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

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

All of the presently out there 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 all the time the very best that can assist you get probably the most out of your iPhone. 

For instance, Do Not Disturb is disabled right out of the field, which suggests your iPhone will proceed to beep at you all through the evening, inflicting mild sleepers to get up. Who needs that? Instead, a dip into settings can mechanically silence your telephone all evening lengthy. While you are in settings, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of darkish mode to avoid wasting battery life, and put Control Center to give you the results you want — as an alternative of the opposite approach round. 

Below, we’ll take you thru just a few steps that can make your iPhone even higher. For occasion, for those who reside someplace with zero or spotty 5G protection, there is no 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 assist for 5G, a largely quicker and extra dependable mobile connection. As carriers proceed to roll out their 5G networks, nevertheless, some iPhone 12 homeowners (together with me) should watch for 5G entry.

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

To flip off 5G in your iPhone 12, forcing it to all the time use 4G LTE even you probably 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 completely use a 5G connection when out there, you’ll be able to choose 5G On.


5G is sweet, you probably have entry to it, but it surely will also be a battery hog. 

Patrick Holland/CNET

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

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

Even although there are temporary descriptions beneath the three completely different settings, they do not paint a whole image for the primary possibility. According to an Apple assist doc, permitting extra information on 5G will provide you with high-quality video and FaceTime calls, and it additionally implies that your telephone 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 positive it is set to your choice.

3. Unlock your telephone whereas carrying a face masks

One of the irritating elements of carrying a face-covering in public whereas utilizing an iPhone that has Apple’s Face ID tech built-in has been the shortcoming to unlock the telephone. Because half of your face is roofed, Face ID simply would not work. And coming into your passcode to unlock your telephone works, but it surely’s not as handy. 

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

If you do not wish to watch for 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 possibility. Scroll down till you discover the Unlock with Apple Watch part, the place you’ll be able to activate the function 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 electronic mail, for instance — and somebody referred to as, the incoming name display would take over your complete show. It’s disruptive, positive, however you had been additionally very conscious that your telephone 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 reveals up close to the highest of the display while you’re utilizing your telephone. On multiple event I’ve almost missed a name as a result of I disregarded the alert as 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 very best for some. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

5. Show full notifications in your lock display

The first time you expertise Apple’s Face ID tech, you may discover you could’t see the contents of recent alerts and notifications on the lock display. 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 cover the contents of an alert till you decide up your telephone and unlock it by it. It’s a privateness function that I relatively take pleasure in, however I additionally get how it may be annoying (and have heard just a few complaints from readers and relations alike).

You can change how notifications seem in your lock display 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 all the time hidden on the lock display.


HDR video appears to be like nice, but it surely would not work in all places but.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

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

Every iPhone 12 mannequin obtained modest digicam updates, one in all which is the power to document HDR — or excessive dynamic vary — video with Dolby Vision. All that jargon means your movies shall be brighter with extra correct colours and improved distinction. Sounds superior, right? It is. I recorded a video just a few nights in the past with the iPhone 12 Pro and it truly 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 particular person viewing the video will want a succesful system 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 may have just a few 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 shall be captured in commonplace dynamic vary, and you will not have any points sharing or enhancing it.
  • Leave HDR Video turned on, however while 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 mechanically convert the video to SDR and add it. When you ship the video to a different iPhone consumer, Apple will detect if their iPhone, iPad or Mac is appropriate with HDR Dolby Vision. If it isn’t, Apple will convert the video mechanically.
  • If you allow HDR Video on and must edit your video, you should use 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 own home display on iOS 14 and the iPhone 12. 

Patrick Holland/CNET

7. Avoid home-screen app litter

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

If you just like the minimal look, you then’ll wish to make positive that newly put in apps aren’t mechanically positioned on your own home display each time you obtain an app. Or, on the flip aspect, if you do not need new apps to go on to the App Library the place you are positive 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 use a third-party app to play longer length “Live” pictures in your lock display.

Patrick Holland/CNET

8. Use fancy wallpapers 

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

Open the Settings app in your iPhone and choose Wallpaper from the listing. Make positive 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 implies that the wallpaper has a light-weight and darkish mode model and can change mechanically based mostly on the system standing of your telephone. 

You may also set reside wallpapers as your background for those who’re not offered on darkish and lightweight mode.


Dark Mode on the iPhone positive appears to be like good. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

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

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

Turn it on by going to Settings > Display & Brightness and deciding on the Dark possibility on the prime of the display. 

Apple’s apps will mechanically swap to a darkish shade scheme and most third-party apps have additionally adopted the function


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

Jason Cipriani/CNET

10. Turn on Do Not Disturb

I usually surprise how I obtained a full evening 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 while you get up within the morning, however by turning on DND, your telephone will not make a lot as a beep or a ping about Facebook updates and work emails.

If you are anxious about somebody needing to pay money for you in case of an emergency, you’ll be able to inform DND to make your telephone ring while you get repeat calls from the identical quantity. You may also resolve if you wish to all the time enable calls from contacts you’ve got added to your favorites.

11. Make display textual content simpler to learn

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

For a bit added oomph, you’ll be able to activate Bold Text (it is slightly below the Text Size button). 


Face ID would not all the time get it right. 

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

12. Add an alternate look to Face ID

Apple’s facial recognition function, Face ID, continually learns and relearns completely different elements of your face with every scan. If you are struggling to get Face ID to constantly acknowledge you, attempt the Alternate Appearance possibility. 

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 dim to avoid wasting battery life. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

13. Disable auto brightness for longer battery life

Your iPhone’s display brightness degree can have a huge impact on battery life. By default, iOS will mechanically regulate the show’s brightness based mostly 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 should 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, you are able to do so by opening Control Center with a swipe up from the underside of the display 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 telephone and all your 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 every part simply so you should use 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 a variety of potential, you simply need to customise it. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

15. Control Center places every part 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 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 possibility with a faucet on the crimson minus button or add an possibility by deciding on the inexperienced addition button. Drag options up or down utilizing the three-line icon on the right aspect of the display. 

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

As a reminder, you probably 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 to open Control Center. If you may have 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 the place the battery icon is. 

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

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