Many iOS apps don’t let you set individual preferences in the apps themselves, as you can in applications in Mac OS X. Instead, you access these options from the Settings app. This is also where you can change system wide settings, such as sounds and your choice of wallpaper. Because this app does so much, it’s by far the most crowded space on your device—there are several menus on the main screen in addition to entries for third-party apps. It can get pretty confusing, pretty fast—so let’s slow down and take a look at each preference.
How To Use iPhone 4S | Airplane Mode
If you travel frequently, Airplane Mode is a necessity: It temporarily switches off the cellular antenna, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, which the FAA requires you to do during air travel. This allows you to safely use your device in the air once the captain gives the all-clear. Airplane Mode is additionally useful for when you want to conserve your battery life, or for when you’d rather not be disturbed by the Internet or phone conversations. When enabled, an airplane icon will replace the status bars in the upper left corner of your screen, and your Phone settings will be grayed out and inaccessible.
Even in Airplane Mode, you can surf the Web if you’re on a plane that’s equipped with Wi-Fi; just reenable Wi-Fi from the Settings app. (Bluetooth and VPN connections can also be individually reenabled).
How To Use iPhone 4S | Wi-Fi
Immediately below Airplane Mode, the Wi-Fi menu displays your current connection status (Off, Not Connected, or a network name). Tap the menu to access the Wi-Fi Networks screen. From here, you can turn Wi-Fi on or off, join an available network, and set whether your device should alert you to available networks while you’re out and about.
If you have Wi-Fi turned on, you get a list of available networks under the Choose A Network heading. If you’re currently connected to a Wi-Fi network, that network’s name appears in blue and has a checkmark to the left. The bars by a network indicate its signal strength, and a lock icon means the network requires a password. Tapping the blue arrow to the far right of a network’s name brings up its advanced connection information. To join an unlisted network, tap Other and enter an exact network name.
How To Use iPhone 4S | Notifications
A notification is an alert from one of your apps letting you know an event has occurred (for example, that you have a new instant message or that it’s your turn in a game). These notifications can take the form of audio alerts, badges on the app’s icon, pop-up alerts, or banners (lessinvasive alerts that display briefly atop your screen). You can view all your recent alerts in Notification Center by swiping down from the top of the screen. Within the Notifications preferences screen, you can define how Notification Center sorts apps (Manually or By Time), and per-app alert behaviors.
For individual apps, you can choose whether an app’s notifications should appear in Notification Center at all; how many current and past alerts will be displayed there (up to ten items); the alert’s style (no alert, banner, or badge); whether the app should use an icon badge to count the number of alerts; whether the alert should show a preview of the information; how often to repeat the alert (up to ten times, at two-minute intervals); whether it should play a sound; and whether an app’s alerts should appear on your lock screen or not.
How To Use iPhone 4S | Location Services
Apple’s iOS allows apps to use your location to do nifty things, like find directions, orient yourself, and geotag photos. You may prefer, however, to exclude some—or all!—of your apps, or disable apps from accessing specific services. To do so, tap the Location Services setting.
Here, you can enable or disable Location Services globally, disable specific apps, disable certain types of location information within the System Services submenu (Cell Network Search, Compass Calibration, Diagnostics & Usage, Location-Based iAds, Setting Time Zone, or Traffic), and enable or disable the Location status bar icon. Within this menu, you can also discover which apps have been recently using your information: If the app has a purple arrow next to it, the app is currently accessing your location; if the icon is gray, the app has accessed your location in the last 24 hours.
How To Use iPhone 4S | Sounds
You can set your device’s sounds, ringer, alerts, and more in the Sounds menu. Choose whether your iPhone vibrates when it’s in Silent mode; set the volume of the ringer and alerts, and whether that should be adjusted when you adjust the master volume on the device via the volume buttons; and choose your alert settings.
