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.

This Outdoor Lantern Will Keep Mosquitoes Away—No Bug Spray Necessary

Thermacell, Amazon
Thermacell, Amazon

With summer comes outdoor activities, and with those activities come mosquito bites. If you're one of the unlucky people who seem to attract the insects, you may be tempted to lock yourself inside for the rest of the season. But you don't have to choose between comfort and having a cocktail on the porch, because this lamp from Thermacell ($25) keeps outdoor spaces mosquito-free without the mess of bug spray.

The device looks like an ordinary lantern you would display on a patio, but it works like bug repellent. When it's turned on, a fuel cartridge in the center provides the heat needed to activate a repellent mat on top of the lamp. Once activated, the repellent in the mat creates a 15-by-15-foot bubble of protection that repels any mosquitos nearby, making it a great option for camping trips, days by the pool, and backyard barbecues.

Mosquito repellent lantern.

Unlike some other mosquito repellents, this lantern is clean, safe, and scent-free. It also provides light like a real lamp, so you can keep pests away without ruining your backyard's ambience.

The Thermacell mosquito repellent lantern is now available on Amazon. If you've already suffered your first mosquito bites of the summer, here's some insight into why that itch can be so excruciating.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

No Squawking, Please: A Backyard Bird Library Is the Star of This Livestream

Bird Library, YouTube
Bird Library, YouTube

Many people discovered backyard birding when they were quarantined in their homes at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if you have a vibrant wildlife population in your area, the Bird Library webcam is worth checking out. As Atlas Obscura reports, the bird feeder at the focus of the livestream resembles a tiny library where feathered guests can misbehave.

Librarian Rebecca Flowers and woodworker Kevin Cwalina were inspired to build the Bird Library in 2015. Located in a backyard in Charlottesville, Virginia, it features a miniature reading chair, bookshelves, and a reception desk. The decorations are even updated to match the seasons; the feeder currently sports a banner that says "Summer Reading." The main differences setting it apart from a real library are the bird seed scattered on the floor and the avian visitors.

The Bird Library attracts a diverse collection of patrons. Sparrows, cardinals, and mourning doves have been recorded perching on the librarian's desk and checking out the reading materials. The occasional squirrel has also been known to stop by.

Live video of the feeder streams on the Bird Library's YouTube page and website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can play the video below to check in on the current guests. If the backyard Bird Library has inspired you to find birds closer to home, here's some gear for beginner naturalists.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]