and 5G networks according to how the user is using the device. But, you could notice that the battery life of your iPhone is shorter than it was previously. Turn it off if you don’t want to give up battery life for quicker 5G speeds. When you’re ready or when coverage in your area gets better, you can easily turn 5G back on.
If you have 5G coverage, you may force your iPhone to always utilize 4G LTE by opening the Settings app, selecting Cellular > Primary > Voice & Data, and then tapping LTE. This will switch off 5G. Alternatively, you can choose 5G On if you want your iPhone to only use a 5G connection when one is available.
6. Adjust the amount of data that a 5G connection uses.
If your 5G performance is satisfactory, you may want to adjust a network setting. Navigate to Settings > Cellular > Primary > Data Mode. Three options will appear there: Permit More Data in Standard, Low, and 5G Data Modes.
Though brief descriptions are provided beneath the three settings, they only provide a partial view of the first option. As per an Apple support document, you can enjoy high-quality video and FaceTime chats on 5G if you enable additional data. It also enables third-party developers to enhance their apps, obtain software upgrades, and broadcast high-definition Apple TV and Apple Music material to your phone.
Checking your iPhone to make sure it’s appropriately set to your preference is a good idea, as the default option on this page will depend on your carrier and data plan.
7. Get rid of the unnecessary apps on your home screen.
You can easily locate and access all of your applications in the App Library. In addition, all recently downloaded apps show up on your home screen in addition to being stored here. If you download apps infrequently, this might not be an issue, but if you constantly install new ones, your home screen will soon get cluttered.
Choose App Library Only under Settings > Home Screen & App Library to prevent downloaded apps from showing up on your home screen. You must swipe left on your home screen until you get to the App Library to locate the app.
8. Unlock your phone while wearing a face mask
Using Apple’s Face ID technology to unlock your iPhone can be a hassle if you wear a mask in public. Face ID simply doesn’t work when half of your face is hidden. It’s also less handy to unlock your phone by inputting your passcode.
When wearing a face mask, you can easily unlock your iPhone by using the face unlock feature available on iOS. Before the update, only Apple Watch owners could unlock their iPhones.
Open the Settings app on your iPhone and select the Face ID & Passcode option to unlock your iPhone using your Apple Watch. You may activate the feature for any watches connected to your iPhone by scrolling down until you reach the Unlock with Apple Watch section (you need to be connected to an Apple Watch for the setting to show).
Without an Apple Watch, you can unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask if it is running iOS 15.4 or later. Launch the Face ID & Passcode app from the Settings app. You can then turn on the Face ID With a Mask feature. It’s fantastic.
9. Put the address bar in Safari back on top
A few years ago, Safari moved the address to the bottom of the screen, which is good news for people with small hands who had trouble reaching it with just one hand. Some individuals may find this shift off-putting because they are used to seeing the URL bar near the top of the screen, even though it may feel more natural. After all, it is closer to the keyboard and where you normally rest your thumbs.
Go to Settings, select Safari, and select the Single Tab option under the Tabs subsection if you wish to move the address bar back to the top of the screen.
10. Add features that can be used when your iPhone is locked
Even with your phone locked, there are situations in which you may still need to have specific information on hand. For this reason, Apple lets you enable certain features—like the Wallet app, Control Center, notification center, and message replying—without needing to unlock your device.
Go to the Settings menu, select Face ID & Passcode, and then input your passcode when prompted to modify the features you want to have available on the lock screen. Once you reach the “Allow Access When Locked” option, scroll down and adjust the sliders to suit your needs.
11. Make your favorite email app or web browser your default
Not everything is about Safari. You can customize the default apps on your iPhone, at least for online browsing and email. This means that instead of Safari or Mail, your iPhone will immediately open the web browser or email provider of your choice when you press a link or an email send button.
To begin, navigate to the Settings menu and choose the program (such as Outlook or Google Chrome) that you want to make the default setting. Next, a button labeled “Default Mail App” or “Default Browser App” ought to appear. Instead of choosing Mail or Safari, tap that option and pick the app of your choice.
12. Get full notifications on your lock screen
When you use Apple’s Face ID technology for the first time, you’ll find that the lock screen is blank when it comes to fresh alerts and notifications. For instance, you’ll just get a generic Messages alert in place of seeing who sent you a text message and what it says.
All iPhones equipped with Apple’s Face ID technology will, by default, conceal the contents of alerts until you pick up the device and unlock it. Although I do think it’s a nice privacy feature, I can see how it could irritate some people (I’ve had a few comments from both family members and readers).
By navigating to Settings > Notifications > Show Previews and choosing Always, you may modify the way notifications show up on your lock screen. On the other hand, if you would prefer to always have the content of your notifications hidden from the lock screen, you can choose Never.
