Change Email Notifications
Auto App Download Settings
The iPhone 4S is ready to go right out of the box, but if you want an optimal experience, there are a number of steps you should take shortly after getting your new iPhone.
I already showed you the First 5 Things to Do When you Get your iPhone 4S for Setup and Security, but now I want to share 10 iPhone 4S settings you should change right away.
If you change these settings will give you a better experience, and a few of them will keep you from annoying those around you as you use your iPhone 4S.
Read our iPhone 4S reviewfor everything else you need to know about your new phone.
Change your iPhone Ringtone
1. Change Your Default Ringtone
Do yourself and every other iPhone owner around you a favor and change your default ringtone as soon as possible. It’s not that the Marimba isn’t a beautiful ringtone, it’s just that you’ll think your phone is ringing more often than it really is.
To change your ringtone, follow these steps.
Tap on Ringtone
Choose a standard ringtone or tap on Buy More Tones to purchase a ringtone.
You can also add your own ringtones in iTunes, if you don’t want to pay for ringtones included with the iPhone 4S.
2. Turn on % in Battery Meter
Turn Battery Percentage On.
Instead of guessing how much battery life is really left on your iPhone, you can turn on the percentage indicator. This small toggle will add the percent of battery life left to your iPhone 4S’ top bar.
I prefer this over the default battery information, because you get a more accurate reading. One downside is that you may think your battery is draining quicker, but that’s just your mind playing tricks on you.
To switch battery % on, follow these steps.
Scroll down and flip the Battery Percentage toggle On.
From now on, you’ll know when your battery is getting low, without waiting for a popup notification or the icon to turn red.
3. Passcode Lock
Protect Your iPhone 4S
If you didn’t already do this, you should add a Passcode to your iPhone 4S. This will prevent others form accessing your data and using your iPhone without permission.
Setting up a 4 digit pass code takes a few seconds, and is worth doing. Just don’t pick an easy Passcode like ’1111′ or ’1234′.
To set up a Passcode, follow these steps.
Scroll down to Passcode Lock
Tap on Passcode Lock
Choose to Turn Passcode On at the top.
Enter a 4 digit code you can remember.
That’s it, now your iPhone 4S is password protected.
Choose a New Passcode Lockout
4. Change Passcode Lockout Time
If you use your iPhone often, you will want to adjust the Passcode lockout time so that you don’t have to enter the iPhone Passcode every time you pickup your iPhone 4S.
While you are in the Passcode lock settings, Tap on Require Passcode.
Choose a longer time frame. I would suggest moving it up to at least 5 minutes.
I settled on 15 minutes after finding out that I rarely go 15 minutes without picking up my iPhone 4S for the first few days of use.
You can change your lock settings at any time, but you will need to remember your Passcode to do so.
5. Auto Download Apps When Purchased on Computer
WiFi sync is great and all, but if you want to have your apps arrive as you purchase them, instead of when you sync, you can enable app auto downloads.
This setting needs turned on in two places to make it work. You also need to be signed in with your Apple ID on the computer you are purchasing from and on your iPhone 4S.
To turn on App auto downloads on your iPhone, follow these steps.
Tap on Store
Switch the Automatic Download toggles for Books, Apps and Music
If you have a limited data plan, make sure that Use Cellular Data is set to off
Ensure that you have the correct Apple ID listed at the bottom of the page.
Turn on App Auto Downloads in iTunes
To turn on app automatic downloads on your computer, follow these steps
Open iTunes Preferences
Click on Store in the middle of the preference icons
Check the Automatic Downloads check boxes
From now on, you can purchase and browse the App store from iTunes on your computer, and have what you buy automatically downloaded to your iPhone. This also works on the iPad and other iOS 5 devices.
6. Turn on WiFi Sync
While Automatic Downloads are a great way to send apps and music to your iPhone 4S, you will still want to turn on WiFi Sync to keep playlists and more in sync across all of your devices.
We have a full guide to Setting Up iTunes WiFi Sync, which should take just a minute to enable.
Keep in mind, you will need to be connected to the same network and your iPhone 4S needs power to perform a WiFi Sync. This will typically happen every night when you plug in to charge up.
7. Email Notifications
Email notifications are a very personal thing, but if you get a lot of email I suggest turning off the email notification sound effect. You might even want to turn off email notifications all together, and just check your email when you want to know.
To change your email notification sound, or turn off the sound all together, follow these steps.
Tap on Sounds
Scroll down to New Email and tap it.
