Techy Ten: Get the most out of your iPhone

  • Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 12:01 a.m.
    UPDATED: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 11:12 a.m.
An Apple iPhone.
An Apple iPhone.

There are some improvements coming later this week to the iPhone with the release of the iOS 6 software upgrade, but let's not forget about the small things that the past few iPhones can do to makes our lives easier. If you have an iPhone, follow these 10 tips and learn more about them by visiting www.apple.com/iphone/tips.

Copy/Paste Pictures

This first one is a tip that is quite simple and yet not obvious. You can copy an image simply by pressing your finger on it and wait for a text-bubble command “Copy” to appear. Touch the word “Copy” to save the picture to your clipboard. Return to an email in progress or a text conversation, and press your finger in the input area until the “Paste” option appears.

Screenshots as notes

There's a way to capture the screen of your iPhone, called a screenshot, which will be stored as an image in your Photos app. When you find a great song on Pandora, take a screenshot to remember the band. When you get important information in a text message, take a screenshot and rest assured you will have it even if the message is deleted.

Autobrightness

Extend the battery life by letting autobrightness control the brightness of your screen. If you have your screen at 100 percent brightness all the time, your battery drains at a faster rate than necessary. Your phone has sensors that can detect light and decide the level of brightness you need. To trick the setting, cover the sensors near the front camera before you press the power button to turn on your phone. The phone will think it's in a dark room.

Grouped Apps

To rearrange, delete or group your apps on your screens, hold your finger on any app icon until it begins to wiggle. Pick up an app and drag it on top of another app to group them together. Useful apps, such as the flashlight, multi-unit converter, calculator or whatever you may use on a daily basis, can be grouped together and dropped onto your dock for immediate access.

Find my iPhone

If you have an iPhone and you haven't heard about this service, you may want to look into it. Use your Apple ID to activate an iCloud account at ICloud.com. If you lose your phone - perhaps in a black hole in your car or you left it at a friend's house - you will be able to visit iCloud.com and locate your phone on a map, but only if it is powered on and has location services enabled. Other tasks possible at iCloud.com include forcing your phone to play a steady noise, wipe your personal information, or set a passcode so that others cannot unlock it from the lock screen.

Set up text shortcuts

Set up shortcuts to save time from typing the same phrases again and again.

Type a few characters and your iPhone can replace the text with a longer, more descriptive phrase. A default text shortcut, “omw,” changes text to read “On my way!” (which you can edit to remove the “!” in the times you don't want to seem so excited.) Set up your own shortcuts for other things such as email addresses (try “eml”), business acronyms or other phrases such as “oot” for “Out of town” or “gc” for “Go, Cocks!”

Use the search for emails, conversations

Slide your screens to the left until you land on the Search screen. According to your specific or default settings, you will be able to search for keywords for names of apps, recent emails, text message conversations, events and a few other types. Search for a contact's name and see different instances of conversations with the person.

Remember multitasking

The only button on the front face of your phone - that's called the home button. Click the home button twice and a row of apps will appear at the bottom of your screen.

These apps are all “open,” and are using background services or possibly draining power. Hold your finger on one until they wiggle, and press the X to close them.

Remember to close apps often, especially before restarting the phone.

Lock screen orientations

Since the screen changes on rotation, sometimes the phone will not stay in the orientation that you need it to.

Set an orientation lock so that no matter how you hold the phone, the screen will be locked vertically or horizontally. Double click your home button, and slide the screen to the right.

A control bar will appear for your iTunes library and a button will be available to lock your screen orientation.

Emoji keyboard

Customize your default keyboard by adding a package of emoticons. Go to your settings, and under ?General” find the “Keyboard” option. Add a keyboard, select “International” and select the “Emoji” keyboard. A globe icon will be available when you text to add emoticons to your conversations.

Stacey Mosier is a web developer and graduated from USC Aiken.

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