Tweak some settings in your iPhone 12 to get essentially the most out of Apple’s new cellphone.

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Apple’s total iPhone lineup is stuffed with implausible choices. From the inexpensive iPhone SE to the very small iPhone 12 Mini that punches above its weight, to the most effective bang in your buck with the iPhone 11. Not to say, iPhone 12 and 12 Pro provide few compromises, whereas the very huge iPhone 12 Pro Max and its stellar digicam and battery life, makes use of the go huge or go house mentality.  

All of the presently obtainable iPhone fashions run on iOS 14, which brims with its personal options (a few of that are hidden). With iOS 14.5, presently in beta, you may even achieve the power to unlock your iPhone whereas carrying a face masks. However, imagine it or not, Apple’s default settings aren’t at all times the most effective that can assist you get essentially the most out of your iPhone. 

For instance, Do Not Disturb is disabled right out of the field, which implies your iPhone will proceed to beep at you all through the night time, inflicting mild sleepers to get up. Who needs that? Instead, a dip into settings can robotically silence your cellphone all night time lengthy. While you are in settings, you’ll be able to make the most of darkish mode to avoid wasting battery life, and put Control Center to be just right for you — as an alternative of the opposite means round. 

Below, we’ll take you thru a number of steps that may make your iPhone even higher. For occasion, if you happen to reside someplace with zero or spotty 5G protection, there isn’t any motive to maintain 5G on

1. Don’t have or need 5G protection? Turn it off

Apple’s 4 iPhone 12 fashions are the primary from the corporate to ship with help for 5G, a principally sooner and extra dependable mobile connection. As carriers proceed to roll out their 5G networks, nevertheless, some iPhone 12 homeowners (together with me) must await 5G entry.

Apple touts a Smart Data characteristic that is particular to the iPhone 12 that may robotically swap between 4G LTE and 5G networks — with out you having to know or do a factor — primarily based on the way you’re utilizing the iPhone 12. The automated swap is a part of an effort to enhance battery life. However, you might discover that your iPhone 12’s battery drains sooner than it did earlier than. If you do not wish to sacrifice battery life for sooner 5G speeds, shut it down. You can at all times flip 5G again on once you need it, or when service in your space improves.

To flip off 5G in your iPhone 12, forcing it to at all times use 4G LTE even when you have 5G protection, open the Settings app then go to Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Voice & Data and faucet LTE.

Alternatively, if you’d like your iPhone 12 to solely use a 5G connection when obtainable, you’ll be able to choose 5G On.


5G is good, when you have entry to it, nevertheless it may also be a battery hog. 

Patrick Holland/CNET

2. Fine-tune how a lot information is used on a 5G connection

If you are pleased with 5G efficiency, this is a network-related setting you should try. Go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Data Mode the place you may discover three totally different choices: Allow extra information on 5G, Standard and Low Data Mode.

Even although there are temporary descriptions beneath the three totally different settings, they do not paint an entire image for the primary choice. According to an Apple help doc, permitting extra information on 5G provides you with high-quality video and FaceTime calls, and it additionally signifies that your cellphone can obtain software program updates, stream high-definition Apple TV and Apple Music content material, and permits third-party builders to additionally enhance their respective apps.

The default setting on this web page will rely in your provider and your information plan, so it is a good suggestion to test your iPhone 12 and make certain it is set to your choice.

3. Unlock your cellphone whereas carrying a face masks

One of the irritating facets of carrying a face-covering in public whereas utilizing an iPhone that has Apple’s Face ID tech built-in has been the lack to unlock the cellphone. Because half of your face is roofed, Face ID simply does not work. And getting into your passcode to unlock your cellphone works, nevertheless it’s not as handy. 

When Apple releases iOS 14.5, you may have the choice to activate a brand new face unlock characteristic that makes it tremendous straightforward to unlock your iPhone once you’re face is roofed — so long as you personal an Apple Watch. 

If you do not wish to await the replace to be formally launched, you’ll be able to set up the general public beta in your iPhone and Apple Watch to get entry to it right now. 

Once each units are up to date, open the Settings app in your iPhone after which open the Face ID & Passcode choice. Scroll down till you discover the Unlock with Apple Watch part, the place you’ll be able to activate the characteristic for any watches linked to your iPhone. It’s fairly superior. 

4. iOS 14 modified the incoming name alert — change it again

Prior to iOS 14, at any time when your iPhone is unlocked and getting used — to test e-mail, for instance — and somebody known as, the incoming name display screen would take over your total show. It’s disruptive, certain, however you have been additionally very conscious that your cellphone was ringing.