When your ringer is on (the iPhone’s Ring/Silent switch flipped forward, with no orange strip showing), you have a variety of tone options for your alerts. Choose whether you’d like your device to vibrate as well as ring; select tones for phone calls, text messages, voicemails, new mail messages, sent mail messages, tweets, calendar alerts, and reminder alerts; and decide whether you’d like to enable the Lock Sounds and Keyboard Clicks options. You can add custom ringtones for any alert mentioned, either via your computer or by buying tones from the iTunes app.
How To Use iPhone 4S | Brightness
By default, the brightness of your device’s screen will adjust automatically by using several sensors to detect light patterns. You can turn this feature off to conserve battery power, however, and manually choose a brightness level by moving the brightness slider to the left or right within this preference screen.
How To Use iPhone 4S | Wallpaper
You can personalize your phone’s screen with photos from your photo library or camera roll, or with one of Apple’s stock wallpaper images. You see the image on the lock screen whenever the device is locked or you get a call from a contact with no associated photo; the wallpaper for your home screen displays behind your apps.
How To Use iPhone 4S | General Setting
As its name suggests, the General section covers all basic settings on your device. From here you can set the date and time, add a numeric passcode, enable Bluetooth and pair Bluetooth devices, control your network settings, restrict access to certain features, and more.
About Within the About screen, you can view and change your device’s name; see general information like the device’s cellular network, capacity, and version number; choose whether to automatically send diagnostics and usage data to Apple (and view any diagnostics and usage data sent); and view legal and regulatory information.
Software Update Your device allows you to update iOS over the air when a new version is available; tap the Software Update submenu to do so. (Make sure you’ve backed up your device to iCloud or a computer, just in case.)
UsageIf you’re curious about how much space your apps are using, or how many megabytes of data you’ve burned through, tap the Usage submenu. You’ll see how much space you have available and how much you’ve used; a per-app available-space breakdown (with an option to delete any app); a breakdown of your iCloud storage; a toggle for enabling battery percentage in the status bar; the time since your device’s last full charge; and a Cellular Usage submenu that lists Call Time and Cellular Network Data information, and offers a way to reset your usage and data statistics.
Siri To enable or disable your iPhone’s personal voice assistant, visit the Siri submenu. You can turn Siri on or off from this menu, and switch the language—and with it, Siri’s speaking voice—to one of the following: English (U.S., U.K., and Australian accents supported), French, or German. It’s also possible to alter voice feedback: You can tell Siri to speak aloud only when you’re in hands-free mode, or always; you can also set your information, so that it can identify you, and whether you’d like to enable Raise To Speak, which lets you talk to Siri by holding the phone up to your ear. If you disable Siri, you’ll be able to access Apple’s offline Voice Control system by pressing and holding on the Home button.
Network Within the Network submenu, you can turn off cellular data; enable data roaming for when you’re out of the country; or set up your own hotspot, a VPN, or Wi-Fi. If you want to share your device’s Internet connection with other devices, you can do so by using Personal Hotspot. Note that this option is not supported by every carrier, and most that do offer it require that you purchase an additional data plan, so you may not have access to this feature. When enabled, the Personal Hotspot turns your iPhone into a password-protected hotspot that multiple devices can connect to.
Like VPN, this option will show up in the main Settings menu once you’ve gone into Network -> Personal Hotspot and entered the correct settings. Once you’ve done so, you can tap the Personal Hotspot menu to turn the option on or off; change your Wi-Fi password; and read some information about how to connect external devices to your iPhone’s network via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or USB.
A VPN (virtual private network) allows you to securely connect to the Internet via a proxy network. It’s mainly used by businesses that need to provide its employees with a secure connection to their intranet (private internal server network), though it’s become popular in recent years among security-conscious individuals.
If you have one configuration set up, the VPN menu displays your current connection status with an on/off toggle. If you have multiple entries, the VPN shows Not Connected or Connected; tap the menu to access the VPN screen. On this screen, you can enable or disable the VPN by tapping the toggle, choose an active configuration, edit or delete a VPN by tapping on the blue arrow to the far right of its name, or add a new configuration. As with a Wi-Fi configuration, if you’re currently connected to a VPN, that configuration’s name appears in blue and has a checkmark to the left of it.
