10 Tips for iPhone Users From the Apple Support Twitter Page

Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Whether you’re a longtime Apple devotee or a recent convert, you likely have a lot left to learn before becoming an iPhone expert. We mined the Apple Support Twitter feed for the best tips on how to use your device to the fullest. 

1. SIGN AN EMAIL ATTACHMENT ON YOUR PHONE.


Apple // Twitter

Having a smartphone makes sending emails easy—until you have to send something that needs a signature. If you’ve been printing out documents, signing them, and scanning them back into your computer before sending them off, there’s a much easier way.

Next time you email a document that requires a signature, tap and hold the document in the message to open the Share sheet. Two rows of icons will pop up: Tap "Markup and Reply" beneath the toolbox icon to go to the document. By tapping the signature in the bottom-right corner of the screen, you’ll be taken to a window where you can sign your name with your finger instead of printing it out. Hit "done" and your document will be ready to send out into the world.

2. ACTIVATE LOW POWER MODE.

When your battery bar is dwindling down to zero, tricks like closing all your apps won’t do you much good. One thing that will extend your phone’s battery life is activating Low Power Mode. After going to the battery page in your phone’s settings, toggle on the switch to reduce or turn off automatic downloads, background app refresh, and other non-essential tasks that eat up energy.

3. AUTO-ADJUST SCREEN COLOR AFTER SUNSET.

Many of us are guilty of climbing into bed and scrolling through our phones in the dark. Give your eyes a break by turning on your phone’s Night Shift setting. Head to Settings, Display & Brightness, and activate Night Shift to have your phone automatically transition to warmer colors at night. The default times are 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., but you can customize the setting to best fit your schedule.

4. ACTIVATE DO NOT DISTURB TO SILENCE NOTIFICATIONS.


Apple // Twitter

Owning an iPhone means getting constant notifications from friends, family members, and mobile games that are eager for your attention. To temporarily disconnect without powering down your phone all together, switch on Do Not Disturb mode. When you swipe up from the bottom of your screen, the control center should pop up with a crescent moon icon in the top row. Tapping this silences all pings and buzzes from calls, messages, and notifications until you decide to switch it off. A crescent moon symbol beside your battery sign indicates when it’s on, so if you’ve been missing calls and you don’t know why, the symbol's appearance tells you that you may have hit it accidentally.

5. BREAK DOWN BATTERY USAGE BY APP.

You may have an idea of which apps are the worst offenders when it comes to battery usage (we’re looking at you, Pokemon Go), but figuring out exactly how much power they zap can be a guessing game. Tap on the battery icon in Settings to see a breakdown of your phone’s energy consumption by app. You can choose to view battery usage for the last 24 hours or the last seven days. This window is also where you can switch on your phone’s battery percentage in the corner of the home screen.

6. TURN YOUR COMPASS INTO A LEVEL TOOL.

Your compass app is probably one of the standard features you use the least, but it can serve a practical purpose at home. When you have the app open, swipe left to access the level tool. Now you can hang pictures without having to dig out a level from the bottom of your tool kit.

7. MUTE A TEXT CONVERSATION.

For the times when you find yourself stuck in an especially chatty group text chain (or when you’re being badgered by one person you'd rather ignore), there’s an option to hit mute. Go to Details in the upper right corner of the conversation, turn on Do Not Disturb, and proceed with your life without being interrupted with a notification every time someone chimes in.

8. CUSTOMIZE VIBRATIONS FOR DIFFERENT CONTACTS.

When you feel your phone vibrate in your pocket, there’s no way of knowing if it’s your mom, your boss, or your boyfriend unless you pull it out to check. One smart way around this is by setting custom vibrations for special contacts in your phone. Go to the contact you want to customize and scroll down to where it says "vibration." It should be set to the default, but you can choose from a selection of pre-set options or even compose a vibration pattern of your own. This way you’ll know which notifications to check right away and which you can get away with putting on the back-burner.

9. TEACH SIRI HOW TO PRONOUNCE YOUR NAME.

Hearing Siri mispronounce your name can be funny the first time. But after a few months of using her, it may start to wear on your nerves. Next time Siri says your (or anyone else’s) name incorrectly, make sure to let her know. She’ll give you a few alternative pronunciations to choose from—select the one she gets right or press "Tell Siri again" if none of them fit.

