Make Your iPhone Work Better. 20 Settings to Change Now

Good information: You aren’t caught together with your iPhone’s default settings. You can (and will) change loads of options in your machine, relying on the way you need it to perform. Sure, you may have to dig into the software program, however will probably be value it to make your machine work the way in which you need.

Whether you need to transfer the deal with bar in Safari or limit knowledge utilization once you’re operating low, the ability is in your palms.

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

And in order for you to take a sneak peek into the long run, you want to try what Apple has deliberate for iOS 16 later this yr, together with all the new major features that will be available on iOS 16 and which devices will be compatible 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 ultimate for everybody. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET


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1. Bring again full-screen incoming name alerts

Prior to Apple’s iOS 14 replace, the incoming name display would take over your total show when your iPhone was unlocked and getting used. It was disruptive, certain, however it additionally obtained the job performed.

Starting with iOS 14, nevertheless, Apple modified the incoming name immediate to look extra like a typical alert. That is, now it is a small notification that reveals up close to the highest of the display once you’re utilizing your telephone. On a couple of 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 > Phone > Incoming Calls and faucet Full Screen.

2. Change Siri’s voice

Siri gained two new voices when iOS 14.5 debuted final yr. And Siri not defaults to a feminine’s voice. Instead, once you arrange a brand new machine you may be requested which Siri voice you need to use. Once you make your choice, Apple will change Siri’s voice throughout the entire units linked to your Apple ID. It’s fairly slick. 

You can try the voice choices by going to Settings > Siri & Search > Siri Voice. To study extra, try our complete guide to changing Siri’s sound.

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

An iPhone held in a hand

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

Patrick Holland/CNET

3. Turn off 5G protection you don’t need or have

Apple touts a Smart Data characteristic that is particular to its 5G telephones (the iPhone 12 and that iPhone 13 traces) that can routinely change between 4G LTE and 5G networks — with out you having to know or do a factor — primarily based on the way you’re utilizing your machine. The automated change is a part of an effort to enhance battery life. However, it’s possible you’ll discover that your iPhone’s battery drains sooner than it did earlier than. If you don’t need to sacrifice battery life for sooner 5G speeds, shut it down. You can all the time flip 5G again on once you need it, or when service in your space improves.

To turn off 5G on 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 Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Voice & Data and faucet LTE.

Alternatively, in order for you your iPhone to solely use a 5G connection when accessible, you may choose 5G On.

Read extra: AirPods 3 vs. AirPods Pro: Comparing Apple’s Latest Earbuds

4. Fine-tune how a lot knowledge is used on a 5G connection

If you are completely happy together with your 5G efficiency, here is a network-related setting you need to try. Go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Data Mode the place you may discover three totally different choices: Allow extra knowledge on 5G, Standard and Low Data Mode.

Even although there are transient descriptions under the three totally different settings, they do not paint a whole image for the primary possibility. According to an Apple support document, permitting extra knowledge on 5G offers you 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 knowledge plan, so it is a good suggestion to check your iPhone and ensure it is set to your desire.

Apple Watch Series 7 with a geometric face

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

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

5. Unlock your telephone whereas sporting a face masks

One of the irritating elements of sporting a face protecting in public whereas utilizing an iPhone that has Apple’s Face ID tech in-built has been the shortcoming to unlock the telephone. Because half of your face is roofed, Face ID simply would not work. And whereas getting into your passcode to unlock your telephone works, it isn’t as handy. 

You now have the choice to activate a face unlock feature that makes it straightforward to unlock your iPhone when your face is roofed with iOS 15.4. Before the replace, you can 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 linked to an Apple Watch for the setting to seem), the place you may activate the characteristic for any watches linked to your iPhone. 

If you may have an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 that runs iOS 15.4 or later, you may unlock your iPhone whereas sporting a masks and with out an Apple Watch, too. Go to the Settings app and open Face ID & Passcode. From there, you may toggle Face ID With a Mask and select the Face ID With a Mask possibility. It’s fairly superior. 

