Have you heard the news, Apple has a new phone on the market? Of course you have, and you’ve corrected me, there’s two new phones, the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. If you have one of these powerful smartphones in hand and are wondering what to do next, check out this little list of recommended setup tasks to help you get the most from your phone.
This list will include tasks that are fairly mandatory, but our goal is to focus on the extras, tricks and treats from the new iOS 10 and more. Please feel free to add your suggestions in the comments below.
1. Are you a returning iPhone user? Backup!
If your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus is not your first iPhone, you have some decisions to make. The possibility exists to back up your older device and restore that data, applications etc. to your new phone. This is not always a recommended action, particularly if you are having any issues at all with your old device, there is no point transferring problems to your new phone.
Now, if you do wish to make your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus match your old iPhone, we recommend performing a backup on your old device in the moments just prior to first firing up your new phone. You do have older backups of your older device, of course, but we imagine you want the latest possible messages, files and settings, so performing the backup you want to recover from should be at the last moment before setup, if possible.
Don’t forget to start backing up your new phone as soon as it’s up and running and you’ve spent time configuring settings.
2. Take your time in the initial setup
I know there are ToS and all sorts of dialogues to read, manage and annoying little settings to get through when all you want to do is use that new camera, but these steps are the foundation of your device. You’ll get to use the camera, that’s even a step later in this list, but do give care to this initial setup.
Do not be afraid to start over.
Be particular about your device and settings. I don’t have to tell you how important your phone is to your daily routine, taking the time to ensure that it is configured to your tastes can be a huge time saver later on. Most of us never like to do a factory reset, but there is never going to be an easier time to start over than right here at the beginning. Pull the trigger if needed, it’s worth it in the long run.
3. Touch ID, it’s more than just to log in
If you are familiar with using your fingerprint to log into a mobile device, you probably just plopped your finger on that new haptic feedback Home button already, let the embedded fingerprint scanner log you into the phone and off you go. If you did not know, this setup is pretty crucial to using Apple Pay in the store.
Security alone is a great reason to setup a Touch ID fingerprint, acting alongside a pin or passcode, providing quick access to your device, but most importantly, protecting your financial information and restricting the ability to make purchases with the phone.
You can absolutely set up a fingerprint later, including setting up additional fingers, but the option is in the initial setup of the device, making it easy to tackle now.
4. Updates, and more updates
The first thing I like to do with any computing device, regardless if Android tablet, Windows laptop or brand new iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, is to look for system updates. iOS 10 shipped on your new iPhone, but iOS 10.0.1 is available. Head into Settings and check for updates… guess what? It’ll walk you through a handful of setup options again, enjoy!
Once your OS is up to date, dive in to look for app updates. If you did not recover a backup earlier, there may be a few updates for some pre-installed software, but it’s not likely. This step is mostly for those that carried forward previous app installs. Update them all, like everything else, better now than later when you’re trying to use said apps.
5. Install new apps
If you know of any apps that you are going to want installed on your device, now is a great time to get them in there. If you opted for the smaller storage space option, get your apps installed now before your fun 4K videos and 12MP photos fill up the space, not to mention all those tunes you like to keep in your pocket, but that’s a little more flexible these days.
6. No click, but it shakes – configure your Home button
You read that correctly. If you’ve not seen the info yet, Apple has removed the physical click from the Home button, what you feel now is a tiny vibration motor. If you’ve never considered how the tactile feedback of a button click affects your usage, now is your chance to explore, there are several haptic settings available for the Taptic Engine, choose your click and off you go.
7. Check your accessories
It is likely that you have a few accessories kicking around from other mobile devices, all ready to use with your new iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus. We do too. The good news is that most are going to work with your new phone, particularly those designed for the 6 series Apple phones. It should go without saying that some accessories will need an upgrade, your case in particular. Simple enough, check out these lists to help you move forward.
8. Setup audio
You noticed the lack of headphone jack, I assume? Let controversy reign the discussions, but the hard reality is you’re going to need an adapter to connected wired audio equipment, or invest in wireless headphones or earbuds.
Apple announced the new AirPods, a pair of completely wire free earbuds that’ll hit the market in October. Along with other Bluetooth connected headphone or earbuds, just head into your Settings, find Bluetooth and pair your audio devices.
Do not drill a hole! Despite what you may have seen or heard, there is no hidden headphone jack on your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus. Instead get yourself a pair of bluetooth headphones and follow our video below to get all set up.
9. Color, brightness and all things display
Auto display brightness is the name of the game when you first get started, but feel free to swipe up to access the quick control panel, or head into Settings to turn off auto and set your own display brightness. This new panel is much brighter than previous, great for sunlight usage, but in the relaxed comfort of your dimly lit living room, it may be too much.
Beyond brightness, there is new display tech on hand that allows color temperature controls, either manually or on a schedule. Things are a little cold by default, that’s the blue tinge you see in the whites, but you can tame it down, particularly with the Night Shift controls that can make things downright orange.
Don’t forget you can play with scaling and such as well, make text small to fit more on the screen, or bump it up if you are like me and need to compensate for imperfect vision.
10. Take pictures at night
You know what you can do with the all new 12MP camera sensor, set at f/1.8 aperture and backed by a Quad-LED True Tone flash? The same things as before, just better. The new camera is proving an excellent shooter, made more fun for iPhone 7 Plus users that get a dual lens setup for wide-angle and telephoto capture. In addition, Plus users get a 2x optical zoom, rare on a smartphone, with a whopping 10x digital zoom.
There are other improvements as well, mostly incremental, go ahead and shoot, whether you notice a difference or not, you should get some great shots in most lighting conditions. Live Photos have a new trick as well, they are editable. This may seem a small thing, but users of Live Photos that desire a little color correction or cropping can now do so without eliminating the video aspect of the Live Shot.
But, do not do that
I know, you are excited about the IP certification that means you can get your phone wet without much worry. This is great, no doubt, but please don’t push it. In the same way that airbags will save your life in a car crash, isn’t it just better to not crash the car? That was a little dramatic, but my point remains, you can dunk your phone in your glass of water, but it’s still not recommended to do so.
I already mentioned there is no hidden headphone jack, put your drill away and suffer with the adapter if you do not have Bluetooth headphones.
The new 7000 series aluminum is pretty tough, but your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus will still bend, crack and be accepted by the local electronics recycling facility. Don’t abuse your phone any more than your normal day to day bumps and grinds. In the same vein, if you need to see how it handles drops on concrete, watch our video instead of performing your own drop test.
Truth is, there is going to be dozens of little things that you’ll need to tackle with your new iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, I hope our short list has you on your way to getting the most out of your new phone.
Please jump in the comments below to let us know what critical first steps you take with your iPhone.