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25 Ways to Get More from Your iPhone

written by: Stephanie M. Lucas•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/18/2011

In this handy guide we'll cover lots of iPhone tips and tricks that will make using your phone easier and faster. With tips and tricks for beginner to advanced users, there is something for everyone in this comprehensive list.

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    Just whipping your brand new iPhone out of the box and want to learn some cool tips and tricks about using it? Or are you an iPhone pro who wants to make sure you know all the shortcuts and hidden features of your phone? Finding yourself somewhere in between those two extremes? No matter your level of expertise, this detailed list of iPhone tips and tricks has something for everyone. You'll notice that some tips and tricks have links within the tip. These links provide more detailed instruction or information about that particular tip or subject.

    Much time was spent compiling this list of great hidden (and not so hidden) features of iPhone. However, there will always be more tips and tricks to learn. Know of a special iPhone trick that you don't see listed here? Comment and let us know what it is. When you're done reading, check out 25 More iPhone Tips and Tricks for even more cool shortcuts.

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    Tips for Customizing Your iPhone

    Owning one of the most user-friendly smartphones on the market, the last thing you want is for your phone to be the same as every other iPhone user. Apple built in many features to allow customization of your iPhone. The first round of tips will pertain to customizing your iPhone to make it your own.

    1. Don't like the layout of your home screen? You can easily rearrange the iPhone app icons. Press and hold any app icon until all icons begin to shake on the screen. Hold and drag the app icon you wish to move. All surrounding apps will change their position as you move an icon.

    Move iPhone icons 

    2. Don't want that plain black background anymore? You can change the background on iPhone two ways: 1. Go to Settings > Wallpaper > Select a pre-made wallpaper, or 2. Select a photo from your camera roll, select the send button and press "Use as Wallpaper.

    3. You can dramatically change the color scheme to "White on Black". It gives the phone a funky color set and makes your photos look more like negatives. To try it out go to Settings > General > Accessibility > White on Black to ON.

    4. Have a hard time reading the small text on your phone? You can make text larger by going to Settings > General > Accessibility > Large Text > Select text size. The changes in text size will affect Calendar, Contacts, Mail, Messages and Notes.

    5. Change your ringtone easily. Select from a standard iPhone ringtone or create a custom ringtone with iTunes. Change your current ringtone by going to Settings > Ringtone > Select your new ringtone.

    6. Sick of the standard iPhone message tone? You can change iPhone text tones by going to Settings > Sounds > Text Tone.

    7. Organize the music in your iPod by creating playlists in iPhone's iPod app.

    8. Adding apps to your phone is the ultimate way to customize your iPhone. Find new iPhone apps that interest you by visiting the App Store from your phone.

    App Store 

    9. For even more customization techniques, you can always jailbreak your iPhone. This will allow you access to many features that aren't currently available to unjailbroken iPhones, such as different iPhone themes.

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    Tips for Using and Navigating Your iPhone

    Now that your iPhone is customized, we'll continue with a few tricks that aren't always common knowledge about using and navigating your phone.

    10. Easily switch between apps using iPhone's multitasking feature. While on any screen, double tap the home button. Swipe right on the menu that pops up on the bottom of the screen to switch to a different app.

    Multitasking menu 

    11. Use iPod controls while the screen is locked by pressing the home button twice. The iPod controls will appear on the locked screen.

    12. Is your screen changing orientation (from horizontal to vertical) when you don't want it to? Lock the screen orientation by double tapping the home button. Scroll to the left. Press the icon with a circle arrow to lock the screen in it's current orientation. Now the screen will not change, even if you flip your phone to it's side.

    Lock Screen Orientation 

    13. Want a picture of what you are looking at on your phone's screen? Taking screenshots on iPhone is simple. Press and hold the Sleep and Home button simultaneously. You will see a flash and hear a click when a photo of the screen has been taken. The screenshot can be found in your camera roll.

    14. To take better pictures with your iPhone camera, tap the screen before taking your picture. This focuses the camera and gives you the option to zoom in or out.

    15. When on a call and a new call beeps in, you can add the new caller into your current conversation. Place the current call on hold and answer the phone. Press "merge calls" to join both calls into one.

    Merge calls 

    16. Sick of scrolling through all your contacts? Put the contacts you use the most in your phone's Favorites.

    17. Quickly scroll to the top of the page by tapping the top bar once (where your battery, phone signal and time are listed).

    18. Set parental controls by going to Settings > General > Restrictions > Enable Restrictions. You can then choose what you want restricted and a pass code to unlock those features of the phone.

    19. Save images from Safari by tapping and holding the picture until the save or copy menu pops up.

    Save image 

    20. For a frequently visited website, you can add an icon to your home screen that will take you directly to the site. While on the page you want saved, press the share button. Press "Add to Home Screen". This creates an icon that takes you straight to that web page in Safari.

    21. Create bookmarks of your favorite websites on iPhone's Safari by pressing the share button while on the website. Select "Add Bookmark".

    22. To see the site name and URL for a link on the Internet before clicking it, tap and hold down on the link until a box pops up with the full information.

    Show Link URL 

    23. Want some tips to save battery life? Turn off 3G, turn off your Wi-Fi (unless you're using it) and disable push notifications and push emails.

    24. Don't want to answer that call? There are several ways to ignore the call: 1) Press ignore on the screen, 2) Press the Sleep button on the top of your phone one time to silence the ringer or 3) Press the Sleep button twice. This acts the same as the ignore button and sends the caller straight to your voicemail.

    25. Instead of swiping to change pages on your home screen, press in the lower right or left hand corner to instantly change the page. Tap once right above the dock icons (the ones that don't move) on either side.

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    Want more? Check out 25 More iPhone Tips and Tricks to get even more shortcuts, time savers and tricks.

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    "iPhone User Guide", Apple.

    Image Credit: All screenshots provided by author.

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