By Paula Bostrom updated on 12/10/2013
Our iPhones and iPads are capable of amazing things, but most of us only use a small percentage of their abilities. In this weekly column, I share tips and tricks for beginners, or anyone who wants to harness the full power of their iDevice. This week, I will cover formatting text in emails, using emoji characters, personalizing Siri, and changing your wallpaper.
1. Format Emails
While writing emails on your iPhone, you have the choice of different formats. Highlight the text and then select B I U to make the text bold, add italics, or underline words.
2. Add Emoji Characters
When my kids and I text each other, one of our favorite things to do is add emoji characters. We add smiles, hearts, flowers, animals, even a steaming cup of coffee to our messages. Sometimes for fun we don't even use words, just the characters. My kids' favorite is to text me a toilet bowl.
Whether you use them for entertainment or for a quick substitute for word text, getting the characters is easy. Go to Settings>General>Keyboard>Keyboards, and choose Emoji. It will look like an international symbol in your keyboard while typing a text. To go back to letters, tap the symbol again.
3. Change Siri's Accent
If you're getting bored with Siri's American accent (automatically set for those who buy an iPhone in the United States), she can speak to you in a foreign accent. Go to Settings>General>Siri. Make sure Siri is on and then tap Language. You will see a list of all the different languages she can speak (including Mandarin, French, Spanish, and Japanese), along with a variety of accents. Pick from an Australian, Canadian, or British accent. It's something to liven up your good ol' Siri.
4. Choose Your Own Wallpaper
I like to change the backgrounds on my iPhone's lock and home screens to match the season. The iPhone comes with several wallpapers to use, but I get bored with them. To use a photo from a website as your background just press and hold the image and save to Camera Roll. Go to Wallpapers & Brightness in Settings, tap Choose Wallpaper, and select Camera Roll. Find the image you want, and after moving and scaling to the section you want on your screen, choose Set. You will be given the option to show the image on your lock screen, Home screen, or both.