10. SET A LIVE PHOTO AS YOUR LOCK SCREEN.

If you’re the owner of an iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus, you have the option to snap live photos in the form of 3-second clips. Just like still photos, these moving images can be used to liven up your lock screen. Tap the share button beneath your live photo to set it as your wallpaper like you would a regular picture. When it gives you the option to select still, perspective, or live photo, hit the last choice to revisit the "living memory" every time you open your phone.

Apple Wants to Show Off Your Best Night Mode Photos as Part of a New Campaign

Austin Mann, Apple
Austin Mann, Apple

Calling all aspiring photographers who nabbed an iPhone 11 for the express purpose of trying out its fancy camera capabilities: It’s time for your night mode photos to see the light of day.

As Travel + Leisure reports, Apple is currently hosting a competition to find the best night mode photos taken on an iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Pro Max. You can submit your photos through January 29, after which a carefully selected team of experts will evaluate all submissions and announce the five winning images on March 4.

Judges include Arem Duplessis, the former design director of The New York Times Magazine; Darren Soh, an award-winning photographer from Singapore; Tyler Mitchell, the first black photographer to shoot the cover of American Vogue (his subject, rather memorably, was Beyoncé); and several other esteemed members of the industry.

golden gate bridge shot on iphone 11
The Golden Gate Bridge, shot on an iPhone 11 Pro.
Jude Allen, Apple

In addition to appearing on Apple’s homepage and Instagram (which has more than 21 million followers), the photos could also be featured in digital campaigns, Apple stores, third-party photo exhibitions, or even on physical billboards. In addition to all the exposure, the winners will be paid a licensing fee in exchange for granting the company complete freedom to use their work for one year.

To submit your shots, you can either share them on a public Instagram, Twitter, or Weibo account with the hashtags #ShotoniPhone and #NightmodeChallenge, or email your images to shotoniphone@apple.com—just be sure to title your files in this format: ‘firstname_lastname_nightmode_iPhonemodel.’

If you’re new to the iPhone 11 and aren’t quite sure how to snap photos in night mode, it’s easier than you might realize. The feature comes on automatically in dim or dark places and decides on a capture time for you (which you can always adjust). And if you think editing your photos afterward will increase your chances of winning the competition, that’s fine, too: Apple will accept photos edited in the app or even with non-Apple software.

You might want to avoid capturing the Eiffel Tower after dark, however—here’s why.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

This Smart Speaker Is Designed to Help You Learn Chinese

Maybe
Maybe

This latest in smart speaker technology isn’t designed to turn on your Wi-Fi-connected lights or help you figure out a wine pairing. Lily, a new smart speaker now available on Indiegogo, can help you learn Chinese writing and speaking “faster than anything on the market,” according to its creators.

The voice-controlled gadget is equipped with artificial intelligence that allows it to engage in real-time conversations, so beginning to advanced students can learn to speak the Chinese language Mandarin. It can correct pronunciation, perform translations, and help you learn vocabulary through interactive games, too. It helps you learn to write with an associated app where you can practice using both Pinyin and Chinese characters. Lily’s curriculum can also prepare you for the HSK Chinese proficiency exams necessary to work or study in China.

A Lily speaker conversation illustrated with text bubbles that read 'Hey Lily, how do I introduce myself?' and '你好,你叫什麼名字'
Maybe

Designed by the language-learning company Maybe—which is based in San Francisco and Shenzhen—with Chinese tutors, the AI is engineered to recognize different accents, even if your pronunciation isn’t perfect.

Language learning is all about repetition, and unless you live in an area with a large Chinese population, you may not have much opportunity to practice your Mandarin in everyday life. A smart speaker like Lily can provide the next best thing by creating an immersion environment for you at home, putting it a step ahead of other language-learning apps like DuoLingo.

It’s currently only in the prototype stage, but it’s scheduled to ship by April 2020. As for other languages, the Lily team says that they hope to release software updates in the future that could give the speaker French and Spanish capabilities. (Once you have the speaker, you’ll be able to download any other languages that are released—you won’t have to buy a whole other language-specific speaker.)

The smart speakers start at $229 for early-bird buyers, which may seem like a significant investment, until you start looking at the prices of even a few weeks of private language classes. Get yourself one on Indiegogo. And don't worry about it matching your home decor—it comes in red, white, black, blue, teal, and pink.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER