40 iOS 6 Tips and Tricks
Most iPhone an iPad owners know the basics of using the phone and tablet, but a few tips can unlock the full potential of the iPhone and iPad.
iOS 6 brings new features like navigation and panoramic photos to the iPhone and finally brings Siri to the iPad with new features like opening apps, checking sports stats and finding movies to watch.
These iOS 6 tips apply to the iPhone 5 and new iPad as well as older devices including the iPhone 3GS and iPad 2.
iOS 6 Tips and Tricks
Explore these iOS 6 tips, tricks and features to save time and find cool ways to use the iPhone or iPad you already own.
1. Use Siri to Open Apps
Siri can now open apps without any training. Activate Siri and say, “Open Pandora.”, or any other app name and 90% of the time Siri will open the app right away. This is perfect for opening a new music app while driving, or finding an app that’s buried deep in a folder or home screen.
2. Take Great Panorama Photos
iOS 6 adds a new Panorama mode that makes it easy to capture beautiful landscapes or fit in a larger group.
To turn this on, open the Camera app, tap on Options, and choose Panorama. More on how to take a panoramic photo in iOS 6
3. Set up Do Not Disturb
One of the best new iOS 6 features is Do Not Disturb Mode. This lets users block all incoming notifications, even phone calls, to focus on work or sleep without interruptions, but cab let repeat or important calls through.
Users can set up Do Not Disturb on a schedule or turn it on at any time from the Settings menu. Settings -> Do Not Disturb to ON. For additional setup, including scheduling, read how to use Do Not Disturb in iOS 6
4. Navigate with Maps
Apple Maps for iOS 6 isn’t perfect, but it does deliver turn-by-turn voice guided navigation on the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5. This is better for getting from place to place than the old maps app. Users can ask Siri for directions to a specific place, or can search in the Maps app and tap on the small car in the address pop up to start navigation. There are also options for walking navigation, and the ability to tap into other apps for public transportation directions.
5. FaceTime over Cellular
iOS 6 delivers the ability to make and receive FaceTime calls on 3G and LTE. This means video chatting while on vacation or on a business trip is easier and more convenient. AT&T unlimited data customer can’t use this, but all other users just need to tap FaceTime while on a call, or start a new FaceTime call.
6. Ask Siri for Directions
With the new Apple Maps, users can ask Siri for directions to an address, business or contact’s address. Siri will open the Maps app and start voice-guided navigation. This is a handy way to change directions in the car, or to find directions to an impromptu stop while traveling.
7. Reply to Calls with Text Messages
The new phone app in iOS 6 can decline a call and send a message to the caller or set a reminder to call back. Users can set up 4 responses and can choose to be reminded at a certain time, when they leave or arrive at a location. To use this, slide up when a call comes in, and choose to reply or remind. How to set up custom text message replies on iOS 6.
8. Ask Siri for Sports Scores & Stats
In iOS 6, Siri can check sports scores, stats and more for most major sports in the U.S., including college and professional level. Users can ask Siri which basketball player is taller, the stats for a specific player or who’s playing tonight. It’s a great way to catch up on the action or see who won the bet at a bar.
8. Turn on Photo Stream
Sharing photos to a Mac or PC, as well as other iOS devices is simple with Photo Stream. This free tool stores the most recent 1,000 photos taken on the iPhone or iPad online.
Turn on Photo Stream by opening Settings -> iCloud -> Photo Stream -> and turning My Photo Stream On.
9. Share a Photo Stream
iOS 6 adds the ability to share a group of photos in a Shared Photo Stream. This is a great way to share photos with a specific person, group or social network.
Parents will love the ability to share photos of their kid to a continually updating webpage. This offers friends and family a one stop shop for photos, including notifications on the iPhone, iPad and Mac. Tap Share on a photo or group of Photos and pick Photo Stream. For more, check out, how to share a Photo Stream in iOS 6.
10. Use Safari in Full Screen Mode
One of the new iOS 6 features is the ability to use Safari in full screen mode. This hides the address bar and the navigation bar at the bottom, showing more content on the screen.
To use this mode, tap on the two arrows pointing to opposite corners while holding the phone on its side. While in full screen mode, users can still go back a page, but cannot change tabs. Tap on the same arrows icon in the lower right to switch out of full screen mode, or hold the phone in portrait mode.
11. Use the iPhone as a Hotspot
iOS 6 offers faster access to the Personal Hotspot setting that turns the iPhone into a sharable Internet connection for all WiFi devices. This is a great way to get a WiFi only iPad online or a laptop connected while traveling, and is a good alternative to using hotel WiFi. Tap on Settings -> General -> Cellular -> and Turn Personal Hotspot On. The settings will appear on the main settings page from now on.
12. Get Better iPhone 5 Battery Life
If the iPhone 5 battery won’t last through the day, there are a number of easy tips to get better battery life. From controlling the screen brightness and tweaking settings to a full on restore, here’s how to get better iPhone 5 battery life.