Starting with iOS 14, nevertheless, Apple modified the incoming name immediate to look extra like a typical alert. That is, a small notification that exhibits up close to the highest of the display screen once you’re utilizing your cellphone. On a couple of event I’ve practically missed a name as a result of I dismissed the alert as yet one more annoying notification that did not instantly want my consideration.

To get the full-screen incoming name alert again, go to Settings > Phone > Incoming Calls and faucet Full Screen.


The new incoming name alert is not perfect for some. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

5. Show full notifications in your lock display screen

The first time you expertise Apple’s Face ID tech, you may discover which you could’t see the contents of latest alerts and notifications on the lock display screen. For instance, as an alternative of seeing who despatched you a textual content message and what it says, you may solely see a generic Messages alert.

By default, all iPhones with Apple’s Face ID tech will conceal the contents of an alert till you choose up your cellphone and unlock it by it. It’s a privateness characteristic that I fairly take pleasure in, however I additionally get how it may be annoying (and have heard a number of complaints from readers and relations alike).

You can change how notifications seem in your lock display screen by going to Settings > Notifications > Show Previews and choose Always. Conversely, you’ll be able to choose Never if you wish to maintain the contents of your notifications at all times hidden on the lock display screen.


HDR video seems nice, nevertheless it does not work in all places but.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

6. You may wish to flip off this digicam characteristic… for now

Every iPhone 12 mannequin acquired modest digicam updates, considered one of which is the power to file HDR — or excessive dynamic vary — video with Dolby Vision. All that jargon means your movies will likely be brighter with extra correct colours and improved distinction. Sounds superior, right? It is. I recorded a video a number of nights in the past with the iPhone 12 Pro and it really made me say “whoa.” But there’s an issue — not each app or service will work with HDR video. 

Developers might want to replace their app(s) with the intention to settle for HDR video, however even then, the individual viewing the video will want a succesful gadget to see the HDR distinction. For Apple units, that features the iPhone 8 or newer, the 2020 iPad Air, second-gen iPad Pro and some Macs

So, what are you able to do? Well, you’ve a number of choices: 

  • You can flip off HDR video by going to Settings > Camera > Record video and switch the swap subsequent to HDR Video to the Off place. Going ahead, all movies will likely be captured in normal dynamic vary, and you will not have any points sharing or modifying it.
  • Leave HDR Video turned on, however once you wish to share the video with, say, Facebook, use the Photos app as an alternative of going into the Facebook app and importing it there. By utilizing the Photos app, your iPhone will robotically convert the video to SDR and add it. When you ship the video to a different iPhone person, Apple will detect if their iPhone, iPad or Mac is suitable with HDR Dolby Vision. If it isn’t, Apple will convert the video robotically.
  • If you allow HDR Video on and must edit your video, you should utilize Apple’s iMovie app or the Photos app that is constructed into your iPhone. You may even use iMovie to export the video as SDR if wanted. 

Customize your private home display screen on iOS 14 and the iPhone 12. 

Patrick Holland/CNET

7. Avoid home-screen app muddle

With the discharge of iOS 14, iPhone customers have extra choices and management over what their house display screen seems like than ever earlier than. The new App Library, for instance, acts as an app drawer, permitting you to take away apps from your private home display screen with out deleting them. Heck, you’ll be able to even totally customise your cellphone’s look with totally different app icons and widgets — it is very Android-like, and there is nothing fallacious with that.

If you just like the minimal look, then you definitely’ll wish to make certain that newly put in apps aren’t robotically positioned on your private home display screen each time you obtain an app. Or, on the flip facet, if you don’t need new apps to go on to the App Library the place you are certain to overlook about their existence after a day or two, go to Settings > Home Screen and choose both Add to Home Screen or App Library Only.

On an iPhone with 3D Touch, you should utilize a third-party app to play longer length “Live” pictures in your lock display screen.

Patrick Holland/CNET

8. Use fancy wallpapers 

Another house display screen tweak you should make includes your wallpaper or background. Apple has added some new wallpapers of its personal in current updates, with a fairly cool twist. 

Open the Settings app in your iPhone and choose Wallpaper from the listing. Make certain the swap, labeled “Dark Appearance Dims Wallpaper,” beneath the 2 thumbnail previews of your wallpaper is turned on. Now, faucet Choose a brand new wallpaper and choose both Stills or Live. See the circle close to the underside of every wallpaper? It’s half black, half white. 

