At an iPhone event in September, Apple announced the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR as its new flagship smartphone devices. Around that time, iOS 12 was also rolled out — which brought features like Memoji, Screen Time, Group FaceTime, etc.
If you recently bought one of the new iPhone devices, then you may find these iPhone XS tips and tricks useful (note more will be added soon):
1. Set Up Face ID
This year, Apple completely got rid of the Home button from all of its flagship devices. To unlock your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, the best way to do so is with the Face ID facial recognition system.
You can set up Face ID by going to Settings app > Face ID & Passcode. If you already have a passcode set up, then you will be asked to enter it. Or Apple will ask you to set up a passcode if one has not been created yet.
This is because your device will ask you the passcode if it has an error detecting your face. Face ID will scan your face twice in the process.
After the process is complete, you will have to swipe up from the bottom of the lock screen whenever the lock icon shows that the device has been unlocked after you look at the front-facing camera.
Often times, the iPhone does not unlock if you put your face too close to the front-facing camera so you should look at the device from a slight distance.
There is also a way to set up an alternate appearance by going to the Settings app > Face ID and Passcode > Set Up An Alternate Appearance. This feature can be handy if you want to allow your partner or family member to have the ability to unlock the device using his or her face.
2. See The Control Center
If you want to quickly see the Control Center on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, then you can do so by swiping down from the top-right corner. A good way to remember this is by swiping from the right side of the notch at the top.
3. Using Do Not Disturb
If you do not want your device to disturb you at certain times, then you can control this from the settings. This can come in handy if you do not want to see notifications as your driving and while you are sleeping.
These features can be controlled by going to the Settings app > Do Not Disturb. From there, you can schedule the time that you want Do Not Disturb to be activated when you want to silence your device, who to allow calls from, activate Do Not Disturb While Driving, and set up Auto Reply. And the Bedtime feature in Do Not Disturb allows you to dim the lock screen and silence calls and notifications until the scheduled Do Not Disturb time ends.
The Do Not Disturb feature can also be set up with an alarm in the Clock app.
4. Set Up Apple Pay
Apple Pay allows you to easily pay for goods at grocery stores and vending machines without having to take out your credit card from a wallet. You can set up Apple Pay by going to the Settings app > Wallet & Apple Pay > Add Card.
There is a chance that you may have to contact your bank to verify your information before the card can be used on Apple Pay. And you may be asked to set up Apple Pay if you recently purchased your device when you first power it on.
After Apple Pay is set up, you simply have to double tap the lock button on the right side of your iPhone. Then your phone will either scan your face with Face ID or ask you for the passcode to verify your identity.
5. Take A Screenshot
In previous generations of iPhones, you could simply take a screenshot by pushing down on the power and home buttons at the same time. To take a screenshot on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max is by tapping on the power button and volume button at the same time.
After you take a screenshot, a thumbnail of it will show up at the lower left side of the screen. When you tap on that thumbnail, then the screenshot goes into Edit mode. The screenshot also gets added to the Photos app in a few seconds after taking it.
6. Use Portrait Mode
The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have Portrait Mode on the front-facing and rear cameras. You can use Portrait Mode by opening the camera app and swiping the menu at the bottom to “Portrait.”
Once Portrait mode is selected, you will notice another menu slider to select the lighting options type such as Natural Light, Studio Light, Contour Light, Stage Light, and Stage Light Mono.
After you select an option, simply tap the shutter button once you are ready to take the photo.
7. Use Depth Control
The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max supports the depth control feature. This allows you to control the amount of blur that you want to have displayed in the background after the photo is taken.
You can do this by selecting the photo in the Photos app and tapping on “Edit.” From there, you can use the “Depth Control” slider to control the blur.
Since the iPhone XR has a single camera rather than the dual-lens on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, depth control cannot be used on that device. And Portrait Mode can only be used on people with the iPhone XR.
8. Turn Off The iPhone XS
In previous generations of the iPhone, there was a power button on the right side of the device that simply had to be pushed for a few seconds for the power off option. When you push down the button on the right side of the iPhone XS and XS Max for a few seconds, it will activate Siri.