13. Hold the Home Button to Use Siri on the iPad
Siri is now available on the New iPad. Hold the home button to Siri on the iPad. Siri needs an Internet connection to work, so this works best at home or with a 4G LTE model. Users can also hold the middle button on a pair of Apple headphones to use Siri on the iPad.
14 . Link Twitter to iPhone for Faster Updates
Users could connect the iPhone to Twitter in iOS 5, but it iOS 6, this connection feels more like a finished product. Now users can tweet from the notification center, share photos and links easier and tweet with Siri. Tap on Settings -> Twitter to connect, read how to set up Twitter on iOS 6 for more details.
15. Link FaceBook to iPhone for Faster Sharing
Something even more users will appreciate is Facebook integration in iOS 6. This makes it easier to share photos to Facebook, post funny links, and of course update friends on what’s happening, including using Siri to speak Facebook posts. Tap on Settings -> Facebook to connect, read how to set up Facebook on iOS 6 for more details
16. Use iCloud to Sync Documents and Data
For users that hate autocorrecting words on the iPhone and later on the iPad, iOS 6 now syncs the personal dictionary between iOS devices using iCloud. This keeps the corrections in sync across all iOS devices. Turn it on, for each device, with these directions: Settings -> iCloud -> Documents & Data -> Flip the toggle to On. Use cellular data to keep data in sync all the time.
17. Turn off 4G LTE
The iPhone 5 features faster 4G LTE, which is great, but it can drain battery life and uses data faster. To cut down on data usage, save battery life or prevent the phone from trying to hold on to 4G LTE in fringe coverage, turn off 4G LTE on the iPhone 5 by tapping on Settings -> General -> Cellular -> Enable LTE to Off.
18. Open Tabs from Safari on the Mac or iPad
With Safari on iOS 6 and OS X Mountain Lion, users can open tabs between all Apple devices. After turning on Safari in iCloud settings, users can use open tabs on any of their devices without sending a link or bookmarking an item. In Safari tap on the bookmarks icon, tap on iCloud tabs and it should provide a list of tabs open across the user’s iPhone, iPad and Macs.
19. Get Google Maps Back
Apple Maps doesn’t live up to the expectations of every iPhone owner, but it’s easy to get Google Maps back on the iPhone or iPad after updating to iOS 6 by typing maps.google.com into the Safari browser. The Google Maps web app can use the iPhone’s location and give driving directions and access to Street View, though no spoken turn-by-turn navigation. More on how to get Google Maps on iOS 6.
20. Share Messages & FaceTime Between iPhone, iPad and Mac
With the latest version of OS X on the Mac and iOS 6, users can share their phone number (with multiple iPhones) and emails. between devices to create a unified messaging solution that keeps messages and FaceTime calls in sync between devices.
How to add accounts on the iPhone: Settings -> Messages -> Send & Receive – > enter email addresses to keep in sync between devices.
21. Set a Passcode on Lock Screen
It’s a great idea to secure the iPhone with password. Apple calls this a Passcode lock and lets users pick between a four digit PIN and a longer password that’s more like a computer password. The video below describes the how to set an iPhone password. Set a longer timeout to prevent entering the password every time you use the iPhone.
Settings -> General -> Passcode Lock -> Enter a 4-digit Passcode
22. Install Find My iPhone to Track a Lost or Stolen iPhone
Apple offers a free tool to track a lost or stolen iPhone. Find My iPhone is easy to install and turn on, and offers the ability to remotely lock or wipe a device. Users can now turn on Lost Mode, sending a phone number to the device so whoever finds the phone can call and return it.
Tap on Settings -> iCloud -> Find My iPhone set to On.
23. Remove Red Eye from Photos
At some point red-eye will ruin a great photo taken with the iPhone. There’s a built-in red-eye removal tool on the iPhone that can save photos.
Open a photo in the Photos app. Tap on Edit. Tap the red-eye icon. Tap on red eyes in the photo to remove them.
24. Skip Tracks with a Double Tap on Headphone Control
While listening to music over headphones, double tap on the middle of the control to skip a song. This works in any music app, not just the built-in iPhone Music app. A single tap will pause or play music.
25. Use Volume Up Button to Take Photos
After launching the camera, instead of trying to press the on-screen shutter to take a photo, press the volume up button on the iPhone. This will take a photo, and is easier to find, especially when taking a photo with the phone outstretched.
Apple headphones, and some Bluetooth headphones, can take a photo with the volume up button, making it easier to be in group photos.
26. Monitor Data Usage
Between the iPhone 5′s faster 4G LTE data connection and limited shared data plans it’s more important than ever to keep track of data usage. Tracking data usage on the iPhone is easy thanks to apps from Verizon, Sprint and AT&T.
- How to check Data usage on the Verizon iPhone
- How to check Data usage on the AT&T iPhone
- How to Check Data usage on the Sprint iPhone
27. Install YouTube on iOS 6 and the iPhone 5
Apple no longer includes the YouTube app on the iPhone or iPad with iOS 6. There is an official YouTube app in the app store for the iPhone, offering easier sharing and better looks. iPad users should download Jasmine to take the place of YouTube for the iPad on iOS 6 for a full screen YouTube experience.
