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iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: 10 Helpful Tips and Tricks

You’re happy with your shiny new 7 or 7 Plus, right? Of course you are! It’s the latest, and definitely greatest that has made yet. Unless you only own headphones with a 3.5mm jack. Then it’s maybe not so good. Anyway, the beautifully sleek phone is in your hand, so what’s next?

Related: Ten of the best 7 cases for your newfangled device

Beyond all the usual features like Touch ID, the new camera, and yes, plugging in headphones using the Lightning port, there are lots of little iPhone 7 tips and that the everyday iPhone owner may not know. To become an iPhone 7 master, they’re essential knowledge, and we’ve got the best ones you need to know right here.

3D Touch is useful

This isn’t only for the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, 3D Touch has been vastly improved in iOS 10, and the new features also work on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, so even if you don’t have the latest phone, give them a try. There are many to remember, and updates will be added all the time; so the best advice is to hard press down on app icons, or notifications, to see what happens.

Here are a couple of our favorites:

  • Hard press on the Message icon and you get quick access to a new message, or a shortcut to your most often used contacts.
  • Hard press on the Instagram app icon and there’s quick access to a new post, search, or your activity page.
  • With the phone locked, hard press on any notification to see additional controls. It’s easy to reply to iMessages without unlocking your phone, for example.

Fast unlock with Touch ID


Touch ID is Apple’s name for the fingerprint sensor, and it can be used in two different ways to unlock your phone, either a press or with a light touch. This was also an option on the iPhone 6S range, and there’s a chance the default option will be different to your previous choice. Here’s how to change it.

  • Go to Settings > General > Accessibility, then look for the Home Button option. In here, toggle the switch marked Rest Finger to Open.
  • With the switch moved to On, there’s no need to press the button to unlock the phone when the lock screen is active. With it Off, it still requires a press.

New Home button doesn’t feel quite right?


The iPhone 7 doesn’t have an actual button for the Home button, it’s a capacitive, sensor-driven disc that works like the touch screen. However, thanks to a clever new implementation of Apple’s Taptic Engine — just like the one on your Apple Watch — it does feel like a button when you press it. Did you know you can subtly change that feeling? Here’s how:

Go to Settings > General > Home Button. Here, there are three options to change the feel of the artificial click. Pick the one that feels right, and then the Done option in the top right-hand corner.

Bedtime

Bedtime is another iOS 10 feature that we love, and new iPhone 7 should definitely try it out. Rather than simply setting an alarm to wake up to in the morning, Bedtime lets you configure the number of hours you sleep instead, along with an alert to tell you it’s time to put your head down at the end of the day. It also tracks your sleep through Apple Health.

Open the Clock app and select the Bedtime mode at the bottom of the display. From here, chose the amount of sleep you’d like to get, and which days you’d like an alarm. Tap the Options button in the top left corner of the display to change the alarm sound, and the reminder time.

Flashlight intensity adjustment, and quick timer


Proving 3D Touch is getting more , here are a couple of shortcuts that are easy to miss, but can prove handy. Swipe up to access Control Center, and hard press on the Flashlight, or Timer buttons to adjust the brightness or start a preset timer respectively.

Lift to wake


If Touch ID’s super fast unlocking frustrates when you just want to check the time, you’ll like this trick. Like the Apple Watch, iOS 10 has a Raise to Wake mode. Pick up your phone, and the Home screen lights up, without having to press the Home button.

It should be switched on by default, but if not, head to Settings > Display and Brightness, and find the Raise to Wake toggle. Turn it on or off, depending on your preference.

Where has the lock screen camera shortcut gone?

Remember on other iPhones where you’d swipe on the little camera icon on the lock screen to quickly open the camera? It’s not there in iOS 10, and it’s not immediately obvious what to do instead. Don’t worry though, just swipe to the left on the lock screen to open the camera instantly. Just as quick and easy as before.

How to force a restart

The iPhone 7 doesn’t have a physical Home button, so the method for forcing a restart, or a hard reset, has changed. Now, hold down the power button on the right side of the phone, and the volume down button on the left side at the same time. Keep them held down until the phone restarts and you see the Apple logo.

Don’t miss the 3.5mm headphone adapter

Apple includes an adapter with every iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus so you can still use headphones that have a 3.5mm headphone jack attached, and not a Lightning connector. The thing is, it’s easy to miss in the box, especially in the excitement of getting out the phone itself. You’ll find it by taking out the EarPods, where it’s taped to the back of the case, therefore completely hidden from view if you never use the standard earphones.

Charge and listen to music at the same time?

You’ve got your headphones plugged into the Lightning connector, and 1 percent showing on the battery meter. What to do? If a pair of Bluetooth headphones aren’t an option, then you’re going to have to splash out on another adaptor. Belkin has a double Lightning connector adaptor in the works — one for charging, and the other for audio — while interestingly, Apple’s $50 iPhone 7 Lightning Dock has a 3.5mm headphone port built in to the base. Expect a few wireless charging systems, such as the Woolet Case seen here, to emerge over the next few months too.

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