Whenever you get a new device, there’s a lot to do to get it working just right. We’ve shown you what you should do with a new Mac, but what about a new iPhone?
Let’s discuss some tweaks that all new iPhone owners should make.
1. Set Up Touch ID
Your iPhone should walk you through setting up Touch ID when you go through the initialization process. But if you didn’t do it for some reason or want to make tweaks, you should visit its settings.
Head to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. You’ll need to enter your passcode to enter these options. Once in, you can choose what to use Touch ID for, add or remove fingers, or change your passcode. It’s a good idea to add a few extra fingers so you don’t have to hold your phone a certain way all the time.
At the bottom of the screen, you can and even toggle the Erase Data option, which will erase everything on your phone after 10 failed passcode entries.
TouchID is super convenient, so you should use it wherever you can.
2. Customize Control Center
Swiping up from the bottom of the screen launches Control Center, a collection of toggles and shortcuts for your phone. It’s useful as it comes, but you can customize it for your unique needs.
Visit Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls to take a look. Here, you can remove the default shortcuts like Camera and Timer. Tap the Plus button under the More Controls header to add more controls like Alarm, Notes, and Wallet.
Once you’ve added the shortcuts you want and removed the ones you don’t, use the handles on the included apps to arrange them.
3. Choose What Syncs to iCloud
Backing up your phone to iTunes is so last decade. iCloud makes it easy to back up the precious data on your phone and access it on another device or restore it.
You probably set up iCloud during your iPhone’s initial setup, but it’s worth taking a look to make sure that it’s syncing what you want. Apple only provides a small 5GB of space for free, so you want to make sure you’re making the best use of it.
Open Settings and tap your name at the top of the list. In the resulting list, tap iCloud. You’ll see how much space you’re using and what’s taking it up here. Check the Apps using iCloud section to prevent any apps from using your space.
While here, you should ensure that you have both Find my iPhone and iCloud Backup enabled. Find My iPhone helps you recover your device if you ever lose it, and iCloud backup keeps a copy of your phone’s configuration that makes moving to a new iPhone easy.
4. Control Notifications
Notifications let you keep up with the various updates happening on your phone’s apps. But too many notifications, or the wrong kinds, can become distracting. Thus, you should know how to take charge of your phone’s notifications.
Visit Settings > Notifications to start tweaking. You’ll see a list of all apps that can send you notifications. Tap one to change how it delivers them.
You can silence notifications from an app, hide the unread count badge, or hide the notification from your lock screen. If you’ve selected to show new notifications from an app as banners, you can decide whether they’re temporary or stay until you clear them. Uncheck the Allow Notifications slider to block notifications from that app completely.
5. Fill Out Medical ID
You carry your phone with you nearly everywhere, so it makes sense to keep emergency information on it. The iPhone makes this simple with the Medical ID feature.
Open the Contacts app, tap your name at the top of the list, and then press Create Medical ID. Fill out as many of the fields as you feel comfortable with, including any medical conditions, allergies, blood type, and organ donor status. Make sure to check the Show When Locked slider so people can access this information without unlocking your device.
You can also designate an emergency contact that will receive alerts when you use the Emergency SOS feature.
6. Configure Do Not Disturb
Sometimes you don’t want anything making noise on your phone, like if you use your phone as an alarm or read books on it. Do Not Disturb helps you make sure notifications don’t wake you up or otherwise distract you at the wrong times.
Visit Settings > Do Not Disturb to configure it. Enable the Scheduled slider to turn on Do Not Disturb automatically every day between set times. You can also choose if you’d like to allow calls from your favorite contacts, as well as two calls from the same person within a few minutes.
If you use CarPlay, you can also decide whether to enable Do Not Disturb while driving here.
7. Personalize Your Phone
iOS doesn’t allow for a ton of customization, but you can still add a few personal touches to make your phone unique.
Visit Settings > Sounds to choose a new ringtone, text tone, and other sounds like voicemail, email, and calendar sounds. Your iPhone includes some stock ringtones and notification sounds. Apple will sell you more through the Tone Store link here, but you can also make your own ringtones with a bit of work.
Next, visit Settings > Wallpaper to choose a new background. Choose from the few included images, or use a unique wallpaper that you’ve downloaded elsewhere.
Once you pick one, you can decide whether to use Perspective mode (the wallpaper shifts slightly as you move your phone) or Still mode (it doesn’t move). Tap Set after you’ve decided, then you can choose whether to use that wallpaper for the lock screen, home screen, or both.
8. Download the Best iPhone Apps
While most of the built-in iPhone apps are solid, your phone’s real potential lies in the millions of apps available on the App Store.
Check out our recommendations for apps new iPhone owners should install, and awesome apps you won’t find on Android.
9. Other Miscellaneous Tweaks
Before you wrap up, you should make a few additional small tweaks:
- Visit General > Software Update to make sure you have the latest version of iOS installed on your phone. New versions provide more features and keep you safe with the latest security patches.
- Head to Settings > Display & Brightness and select Night Shift. Enable the Scheduled slider and set it to Sunset to Sunrise. This feature filters your phone’s blue light at night, making it less harsh on your eyes.
- In Settings > Battery, flip the Battery Percentage slider on so you know exactly how much battery you have in the upper-right corner of your screen.
- Browse to Settings > iTunes & App Store and you can enable automatic downloads of Music, Apps, and Books you download on your other devices. You should enable the Updates slider too, so you don’t have to manually check for app updates.
Your iPhone Is Now Ready to Go
Your iPhone has many other settings, but these are some of the most important ones to check when setting up a new device. They make your device more convenient to use and are worth a look so you don’t forget about them.
Once you’ve mastered these basics, check out hidden iPhone features that will increase your productivity.