Unlike the rest of the NeuConcept staff—and probably most other people my age—I was iPhone illiterate until 2013. To illustrate my ignorance, I didn’t even get what an “app” and “Apple ID” were, although I heard those terms bandied around all the time by savvy users. Oh the jealousy!
Is anyone else out there in the same position I was a year ago? If so, here are the answers to the top six questions I had as an iPhone newbie, answered by Brett, NeuConcept’s resident (and very patient!) tech geek.
What’s an Apple ID and why do I need one?
An Apple ID transforms your device from a mere cell phone to a mini-computer. It’s your personal passport to all the useful and cool apps out there.
You have to enter a credit or debit card at sign-up, but the ID itself is free. Once you have it, your fave apps are only a swipe and a confirmed password away (no re-entering financial or personal info needed). Nice.
So many apps and so little time! Which ones should I choose?
For some handy go-tos, consider Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Google, Music (for iTunes Radio) and your bank (the mobile deposit is a great feature). Access all the free streaming apps like YouTube, PBS, the major networks and cable channels.
Narrow down the options by considering your likes, dislikes, hobbies and career. Athletes and fitness gurus will appreciate MyFitnessPal (to track their exercise and all the calories I know I should pay attention to and don’t). The faithful will love the Bible app, complete with daily verses and seasonal devotionals. There are even metronome apps for all you musicians (helps keep a steady beat/rhythm).
I also suggest:
- Find Friends – if you can get others to overcome the creepy/cool factor
- Evernote – notes synced on all your devices
- Fan – tells you what network or service your favorite show is on for free or pay
- Chrome – as a backup browser
- Drobox – to access all your synced files
- Feedly – to keep up on your good reads
- Deliveries – to track your shipments
- Netflix – to access your fave movies and TV shows (free download, $7.99-plus monthly fee)
Do apps eat up data even after they’re installed?
This is questionable. As long as you don’t allow the app to constantly communicate and stay open, you shouldn’t have any issues. Well-designed apps are built with this in mind, and should alert you when much data will be consumed.
If you’re concerned, you can allows double-tap your home button and swipe upward any app you want to quit (so it can’t use any additional data).
How do I keep my iPhone battery going longer?
Wow, this one could be a book. Here are the most helpful tips I found (though there are dozens):
It all comes down to turning off what you don’t necessarily use like the fitness app reminding me to be more active (I already know I sit down way too much) or the game I only downloaded to try once (the alerts to keep playing it were annoying at best).
Is iPhone insurance all that it’s cracked up to be?
This is almost philosophical. I know many people that can’t survive without having a warranty on everything, while I’m at the other end of the spectrum.
I think for most folks, though, getting Apple Care or some other alternative for their devices is helpful. But when it comes down to it, warranties are like the stock market: sometimes you win; sometimes you lose.
My iPhone got wet! Now what?
Unfortunately, Mary wasn’t the only one this happened to. Based on my own experience and some additional research (which could also be a book):
- Attempt to power off the iPhone immediately. Do NOT power on the device or check if it’s working, as much as you’d want to.
- Remove the SIM card.
- If the liquid is something other than water, consider cleaning or submerging it with alcohol (highest percentage possible). This is risky and could make things worse, but it could help if the iPhone is full or mud or other sticky, dangerous juices.
- Dry external surfaces as much as possible.
- Shake out as much of the liquid from every angle (without dropping the device 😉
- Use a combination of compressed air to blow out what you can and a vacuum cleaner/hair dryer to blow clean air into openings for about 10-20 minutes. Cautions: use the coolest settings as not to overheat the device, stand at a safe distance and be careful with possible static from the vacuum.
- Place your device in a sealable plastic bag full of rice and/or those dry packs that you sometimes find in new gear to suck the moisture out.
- Don’t use your device for two to three days. This is difficult, but likely necessary.
- Put the SIM back in and power up (charging as necessary).
- Pray (if that’s not your style, cross your fingers or stand upside down or something).