How much do you really know about your iPhone? You make calls, send text messages and take a few pics to post on Instagram, but what about all the other bells and whistles? I am constantly amazed by the new tricks and tips I learn about my smartphone. Here are eight of my favorites. (Note: I use the iPhone 4S. Some of these features may be different on other versions of the iPhone.)
1. Use the microphone. The microphone button is located to the left of the spacebar on your keyboard. I have found this tool to be incredibly useful in replying to emails and text messages. I feel like my phone even recognizes my accent and still understands me. I’m making fewer corrections.
2. Save or send Internet images. If you want to save or send an image you see online, simply touch the image and wait for the options to pop up. You can save it on your phone or copy it to an email or text message.
3. Take a quick picture. Only have a few moments to take a photo? If your iPhone is locked, you will see the camera icon in the lower right corner. Simply swipe it, and your phone opens directly to the camera. All you have to do is point and tap.
4. Swipe down. On any screen, swipe your finger from top to bottom to see the latest happenings with your calendar, social media, missed calls and notifications; swipe up to close the screen when you’re finished. You can also swipe down when using email to refresh the screen.
5. Take a screen shot. To take a picture of your screen, press the home and lock button at the same time. The image is automatically added to your camera roll.
6. Use Siri. To activate Siri, press and hold the home button. There is a small “i” to the right of “What can I help you with?” Tap it and see the different ways you can use Siri to be more productive. When setting up your phone, you can give Siri instructions by providing her information ahead of time. For example, tell Siri that 212-555-1234 is your home number. In the future, all you have to do is tell Siri “call home.” There are dozens of shortcuts to be found here.
7. Get juiced with the Mophie Juice Pack. If you're constantly charging your phone to the point where you carry the plug with you, then look into the Mophie Juice Pack. It serves a dual purpose of protecting your phone and charging it at the same time via a built-in battery. When you charge your phone, you also charge the Mophie case, which comes in several sizes.
8. Familiarize yourself with settings. This is probably the most important page on your iPhone. These five, for me, are the most useful:
- Airplane Mode: I put my iPhone on Airplane mode if I need to save my battery. It won’t check for WiFi, messages or updates while in this mode.
- Bluetooth: Keep off when not using. It can quickly drain your battery life.
- Personal Hotspot: If you want to share your Internet connection, turn it on and get a WiFi password.
- Do Not Disturb: Great for meetings, dinners or family time. You can turn off all calls, messages and notifications. Click on notifications and manually set the option to allow calls from key people.
- Built-in iPhone Guide. Open Safari, tap the bookmark icon, then tap the iPhone User Guide (typically at the bottom of the screen). Here you'll find hundreds of additional tips for getting the most out of your iPhone.
One more note about your iPhone: Learn to simplify. Not everything you do requires an app. If you downloaded dozens of cool apps when you first got the phone, but haven’t used them in the last 30 to 45 days, delete them. At the very least, archive them to a folder on the second or third screen. Only “everyday” apps belong on your first screen.
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Photos from top: Getty Images (2), iStockphoto