10 Tips for iPhone Users From the Apple Support Twitter Page

Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Whether you’re a longtime Apple devotee or a recent convert, you likely have a lot left to learn before becoming an iPhone expert. We mined the Apple Support Twitter feed for the best tips on how to use your device to the fullest. 

1. SIGN AN EMAIL ATTACHMENT ON YOUR PHONE.

Apple // Twitter

Having a smartphone makes sending emails easy—until you have to send something that needs a signature. If you’ve been printing out documents, signing them, and scanning them back into your computer before sending them off, there’s a much easier way.

Next time you email a document that requires a signature, tap and hold the document in the message to open the Share sheet. Two rows of icons will pop up: Tap "Markup and Reply" beneath the toolbox icon to go to the document. By tapping the signature in the bottom-right corner of the screen, you’ll be taken to a window where you can sign your name with your finger instead of printing it out. Hit "done" and your document will be ready to send out into the world.

2. ACTIVATE LOW POWER MODE.

When your battery bar is dwindling down to zero, tricks like closing all your apps won’t do you much good. One thing that will extend your phone’s battery life is activating Low Power Mode. After going to the battery page in your phone’s settings, toggle on the switch to reduce or turn off automatic downloads, background app refresh, and other non-essential tasks that eat up energy.

3. AUTO-ADJUST SCREEN COLOR AFTER SUNSET.

Many of us are guilty of climbing into bed and scrolling through our phones in the dark. Give your eyes a break by turning on your phone’s Night Shift setting. Head to Settings, Display & Brightness, and activate Night Shift to have your phone automatically transition to warmer colors at night. The default times are 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., but you can customize the setting to best fit your schedule.

4. ACTIVATE DO NOT DISTURB TO SILENCE NOTIFICATIONS.

Apple // Twitter

Owning an iPhone means getting constant notifications from friends, family members, and mobile games that are eager for your attention. To temporarily disconnect without powering down your phone all together, switch on Do Not Disturb mode. When you swipe up from the bottom of your screen, the control center should pop up with a crescent moon icon in the top row. Tapping this silences all pings and buzzes from calls, messages, and notifications until you decide to switch it off. A crescent moon symbol beside your battery sign indicates when it’s on, so if you’ve been missing calls and you don’t know why, the symbol's appearance tells you that you may have hit it accidentally.

5. BREAK DOWN BATTERY USAGE BY APP.

You may have an idea of which apps are the worst offenders when it comes to battery usage (we’re looking at you, Pokemon Go), but figuring out exactly how much power they zap can be a guessing game. Tap on the battery icon in Settings to see a breakdown of your phone’s energy consumption by app. You can choose to view battery usage for the last 24 hours or the last seven days. This window is also where you can switch on your phone’s battery percentage in the corner of the home screen.

6. TURN YOUR COMPASS INTO A LEVEL TOOL.

Your compass app is probably one of the standard features you use the least, but it can serve a practical purpose at home. When you have the app open, swipe left to access the level tool. Now you can hang pictures without having to dig out a level from the bottom of your tool kit.

7. MUTE A TEXT CONVERSATION.

For the times when you find yourself stuck in an especially chatty group text chain (or when you’re being badgered by one person you'd rather ignore), there’s an option to hit mute. Go to Details in the upper right corner of the conversation, turn on Do Not Disturb, and proceed with your life without being interrupted with a notification every time someone chimes in.

8. CUSTOMIZE VIBRATIONS FOR DIFFERENT CONTACTS.

When you feel your phone vibrate in your pocket, there’s no way of knowing if it’s your mom, your boss, or your boyfriend unless you pull it out to check. One smart way around this is by setting custom vibrations for special contacts in your phone. Go to the contact you want to customize and scroll down to where it says "vibration." It should be set to the default, but you can choose from a selection of pre-set options or even compose a vibration pattern of your own. This way you’ll know which notifications to check right away and which you can get away with putting on the back-burner.