28. Use Siri in a Crowded or Noisy Environment
On the iPhone 4S, Siri doesn’t handle commands well in noisy areas, but thanks to the new three microphone array, Siri works better in noisy and crowded areas.
Try it out next time you’re in the car , crank up the volume and try using Siri. Or when you are in the mall, give Siri a try. The service now works in new places, making it easier to use Siri to check sports scores, find a dinner reservation or send a Facebook update.
29. Use Music as an Alarm
With iOS 6, it’s possible to ditch the annoying beep, beep, beep alerts and use music as an alarm on the iPhone, iPad an iPod Touch. This makes for a nicer wake up than a marimba. Open the Clock App, Tap on an Alarm, Tap on Sound and then on Pick a Song. Here are more details on using music as an alarm on the iPhone.
30. Double Tap Home Button on Lockscreen for Media Controls
When the iPhone is locked, playing music in the car perhaps, double tap the home button to bring up controls that let you pause, play or skip a track. It’s also possible to scrub forward to a specific point in the song from this screen. In iOS 6, audiobooks in the music app show a different set of controls, so users don’t accidentally jump a full chapter ahead.
31. Hold and Slide to Capitalize or Insert Number
Instead of tapping the number icon to get to punctuation or tapping on shift then the number, it’s possible to slide to the number, letter or punctuation on the iPhone or iPad keyboard. Check it out in action in the video below.
32. Tell Siri Who’s Related to You
Teach Siri relationships for family members and coworkers to send use Siri to send messages on the iPad. Relationships sync with iCloud so this also works to message or call contacts from the iPhone. To use, tell Siri to “Send a Message to my Mom”, if the contact is not set up Siri will ask which contact to use and if it should remember the relationship. Siri understands many relationships, even nicknames.
33. Use Location Based Reminders
Forget about forgetting to do something when you get home, or leaving home without an essential item. The iPhone supports location-based reminders to help users remember stuff. Tell Siri to set a reminder for leaving or arriving at a location, such as, “Remind me to take out the trash when I get home.” and a notification will pop up when you arrive or as you leave.
34. Use Shortcuts for Commonly Typed Phrases
Instead of typing your address, phone number or email over and over, why not set up a keyboard shortcut to automatically enter this information.
Open Settings -> General – > Keyboard -> Add New Shortcut
The iPhone and iPad support keyboard shortcuts to speed up typing. After setting up keyboard shortcuts for a commonly typed phrase, just type the shortcut and press spacebar to insert a longer phrase into any text field.
35. Double Tap the Home Button to use Recent Apps
The iPhone and iPad offers fast access to the last apps used with a double tap on the home button. This makes it easy to jump between the last few apps used. Swipe right to left to find more apps or left to right to control music, lock screen rotation and manage AirPlay.
36. Get Notifications from Find My Friends
The Find My Friends App can now notify users when a friend leaves or arrives at a location. Parents can use this feature to receive alerts when kids arrive home from school. Friends and coworkers can use it to get alerts anytime a friend stops at the coffee shop on the way to work. Open Find My Friends -> Tap on a Friend -> Tap on Notify and choose Leaves or Arrives and an address.
37. Automatically Download Music, Apps and Books
It’s easy to keep music, app and book purchases in sync between devices without syncing to a computer or manually downloading each item. Turn on auto downloads in settings to allow items purchased in iTunes and on other iOS devices to automatically download. Turn this on with these directions: Settings -> iTunes & App Stores -> Toggle Automatic Downloads on. Leave Cellular data off to save on data usage.
38. Use Private Browsing to Hide Browsing History
The Safari browser includes a private browsing mode that makes it easy to hide browsing history, or to keep a friend’s browsing history private if they need to borrow an iPhone or iPad to check their email. This is as close to guest mode as the iPhone or iPad offers. Tap on Settings -> Safari -> Toggle Private browsing mode On, when prompted choose to close all open tabs. Repeat this process when finished.
39. Use Folders to Organize Apps
After downloading several dozen apps it’s easy to lose track of which home screen an app is on. Users can easily create folders of similar apps. The iPhone 5′s larger screen lets users put 16 apps in a folder, while older iPhones only allow for 12 apps in a folder.
To create a folder, hold down on an app until the icons start to wiggle. Drag the app on top of another app and when a box appears, let go. Name the folder, and repeat the drag and drop process until the apps are in the right folders. It’s possible to move folders around like apps, to create a home screen with all frequently used apps.
For users trying to organize a lot of apps, it’s easier to plug in to a computer to use iTunes to organize the apps.
40. Give Siri a British Accent
If you’re sick of Siri’s voice and want to pretend you’re tony Stark, give Siri a British accent. By changing Siri to british English, the voice becomes a man with an english accent. The voice isn’t exactly Tony Stark’s Jarvis, but it’s close enough. in IOS 6, users don’t lose access to local search, though results may vary using this version of Siri.
Tap on Settings -> General -> Siri -> Language – Tap on English (United Kingdom)