Category Archives: Best iPhone Tips & Tricks

iPhones are amazing and powerful devices. To help you do amazing things with it, we offer this collection of tips and tricks and how-to articles. Some of these are iPhone Basics sort of stuff that are helpful for newer users. Others are how-to’s that are useful even for iPad power users – things like how to print from the iPhone, or the best ways to get photos and videos transferred from an iPhone to the iPad without having to connect to a PC, or how to disable In-App purchases so your kids can’t inadvertently run up your App Store spending. We hope some of these iPhone tips will help you get the most out of your iPhone.

How to master Dictation on your iPhone


There are two main methods for capturing text while using your iPhone.  One way is by using Siri to carry out an ever growing variety of commands and tasks.  The other method is through dictation accessed via your keyboard.  While Siri is a perfectly capable dictation tool, and might be the preferred way to capture text by many, I have found that my favorite digital assistant especially shines when asked to answer questions and perform tasks.  Dictation, however, is more of a quick and dirty way to collect your thoughts and have them transposed right onto your iPhone screen whenever you typically would desire to enter text in an app.  Think of it as an alternative to typing.  While a very helpful tool, there are some initial challenges to dictating effectively on your iPhone.  The manner in which we speak doesn’t always translate exactly to how we write–or even how we collect our thoughts.  As a result I’ve collected some tips to help you be the most efficient at using dictation.

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How to use Accessibility to enable Speak Selection on your iPhone

Your iPhone has enhanced accessibility features dating back to iOS 8 that can be very useful for everyone.  My favorite such feature, and the one I use on a regular basis is focused on speech–specifically, reading selected text back to me while I’m driving.  There are countless benefits from such a feature, from reading a how-to aloud while you actively participate in making or fixing something, to catching you up on your RSS reader feed while you wade through your backlog of emails.  I find it particularly helpful to finish reading a post when I need to redirect some of my attention to another task.  Whatever the reason, I’m certain you’ll find a scenario that is beneficial for you, too.

Start with opening the Settings App on your iPad, and select General.  Next, open the Accessibility tab and locate Speech at the bottom of the Vision section.  Here you have three options–Speak Selection, Speak Screen and Speak Auto-text

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How to view your Photo library by Geolocation

There are various ways that you can search, organize and view your photo library on your iPhone.  You can choose to view your photos based on when they were taken, or by how you grouped them into albums.  You can even view them based on when and who you shared individual or groups of photos with.  One lesser know use case is viewing your photos based on where the pictures were taken.  For this to be an option on your iPhone in the first place, you need to allow the Photos application to have access to your location.  You can check the setting and/or change it, by launching the Settings App and  selecting –> Privacy–> Location Services–> Photos.  Here you will have two options to choose from–allow the Photos App access only while you are using the app, and never allow.

To view your photos based on their geolocation tag, you must have  the “while using the app” feature selected or your pictures won’t even have a location associated with them to sort into groups .  Once you have the setting updated, all of your photos taken on your iPhone moving forward will now have a geolocation stamped into the metadata stored within the photo.  Armed with this knowledge, you can now sort and search your photos based upon this location.

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How to remove your device(s) from Find my iPhone


If the time comes when you want/need to remove your iPhone from Find my iPhone, you have several options available to you.  The quickest, and easiest way is to do it right from your device.  To do this on your iPhone, launch Settings–> Apple iD Tab at the top of the page–> iCloud–> Find My iPhone–> Toggle Find my iPhone to the off position.

However, perhaps your iPhone is not currently in your possession, or maybe you sold it and forgot to delete your data and/or turn this feature off.  No worries, you have additional options available.  There are two more options that are just as effective at removing your iPhone from the list of tracked devices.

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How to create offline Google maps on your iPhone

Google-MapsI don’t know about you, but in my line of work, I often find myself off the beaten path in the middle of nowhere. In times like these it’s super helpful to have maps that I can still reference, even without an active internet connection.  For the most part, if you don’t already have the poor coverage area pre-loaded in your map program, you won’t have the ability to interact with the map.  This can be a huge inconvenience when I am trying to pin-point specific particular lat & long coordinates.