To turn it off, tap on Choose None
To pick a new tone, choose from the list below or click Buy More Tones
This is a good time to look at the rest of your notifications.
If you want to turn off the notification on your lock screen, or customize email notifications, learn how to use Notification Center in iOS 5.
8. Turn Home Sharing On
Home Sharing allows you to access your iTunes music while you are on the same network. Think of this as a local version of iCloud and iTunes Match that is free. Instead of paying $24.95 a year, you can have your entire catalog of music available when your iPhone and computer are on the same network.
Home Sharing Settings
You’ll need to turn on Home Sharing on your computer and on your iPhone 4S to make this work.
On your iPhone 4S, follow these instructions.
Tap on Settings
Enter your Apple ID and Password in the boxes at the bottom of the settings menu.
On your computer, follow these directions.
Open iTunes Preferences
Click on the Sharing icon at the top of the Preferences.
Check, Share my library on my local network
If you are on a college campus or workplace, you may want to add a password so that others cannot see your music selection or access it.
9. Turn Off Keyboard Clicking
Keyboard Click Settings
For the sanity of everyone you use your iPhone around, turn off keyboard clicking. At the very least, you should know where this setting is, so that you can disable it when you are in a crowd.
Head back into Settings
Tap on Sounds
Scroll to the bottom and toggle Keyboard Clicks to Off
If you need to turn off sounds like this when you enter a meeting, you can just flip the mute switch at the top right of your iPhone, but if you don’t need clicks all the time, this is a nice setting to change.
10. Turn Off Ping
No Ping = Better Battery Life
If you don’t use Ping, and you want better battery life on your iPhone 4S, here’s how to turn Ping off.
Ping is Apple’s music social network, which hasn’t gained much traction and doesn’t do much on most iPhones other than eat away at battery life.
Turning off Ping reportedly helps battery life. Without scientific tests, I can’t tell you how much yet, but I do know that it does offer some improvement.
To Turn off Ping, follow these directions.
Tap on Settings
Scroll down and pick Restrictions
You will need to Enable Restrictions
Create a 4 digit Passcode
Change Ping from On to Off
Exit the settings.
Enjoy better iPhone 4S battery life.
Learn More about iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S
For more on the iPhone 4S and iOS 5, check out the following How to Guides.
Throughout the iPhone’s evolution there has been much discussion about the design and the late Steve Jobs’ desire for a clean piece of hardware that had few buttons, no indicator lights and such. In fact there was some speculation that the iPhone’s home button would disappear on the still to be seen iPhone 5 or whatever that will be.
One of the things that some Blackberry users (and even one Pre user) have mentioned to me is that they miss indicator lights when they move to the iPhone. Well, there is a way to get an indicator light of sorts if you want one. Here’s how.
First got to the Accessibility section of Settings. (Settings, General, Accessibility.)
Then scroll down until you find LED Flash for Alerts and turn it on.
What this does is it causes the LED flash normally used for the camera to flash when you have an Alert come in. Of course the LED flash is on the back of the phone so if it is sitting on your desk or any other surface you won’t see it. It also only flashes for a few seconds when and Alert comes in and doesn’t keep flashing to remind you that you haven’t paid attention to the Alert yet. So, I won’t say this is a great solution if you’re missing your indicator light, but it will light up your shirt pocket in a pinch.
I don’t have an iPhone 4 anymore so I don’t know if this works on that device with iOS 5 or not, but it does work with the iPhone 4S.
When you pick up your new iPhone 4S, Siri will be one of the coolest features, but right out of the box, you can’t tweet with Siri.
Siri is still in beta and doesn’t connect up to all of iOS 5 yet, let alone third party apps like Twitter or Tweetdeck. You don’t have to wait for Siri to gain access to your Twitter app, to start tweeting with Siri as soon as you get your iPhone 4S.
Siri is a personal assistant that can respond to many requests, using Artificial Intelligence to try to place your questions in context. from what we have seen, Siri isn’t perfect, but it offers many advancements over the voice control and simple dictation services offered on other devices. For more, read: What is Siri?
How to use Siri to Tweet
The great news is that Siri can send text messages, which means you just need to do a little prep to start sending tweets with Siri.
1. Open your Twitter Settings page.
2. Click on the Mobile tab.
Set up Twitter to Tweet By Text to use Siri.
3. Make sure you have the phone number of your iPhone entered. If you haven’t done this, follow the prompts to link up your iPhone 4S phone number.
