iPhone Tips You’ll Actually Use

When I first bought my iPhone, I asked the salesman about books or classes that would help me learn how to use it. When he told me that I would figure it out if I played with it, he was right — to an extent. While iPhones are designed to be intuitive, there are lots of tricks and shortcuts that will make using your phone easier and more fun.

I’d like to share some useful tips that help me get the most out of using my iPhone. If you’re new to using an iPhone, they’ll help you too. Here we go!

  • Program your own text shortcuts. I set up my phone so that when I type my initials, the phone auto-corrects to my email address. Big time-saver! To get this feature, navigate to Settings > General > Keyboard. Scroll to the bottom and tap Add New Shortcut.
  • Kill your apps to preserve battery life. To “kill” your apps, or shut them down completely so they’re not running in the background, double tap the Home button. All your open apps will appear in a window along the bottom of your screen. Press and hold an app until it starts to wiggle, then tap the minus sign in the upper left-hand corner of the app to shut it down. You’ll notice a marked improvement in your battery life.
  • When you’re playing music and your screen is locked, double-tap the Home button to reveal music controls (volume, skip, rewind).
  • Even if your iPhone doesn’t have Siri, you can still use Voice Controls to perform some basic functions. Hold down the Home Button until you hear a double-beep, then tell the phone what you want. For instance, you can say “Play songs by Bruce Springsteen” or “Call Mom at home”. Ta-da!
  • Lock screen orientation. This was a major annoyance for me when I first got my phone! To lock screen orientation, double-tap the Home button then swipe to the left. Tap the image of the padlock to lock your screen. You’re welcome.
  • Choose domain endings other than .com. The .com shortcut on the keyboard is super-handy, but not all websites end in .com. Next time you open Safari, tap and hold the .com button to see all the domain endings. Now you can navigate to the library’s website (waukeganpl.org) that much faster!
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