That circle signifies that the wallpaper has a light-weight and darkish mode model and can change robotically primarily based on the system standing of your cellphone. 

You can even set reside wallpapers as your background if you happen to’re not offered on darkish and lightweight mode.


Dark Mode on the iPhone certain seems good. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

9. Turn on darkish mode. You will not remorse it

Speaking of darkish mode, if you happen to do not wish to need to repeatedly regulate your display screen’s brightness, you should utilize your cellphone’s devoted darkish mode that is been confirmed to avoid wasting on battery life. Dark mode converts all the white backgrounds in apps to, most of the time, a black background. In flip, your cellphone is ready to save battery energy due to the darker colours. 

Turn it on by going to Settings > Display & Brightness and choosing the Dark choice on the prime of the display screen. 

Apple’s apps will robotically swap to a darkish colour scheme and most third-party apps have additionally adopted the characteristic


Apple has put all of its privateness controls in a single place. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

10. Turn on Do Not Disturb

I typically surprise how I obtained a full night time of sleep earlier than Do Not Disturb was added to iOS. When turned on, Do Not Disturb silences all alerts in your iPhone, both utilizing a set schedule or on demand. Your notifications will nonetheless be ready for you once you get up within the morning, however by turning on DND, your cellphone will not make a lot as a beep or a ping about Facebook updates and work emails.

If you are nervous about somebody needing to pay money for you in case of an emergency, you’ll be able to inform DND to make your cellphone ring once you get repeat calls from the identical quantity. You can even resolve if you wish to at all times enable calls from contacts you have added to your favorites.

11. Make display screen textual content simpler to learn

With a few faucets in your iPhone’s display screen you’ll be able to regulate the font measurement to make it simpler to learn. Open Settings and go to Display & Brightness > Text Size the place you should utilize the slider till you are pleased with the font measurement. 

For somewhat added oomph, you’ll be able to activate Bold Text (it is just under the Text Size button). 


Face ID does not at all times get it right. 

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

12. Add an alternate look to Face ID

Apple’s facial recognition characteristic, Face ID, continually learns and relearns totally different facets of your face with every scan. If you are struggling to get Face ID to persistently acknowledge you, attempt the Alternate Appearance choice. 

Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode > enter your PIN > Set Up An Alternate Appearance and undergo the method of enrolling your face once more. 


Keep your display screen dim to avoid wasting battery life. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

13. Disable auto brightness for longer battery life

Your iPhone’s display screen brightness degree can have a huge impact on battery life. By default, iOS will robotically regulate the show’s brightness primarily based on how a lot mild the ambient sensor detects. But if you wish to take full management, you’ll be able to disable auto brightness, which means no matter you set the brightness degree to is what it can keep at till you regulate it once more. 

Open Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size and on the backside of the web page, you may discover a swap to show off Auto-Brightness

Now, everytime you wish to regulate your display screen, you are able to do so by opening Control Center with a swipe up from the underside of the display screen on a tool with a house button, or a swipe down from the top-right nook on newer iPhones. 

14. Triage your privateness settings

The first time you arrange a cellphone and your entire apps, you are bombarded with prompts asking for permissions to entry private info starting from monitoring your location to your Apple Health info or your digicam roll. It’s far too straightforward to get within the behavior of approving all the pieces simply so you should utilize the app, however take a couple of minutes and undergo your privateness settings and tailor what every app can and might’t see. We stroll you thru the method in two quick steps

Control Center has loads of potential, you simply need to customise it. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

15. Control Center places all the pieces a faucet and swipe away

Control Center is a handy spot to shortly change songs, activate airplane mode, hook up with Wi-Fi or begin a timer, however there’s a lot extra to it than that. You can shortly flip your flashlight on, test on a timer or begin recording your display screen with a quick swipe and faucet. 

Customize which apps and options can be found in Control Center by opening Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls. Remove an choice with a faucet on the purple minus button or add an choice by choosing the inexperienced addition button. Drag options up or down utilizing the three-line icon on the right facet of the display screen. 

Personally, I like having quick entry to the Wallet app, turning on low-power mode and toggling darkish mode. 

As a reminder, when you have an iPhone with a house button, like the brand new iPhone SE, you’ll be able to swipe up from the underside of the display screen to open Control Center. If you’ve an iPhone with Face ID, like an iPhone X ($900 at Boost Mobile), XS or 11, you may must swipe down from the top-right nook of the display screen the place the battery icon is. 

With your settings tweaked and your iPhone working higher than ever, familiarize your self with the most effective iOS 14 has to supply, together with a few of the hidden options we have dug up.

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