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Change These 20 iPhone Settings and Thank Us Later

Say it with me: You are not caught together with your iPhone’s default settings. You possibly can (and may) change loads of options in your gadget, relying on the way you need it to operate. Positive, you may need to dig into the software program, however will probably be value it to make your gadget work the way in which you need.

Whether or not you wish to transfer the tackle bar in Safari or limit information utilization while you’re working low, the ability is in your fingers.

We’ll check out 20 settings for iOS 15.5, Apple’s newest main model of its cell working system, which you could configure to make your iPhone higher — for you.

And if you wish to take a sneak peek into the longer term, you want to try what Apple has deliberate for iOS 16 later this 12 months, together with all the brand new main options that shall be accessible on iOS 16 and which gadgets shall be appropriate with iOS 16.

A phone showing a notification bar at the top of the screen, propped up on a table in front of various toys

This incoming name alert is not preferrred for everybody. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

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1. Carry again full-screen incoming name alerts

Previous to Apple’s iOS 14 replace, the incoming name display screen would take over your whole show when your iPhone was unlocked and getting used. It was disruptive, certain, nevertheless it additionally acquired the job finished.

Beginning with iOS 14, nevertheless, Apple modified the incoming name immediate to look extra like a typical alert. That’s, now it is a small notification that exhibits up close to the highest of the display screen while you’re utilizing your telephone. On multiple event I’ve practically missed a name as a result of I dismissed the alert as yet one more annoying notification that did not instantly want my consideration.

To get the extra attention-grabbing full-screen alerts again, go to Settings > Telephone > Incoming Calls and faucet Full Display screen.

2. Change Siri’s voice

Siri gained two new voices when iOS 14.5 debuted final 12 months. And Siri not defaults to a feminine’s voice. As an alternative, while you arrange a brand new gadget you may be requested which Siri voice you wish to use. When you make your choice, Apple will change Siri’s voice throughout the entire gadgets linked to your Apple ID. It is fairly slick. 

You possibly can try the voice choices by going to Settings > Siri & Search > Siri Voice. To be taught extra, try our full information to altering Siri’s sound.

Apple can also be added a gender-neutral Siri voice possibility for English audio system in iOS 15.4

An iPhone held in a hand

5G is sweet, you probably have entry to it, nevertheless it may also be a battery hog. 

Patrick Holland/CNET

3. Flip off 5G protection you do not need or have

Apple touts a Sensible Information characteristic that is particular to its 5G telephones (the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 traces) that may routinely swap between 4G LTE and 5G networks — with out you having to know or do a factor — based mostly on the way you’re utilizing your gadget. The automated swap is a part of an effort to enhance battery life. Nevertheless, you might discover that your iPhone’s battery drains quicker than it did earlier than. In case you do not wish to sacrifice battery life for quicker 5G speeds, shut it down. You possibly can all the time flip 5G again on while you need it, or when service in your space improves.

To flip off 5G in your iPhone 12 or iPhone 13, forcing it to all the time use 4G LTE even you probably have 5G protection, open the Settings app, then go to Mobile > Mobile Information Choices > Voice & Information and faucet LTE.

Alternatively, if you would like your iPhone to completely use a 5G connection when accessible, you possibly can choose 5G On.

Learn extra: AirPods 3 vs. AirPods Professional: Evaluating Apple’s Newest Earbuds

4. Superb-tune how a lot information is used on a 5G connection

In case you’re blissful together with your 5G efficiency, this is a network-related setting you must try. Go to Settings > Mobile > Mobile Information Choices > Information Mode the place you may discover three completely different choices: Permit extra information on 5G, Commonplace and Low Information Mode.

Though there are transient descriptions beneath the three completely different settings, they do not paint an entire image for the primary possibility. In line with an Apple support document, permitting extra information on 5G will provide you with high-quality video and FaceTime calls, and it additionally signifies that your telephone can obtain software program updates and stream high-definition Apple TV and Apple Music content material and it permits third-party builders to additionally enhance their respective apps.

The default setting on this web page will rely in your service and your information plan, so it is a good suggestion to verify your iPhone and ensure it is set to your desire.

