Whenever I get a new iPhone (by upgrading from the previous model), I make it a point to setup with a fresh install and not restore from backups. I try move only the content that I need on the new phone. This way I can filter the contacts that I can already removed, pictures I can put on my external hard drive to save space and the apps that I do not normally use.
Aside from that, I dig right away on the settings and tweak the settings to improve the user experience and as well as to save battery, space and make sure my device is safe. If you have an iPhone, regardless whether it is new or not, these are some of the things you should do right now.
Download and Enable Find My iPhone.
Your just don’t know when you need to track your phone’s location. I learned this the hard way when I left my iPhone on a cab on my way to work from the gym. Since then I never forgot to switch on this feature for my iOS devices. You can do this by:
1. Sign in to your iCloud or create a new one in Settings > iCloud > Account.
2. Flip “Find My iPhone” to ON.
Whenever you lose your phone, you can just open a browser from any computer then log into iCloud.com then click the Find my iPhone icon. You will be able to track the location, remotely lock the phone and erase all the data.
Another critical step is to prevent any changes to the Location Services settings. Do this by:
1. Navigate to Settings > General > Restrictions > Enable Restrictions
2. Enter your Passcode.
3. Scroll down to Privacy > Location Services and select Don’t Allow Changes.
With this, the Find My iPhone section of the iCloud will be grayed out and can’t be switched off by the thief.
Turn on Auto-Lock and Set a more secure Passcode.
iOS lets you define a Passcode for your phone to prevent unauthorized access to your device when it is locked. It also serves as additional protection when making changes on the device settings. The default or simple Passcode is composed of 4 numbers.
It is still difficult to guess the 4 numbers you set, however this is still not safe. The best way to protect your phone is to turn off the simple Passcode. Turning this off will allow you to set up to any number of characters as your Passcode and it will not limit you to numerical characters. You can even use spaces or special characters.
A 4 digit Passcode can be cracked within 20 minutes. If you set it to around 8 characters, it would take 1000 years to just to crack it.
1. Navigate to Settings > General > Auto-Lock
2. Set it to your preferred interval.
3. Navigate to Settings > General > Passcode Lock
4. Flip “Simple Passcode” to Off
5. Set your Passcode.
Disable Ad tracking in iOS6
This is self explanatory and can easily be done through the steps below:
1. Navigate to Settings > General > About > Advertising
2. Flip “Limit Ad Tracking” to ON
Adjust the phone’s Brightness
Dimming the display on your phone (just like any other device) is going to prolong the battery life. Adjust it to according to your preference.
Disabling Push Email
Disabling Push for Email lets your device idle rather than constantly waiting around for a new message. If immediate delivery of an email isn’t critical to you, you should just set your phone to download messages from the mail servers less often.
Push for email can be disable by navigating to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
Disabling Push and other Unnecessary Notifications for Apps
Every time you receive a notification, your device’s screen lights up to tell you. This takes a little power and you probably don’t need to be notified of every little thing that every app wants to tell you.
You can enable and disable this on a per-app basis, so if you like having one or two apps sending you notifications you can keep them, but just as I said, you don’t really need notifications for everything.
Push for apps can be disabled by navigating to Settings > Notifications
Turning off Location Services
Turning off Location Services is another helpful battery saver. Your GPS loves sipping power, so if you keep your apps from constantly tracking your location your iPhone will last a bit longer.
In my case, I only enable the location services for app that really need them like Find My iPhone, Maps and social media apps that I use to check in or tag my location like Foursquare, Facebook and Instagram.
Download over Wi-Fi instead of 3G
If you have any larger downloads, such as software update, a podcast, or whatever, you’ll be better off letting Wi-Fi handle the download. First of all, it’ll generally download faster over a Wi-Fi connection so your phone won’t be actively downloading for quite as long. Second, your phone’s 3G or LTE radio tends to be a little more battery-hungry so it’ll cause more of a drain regardless.
Hide Unwanted Stock Apple Apps
When I mean stock, I am not referring to the Stocks application. The iPhone comes with default applications that most of us never use, there’s the Stock app, the weather app and Newsstand.
Hiding the apps can be done even without jailbreaking your phone.
1. Visit rag3hack.no-ip.org on your iOS device.
2. Tap Hide Apps without Jailbreak.
3. Choose the app you want to hide and tap it.
4. You’ll be asked to install a new app/certificate. Confirm that you want to do this.
5. The installation will fail, but that’s supposed to happen. Tap “Done” when you receive the failure message.
6. Long press an icon on your home screen to enter “jiggle mode” and go find the app you wanted to hide. You’ll now see that the app is blank and has the word “Hide” before its name (e.g. “Hide Stocks”). Tap the “X” in the upper-left corner to remove it.
This part is not really important, but if you are like me, it would be best if you don’t see the apps you never use anyway. It will save you precious space on your home screen.
Regularly Close Open Applications
Clear the multitasking queue so you don’t have an endless trail of open apps. Even though Apple designed multitasking to be battery-friendly, suspending a ton of apps still takes its toll. It can be frustrating to manually close a bunch of apps in the multitasking queue, but doing this on a daily or weekly basis can help reduce unwanted battery drain.
Got any other tips for iPhone users? Feel free to share them on the comments section.