New iPhone? Here are tips on how to use it

Did you just get an iPhone for Christmas? Are you looking for some tips on how to use it?

Well, we’ve got some links for you. You’ll find in them everything from general tips to the specific settings you need to tweak to save your battery life or help preserve your privacy.

Even if you’ve had your iPhone for a while, you might find something useful. One thing I discovered was that if you pair your iPhone with an Apple TV, you can live stream video from the smartphone to your big-screen television.

  • General tips. Apple itself actually offers a whole page devoted to tips and tricks for the iPhone. The page is devoted to the new iPhone 5s, but most of the hints are applicable to earlier models.

    This is where I found the bit about live-streaming video. But you’ll find other useful tricks too, including how to format text in iPhone’s mail app, how to view the temperature in multiple locations at once in the built-in weather app and how to teach Siri who your wife is and how to pronounce her name correctly.

  • Getting in the game. Pocket Gamer has put together a list of 20 tips that are primarily targeted at gamers. But many of the tricks are useful to those of us that aren’t as obsessed with games. Among the more useful or interesting tips are instructions on how to silence annoying notifications and how to make your own personal keyboard shortcuts so you can turn something like “mc” into “Merry Christmas!”
  •  A big list. Blog site iSource offers several iPhone tips in certain broad categories, from helping those who are switching from Android to hints about how to use the iPhone’s messaging and calling applications. It also offers some specific guidelines, such as how to disable the iPhone’s Control Center feature when you are using apps and how to view the location data that Apple has collected about your movements.
  •  Protecting privacy. All smartphones these days have the ability to track multiple bits of information about their users, from their locations to their surfing habits. Apple offers ways that users can block some of this tracking. Unfortunately, most of the settings needed to protect users’ privacy are hard to find and many are turned off by default.

    Fortunately, ZDnet’s Jason O’Grady is a master of the iPhone’s Settings app. He offers some specific suggestions on settings you should turn on or off — and even walks you through how to find them. One cool tip: O’Grady shows how you can force the iPhone to show when its own built-in services — rather  than third-party apps — are accessing your location information.

  • Extending battery life. One thing you quickly find out about the iPhone — and many other smartphones — is just how quickly it can drain its battery. The device is fun to play with, but if you use it too much, you can find you get far less than a full day’s worth of use before you need to recharge it.

    But even if you’re using the device a lot, you’re battery life can vary, depending on what particularly settings you have turned on or what apps are running. Zack Whittaker over at ZDnet offers 24 particular tips on how to get the most out of your battery. Some you may not want to adopt, like turning off the phone’s ability to connect to the cell phone networks using the high-speed LTE radio.

    But Whittaker offers plenty of useful advice, such as how users can limit the battery-draining effects of the iPhone’s universal search feature.

Photo courtesy of Apple.

Troy Wolverton Troy Wolverton (229 Posts)

Troy writes the Tech Files column as the Personal Technology Columnist at the San Jose Mercury News. He also covers the digital media, mobile and video game industries and writes occasionally about Apple, chips, social networking and other aspects of technology. Previously, Troy covered Apple and the consumer electronics industry. Prior to joining the Mercury News, Troy reported on technology, business and financial issues for TheStreet.com and CNET News.com.