iPhone Basics: Intro to Buttons & Ports on the iPhone X & Later

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

If you're learning how to use your iPhone X, XS, XS Max, XR, here's an overview of the different buttons and ports you'll see on your device. So if you've been wanting to know just what is this button on your iPhone is called, or what the holes on your iPhone are for, here is a general explanation. For anyone using an iPhone X or later, here's an introduction on how, and a little bit why, your iPhone looks the way it does.

Related: iPhone X, XS, XS Max & XR: How to Use an iPhone with No Home Button

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Here is a photo from Apple's support page that shows the different buttons and ports of an iPhone X and later.

Starting from the top, I'll explain a little more detail of what each does.

https://www.apple.com/iphone-xs/specs/   apple support pic

1. Top Speaker & Mic

At the top are a front-facing built-in stereo speaker and microphone. Together with the microphones and stereo speaker at the bottom, these help your iPhone provide quality sound and allow you to be heard or recorded. The speakers allow you to hear when you play videos, receive calls, or if you have sounds on for notifications for example. The microphones let other people hear you when you're talking during a call or if you're recording a video or message on your iPhone.

2. Ring/Silent Switch

Top left is the Ring/Silent switch. With the switch pushed up, your phone will ring for calls and notifications. If you push the switch down, you'll see an orange tab letting you know the switch has been pushed down. With the switch down, your iPhone's Ringer is silenced, and your phone won't emit noise for calls or notifications. Even with the switch pushed down to Silent, your phone may still vibrate if you have those setting enabled.

3. Volume Buttons

Below the Ring/Silent switch are Volume buttons. The top Volume button will make the sound louder while the bottom Volume button will reduce the sound. Your volume buttons can have other functions, such as being used to snap photos.

4. Side Button

On the right is the Side button. You can click the Side button to turn your device's screen on or off. If you use Apple Pay or purchase from the App Store on your iPhone, you'll typically double-click with the Side button to confirm a purchase.

5. Lightning Connector

Finally, between the bottom built-in microphones and stereo speaker, is the Lightning connector port. You'll use this to connect your iPhone to anything with a Lightning connector such as Lightning connector, USB to Lightning charging cables, and other compatible devices.

For iPhone X and later, the device won't have a physical home button, but you can add one to the touchscreen if you want. And if you're not sure which iPhone you have, you can check to see which one it is.

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Hallei Halter's picture

Hallei is a 2018 graduate of Maharishi University of Management with a BFA in Creative & Professional Writing. She's currently working on a novel about people using witchcraft to clean their houses.