If you got a new iPhone for the holidays, you've probably already gone through some of the initial setup and configured things like Face ID. But, there's a whole lot more you can do with your new iPhone, thanks to the latest iOS 13 update that rolled out in September.
You can do a lot more than just install a bunch of new apps. In this guide, I'll show you how to get the most out of your new iPhone, like how to share a Wi-Fi hot spot with other family members, set up your custom Memoji and more.
Since iOS 13 works all the way back to the iPhone 6S, most of these will work on old iPhones, too. So even if you didn't get the newest iPhone 11 Pro Max during the holidays, you can still take advantage of almost everything in this guide.
You can fight spam by automatically sending unknown numbers right to voicemail. You just want to make sure you have numbers for important places, like your doctor's office or child's school, saved to your address book so that you don't miss them. Once you have, just do this to send all unknown numbers to voicemail:
Siri can finally control third-party music apps. That means you can ask her to play your favorite songs and she'll play right from other services, like Spotify, instead of just through Apple Music. To use Spotify, do this:
The new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro/iPhone 11 Pro Max have a wide-angle lens. This lets you take really wide pictures that fit more into the scene. It's a fun feature, especially for landscapes or when you're trying to include a lot of people into one photo. To use it:
You can connect two pairs of AirPods (or some Beats headphones like the Powerbeats Pro and Beats Solo Pro) to the same iPhone. This is great during travel, if you and a travel buddy want to watch the same movie or listen to the same music. To set it up:
Dark mode is a new feature that launched in September. It makes things easier on your eyes at night, since there's less white blaring at your face, and can also help save battery life on iPhones with AMOLED screens, like the iPhone X and XS series, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. It also makes things look cooler.
You can also schedule dark mode to turn on automatically at certain times:
This is one of those tips that's pretty hidden unless you just start using it. The keyboard on iPhones now gives you two options: you can tap to type like normal or you can swipe from each letter to letter to form a word. Android users and third-party iPhone keyboards have had this forever, but now it's built right into the default keyboard on the iPhone. I still prefer tap-typing, but lots of people I know prefer swiping. So, give it a try. Swipe from letter to letter on your keyboard and it'll recognize the word you're building and type it out for you.
Apple finally added support for Xbox and PS4 Bluetooth controllers to iPhones. That means you can use the controller you might already have at home to play games on your iPhone without any need for plugging in wires or buying a special controller. Here's how to set it up:
Control Center is where you go to access things like the display brightness, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi networks and more. But now you can long press in it to get even more options, like connecting to a specific Wi-Fi network instead of just the default connection. Here's how to use it:
You can use your iPhone as a Wi-Fi hot spot (if you have phone hot spot data included with your wireless plan) and automatically share it with your family members. This is good if you're somewhere without Wi-Fi, say an airport, and your kids want to connect their tablets to the internet. Here's how to turn it on:
When I leave work, I usually send my wife my a link that lets her follow along with my drive so she knows how long it'll take me to get home, and if I run into any unforeseen traffic. You can do this in Apple Maps with another iPhone, too, by using the new "Share ETA option."
Apple's Memoji are animated versions of yourself that you can send to friends and family in text messages. It's kind of like a digital version of yourself, and now you can fully customize them with AirPods, a variety of hats, jewelry and other fun accessories. To set yours up, do this:
For a while, I preferred Google Photos over Apple Photos because the albums just felt more alive. But now Apple Photos albums come to life, too. In Daily View, for example, you'll see highlights of the pictures you took on a certain day, complete with videos that play automatically and more. It's a lot of fun, especially if you want to relive an experience. To see it:
Portrait pictures are popular, but did you know there a few different settings that can change the lightning and add fun effects? The newest one is called "high-key light mono" and it creates a black and white portrait picture on top of a white background. It looks like the picture above.
Here's how to take one:
Apple has a setting that you can enable to make sure your iPhone's battery lasts as long as possible. It's called "optimized battery charging" and it helps you battery age slower by charging it a bit differently. Here's how the feature is explained on an iPhone: "To reduce battery aging, iPhone learns from your daily charging routine so it can wait to finish charging past 80% until you need to use it."
To turn it on, do this: