When the first iPhone was released just 10 years ago, it was able to outperform most room-sized mainframe computers of the 70’s and 80’s. That tiny device you carried in your pocket probably packed more computing power than most of the big, clunky computers we had on our desks. Yes, the iPhone changed how we communicate, entertain ourselves, work and even monitor our health. While most of us know the ins and outs pretty well, I’ve compiled some of my favorite tips that may be less obvious, arranged by category:
Battery Charge Savings
Airplane Mode – If you’re in a time crunch and don’t mind being off the grid for a while, activating “Airplane Mode” can reduce the time it takes to charge your battery. Settings --> Airplane Mode
Background App Refresh – You know all of those apps you’ve downloaded? Lots of them update their data in the background which eats up precious battery life. Disable background refresh on the apps you seldom use. Settings --> General --> Background App Refresh
Display Brightness – The brighter the display, the more battery power needed to power those pixels. If you need to conserve battery power, reducing the display brightness is the first thing you should do. Settings --> Display & Brightness
Secret Trackpad – Most of us know that if you make a mistake while typing, you can use your finger to move the cursor to fix your mistake. Most of us also know how difficult that can be. If you make a mistake, just hold down any key on the keyboard and the entire keyboard becomes a mouse trackpad like on your laptop.
Shake to Undo – Just like the “undo” command on your computer, the iPhone has a clever way of undoing what you just did. Just give it a shake...literally!
Swipe for Timestamps – When looking back at text messages, it may seem impossible to figure out what day or time a text was sent. Just swipe to the left and the timestamp of your text messages will appear.
Reduce Cellular Data – We all hate that dreaded warning from our carrier that we’re about to use up all of our data. Here are a few things you can do to reduce the amount of data your phone is using unnecessarily. Settings --> Cellular scroll down to “Use Cellular Data For:” and disable all of the apps you hardly use or you suspect are eating up data.
Email Fetch – If you don’t need to hear the email chime as soon as the sender hits the “send” button then set your iPhone to check mail at timed intervals instead of continuously. Settings --> Mail --> Accounts --> Fetch New Data --> Fetch and choose a longer fetch time.
Close Safari Tabs – If you’re like me, you probably have a bunch of old windows open in Safari. Within Safari, hold the bottom right tabs button and you’ll be allowed to close them all in 1 click.
iMessage “Walkie-Talkie” – If you’re all thumbs when it comes to texting, just text your voice instead. To record your voice in an iMessage, just click and hold the little microphone icon to the right of your text entry box and speak. After you let go, you’ll be ready to send your voice by text. The receiver can either click the message to play it out loud or simply raise the phone to their ear to hear it in private. Texting is so 90s!
Request desktop site – It’s great that modern websites often have a mobile version streamlined to save time and data. But sometimes you just want to see the full desktop site. Just hold down the refresh arrow at the top right and you’ll be able to request the full desktop version of the website.
“Hey Siri” – Siri is even more convenient when the phone isn’t in your hand. All you need to do is yell “Hey Siri” and she’ll be ready for your request. Settings --> Siri --> Allow “Hey Siri”. Give it a try: “Hey Siri, wake me up at 6:30 tomorrow morning.” or "Hey Siri, do you have a boyfriend?"