Monday, December 15, 2014

Making the Most of Your iPhone

I'm an avid believer that most people are not making the most of their iPhone, ME INCLUDED. If there is one thing that I've learned in the five years of having an iPhone is that things are ever changing. In those five years, I've not once had major issues with any iPhones I have owned, "knock on wood." I think the reason for that is that I practice some of these basic tasks listed below. So this Christmas if you are purchasing a new iPhone or iOS device, read through this list and make it a habit to try some of these best practices.

BEWARE: this is an extremely long post but worth the read if you are an iPhone or iPad owner!

Making the Most of Your iPhone
  1. Turn Off Your iPhone
    • Did you know turning off your iPhone resets it? It's a lot like a computer. When your computer has issues you shut it down or reboot. Use that same concept with your iOS device...turn it off if you experience issues. Another reason to turn off your iPhone is for the sake of saving your battery life. Do you really need your phone turned on 24/7? 
  2. Late Night Charging
    • Who is guilty of plugging in your phone at night and leaving it plugged in all night to charge? Overcharging your battery can actually deplete the life of the battery. It is a good practice to charge your battery and then unplug and drain the battery before charging again. If you must keep your phone on all night then turn on airplane mode to save the life of the battery.
  3. Sync/Backup Your iPhone to a Home Computer/Laptop 
    • I'm amazed how many people tell me that they have never synced/backed up their iPhone to a computer. I think this is the first thing I learned when I bought my iPhone. Most tell me that they use the Cloud. Here is what I think about the cloud...cha ching, cha ching! Apple only allows 5GB of cloud storage for FREE. After that there is charged for storage. It's just good practice to either have an alternative cloud storage or sync your phone to a computer you own. AND while you are at it, make sure you are backing up that computer to another type of storage (external hard drive or cloud). 
  4. Backup Your Phone on a Regular Basis
    • When you backup your iPhone on a regular basis it saves you the headache of losing files, pictures and contacts. It is always a good practice to backup your phone on a regular basis. Even more so when you plan on purchasing a new phone or when Apple comes out with a new iOS operating system. KNOCK ON WOOD, but with all the iOS updates I have not once lost contacts or lost data on my phone...I backup before I download any new update from Apple. 
  5. Turn the Brightness Down
    • Need to save the battery life? Consider turning down your brightness. You can set the brightness by going to Settings OR swipe up from the bottom of the phone to access the Control Center.
  6. Password Protection is a Must
    • iPhones are a hot commodity for thieves, so be sure to keep your phone locked and use a good password. Try setting a more complex password then the four-digit one. Go to Settings/Touch ID > Passcode to set a complex password. 
  7. Charge Your iPhone with an Apple Charger
    • Two things to remember when using chargers for your iPhone 1) use the Apple charger that comes with the device. Just because a charger says "compatible" doesn't mean it is the best for your device. A cheaper version may not charge your phone as well, and 2) use the charger that come with the device...using an iPad charger to charge your phone can deplete the life of the battery. Read more here
  8. Bluetooth and WiFi Addiction
    • We all know that when using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to access the internet on our iPhones that it will save on our data plan. I say this on a consistent basis with my teenager who was not grandfathered in to the unlimited data plan on AT&T. However, keeping the WiFi and Bluetooth settings on drain the energy on the phone. 
  9. Extreme Weather
    • Last summer my family took a trip to the beach and guess what managed to be the hot topic of discussion? You got it..."NO iPhones on the beach." You would've thought I was the meanest mom ever. The point was this that extreme heat can cause damage to an iPhone. Not to mention that sand in an iPhone will also kill it. iPhones are very temperature sensitive so remember that when in extreme heat or cold. 
  10. Clean Your Phone
    • Let's face it! Your iPhone is disgusting. I mean really disgusting. Take time to clean your phone with a soft lint-free cloth. Read more about how to clean your phone.
  11. Running Background Apps
    • Apps run in the background? Yep!! Guilty! Double click the home button to delete apps running in the background. While you are at it, turn off the refresh of background apps. Find this under Settings > General. You can switch it off for all services or just some of them. This will help save the life of the battery. 
  12. Use Airplane Mode More
    • Airplane mode not only saves the life of your battery, but if you plug in your phone to a charger while in airplane mode it will charge two times faster. 
  13. Fetch vs. Push
    • Apps that you download will often ask if you will allow "push" notifications or not. Don't allow the push notifications unless you absolutely cannot go another second without an app updating and sending you notices. Pushing not only drains battery life, but it will also drain your cellular data plan quickly. Try turning on Fetch Manually on emails also. Settings > Mail, Contacts, and Calendars > Fetch New Data > Manually.
  14. Emergency Contact and Medical ID
    • Thanks to the "In Case of Emergency" feature of iOS 8, anybody has easy access to your emergency contact info and Medical ID without unlocking your iPhone. To set it up, tap Health app. Tap Medical ID, the icon at the lower right corner to create your medical information. Then, tap Create Medical ID to enter your information, including birthday medical condition, medication, emergency contact, blood type, height, weight and more.

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