I really wanted to be able to accomplish this in Apple Maps.  However, after some searching around, I just couldn’t figure out how to make it happen, nor could I determine if it is even a possibility.  No worries, though, Google Maps is a perfectly good alternative, and even a preference for many iPhone users.

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My Instagram Workflow

When I started using Instagram a few years ago, I treated it like a spontaneous space for sharing pictures with friends. However, it took a while for my own group of friends to start using the service, and this changed the way I chose to post over time. Instagram may be owned by Facebook now, but I treat my Instagram account more like a photography platform, and leave more personal posts and candid shots for Facebook.

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How to sell your used iPhone ahead of the next launch

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With the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, or whatever they may be called, expected to be announced on Wednesday, the one thing on everyone’s mind right now is–how can I sell my current iPhone in time to make a new purchase?  If Apple follows their traditional pattern of announcement to availability cycle, we can expect the iPhone 7 & 7 Plus to go on sale in stores around 1-2 weeks after their Keynote announcement Wednesday, with pre-orders potentially starting as early as this Friday.

If you’re in the same boat as me, and you plan on purchasing the next iPhone when it’s released, what do you do with your current device?  Well, that depends on a couple of factors.  Is your current iPhone paid off, or is it part of a monthly installment plan?  If it’s already paid off, you’re in good shape.  Now you have several options on where you might want to sell your iPhone–if that’s ultimately your plan.  If you’re still on an installment plan, you need to verify your eligibility with your mobile carrier.  Of course, you can always pay full price for your new iPhone, too–but  since you’re reading this post, that’s probably not your first choice.  If the installment plan you’re on allows for a new renewal you have a many options available.

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How to Prepare your iPhone for sale


Whether you’re purchasing the next iPhone or you’re simply trading up from on older model–one of the first things you need to do before selling/trading in your current iPhone is to wipe the device clean.  Even though cellular carriers will usually boast about
providing this service to you for free, the piece of mind from performing the task yourself is invaluable.  There’s no need to trust someone else with your personal security.  Whether you’re a seasoned veteran of the trade-in/sell process, or you’ve never done this before, don’t worry–we’ve got you covered.  It’s easy to remove all your personal data and return your device to its factory settings.

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(5) Battery Saving Tips for your iPhone


My iPhone is my lifeline to the world.  I use it for work, I use it at home.  It’s my wallet, my reference guide, my music collection, and everything in between.  As a result, the battery takes a hit.  Even with the most recent iPhone available running the most advanced battery technology available, it never seems to be enough.  So what, besides complaining, can we do to extend our iPhone battery life without having to stay connected to a cord all day?  Over the years I have found a handful of useful tips that have served me well.  Here they are, in no particular order.

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How to Manage the Privacy Settings on your iPhone


Privacy is quite the buzz word these days.  We all want it, but do we really know what to do to keep our personal information safe from prying eyes?  It’s our responsibility to manage our own information.  We cannot rely on corporate America to do it for us.  If you’re receiving services that allegedly protect your personal information, you must ask yourself what the tradeoff is.  Nothing is free.  Our information is extremely valuable to companies and aids them in providing additional services that equate to dollars.  If we truly want privacy, how do we achieve that on our iPhones?

In addition to actively controlling the information we share on our electronic devices, it is important to consider the manufacturer directly responsible for designing and maintaining the operating system.  What’s their track record with regard to customer privacy, and how do they manage your information?  Do they keep it completely anonymous, or are they actively and openly farming information indiscriminately?  For their part, Apple has made this process easier for us by adjusting many of the iPhone’s default settings to safer modes out of the box.  With safeguards like this in place we are forced to acknowledge, and give permission to apps the first time they require information from us that is considered private.

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