To add a configuration, you need to know what kind of system your VPN uses—L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol), PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol), or IPsec (Internet Protocol security)—and some information about the server, user, and password. (Contact your system administrator or the person supplying your VPN if you’re unsure what to do.)
Bluetooth In the Bluetooth screen, you can turn your device’s Bluetooth antenna on or off, see a list of devices you’ve connected to in the past and whether they’re available, connect to new devices, or unpair your phone from devices you’ve connected to previously.
iTunes Wi-Fi SyncWhen enabled, iTunes Wi-Fi Sync allows you to sync your device to your computer over a Wi-Fi connection. Your iPhone automatically syncs to your computer once a day when plugged into power and connected to the same network. You can force a sync at any time—whether your device is plugged in or on battery power—by tapping the Sync Now button on this screen; below this, you can see which computer(s) your iPhone is synced to and when you performed your last sync.
Spotlight Search Choose the Spotlight Search submenu to select the information that shows up in a Spotlight search on your device, and the order it appears in. Tap an entry to enable or disable it within Spotlight, and tap and drag on the right-side handles to reorganize the way you see your search results.
Auto-Lock After periods of inactivity, your device will go to sleep; to use it again, you must wake it by pressing the Home or On/Off button. Tap the Auto-Lock submenu to choose how much time passes before your iPhone goes to sleep: from one to five minutes, or never.
Passcode Lock You can assign a four-digit passcode to your iPhone so that no one can use it without entering that passcode. Tap this entry and select Turn Passcode On to bring up the Set Passcode screen. Use the numeric keyboard to enter and verify a passcode. Once you’ve entered a code twice, you have the option to turn it off; change it; and set whether your device requires a passcode immediately or after a period of inactivity (after one minute, five minutes, 15 minutes, or one hour).
If you want more security than just a four-digit passcode, turn off the Simple Passcode setting and enter any password you like, including numbers, letters, or special characters. You can additionally choose whether the Siri feature is accessible when your phone is locked, and whether the device should erase your data after ten failed attempts to enter the passcode.
Restrictions Say your kids want to play a game on your phone, but you’re worried their fingertips may travel to places they shouldn’t. Not to worry: You can lock certain features away from other users of your device by way of the Restrictions screen. After setting a passcode, you can choose whether to allow access to certain apps, such as Safari, YouTube, Camera, FaceTime, and iTunes, as well as to certain app features, such as the iTunes app’s social network Ping. You can also restrict a user’s ability to install or delete apps; enable Siri (and also enable or disable Siri’s comprehension of explicit language—if you swear with explicit language turned off, Siri bleeps your response and refuses to answer your query).
You can also restrict changes to location settings and Mail accounts; certain content (specifically rated music, podcasts, movies, TV shows, and apps); in-app purchases (and whether iOS should prompt you for your password on subsequent purchases immediately or after 15 minutes); and Game Center multiplayer games or adding friends on the service.
Date & Time Set the date and time within this screen: Choose whether to display 24-hour time and whether to set the date and time automatically or manually. (If you choose to set the date and time yourself, you’re prompted to enter the time zone you want your device to display, as well as the date and time.)
Keyboard iOS offers several intelligent typing options: Auto-Capitalization, Auto-Correction, Check Spelling, Enable Caps Lock, and the “.” Shortcut (tap the spacebar twice, and you’ll insert a period followed by a space). You can also add extra keyboards in international languages, or add custom keyboard shortcuts (for example, having omw automatically expand to “On my way!”). If you want your iPhone to recognize specific words, you can also add these to the shortcuts list.
International Choose the International submenu to set your device’s language, the voices that Voice Dialing and Siri use, which keyboards you’d like to use, and your device’s region format and calendar.