If you received a shiny new iPhone 6 for Christmas, it’s really easy to set up and get going, but if you’re looking to for the optimal experience, there are some settings you’ll want to change in order to achieve that.
The iPhone 6 comes with features and settings that no one really needs to have enabled, and there are also some features and settings that are turned off by default that deserve to be enabled in order to improve the iPhone 6 experience.
Many of these settings that we’ll be talking about involve privacy. Privacy is a huge concern for a lot of people, especially with all of this NSA hoopla that’s been going around for the past year or so.
No one wants to be tracked or have all of their internet activity captured by web companies and sold to advertising agencies, but that’s the kind of world we live in today. However, you can at least prevent most or some of that from happening by being aware of the privacy settings that you have control over on your devices.
Apple has been under target plenty of times in the past, with claims that the Cupertino-based company hands over Touch ID fingerprint data to the NSA and has the ability to read your iMessages. Of course, Apple has denied any claims like this, and CEO Tim Cook has even went onto television to make statements that Apple doesn’t work with the NSA to hand over personal data. Whether you believe this or not is another story, which is why it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Here are ten settings that you should change on your iPhone 6 when you first get it.
Disable the Parallax Effect
The parallax effect was first introduced in iOS 7 and was a new feature that also makes its way to iOS 8. Essentially, it gives your iPhone or iPad’s home screen a neat 3D look, so when you move your device around in your hand while keeping your head still, it looks like you’re looking “around” the app icons onto the wallpaper, almost like you’re looking through a window out onto the iOS 8 world.
However, while it can be impressive for some users, most users will lose the wow factor in just a few days. Because of this, it’s probably best for most users to disable the parallax effect feature on their iPhone 6. Plus, it’s probably hogging up processing resources, thus decreasing battery life.
To turn off the parallax effect, simply navigate to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion. Tapping on Reduce Motion will open up another screen with a toggle switch. By default, the toggle switch will be grayed out. Just tap on the switch to turn Reduce Motion on, thus turning the toggle switch green and turning off parallax effect.
Don’t Send Diagnostics & Usage Data
Diagnostics and usage data consists of pretty much everything you do on your iPhone or iPad, and when enabled, it sends it all to Apple “anonymously” in an effort to improve the iOS experience, but we all know that’s kind of bologna. Enabling this feature gives Apple permission to track everything you do, so here’s how to turn it off on your iPhone 6.
Open up the Settings app and navigate to Privacy > Diagnostics & Usage. Then tap on Don’t Send.
Disable Geo-Located Photos
By default, whenever you take a photo, it records the location and saves that information inside of the photo’s EXIF data. So if you send that photo to someone else, they can see where you took it, right down to the specific street corner.
This probably isn’t a huge deal if you only share photos with friends and family you trust, but if you post photos online for anyone to see, they could technically figure out where you live. The world is full of nice people, but not everyone has the best intentions.
To disable your location from being saved to photos, open the Settings app and navigate to Privacy > Location Services. You’ll see a list of apps with Camera being toward the top. Tap on it and selectNever.
Disable Location-Based iAds
iAds has been around for a few years now, but not without its own controversy. While advertisements are something that we all loathe, Apple is actually pretty good at the info that it gives to advertisers.
Furthermore, location-based iAds don’t necessarily use your exact location and Apple doesn’t give this info to advertisers anyway, which is upsetting many advertising firms. In any case, we usually see iAds as a feature to disable anyway, simply because it does nothing to benefit the user.
Open up the Settings app and navigate to Privacy > Location Services > System Services. You’ll see a list of various toggles that you can turn off and on. You’ll see one that says Location-Based iAds. Go ahead and flip the toggle to the right until it’s grayed out.
It’s also a good idea to turn off Diagnostics & Usage (remember how we turned it off before? You’ll have to do it again here), as well as tapping on Frequent Locations and turning that off as well.
Limit Ad Tracking
You know how we said that ads can track everything you do? Well, Apple has a setting where you can turn this on or off.
Open up the Settings app and navigate to Privacy > Advertising. You’ll want to make sure that you turn ON Limit Ad Tracking. We’ve been turning off most of these features mentioned, but Apple throws you a little curveball this time around. You’ll want to turn this specific feature on in order to limit advertisements tracking your activity.
Enable Safari’s Do Not Track
Do Not Track is a universal web tracking opt-out initiative that allows users to prevent advertisers from tracking your browsing habits. The Safari mobile browser on iOS 8 allows you to opt-out to prevent your mobile web browsing history from being looked at by advertising eyes.
To opt-out, open the Settings app, scroll down and tap on Safari. Under the section titled Privacy & Security, turn on Do Not Track. It’s also a good idea to enable Block Pop-ups.
Enable LTE Voice & Data
If you have a Verizon iPhone 6, you’ll want to enable simultaneous voice and data on LTE, which means you can chat with someone on the phone while also browsing the internet.
This is something that Verizon has lacked for several years while other carriers featured it proudly, but with the iPhone 6, users can now join the club. However, it’s a feature that’s not enabled by default.
Simply open up the Settings app and navigate to Cellular > Enable LTE. Then tap on Voice & Data to enable it. It may take a couple of minutes to set it up.
Disable Notifications for Some Apps
You just received your iPhone 6, so you’re probably not going to receive a lot of notifications right off the bat, but eventually you’ll be bombarded with all kinds of notifications, so it’s a good idea to get ahead of the game and disable notifications for certain apps that don’t need notifications in the first place.
By navigating to Settings > Notifications, you’ll have some options to choose from when it comes to customizing the notifications on your iPhone 6.
You’ll see a list of apps that you have installed on your iPhone, and tapping on one will take you into the notification settings for that particular app. If you don’t want notifications at all from that app, simply toggle off Allow Notifications. Otherwise, you can customize different aspects of what kind of notification you want to receive, such as sound, badge app icon, and how you want to be notified in the first place.
Disable Background App Refresh
If you’re experiencing decreased battery life or your monthly data allotment is going down the drain on your new iPhone 6, it might be because iOS 8 automatically refreshes apps that are running in the background, even if they aren’t being actively used.
This is called Background App Refresh and it’s something you’ll most likely want to disable.
Open up the Settings app and navigate to General > Background App Refresh. This will open up a window with a list of installed apps with toggle switches next to them.
At the top, you’ll want to tap on the toggle switch next to Background App Refresh to turn the entire feature off if it isn’t already. From there, the toggle switch will go from green to white/gray.
Disable Lock Screen Access for Control Center
iOS 8 allows users to access Control Center from the lock screen by default. From here, thieves can disable airplane mode without even attempting to enter in the passcode to unlock the device.
This means that if someone were to steal your iPhone, they could immediately turn on Airplane Mode whether or not the phone has a passcode lock on it, which will completely take the phone off the grid and prevent the owner from locating the stolen device or remote wiping it.
Simply open up the Settings app and tap on Control Center. You’ll see two options that you can toggle on and off: Access on Lock Screen and Access Within Apps. Make sure that Access on Lock Screen is disabled. This means that crooks won’t be able to access Airplane Mode while the phone is locked.