These days, many may be working at home and spending a lot more time with an iPhone. Here are some hints and tips.

Some Apple customers, on lockdown at home, may be finding themselves spending more time than ever with an iPhone: communicating, shopping, banking remotely and so on. Technology bits that were, perhaps, ignored before are now in the forefront. Let’s take look at a few.

1. For the time being, keep your iPhone on its charger at all times. This won’t hurt your iPhone for a few weeks. If you lose electrical power in a storm, you’ll want to always have a full battery for emergency communications. Plus, now is a good time to buy one of those emergency battery packs. Here’s a good one.

2. The modern, default standard for a passcode is six numbers. Make sure all your family members know it. Know theirs.


Image credit: Apple

3. If you’re not a regular user of FaceTime, now is a good time to practice with a family member, relative or friend. Apple has a good introduction: “Use FaceTime with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

4. Review how to send an SOS from your iPhone and set up your emergency contacts. Apple explains: “Use Emergency SOS on your iPhone.

5. Double-check your iPhone’s Cellular settings. Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data. Make sure services that you want to restrict to home Wi-Fi have their cellular data access turned off. (in case your Wi-Fi gets weak out in the yard.)This will help you prevent overloading your cellular plan’s limits. But also check with your carrier as well on the lifting of data caps for the time being. See also notes on Wi-Fi Assist,

Wi-Fi calling

Image credit: Apple

6. Working at home a lot means you may be more acutely aware that your local cell-tower perfomance is spotty when it comes to frequent daily use. Or it may be often overloaded. Fortunately, your iPhone can easily make high-quality phone calls over your home’s Wi-Fi. See: “Make a call with Wi-Fi Calling.” It works great.

7. Working from home may require focus for extended periods, but you also want to be attentive to your boss or team members. Review how to achieve that. “Use Do Not Disturb on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

8. This next is good general advice, but now is a good time to review: Settings > Privacy > Location Services and review which apps can access your location. To first order, if you think an app doesn’t need to know your location, turn that off. Other apps should only know your location “While Using” if possible. This is a conservative approach to privacy.

9. Receive calls on other devices. If you want to make sure you don’t miss a call, go to Settings > Phone > Calls on Other Devices. You can select other Apple devices in the household to act as a relay for iPhone calls. (It’s automatic on an Apple Watch paired with your iPhone.)

10. Investigate your bank’s iPhone app. Some banks allow you to deposit a check by taking a photo. This will save a trip to the drive-through window. And you may also be able to set up bill payments electronically, saving the hassle of letters, stamps, etc. Plus, some pharmacy apps can refill a prescription simply by scanning the bottle’s barcode, saving a phone call. Home or postal delivery may then be an option.

11. If you’re unsure how to use a new iPhone, a great resource is from our Bob “Dr. Mac” Levitus. Namely, his book “iPhone For Dummies.” It’s a great general reference guide for the iPhone.

Final Thoughts

Spending a lot more time with an iPhone at home provides significant opportunities to identify and exploit certain, helpful features. Perhaps these hints will inspire you to uncover them or become more expert. If you have time, share your own tips in the comments below.

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