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5 Tips to Take Command of Your iPhone


Last month, Apple released an update to its operating system, iOS 14.5, which gives users more data control. But if you want to gain more control over the iPhone, you also have options. Want to put your favorite apps within easy reach, tag friends in Messages, or set your preferred browser to open links? You can do all that and more. Here are a few quick tips for enhancing the iPhone experience. Next week’s Tech Tip column will share helpful hints for the Android faithful.

The Control Center — that handy panel of often-used settings summoned with a finger swipe — first appeared in 2013 and got more useful when Apple let users add their select buttons a few years later. If you haven’t tinkered with your Control Center to add the features and functions you use most, open the Settings icon on the home screen, scroll down to Control Center, and tap it.

From the list on the next screen, choose the icons for the apps and settings you want to live in your Control Center. While tools like the Flashlight are typically there by default, you can remove those you never use and add icons for apps you want, like the Magnifier, the QR Code scanner, or even the Shazam music recognition feature. To rearrange the order of the icons on the screen, drag them up and down the list before you close the Settings app.

Wouldn’t it be great if you had yet another way to interact with your device, along with screen swipes and voice commands? If you have at least an iPhone 8 running iOS 14 or later, you can use the Back Tap feature to have your iPhone perform a specific action when you give it quick taps on the back.

To set it up, you can assign two separate tasks to the Double Tap and Triple Tap functions — and Back Tap should work even if your iPhone is in a case. Pen the Settings, ct Accessibility, and Touch down to Back Tap. Once you choose Back Tap, select Double oe Tap and choose an action on the next screen, like opening the Spotlight search app or the Control Center or running a Shortcut you’ve set up with Apple’s Shortcuts app. You can assign email and Browser Apps.

Tired of the iPhone always opening the Safari browser instead of your favored DuckDuckGo when you tap a link or firing up Apple’s Mail program instead of the Gmail app when you select an email address from your Contacts list? If your iPhone runs iOSrunser, you can choose the apps you want as your default programs.

To make it happen, tell Siri to “open the settings for Gmail” or whichever app you want to can also tap the Default Browser App or Default Mail App-line, and on the next screen, select your preferred program. p open the Settings icon on the home screen, scroll to the app’s name, and set it to get to its settings. Tap the DefaulResponse in Messages

Want to respond to a specific post in a Messages chat or get someone’s attention in a group conversation, just as you can on some social media platforms? You can do both.

To reply to a specific message in either a one-on-one or group chat where everyone uses the Messages app, press your finger on that message until a menu appears. Select Reply, enter your response, and tap the blue Send arrow. To tag someone in a conversation, so they get a notification, put the @ symbol in front of the name or just type the and select it when it pops up onscreen from your Contacts.

Apple’s Siri voice assistant, celebrating a decade on the iPhone this October, has recently lost ground in knowledge and usefulness to Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assist. To boost Siri’s powers, Apple added more skills in iOS 14. And iOS 14.5 includes a more diverse set of voices.

To change how and when Siri sounds, open the Settings icon on the home screen, select Siri & Search and make your sele tions. You can also opt to display your conversations on the net by tapping Siri Responses and turning on “Always Show Siri Captions” and “Always Show Speech” to ensure you rest the words, too.


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