4. Add Twitter to your contacts with the phone number 40404.
Sending messages may cost you money based on your plan, so make sure you know how many texts you can send to avoid a large bill.
5. Hold the Home button on your iPhone 4S for 2 seconds to start Siri.
6. When Siri is ready, just say, Text Twitter, and then your tweet.
7. Keep in mind that your tweet will need to stay under 140 characters.
8. Siri will confirm that you want to send the message, if you do, confirm and you will send a Tweet.
These tweets will appear in your timeline just like normal. While it will be much harder to reply to someone or to @ includes someone in a message, you can still use Siri to tweet complaints about traffic or share with all of your followers.
Do More with Siri on Twitter
Send a Text Message to Twitter with Siri
If you want Siri to read you Tweets, you will need to turn on message notifications in the Mobile tab.
You can have text message alerts for users you have activated mobile notifications, direct messages or replies. These will arrive as basic text messages. Personally this is too much for me, but if you only subscribe to replies or DMs, you might be OK with this. Because it is a text message, Siri can read it to you.
In addition to reading select tweets by text, you can ask Siri to do more. These commands may not work out real well, based on how good Siri is at understanding the usernames you are trying to include, but you can give it a shot.
FOLLOW username - Start following a user
UNFOLLOW username - Stop following a user
ON/OFF Turn all Tweet notifications on or off
ON/OFF username - Set Tweet notifications for a user on or off (you’ll still be following them even if you set it to off)
GET username - Shows you the latest tweet from any user
RETWEET username - Retweet a user’s latest tweet
FAVORITE username - Favorite a user’s latest tweet
DM username your – message - Send a direct message to a user
Until we see official support for the Twitter app in Siri, this is one way you can tweet with Apple’s new intelligent personal assistant.
You can see a demo of how you send a text message in this video of Siri below. Check out 22 seconds in and just over a minute to see examples of texting with Siri.
If you turn your iPhone to vibrate often while you’re in meetings then you know that feeling of feeling your iPhone vibrate but you can’t distinguish if it’s that important call or not.
In another catch up move, Apple now allows iOS 5 users to set up custom vibrations that are assigned to your various contacts in the same way you can set up a ringtone for a contact. These Customized Vibrations come with a few that are pre-defined and you can make your own.
It’s actually pretty simple to set up.
Go to Settings, General, Accessibility
Turn on Customized Vibrations
Then head over to you Contacts and pick a Contact.
Then Choose Vibration. It is right below Ringtone
Once there you can choose one of the Standard Vibrations
Or, you can choose Create New Vibration
This brings you to the screen where you can tap away until your heart’s content to create whatever rhythm you want for the vibration. Hit Stop when done.
Save it and that’s the Vibration for your Contact.
Now when your contact calls and you have the phone set to vibrate you’ll feel all personal like with their dedicated buzz in your pocket.
Depending how long it has been since you synced your iPhone, you might need to sync up to a new computer to get the new iOS 5 software update.
If you have your old computer, the process is a bit easier because you can transfer your music files over with an external hard drive.
If the only copy of your music files is on your iPhone or iPad, you will need to use a special tool to manually move them over to your new computer.
This guide is also helpful if you are switching from a Mac to a PC and want to change which computer your iPhone will wirelessly sync with.
You can manually move some of your files and information to a new Mac or PC, but the easiest way to start using your iPhone or iPad with a new computer is to get an app like iExplorer or PhoneView.
Be sure that you use one of these tools and follow the steps outlined below before you sync with iTunes on your new computer.
iPhone to New Mac
If you have a Mac, or are switching to a mac, PhoneView is your best bet. This app is $19.99 with a free 7-day demo to let you try things out.
With this app, you can copy all of your important files from your iPhone to your new Mac. PhoneView backs up the following items to your Mac;
SMS and iMessages
Third Party Data
Full Contact List
Mobile Safari Bookmarks
Copy Movies and Photos to Your New Computer
There’s no need to jailbreak your iPhone to make this work. After you use this tool to move items to your new computer, you should be able to use it to send them back.
iPhone to New PC
On the Windows Side, iExplorer is a great option. When you plug in your iPhone, iPhone Explorer will give you access to many of your important files such as;
SMS and Address Book With Jailbreak
Third Party App Data
Backup Contacts on iPhone
If you just want to backup your contacts from your iPhone, and restore them to a new iPhone, you can use iDrive Lite, a free iPhone app.
In addition to using these tools, you need to make sure that you have the information backed up.
You can follow the directions in this video to transfer the apps and other purchased from your iPhone to your new computer.
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