To turn off your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, tap and hold the Lock button on the right side of the device and hold down the volume up button at the same time. Then you will see a slider for turning the device off.
9. How To Make A Memoji
In iOS 11, Apple introduced 3D animated emoji known as Animoji. And in 2018 with iOS 12, Apple created Memoji — which are 3D animated avatars that you can customize to resemble your appearance. And these customizable Animoji can be controlled using your voice and facial expressions.
To create a Memoji, open the Messages app and tap on the app drawer. Then select Animoji by tapping on the monkey icon and swipe until you see the Memoji icon — which is a + sign. After you are done customizing your Memoji, tap on the Done button at the top of the screen to save it.
10. Switch Between Apps
The navigation of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR are primarily controlled by the line at the middle-bottom of the screen.
You can switch between apps by swiping up from the bottom to the middle of your screen until you see the App Switcher. Then swipe left or right to find the app that you want to use and tap on it.
11. Force Close Apps
While you are in the App Switcher mode (as mentioned in the tip above), you can also force close apps. To force close an app, push down on one of the apps while in the App Switcher mode and swipe it up.
12. See The Notification Center
When you swipe downwards from the top left of the screen, you will see the notification center. A good way for remembering this is to remember to swipe from the left of the notch.
And then when you push down on a notification, you will see some Quick Actions. For example, pushing down on a text message notification allows you to quickly reply to the message from there. And pushing down on a tweet notification from Twitter allows you to quickly “Like” or “Retweet” it.
13. Wake Up The iPhone XS And iPhone XS Max
There are two ways to wake up your iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max if you want to quickly see your notifications. You can do this by tapping on the screen or by lifting it up.
If you want to change the settings for tapping on the screen, go to the Settings app > General > Accessibility > Tap to Wake. And you can control the settings for the Raise to Wake feature by going to the Settings app > Display & Brightness > Raise to Wake.
Note: The video tutorial above describes how to use the feature in the iPhone X, but it works the same way with the iPhone XS.
14. Use Split View On The iPhone XS Max
The iPhone XS and iPhone XR both support split view since they have larger displays. When you use one of these devices in landscape mode, some of the apps will allow you to perform more functions.
For example, the Split View mode of the Mail app shows you messages in a left frame and a preview of the messages in the right frame. You will have to make sure that the rotation lock is not activated to use this feature.
15. Using Siri
The Siri digital assistant can help you quickly pull up information or perform tasks such as the weather, traffic information, music controls, calendar appointments, sending text messages, making payments with Apple Pay, etc.
You can activate Siri by pushing down on the lock button on the right side of the device for a few seconds. Or you can say “Hey Siri” out loud while your device is near you.
To control the “Hey Siri” feature, go to Settings > Siri & Search > Listen for “Hey Siri.”
16. Control Notifications
Apple made some changes to the notification center in iOS 12. With iOS 12, notifications are grouped together and can be deleted by tapping on the “X” icon.
You can also long push on notifications from the Notification Center to tell that app to turn off notifications or deliver them quietly. The Deliver Quietly option still sends the notification to the Notification Center, but it does so without making a noise. You can also control notifications from the Control Center (details above).
Turning off the notification prevents the app from sending you notifications going forward. And you can customize these settings by going to the Settings app > Notifications and then controlling them from each individual app.
17. Customize The Control Center
You can customize the icons that appear in the Control Center by going to the Settings app > Control Center > Customize Controls. This is a great way of quickly accessing functions that you use often like Wi-Fi connections, Bluetooth connections, flashlight, brightness controls, volume, etc.
18. Use Group FaceTime
iOS 12 brought the ability to make Group FaceTime calls — which supports up to 32 people at a time.
Group FaceTime can be controlled by opening the FaceTime app and selecting the contacts that you want to call. Plus you can also start a group FaceTime call from a group chat on iMessage by tapping on the group initials and then tapping on the video icon.