Apple Watch Series 7 with a geometric face

You possibly can unlock your iPhone together with your Apple Watch if Face ID is not working.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

5. Unlock your telephone whereas carrying a face masks

One of many irritating points of carrying a face overlaying in public whereas utilizing an iPhone that has Apple’s Face ID tech in-built has been the shortcoming to unlock the telephone. As a result of half of your face is roofed, Face ID simply does not work. And whereas coming into your passcode to unlock your telephone works, it is not as handy. 

You now have the choice to activate a face unlock characteristic that makes it simple to unlock your iPhone when your face is roofed with iOS 15.4. Earlier than the replace, you might solely unlock your iPhone if you owned an Apple Watch

To unlock your iPhone together with your Apple Watch, open the Settings app in your iPhone after which open the Face ID & Passcode possibility. Scroll down till you discover the Unlock with Apple Watch part (you should be related to an Apple Look ahead to the setting to look), the place you possibly can activate the characteristic for any watches linked to your iPhone. 

When you have an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 that runs iOS 15.4 or later, you possibly can unlock your iPhone whereas carrying a masks and with out an Apple Watch, too. Go to the Settings app and open Face ID & Passcode. From there, you possibly can toggle Face ID With a Masks and select the Face ID With a Masks possibility. It is fairly superior. 

6. Put the tackle bar in Safari again on prime

Apple moved the tackle bar in Safari to the underside of the display screen by default in iOS 15. This could theoretically really feel extra pure because it’s nearer to the keyboard and the place you usually place your thumbs. However it may be off-putting since many individuals are used to seeing the URL bar close to the highest of the display screen, as is the case on laptops. 

You possibly can change this by opening Settings, tapping Safari and selecting the Single Tab possibility underneath the Tabs subheading. 

7. Set up alerts with Notification Abstract

Apple needs that can assist you handle your notifications in iOS 15, beginning with the Notification Abstract characteristic. Fairly than letting notifications pile up on your property display screen, you possibly can schedule alerts that are not pressing to reach in a bundle at a selected time of day. Essential notifications like calls, direct messages and different time-sensitive alerts (just like the standing of your Uber or Lyft journey for instance) will nonetheless seem instantly.

To do this out, open Settings, press Notifications and faucet Scheduled Abstract

Allow Access When Locked settings with most of them enabled

You possibly can resolve which options you wish to entry when your telephone is locked. 

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

8. Add options that can be utilized when your iPhone is locked

There are occasions while you would possibly must have sure info useful even when your telephone is locked. That is why Apple permits you to allow some options with out having to unlock your gadget, such because the notification heart, Management Middle, the flexibility to answer to messages and the Pockets app.

Customise the options you’d wish to entry on the lock display screen by launching the Settings menu, faucet Face ID & Passcode and enter your passcode when prompted. Scroll down till you see the Permit Entry When Locked part, and toggle the sliders based mostly in your preferences. 

Chrome settings screen with the default browser set to Safari

You not have to make use of Safari or Mail as default apps. 

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

9. Make your favourite e mail app or internet browser the default

It was a very long time coming, however 2020’s iOS 14 replace lastly introduced the flexibility to decide on your personal default apps — no less than for e mail and internet searching. That signifies that should you change these defaults, then while you faucet a hyperlink or an e mail ship button your iPhone will routinely launch the net browser or e mail supplier of your selecting fairly than Safari or Mail. 

To get began, open the Settings menu and choose the app you’d wish to set as a default (corresponding to Google Chrome or Outlook). You need to then see a button that claims Default Mail App or Default Browser App. Faucet that possibility and choose the app of your selecting as an alternative of Safari or Mail. 

Learn extraIf You Care About Your Privateness, You Have to Change These Browser Settings

10. Get full notifications in your lock display screen

The primary time you expertise Apple’s Face ID tech, you may discover which you could’t see the content material of recent alerts and notifications on the lock display screen. For instance, as an alternative of seeing who despatched you a textual content message and what it says, you may solely see a generic Messages alert.

By default, all iPhones with Apple’s Face ID tech will disguise the content material of an alert till you choose up your telephone and unlock it by taking a look at it. It is a privateness characteristic that I fairly get pleasure from, however I additionally get how it may be annoying (and have heard a number of complaints from readers and relations alike).