13. Turn off (or on) HDR video for sharing videos
With Dolby Vision, the iPhone can record high dynamic range (HDR) video. This implies that your films usually have better contrast, brighter lighting, and more accurate coloration. While it might be perfect for some, you can turn off the feature if you’d like to tweak videos yourself rather than have them done for you.
By selecting Settings > Camera > Record Video and flipping the switch next to HDR Video to the Off position, you can disable HDR video. All videos will now be recorded in the usual dynamic range.
14. Use beautiful wallpaper to personalize your home screen.
You should also adjust the background or wallpaper on your home screen. Apple offers a plethora of wallpapers including unique and stylish designs.
On your iPhone, open the Settings app and choose Wallpaper from the menu. Verify that the switch marked “Dark Appearance Dims Wallpaper,” which is located beneath the two wallpaper thumbnail samples, is activated. Click Choose a new wallpaper now, then choose between Stills and Live. Can you make out the circle at the bottom of every wallpaper? It has a black-and-white split.
That circle indicates that your phone’s system condition will determine whether to automatically change the wallpaper, which is available in both bright and dark mode versions.
If you’re not a fan of the dark and light modes, you can alternatively use live wallpapers as your background.
15. Turn on dark mode to save your battery
Speaking of dark mode, you can use the specific dark mode on your phone to avoid constantly adjusting the brightness of your screen. Apps in dark mode typically have all of their white backgrounds changed to black. The darker colors also allow your phone to run on a lower battery level.
Navigating to Settings > Display & Brightness and choosing the Dark option located at the top of the screen will activate it. Alternatively, you may just swipe down from your iPhone’s top-right corner and hit the Control Center’s Dark mode icon.
A dark color scheme will be automatically applied to Apple apps, and the majority of third-party apps have also embraced this functionality.
16. Manage your notifications with Focus Mode
Every day, we receive a ton of notifications, but not all of them are always pertinent. Apple created the Focus Mode function as a result. Consider it as a personalized Do Not Disturb function designed for particular situations.
To ensure you don’t miss anything, Focus Mode lets notifications from significant individuals and apps through while blocking less relevant alerts. Different kinds of Focus Modes can be configured for different situations.
You can design your custom mode in addition to the Do Not Disturb, Personal, Sleep, Work, Driving, Fitness, Gaming, and Mindfulness options that Apple now offers. Focus Modes can be set up to switch on automatically as necessary and show your status in apps, letting people know that you are not receiving notifications.
To configure your notification preferences, first visit the Settings menu, select Focus, and then select one of the available options. To add a new Focus, tap the plus (+) sign in the upper right corner.
17. Make your screen text bigger or smaller
You may change the font size on your iPhone to make it easier to read with a few clicks on the screen. Navigate to Display & Brightness > Text Size in Settings, then use the slider to adjust the font size until it meets your needs. You can enable Bold Text (which is located directly below the Text Size button) for a bit more flair.
18. Add an alternate appearance to Face ID
With every scan, Apple’s Face ID facial recognition technology continuously learns new features about your face. Alternate Appearance is an option to consider if you’re having trouble getting Face ID to recognize you regularly.
Navigate to Settings > Face ID & Passcode > PIN entry Arrange a substitute appearance and repeat the enrollment process for your face.
19. Turn off auto brightness to extend battery life
The brightness of your iPhone’s screen can significantly affect how long its battery lasts. By default, iOS will automatically change the brightness of the display according to the amount of light that its ambient sensor registers. However, you can turn off auto brightness if you’d rather have total control. In this case, the brightness level will remain where you set it until you make another adjustment.
Turn off Auto-Brightness by opening Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size and finding the button at the bottom of the page.
Now, to change the size of your screen, simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen on a device that has a home button, or swipe down from the top-right corner of a device that has a newer iPhone, to activate Control Center.
20. Organize alerts with Notification Summary
Starting with the Notification Summary function, Apple hopes to make managing your alerts in iOS easier for you. You have the option to arrange non-urgent alerts to come in a group at a particular time of day, so you don’t have to deal with notifications piling up on your home screen.
You will still receive important notifications right away, such as calls, direct messages, and other time-sensitive alerts (like the status of an Uber or Lyft ride, for example).
Open Settings, choose Notifications, then Scheduled Summary to give it a try.
21. Change Siri’s voice
You might have noticed that Siri no longer defaults to a female voice after setting up a new iPhone. Rather, you will be prompted to select your preferred Siri voice, from a selection of more modern voices. After you make your choice, Apple will alter Siri’s voice on all of the devices that are connected to your Apple ID.
Go to Settings > Siri & Search > Siri Voice to view the voice options. See our comprehensive guide on adjusting Siri’s sound for more information. For English speakers, Apple has also included a gender-neutral Siri voice option.
To sum it up, these 20 new tips and tricks for your iPhone are like secret shortcuts that make your phone way cooler. They help you do things faster and better. Try them out now and have fun making your iPhone even more awesome!