So you just got a brand new iPhone, you transferred everything from your old phone and now you are playing with your shiny new toy. What do you do first? Obviously you’re going to check out the apps you’ve been using on your old iPhone for so long, probably marveling at how fast they load and how smooth and responsive everything is.
Than what? Here are our suggestions for the first seven things to do with your iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro. And if your iPhone 14 is your first experience with iOS 16, you should know that there are also many excellent new features to try out!
Adjust the display settings
Depending on which previous iPhone you had, you may not have made much use of some of the display settings that could be much more useful on an iPhone 14. Open Settings > Display and brightness and experiment with some of the options there. Dark mode is easier on the eyes in dark light and saves battery life with your OLED display. If you don’t want it on all the time, press the automatically toggle and choose between “Light until sunset” (which switches based on the time of day) or “Custom schedule” (which allows you to set a personalized schedule).
Change auto lock the default 30 seconds can also save you a lot of frustration, and this is a great time to mess around with things like text size. Night Shift takes some of the blues out of your screen late at night, but it’s a bit strong – set it to your preferred time (starts a few hours before bed), but adjust the slider a bit in the direction of the less hot side if you don’t want to skew the screen so much.
If you have an iPhone 14 Pro, you can also toggle the always-on screen. If that isn’t enabled, try turning it on and live with it for a week or two to see if you prefer it.
Keep it safe
iPhones are expensive. And even if you have the money to buy a new one, you want to keep it this one one in good condition to help its resale or trade-in value, or to make it look better in a few years.
We recommend putting a case on your iPhone 14. If you don’t like cases, look for a super thin case from, for example, Totallee or consider a skin from Dbrand or Slickwraps. It doesn’t add much drop protection, but it keeps your iPhone free from scuffs and scratches without adding extra bulk or weight.
Also consider a good glass screen protector. Even with Ceramic Shield, shattered screens are the biggest problem with dropped phones, and even with AppleCare+, they’re pricey to fix. A good screen protector is almost invisible and will go a long way in preventing your screen from cracking!
Check out the new camera modes
One of the coolest new camera features on the iPhone 14 is Action mode, which applies really heavy video stabilization to your handheld shots. It’s just the thing to take videos while running, or on a boat, or any other situation where it’s hard to keep your phone still. Open the camera app, switch to video mode and tap the little “action” button to enable it. Try running on and off with it.
Movie mode has been updated to 4K resolution, so you might want to give that a shot as well. If you upgraded from an iPhone 12 or earlier, you didn’t even have this feature.
It’s fun to experiment, but Apple has a support article that explains how to use it. Find any location with a subject up close and in the background (or stage something) and try it out! Play around with tapping to focus or double tapping a subject to enable autofocus. When you’re done, open the Photos app and play around with editing the video to change the focus from the way it was originally shot.
Another great feature is the Macro mode, which allows you to take incredibly detailed close-up photos with the iPhone 14 Pro. It automatically works our default when you get close enough to an object, but you can also get more control over it in the settings.
You can do this on any iPhone, but many people haven’t yet and it could save your life one day. So setting up a new iPhone is the perfect time to open the Health app to enter important medical ID information and set up an emergency contact. Medical ID info can display critical medical information or allergies on your lock screen to a first responder, and an emergency contact is someone who can be called in an emergency by holding down the side and volume buttons.
- First, open the Health app.
- Then tap your profile picture top right.
- Tap Medical ID.
- Tap edit top right.
- Enter all critical medical information a first responder needs to know if you have an accident, and an emergency contact you would like to reach.
Set photographic styles
Photographic styles were introduced with the iPhone 13, but since most users don’t upgrade every year, they might be new to you. This feature allows you to adjust the image processing pipeline to give your photos a slightly different tone that is more to your liking. Open the Camera app, switch to photo mode and swipe up to reveal the small camera control buttons. Select the one that looks like three stacked layers to reveal the Photographic Styles selections.
Swipe left or right between the different styles: standard, rich contrast, vivid, warm and cool. In each, you can further adjust the tone and warmth of the image. Once you dial in something you like, it will be applied to every photo you take as you take it. The differences can be subtle but important at times, so take the time to experiment and take test shots!
You can also select your photographic style in Settings > Camera > Photographic Styles.
Take a trip to the dynamic island
The cool new feature on the iPhone 14 Pro isn’t the camera, it’s the Dynamic Island. It looks like a smaller notch when you turn on your phone, but when you start using your new iPhone, it springs into action, bouncing and expanding with music, FaceTime calls, timers, and more. See what the Dynamic Island can do and test it yourself.
Read the manual
Did you know that your iPhone actually has a manual? No, it didn’t come in the box…it would never fit. Apple keeps it online. But it’s super useful, with a nicely organized, hyperlinked guide to your iPhone hardware and iOS 15 online in the iPhone user guide. You’d be amazed at how much useful detail it contains, and how much you learn by reading the instructions!
If you prefer to read offline, or just want to keep your manual handy for times when you may not have internet access, you can download a free ebook in the Book app.