How to Get More Out of Your iPhone

Most of us use only a fraction of our smartphone capacity. Here are 15 super handy ways to make yours do more work for you.

How to Get More Out of Your iPhone Photo (cc) by matsuyuki

If you’re like many people you have an iPhone packed with awesome functions, but (and it’s a little embarrassing) you don’t know how to use most of this capacity. Apple does provide a comprehensive online manual — though they no longer provide a printed one with the product — but it nearly requires a manual itself. To help you take fuller advantage of that phone, check out these tips and shortcuts included in the iOS 9.2 operating system.

1. Lock the orientation

An iPhone feature that is usually useful is that is automatically adjusts back and forth between vertical and horizontal views depending on how you are holding it. But sometimes, particularly if you’re trying to show someone a photo, you want the orientation to stay one way while you hold it in the other way. To do this, swipe up from the bottom to open the control center. Tap the icon that looks like a padlock with an arrow circling around it. Now the display will stick in the current orientation, no matter how you hold the phone.

2. Make everything bigger

Sure, you can do the two-finger spread to zoom in on something, but you can also just make everything bigger. Go to Settings > Display & Brightness and tap on Display Zoom. There are only two size options, but there are a few sample screens so you can see what the difference would be and whether the larger version will be better for you. Using a magnified view does, of course, mean that less content fits on the screen, but that’s your choice to make.

3. Make a shortcut

If you have a phrase you frequently use in texts, you can create a shortcut of a few letters which it can auto-correct to the whole phrase. All phones come with a sample already programmed in — for example, “omw” will change to “On my way!” Add others at Settings > General > Keyboard then tap Text Replacement. Another bonus: If you have a phrase you use that the auto-correct is always trying to change, this feature allows you to prevent that irritation. Just type in the phrase and leave the shortcut field blank.

4. Correct Siri

Does Siri know how to pronounce your name correctly? If she says it wrong, tell her, “That’s not how you say _____.” Then, Siri will ask you for the correct pronunciation. Problem solved.

5. Have Siri remind you of things

If you tell Siri about yourself, you can then use it to give you helpful reminders. For example, if you tell Siri where you live (Settings > General > Siri tap My Info, choose yourself from your contacts), you can say, “Siri, remind me to do X when I get home.” If you have your location enabled, Siri will remind you once you get there. Tell Siri who your family members are, and you can tell her to “Call my wife” or husband, son, grandmother … or whoever, really.

(We’re referring to Siri as a “she” here, but in fact you can choose what Siri sounds like in that same Siri setting area. For English speakers there’s the option of using a male or female voice with American, British or Australian accents. Other languages are also available.)

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