You possibly can change how notifications seem in your lock display screen by going to Settings > Notifications > Present Previews and deciding on All the time. Conversely, you possibly can choose By no means if you wish to maintain the content material of your notifications all the time hidden on the lock display screen.

iPhone 12 settings with arrows pointing to what to select to get HDR video

HDR video appears to be like nice, nevertheless it does not work all over the place but.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

11. Flip off (or on) HDR video for sharing movies

Telephones within the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups can document HDR, or excessive dynamic vary, video with Dolby Imaginative and prescient. Meaning your movies shall be brighter with extra correct colours and improved distinction. Sounds superior, proper? It’s. However there’s an issue — not each app or service will work with HDR video. 

Builders might want to replace their apps in an effort to settle for HDR video, however even then, the individual viewing the video will want a succesful gadget to see the HDR distinction. For Apple gadgets, that features the iPhone 8 or newer, the 2020 iPad Air, the second-generation iPad Professional and some Macs

So, what are you able to do? Properly, you might have a number of choices: 

  • You possibly can flip off HDR video by going to Settings > Digital camera > File video and turning the swap subsequent to HDR Video to the Off place. Going ahead, all movies shall be captured in normal dynamic vary, and you should not have any points sharing or enhancing it.
  • Depart HDR Video turned on, however while you wish to share the video with, say, Fb, use the Images app as an alternative of going into the Fb app and importing it there. Once you use the Images app, your iPhone will routinely convert the video to SDR and add it. Once you ship the video to a different iPhone consumer, Apple will detect if their iPhone, iPad or Mac is appropriate with HDR Dolby Imaginative and prescient. If it is not, Apple will convert the video routinely.
  • In case you go away HDR Video on and must edit your video, you should utilize Apple’s iMovie app or the Images app that is constructed into your iPhone. You possibly can even use iMovie to export the video as SDR if wanted. 
An iPhone with widgets held up against a cityscape

Customise your property display screen on iOS 14 and the iPhone 12. 

Patrick Holland/CNET

12. Do away with muddle on your property display screen

For the reason that launch of iOS 14 in 2020, iPhone customers have had extra choices and management over what their dwelling display screen appears to be like like than ever earlier than. The App Library, for instance, acts as an app drawer, permitting you to take away apps from your property display screen with out deleting them. Heck, you possibly can even totally customise your telephone’s look with completely different app icons and widgets — it’s extremely Android-like, and there is nothing flawed with that.

In case you just like the minimal look, you then’ll wish to ensure that newly put in apps aren’t routinely positioned on your property display screen each time you obtain an app. Or, on the flip aspect, if you do not need new apps to go on to the App Library the place you are certain to overlook about their existence after a day or two, go to Settings > Residence Display screen and choose both Add to Residence Display screen or App Library Solely.

On an iPhone with 3D Contact, you should utilize a third-party app to play longer-duration “Stay” photographs in your lock display screen.

Patrick Holland/CNET

13. Customise your property display screen with fancy wallpaper    

One other dwelling display screen tweak you must make includes your wallpaper or background. Apple has added some new wallpapers of its personal, with a fairly cool twist. 

Open the Settings app in your iPhone and choose Wallpaper from the checklist. Ensure that the swap labeled “Darkish Look Dims Wallpaper,” which you may see beneath the 2 thumbnail previews of your wallpaper, is turned on. Now, faucet Select a brand new wallpaper and choose both Stills or Stay. See the circle close to the underside of every wallpaper? It is half black, half white. 

That circle signifies that the wallpaper has a lightweight and darkish mode model and can change routinely based mostly on the system standing of your telephone. 

It’s also possible to set reside wallpapers as your background should you’re not bought on darkish and light-weight mode.

Dark Mode on an iPhone 11

Darkish Mode on the iPhone certain appears to be like good. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

14. Activate darkish mode to save lots of your battery

Talking of darkish mode, should you do not wish to need to repeatedly regulate your display screen’s brightness, you should utilize your telephone’s devoted darkish mode. Darkish mode converts the entire white backgrounds in apps to, as a rule, a black background. In flip, your telephone is ready to save battery energy due to the darker colours. 

Flip it on by going to Settings > Show & Brightness and deciding on the Darkish possibility on the prime of the display screen. 

