iPhone Life magazine

Sarah Kingsbury's picture
Sarah Kingsbury is the web editor of iPhone Life magazine. She has written for savvyvegetarian.com and worked as the associate editor of the Iowa Source for many years.

Tip of the Day: Siri Will Get You There Faster

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According to a survey by Intelligent Voice last fall, only 15 percent of iPhone users have used Siri in iOS7. If you're not already using Siri regularly, you should be. Why? Because Siri makes doing certain things on your iDevice so much faster.

For example, many of iPhone Life's Tips of the Day start by saying something like "Go to Settings>General>Accessibility." This requires you to open and scroll through two different menus. With Siri, all you have to do is say, "Siri, open Accessibility Settings." or Message Settings or Privacy Settings, you get the idea.

Other things that are much faster with Siri include:



Tip of the Day: Make Text Larger & Easier to Read

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Image copyright Goodluz, Shutterstock, Inc.

If your eyesight isn't what it used to be, you may find the small text on your iPhone or iPad hard to read. But there's no need to strain your eyes. And fortunately for you, I got my first pair of glasses at age six, so I'm way ahead of you on this being blind thing. Here are several tricks I use to make reading on an iPhone or iPad easier on the eyes:



Tip of the Day: Create Customized Vibration Patterns

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If you find yourself checking your phone every time any phone in your vicinity vibrates, it may be time to create a custom vibration pattern to set your iPhone's ringtone apart from the pack.



Tip of the Day: Use Siri to Get Directions from Google Maps

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Apple Maps has improved a lot since its disastrous debut. But many people still prefer to use Google Maps as their go-to navigation app. The problem is, when you ask Siri for directions, it'll automatically use Apple Maps as the default app for turn-by-turn directions. If you want to use Google Maps or some other navigation app with Siri instead, try this handy trick:



Tip of the Day: Use Your LED Flashlight for Alerts

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I frequently turn my phone on silent while I'm at work and then forget to turn silent mode off when I get home. If this is also you, or if you have a hard time hearing your alerts, you may want to set your LED flashlight to light up every time a new message or alert comes in. 



Tip of the Day: Emoji Shortcuts

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A couple of weeks ago we covered creating keyboard shortcuts to help you type commonly used phrases quickly. Did you know that you can also create shortcuts for emoji characters (those cute emoticons that go way beyond your average smiley face)? This is really handy if you use a lot of emoji characters and don't want to switch back and forth between keyboards all the time.

Before you can do this, you'll have to enable the emoji keyboard if you haven't already:



Tip of the Day: Keep Your Messages Private

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Previews of incoming text messages appear as banners or alerts on your home screen by default. This can be handy if you want to quickly decide whether you want to unlock your phone and reply to a message now or if you want to wait and reply later. But it can also be a pain if your mom or your boss catches sight of a message you'd rather they hadn't. And we all have that one friend or co-worker who thinks nothing of grabbing your phone to check out the notifications on your home screen.



Tip of the Day: Choose from New Siri Voice Options

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Although I suspect most people still use the original female Siri voice, you've had the option for a while now of changing the gender or the accent. And now the latest update to iOS 7.1 offers more natural-sounding UK and Australian English voices in both genders, so if you haven't played around with Siri's voice, this might be a fun time to try it. 



Tip of the Day: Look Up Definitions in Safari and Mail

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One of my favorite things about reading ebooks (besides the fact that I no longer have to figure out how to fit 10 books in my carry on) is how easy it is to look up the definition of a word and then get right back to reading. No more encountering a word whose meaning I'm not sure of, realizing my dictionary is on the shelf all the way downstairs, and deciding I don't really need to know what that word means after all. (I stopped pretending to myself that I would look the word up later years ago.)

But did you know you can also look up words in Mail and Safari?



Tip of the Day: Let Siri Help You Decide Where to Eat

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You know you want to eat out tonight and you know what time you want to eat. The problem is deciding where to eat. Siri can help you with that.



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