9. TEACH SIRI HOW TO PRONOUNCE YOUR NAME.

Hearing Siri mispronounce your name can be funny the first time. But after a few months of using her, it may start to wear on your nerves. Next time Siri says your (or anyone else’s) name incorrectly, make sure to let her know. She’ll give you a few alternative pronunciations to choose from—select the one she gets right or press "Tell Siri again" if none of them fit.

10. SET A LIVE PHOTO AS YOUR LOCK SCREEN.

If you’re the owner of an iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus, you have the option to snap live photos in the form of 3-second clips. Just like still photos, these moving images can be used to liven up your lock screen. Tap the share button beneath your live photo to set it as your wallpaper like you would a regular picture. When it gives you the option to select still, perspective, or live photo, hit the last choice to revisit the "living memory" every time you open your phone.

The Pigzbe Wallet Teaches Kids How to Budget and Save Money

Pigzbe
Pigzbe

Fiscal responsibility isn’t the most exciting topic in the world, especially when you’re in elementary school. But, as Fast Company reports, Primo Toys is hoping to make the concept more child-friendly. The company’s new Pigzbe wallet works like a digital piggy bank to teach kids age 6 and older how to earn, budget, and save money by managing the cryptocurrency they receive from their parents.

Pigzbe connects to a smartphone app, which parents can use to set chores and tasks for their kids to complete, such as making their bed or washing the dishes. They can set a schedule for these chores (every Tuesday, for example) as well as monetary rewards in the form of Wollo, a “family-friendly” cryptocurrency developed by Primo Toys.

Tasks will be sent directly to the Pigzbe device, and once they have been completed, kids will receive their hard-earned Wollo tokens. The Pigzbe app helps kids visualize their earnings and how much they’ll need to save to get the items they want. "It’s a design that feels childlike, sure, but in a fun, self-aware way, almost like a Tamagotchi," Fast Company notes.

Although Wollo isn’t technically “real money,” the tokens can be used to purchase toys and other items from Pigzbe’s app. Parents can also order a specialized Visa card that will let them buy items using Wollo. Other family members can also send gifts and allowances to any Pigzbe user, no matter their geographic location.

The goal is to teach kids about financial responsibility at an early age, when they’re just beginning to form habits that will stick with them well into adulthood. “We believe that financially curious children become financially literate adults, and we designed Pigzbe to achieve just that,” Primo Toys, the maker of the Pigzbe wallet, writes in its Kickstarter campaign. The product has already exceeded its $50,000 fundraising goal, with more than 550 backers on board.

Backers who pledge $79 or more before the campaign ends on January 25, 2019 will receive the Pigzbe wallet at a 40 percent discount.

[h/t Fast Company]

Aquarium Points Out Anatomical Error in Apple's Squid Emoji

iStock.com
iStock.com

When an inaccurate image makes it into Apple's emoji keyboard, the backlash is usually swift. But the squid emoji had been around for more than two years before the Monterey Bay Aquarium pointed out a major anatomical error on Twitter. As The Verge reports, the emoji depicts a squid with a siphon on its face—not on the back of its head, where it should be.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium dragged Apple for the misstep on Wednesday, December 5. "Not even squidding the siphon should be behind the head," the aquarium tweeted, "rn it just looks like a weirdo nose."

A squid's siphon serves some vital purposes. It pumps water over the gills, allowing it to breathe, and it blasts water away when the squid needs to propel through the sea. It's also the orifice out of which waste is expelled, making its placement right between the eyes in the emoji version especially unfortunate.

Emojis have incited outrage from marine biology experts in the past. When the Unicode Consortium released an early design of its lobster emoji earlier this year, people were quick to point out that it was missing a set of legs. Luckily the situation was rectified in time for the emoji's official release.

Apple has been known to revise designs to appease the public, but getting the squid's siphon moved to the other side of its head may be a long shot: Until the most recent backlash, the emoji had existed controversy-free since 2016.

[h/t The Verge]

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