Key settings you need to change on your brand-new iPhone X, 8, or 8 Plus

So you snagged yourself a shiny new iPhone X, or maybe you’ve gone for the more classic lines of the iPhone 8 — no matter which new Apple iPhone you picked, there are several settings you should immediately tweak to get the best out of it.

Turn on battery percentage

If you find yourself squinting at that little bar at the top right of the screen wondering just how much battery life you have left and whether you need to top up before you head out, then it’s time to turn the battery percentage on. It’s a little weird that this isn’t turned on by default, but it’s easily sorted. Go to Settings > Battery and toggle on Battery Percentage. Now you will see a clear percentage next to the battery bar on an iPhone 8 or older, but you’ll have to swipe down from the top right to see the battery percentage in Control Center on an iPhone X because the notch doesn’t leave enough room in the status bar.

Set Auto-Lock

Your screen is the biggest battery drain around and you don’t want people snooping people on your iPhone when you put it down — both good reasons to set your Auto-Lock as low as possible. On the other hand, it’s so frustrating when you’re using your iPhone, get momentarily distracted, and look back to find your screen locked. Whatever the sweet spot is for you, Auto-Lock can be found in Settings > Display & Brightness.

Hide unwanted apps

If you want to get rid of an app, then simply long-press on the icon for it until your app icons start wiggling and then tap the X in the top corner to uninstall. For some stock apps this will hide or disable them — they’re not really uninstalled — and you can always bring them back via the App Store.

If you have an app you don’t actually want to get rid of, but you don’t want it appearing as you scroll around, then we suggest creating a folder. Tap and hold on the app icon until they all start wiggling, then drop it on top of another app icon to create a folder. Name it whatever you want. If you add more apps to the folder, then you can move the app you want to hide to a later page in the folder, making it even less likely to be found.

Schedule Do Not Disturb

Don’t let your iPhone be the boss of you. We all need some downtime and that is why it’s important to schedule periods when your iPhone won’t alert you. At the very least you should set this up for the hours you usually sleep, but we recommend scheduling it to go quiet for a couple of hours at night when you usually wind down. Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb and toggle on Scheduled, then select your Quiet Hours.

If you’re worried about some important calls or messages not getting through, then scroll down on the Do Not Disturb page and you can set up Allow Calls From and toggle on Repeated Calls.

Set blue light filter

Apple calls this feature Night Shift and what it does is to filter out the blue light and make the screen warmer, which can help you fall asleep more easily after reading on your iPhone late at night. Go to Settings > Display & Brightness> Night Shift and you can toggle it on, but we recommend toggling on Scheduled and picking times that suit you or selecting Sunset to Sunrise.

Back up your photos

For many of us, our photos are the most precious things on our iPhones, so it’s worth making sure that yours are being backed up. You can do this by going to Settings > Photos and toggling on iCloud Photo Library.

Apple is a little stingy when it comes to storage space in the cloud, giving you just 5GB for free. You might find that your iCloud fills up fast and maybe you don’t want to pay for more space. Consider installing the free Google Photos app. You can toggle on Back up & sync during the setup process and Google gives you 15GB for free. You can also get another 5GB for free from Microsoft OneDrive or Amazon Prime Photos. Both apps are free and offer automatic photo backup.

Adjust 3D Touch sensitivity

With 3D Touch, you can press on the screen to peek at further options for some apps and jump to shortcut actions. It can be really useful once you get used to it, but it definitely takes a little practice. You will get a feel for it faster if you tweak it to suit you. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > 3D Touch and you can choose from Light, Medium, and Firm and practice on the test image below.

Set your email signature

Do you really want “Sent from my iPhone” as the signature on every email you send? Probably not. It’s easy to change, simply go to Settings > Mail > Signature and you can delete the message and switch it for something else or leave it blank.

Customize Control Center

You can swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the Control Center for shortcuts to things like the Torch and Wi-Fi. Some of these are fixed, but you can also customize a few by going to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls. Tap the green plus icon next to anything you want to add or the red minus icon next to anything you want to remove.