Apple’s apps will routinely swap to a darkish coloration scheme and most third-party apps have additionally adopted the characteristic

iPhone showing iOS 13 privacy settings

Apple has put all of its privateness controls in a single place. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

15. Handle your notifications with Focus Mode

We get quite a lot of notifications day-after-day, however not all of them are related on a regular basis. With iOS 15, Apple launched a characteristic to handle this known as Focus Mode. Consider it as a form of customized Do Not Disturb, however tailor-made to particular circumstances. 

This enables notifications from essential individuals and apps to return by means of in order that you do not miss something, whereas blocking out much less related alerts. You possibly can arrange several types of Focus modes for particular circumstances. Apple at present affords choices for Do Not Disturb, private, sleep, work, driving, health, gaming, mindfulness and studying, however it’s also possible to create your personal customized mode. You possibly can schedule Focus modes in order that they activate routinely when wanted, and show a standing in apps in order that others know when you might have notifications silenced. 

To get began, open the Settings menu, faucet Focus and select one of many accessible choices to arrange your notification preferences. Faucet the plus (+) image within the prime proper nook so as to add a brand new Focus. 

16. Management the dimensions of display screen textual content

With a few faucets in your iPhone’s display screen, you possibly can regulate the font measurement to make it simpler to learn. Open Settings and go to Show & Brightness > Textual content Dimension the place you should utilize the slider till you are pleased with the font measurement. 

For somewhat added oomph, you possibly can activate Daring Textual content (it is just under the Textual content Dimension button). 

A woman in sunglasses smiling at an iPhone

Face ID does not all the time get it proper. 

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

17. Add an alternate look to Face ID

Apple’s facial recognition characteristic, Face ID, consistently learns and relearns completely different points of your face with every scan. In case you’re struggling to get Face ID to persistently acknowledge you, attempt the Alternate Look possibility. 

Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode > enter your PIN > Set Up An Alternate Look and undergo the method of enrolling your face once more. 

Accessibility settings with arrows showing where to enable Auto Brightness

Hold your display screen dim to save lots of battery life. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

18. Disable auto brightness for longer battery cost

Your iPhone’s display screen brightness stage can have a huge impact on battery life. By default, iOS will routinely regulate the show’s brightness based mostly on how a lot gentle the ambient sensor detects. However if you wish to take full management, you possibly can disable auto-brightness, that means the brightness stage will keep the place you set it till you regulate it once more. 

Open Settings > Accessibility > Show & Textual content Dimension and on the backside of the web page, you may discover a swap to show off Auto-Brightness

Now, everytime you wish to regulate your display screen, you are able to do so by opening Management Middle with a swipe up from the underside of the display screen on a tool with a house button, or a swipe down from the top-right nook on newer iPhones. 

19. Triage your privateness settings

The primary time you arrange a telephone and your whole apps, you are bombarded with prompts asking for permissions to entry private info starting from monitoring your location to your Apple Well being info or your digital camera roll. It is too simple to get within the behavior of approving every part simply so you should utilize the app, however take a couple of minutes and undergo your privateness settings and tailor what every app can and might’t see. We stroll you thru the method in two fast steps

Management Middle has quite a lot of potential, you simply need to customise it. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

20. Put apps a faucet or swipe away with Management Middle

Management Middle is a handy spot to shortly change songs, activate airplane mode, connect with Wi-Fi or begin a timer, however there’s a lot extra to it than that. You possibly can shortly flip your flashlight on, verify on a timer or begin recording your display screen with a fast swipe and faucet. 

Customise which apps and options can be found in Management Middle by opening Settings > Management Middle. Take away an possibility with a faucet on the pink minus button or add an possibility by deciding on the inexperienced addition button. Drag options up or down utilizing the three-line icon on the precise aspect of the display screen. 

Personally, I like having fast entry to the Pockets app and toggles for low-power mode and darkish mode. 

As a reminder, you probably have an iPhone with a house button, just like the 2020 iPhone SE, you possibly can swipe up from the underside of the display screen to open Management Middle. When you have an iPhone with Face ID, like an iPhone X ($292 at Amazon), XS or 13, you may must swipe down from the top-right nook of the display screen the place the battery icon is. 

For extra, this is the right way to arrange your new iPhone and the right way to switch your information out of your outdated iPhone. Plus, this iOS 15 trick provides you extra iCloud storage free of charge.

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