Blog Post

6 things every new iPhone user should know

As Tim Cook pointed out in the latest Apple(s aapl) media event just last week, Apple still has 95 percent of the overall cellular market to win over with the iPhone. So this list of basic tips and settings for those new to the iPhone, as there are bound to be more than a few of you.

Silence iPhone

1. Silence your phone. The iPhone is amazing, but it is after all still a phone, and sometimes you won’t want it to make noise. Simply hit the sleep button (top right) to instantly silence any ringing and vibrating already in progress. Flick the switch on the upper left side of the phone to turn off audio notifications. Also, in Settings, navigate to Sounds. Here you what sounds (if any) go off for the various alerts, messages, and calls your iPhone receives.


2. Multitasking. When you tap the Home button quickly in succession twice, you will see a tray listing apps you have most recently used. You can double tap the Home button to bring up this list at any time. Once the tray is open, if you tap and hold an icon in the list, it will start dancing and display a red minus sign in the top left corner.  Tapping on the minus sign will quit that app entirely (not delete it). Scroll to the the right after activating the multitasking tray, and you’ll see controls for currently playing music.

Icons and Folders

3. Icons and folders. Tap and hold any one icon on your home screen and all will start dancing.  You can drag and drop these icons to any page by holding them to the right or left edge of the screen.  You can even move an existing icon off of the row on the bottom, and place any icon on that row.  If you drop one icon on top of another, you will create a folder. You can add more icons to that folder, too.  Tapping the minus sign that appears in the upper left corner of an app’s icon will delete the app from your device.

Power Off

4. Shutdown and forced shutdown. To turn off your iPhone, press and hold the sleep button (top right) until you see a slider asking you if you want to power off your iPhone, and then slide the red button to the right. However, there are times when your iPhone may just completely freezes up. When this happens, press and hold both the sleep button (top right) and the Home button for at least six seconds to force a shutdown. If things get really bad, you may need to restore from a recent backup, or pay a visit to an Apple genius.


5. FaceTime for the first time. Unlike on the iPod touch and the iPad, there is no dedicated app for FaceTime on the iPhone. Instead, it’s part of the Phone app. So deep is the integration that you might be hard pressed to find it at all. The easiest way to use FaceTime for the first time is through the Contacts app. Open any one of your contacts, and you’ll see a button to initiate a FaceTime chat. A button in the Phone app will also appear when making a call to someone.  Once you establish a FaceTime connection, that person can then be added to your favorites in the Phone app as a direct FaceTime dial.

Ringtones and Vibrations

6. Custom ringtones and vibrations. While you’ve always been able to set a custom ringtone to a given contact, with iOS 5 you can assign a custom vibration as well. You can even create you own custom vibration pattern.  To add either a ringtone or vibration to a contact, simply edit the contact’s information from the Contacts app.

5 Responses to “6 things every new iPhone user should know”

  1. Pressing sleep when you get a call will end the call – it’s better to double tap the home button, that silences the ring tone but still lets the caller think the phone is ringing.

  2. IoIoBooooored

    I recently switched from the Iphone to a phone running the droid operating system, and I must say it is years ahead of Apples iOS. I was also extremely excited to not have to deal with itunes anymore. I just find the phone after plugging it in and drop any media in the media folder. I don’t have to worry about losing anything when I add something new. The droid market beats the pants off of the app store any day too! I thought that the Iphones iOS was better until giving the droid a try. To all those considering which to get I recommend the droid all the way.

  3. Truth About Grammar

    “Tapping the minus sign that appears in the upper left corner of an app’s icon will delete the app from your device.”

    It’s an x mark, not a minus sign.