Set up Emergency SOS

No one wants to imagine that the worst will ever happen but if it does, you will be glad you set up Emergency SOS. Go to Settings > Emergency SOS and toggle on Auto Call. If you press and hold the side button and either volume button, your iPhone will call 911 or the appropriate emergency service in your region.

It’s worth setting up Emergency Contacts via the Health app, where you can also add details on any medical conditions you have and things like your blood type. If you add Emergency Contacts, then they will also receive a message automatically when you trigger Emergency SOS to let them know that you called the emergency services. You can add them by opening the Health app and tapping on the Medical ID tab at the bottom right.

If you’re hungry for more, then check out our iPhone X tips and tricks or read up on iPhone 8 tips.


Mi 8 Pro looks like an iPhone, but has a feature Apple fans can only dream of

Xiaomi has launched two new phones in the Mi 8 family: The Mi 8 Pro and the Mi 8 Lite. Unlike the past models, these two are definitely going to be sold internationally. Here's what you need to know about them both.

Master your iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max with our favorite tips and tricks

If you're one of the lucky folks that managed to snag an iPhone XS or XS Max, you may be wondering how to use your new phone in a post-home button world. Here are a few of our favorite iPhone XS tips and tricks to get you started.

Handy iOS 12 tips and tricks to master Apple's latest update

Apple's iOS 12 mobile operating system introduces a ton of new features, with more options to help boost productivity. But updating to it can be overwhelming, so we're here to make it easier with some iOS 12 tips and tricks.

iOS 12 is now available -- here's how to install it on your Apple device

Apple unveiled iOS 12 at this year's WWDC and it's now ready for everyone. Here's how to install iOS 12 on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch using your device's settings or with iTunes on your computer.

Audio company Bragi is suing OnePlus over the word 'dash'

Despite taking steps to change to "Warp Charge," OnePlus is being sued by audio company Bragi over the phone manufacturer's continued use of the word "dash" in the Dash Charging used in OnePlus phones.

The best weather apps for Android will keep you dry no matter where you go

You may not be able to change the weather, but you can at least be prepared for it. Check out our guide to the best weather apps for Android, so you'll always know what to expect when you step out the front door.

Hateful software kills our enthusiasm for newcomer Realme’s $155 Android phone

Realme is a new smartphone brand with an interesting start to life, as it closely mirrors that of OnePlus, a brand we admire. The Realme 2 is its second phone, and we've given it a try to see if it's a winner.

Android 9.0 Pie is finally rolling out to the OnePlus 6

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

Keep the iPhone XS display crack-free with these screen protectors

Apple might have proclaimed the iPhone XS's glass as being its most durable ever, but that's not going to stop you from wincing if you drop your phone. Stay protected with the best iPhone XS screen protectors.

Apple iPhone XS Max vs. Huawei P20 Pro: Clash of the titans

Anyone seeking a great new smartphone with plenty of money to spend has two amazing options, but which is better for you? We pit the Apple iPhone XS Max vs. Huawei P20 Pro in various categories to help you choose.
Product Review

Don't let the bigger iPhones woo you away: The XS is still a masterpiece

Apple’s next smartphone is here -- the iPhone XS. We think it’s the perfect size for an iPhone, and it manages to impress with astounding performance, and sizable camera improvements.
Product Review

With its epic screen, Apple's iPhone XS Max is a phone you can live inside

The iPhone XS Max is here. Should you get the massive 6.5-inch iPhone from Apple? Or should you pick the smaller iPhone XS? We’ve been putting the Max through its paces to find out in our review.

BlackBerry Key2 LE vs. BlackBerry Key2: Which productivity titan reigns supreme?

The Blackberry Key2 LE has many of the same features as its more expensive competitor, the BlackBerry Key2, yet comes in at $250 less. Which one should you choose? Here's how the BlackBerry Key2 LE and BlackBerry Key2 compare.

How beneficial is ECG in the new Apple Watch? We asked an expert

The Apple Watch Series 4 is packed with features that make it the best smartwatch on the market, but just how valuable is the new ECG and heart-tracking functionality? We spoke to some experts to find out.