While you are making FaceTime calls, you can also add text, turn your face into an Animoji or Memoji, and also add stickers.
19. Use One-Handed Keyboard On The iPhone XS And iPhone XS Max
Many people may prefer to use their smartphone with one hand and there are ways to make it easier to control that way.
For example, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have one-handed keyboard support under the Settings app > General > Keyboards > One Handed Keyboard.
This setting allows you to choose whether to shift the keyboard to the left or the right so that you can type easier with one hand. And then you can switch between this mode and the regular keyboard by pushing down on the globe icon at the bottom left of the keyboard.
20. Go To The Top Of An App On The iPhone XS And iPhone XS Max
If you want to quickly go to the top of a website or app, then you can do by tapping on the notch on the front of the device.
21. Quickly Launch Flashlight And Camera
You may notice that the Lock screen of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have the flashlight and camera icons. This is because these are the two most commonly used apps on the iPhone. Pushing down on one of those icons quickly launches that icon.
You can also quickly launch the camera app by pushing down on the right of the Lock screen and moving your finger to the left.
Note: The tutorial above shows how to use the feature on the iPhone X, but it works the same on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.
22. Hide Notification Details
If you do not want the content of text messages or other app notifications to be previewed on your Lock screen, then you can change those settings. To set this up, go to Settings > Notifications > Show Previews > choose When Unlocked or Never.
23. Use Reachability
You can set up the Reachability feature on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max by going to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reachability. After you set up this feature, then you can lower the app on your screen by swiping down on the bottom of the display.
24. Use Attention Aware Features
The front-facing camera on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max support a feature called Attention Aware. This feature activates certain awareness features such as not dimming the display until you stop looking at your device. And if you are looking at your device, then it will lower the volume sound of your alerts.
You can control this feature by going to the Settings app > Face ID & Passcode > Attention Aware Features.
25. Force Restart The iPhone XS And iPhone XS Max
Sometimes your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max may freeze up. If you want to force restart the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, you can do this by:
a.) Push the volume up button once
b.) Push the volume down once
c.) Push down the lock button on the right side of your device for about 30 seconds or until the screen goes black.
d.) The Apple logo should show up again on the screen, indicating that the device has been rebooted.
e.) If this does not work, then try it again from the first step.
26. Scan QR Codes
In order to scan the QR codes with the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, you can do so from the Control Center. You can do this by adding the shortcut in the Settings app > Control Center > Customize Controls > tap the green button next to the Scan QR Code option.
Then when you see a QR code in real life, swipe down the Control Center and tap on the Scan QR Code option. This should redirect you to the link connected to the QR code.
27. Automatically Update iOS On The iPhone XS And iPhone XS Max
There is a new feature in iOS 12 that allows you to automatically install iOS updates on your device. You can set this up by going to the Settings app > General > Software Updates > Automatic updates.
28. Take Measurements
There is a new Measure app that is included in iOS 12 that allows you to measure real-world objects such as suitcases and boxes.
You can do this by opening the Search feature on your device, typing Measure, and then opening the Measure app.
When you point the camera at the real world object, you will be asked to mark the points of the 3D dimension object. Once you are done marking the lines, the app will tell you the dimensions of the object.
29. Using Screen Time
iOS 12 includes a new feature called Screen Time. This feature allows you to see how much time you spend using an app and set up limits. This can be seen by going to the Settings app > Screen Time.
From here, you can set up Downtime (schedule time away from the screen), App Limits (see time limits for apps), Always Allowed (Choose apps you want at all times), and Content & Privacy Restrictions (Block inappropriate content).
30. Set Up Siri Shortcuts
Through iOS 12, you can create shortcuts in Siri. This allows you to customize commands on Siri to perform actions of your choice. For example, you can set up a Siri phrase that says “Open GPS directions to home” and you can add a shortcut to your home address under these settings.
You can set this up by going to the Settings app > Siri & Search > Suggested Shortcuts at the top > tap on the + button next to the shortcut that you want to set up.
More iPhone XS tips and tricks will be added to this article in the future so stay tuned!
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