6. Put the deal with bar in Safari again on high

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

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

7. Organize alerts with Notification Summary

Apple needs to make it easier to handle your notifications in iOS 15, beginning with the Notification Summary characteristic. Rather than letting notifications pile up on your property display, you may schedule alerts that are not pressing to arrive in a bundle at a particular time of day. Important notifications like calls, direct messages and different time-sensitive alerts (just like the standing of your Uber or Lyft experience for instance) will nonetheless seem instantly.

To do that out, open Settings, press Notifications and faucet Scheduled Summary

Allow Access When Locked settings with most of them enabled

You can resolve which options you need 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 instances once you may want to have sure data helpful even when your telephone is locked. That’s why Apple permits you to allow some options with out having to unlock your machine, such because the notification middle, Control Center, the flexibility to reply to messages and the Wallet app.

Customize the options you would like to entry on the lock display by launching the Settings menu, faucet Face ID & Passcode and enter your passcode when prompted. Scroll down till you see the Allow Access When Locked part, and toggle the sliders primarily based in your preferences. 

Chrome settings screen with the default browser set to Safari

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

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

9. Make your favourite electronic 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 select your individual default apps — at the least for electronic mail and internet searching. That signifies that when you change these defaults, then once you faucet a hyperlink or an electronic mail ship button your iPhone will routinely launch the net browser or electronic mail supplier of your selecting quite than Safari or Mail. 

To get began, open the Settings menu and choose the app you would like to set as a default (akin to Google Chrome or Outlook). You ought to then see a button that claims Default Mail App or Default Browser App. Tap that possibility and choose the app of your selecting as an alternative of Safari or Mail. 

Read extraIf You Care About Your Privacy, You Need to Change These Browser Settings

10. Get full notifications in your lock display

The first time you expertise Apple’s Face ID tech, you may discover which you can’t see the content material of recent alerts and notifications on the lock display. 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’s a privateness characteristic that I quite get pleasure from, however I additionally get how it may be annoying (and have heard a couple of complaints from readers and members of the family alike).

You can change how notifications seem in your lock display by going to Settings > Notifications > Show Previews and choosing Always. Conversely, you may choose Never in order for you to preserve the content material of your notifications all the time hidden on the lock display.

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

HDR video appears nice, however it would not work all over the place but.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

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

Phones within the iPhone 12 and that iPhone 13 lineups can file HDR, or excessive dynamic vary, video with Dolby Vision. That means your movies will likely be brighter with extra correct colours and improved distinction. Sounds superior, proper? It is. But there’s an issue — not each app or service will work with HDR video. 

Developers will want to replace their apps so as to settle for HDR video, however even then, the particular person viewing the video will want a succesful machine to see the HDR distinction. For Apple units, that features the iPhone 8 or newer, the 2020 iPad Air, the second-generation iPad Pro and some Macs

So, what are you able to do? Well, you may have a couple of choices: 

  • You can flip off HDR video by going to Settings > Camera > Record video and turning the change subsequent to HDR Video to the Off place. Going ahead, all movies will likely be captured in commonplace dynamic vary, and you should have no points sharing or enhancing it.
  • Leave HDR Video turned on, however once you need to share the video with, say, Facebook, use the Photos app as an alternative of going into the Facebook app and importing it there. When you employ the Photos app, your iPhone will routinely convert the video to SDR and add it. When you ship the video to one other iPhone consumer, Apple will detect if their iPhone, iPad or Mac is appropriate with HDR Dolby Vision. If it isn’t, Apple will convert the video routinely.
  • If you permit HDR Video on and wish to edit your video, you should utilize Apple’s iMovie app or the Photos app that is constructed into your iPhone. You may even use iMovie to export the video as SDR if wanted. 
An iPhone with widgets held up against a cityscape

Customize your property display on iOS 14 and the iPhone 12. 

Patrick Holland/CNET

12. Get rid of litter on your property display

Since the discharge of iOS 14 in 2020, iPhone users have had more options and control over what their house display appears 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 with out deleting them. Heck, you may even fully customize your phone’s look with totally different app icons and widgets — it is very Android-like, and there is nothing fallacious with that.

If you just like the minimal look, then you definitely’ll need to be sure that newly put in apps aren’t routinely positioned on your property display each time you obtain an app. Or, on the flip aspect, if you don’t need new apps to go instantly to the App Library the place you are certain to neglect about their existence after a day or two, go to Settings > Home Screen and choose both Add to Home Screen or App Library Only.

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

Patrick Holland/CNET

13. Customize your property display with fancy wallpaper    

Another house display tweak you need to make includes your wallpaper or background. Apple has added some new wallpapers of its personal, with a reasonably cool twist. 

Open the Settings app in your iPhone and choose Wallpaper from the record. Make certain the change labeled “Dark Appearance Dims Wallpaper,” which you may see under the 2 thumbnail previews of your wallpaper, is turned on. Now, faucet Choose a brand new wallpaper and choose both Stills or Live. See the circle close to the underside of every wallpaper? It’s half black, half white. 

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

You can even set live wallpapers as your background when you’re not offered on darkish and lightweight mode.

Dark Mode on an iPhone 11

Dark Mode on the iPhone certain appears good. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

14. Turn on darkish mode to save your battery

Speaking of darkish mode, if you don’t need to have to repeatedly regulate your display’s brightness, you should utilize your telephone’s devoted darkish mode. Dark 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 thanks to the darker colours. 

Turn it on by going to Settings > Display & Brightness and choosing the Dark possibility on the high of the display. 

Apple’s apps will routinely change to a darkish coloration scheme and most third-party apps have also adopted the feature

iPhone showing iOS 13 privacy settings

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

Jason Cipriani/CNET

15. Manage your notifications with Focus Mode

We get a variety of notifications each day, however not all of them are related on a regular basis. With iOS 15, Apple introduced a feature to address this referred to as Focus Mode. Think of it as a kind of customized Do Not Disturb, however tailor-made to particular circumstances. 

This permits notifications from necessary folks and apps to come via in order that you do not miss something, whereas blocking out much less related alerts. You 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 individual customized mode. You 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 may have notifications silenced. 

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

16. Control the scale of display textual content

With a few faucets in your iPhone’s display, you may regulate the font measurement to make it simpler to learn. Open Settings and go to Display & Brightness > Text Size the place you should utilize the slider till you are proud of the font measurement. 

For slightly added oomph, you may activate Bold Text (it is slightly below the Text Size button). 

A woman in sunglasses smiling at an iPhone

Face ID would 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, continuously learns and relearns totally different elements of your face with every scan. If you are struggling to get Face ID to constantly acknowledge you, attempt the Alternate Appearance possibility. 

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

Accessibility settings with arrows showing where to enable Auto Brightness

Keep your display dim to save battery life. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

18. Disable auto brightness for longer battery cost

Your iPhone’s display brightness degree can have a big effect on battery life. By default, iOS will routinely regulate the show’s brightness primarily based on how a lot gentle the ambient sensor detects. But in order for you to take full management, you may disable auto-brightness, which means the brightness degree will keep the place you set it till you regulate it once more. 

Open Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size and on the backside of the web page, you may discover a change to flip off Auto-Brightness

Now, everytime you need to regulate your display, you are able to do so by opening Control Center with a swipe up from the underside of the display 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 first time you arrange a telephone and your whole apps, you are bombarded with prompts asking for permissions to entry private data starting from monitoring your location to your Apple Health data or your digital camera roll. It’s far too straightforward to get within the behavior of approving the whole lot 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 may’t see. We walk you through the process in two quick steps

Control Center has a variety of potential, you simply have to customise it. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

20. Put apps a faucet or swipe away with Control Center

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

Customize which apps and options can be found in Control Center by opening Settings > Control Center. Remove an possibility with a faucet on the pink minus button or add an possibility by choosing the inexperienced addition button. Drag options up or down utilizing the three-line icon on the fitting aspect of the display. 

Personally, I like having fast entry to the Wallet 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 may swipe up from the underside of the display to open Control Center. If you may have an iPhone with Face ID, like an iPhone X ($345 at Amazon), XS or 13, you may want to swipe down from the top-right nook of the display the place the battery icon is. 

For extra, here is how to set up your new iPhone and how to transfer your data from your old iPhone. Plus, this iOS 15 trick gives you more iCloud storage for free.

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