Tag Archives: iphone tips and tricks

A Grandparent’s Guide to iPhone 5 Tips and Tricks…..and anyone else who might say….Wow! I didn’t know you could do that!


I’ve been around technology and the Internet since 1995.  I’ve learned a lot about technology in the years since (my husband has called my computer my square-headed boyfriend for years) but I will admit there are many, many features of my iPhone (I have an iPhone 5) that I never knew existed.  So, I decided to do some searching to see what I could find.

These tips and tricks I’m sharing for the iPhone 5 are in no way in any kind of order but random.  Some may work with other versions of the iPhone, but I wouldn’t know since I don’t have those versions.

1.  The Sky is Falling, The Sky is Falling:  This is a Siri trick.  There is really no great earth-shattering reason for a need to know on this one unless you are Chicken Little and are afraid the sky is falling but it is really cool.  Have you ever wondered just where that airplane going over your head is bound for?  Now, you can find out.  (Location Services have to be turned on in the settings)  Then just say to Siri, “Ask Wolfram what flights are overhead.”  Like I said….generally useless, but fun to know.

2.  Grandparents just need to rest:  Have you found yourself in a prone position trying to view your screen and it goes crazy flipping this way and that.  You can get a stiff neck trying to follow it, right?  Well, now you can make it stay put (in a vertical position only).  See directions below. Can’t remember if you locked it or not?  Yes, we grandparents sometimes are not very detail oriented….just look up to the right by your battery symbol.  If the lock is there…..your screen is locked.  Just follow directions  again to unlock it.

Device Software Version iOS 7

  1. Access the Control Center by selecting the bottom of any screen and then dragging up.
  2. Select the Portrait Orientation symbol to lock or unlock.
    When the lock symbol is present, the screen is locked into portrait orientation mode.
  3. Drag the Control Center down to exit.

3. Screenshot that Infamous Text:  Yep, I admit….I didn’t know this one.  I’ve seen it, just hadn’t bothered to find out how it’s done.  Easy Peasy now that I know. Just press the home button and the on/off switch at the same time. Your screen will flash and the resulting image will land in your camera roll.

4.  You can teach an old dog Smileys:  How embarrassing.  I’ve been wondering how people were getting all those smileys to show up on their text messages.  I get it that  they might be using certain keyboard strokes, but who can remember all of those?  I think I found a better way.  This works on email, too.

Go to Settings > General > International > Keyboards. Then tap “Add New Keyboard” and select “Emoji.” You’ll now see a globe icon to the right of the “123” icon on your keyboard. Tap it to access your emoji keyboard.

5.  Just Relax:  Having one of those wakeful nights and just need some relaxing sounds to put you back to sleep?  Maybe you’d like to relax with some soothing yoga and need to set the mood?  Just download this free app from the Apple store:  Relax Melodies  and create the mood you’d like with the sounds you like.

6.  Party Humor:  Show those youngsters just how hip you are.  Have them give Siri this command on their phones:  “Siri, open the pod bay doors.”  This is a line from 2001:  Space Odyssey.  Oh, go on…..try it yourself.  Several times.  She keeps changing her answer.  Another good one is to ask her about her politics.  “Siri, are you a democrat or a republican.”  She keeps changing answers on this one, too.  Or, try this:  Ask  Siri to sing you a song, but don’t forget to say please. You’ll be the hit of the party with this tidbit!

7.  Check please:  Math skills out the window?  Siri can help.  Just ask her for example,“What is 20% tip of $68.24 split by 3 people?” Or if you just need to know what 20 percent of $23 is, simply dictate “23 dollars plus 20 percent” for your new total. of  $60 split by 4 people?” Or if you just need to know what 20 percent of  your bill is, simply ask, “23 dollars plus 20 percent” to get a new total, complete with tip added in.

8.  Where’s my glasses?  Are you having trouble seeing that little type on your screen?  Now you can make it bigger.  Yay!!!  Go to Settings > General > Text Size and slide the bar to where you want it to be.

9.  Quick….get the camera:  Your grandchild is doing something so cute you just have to snap a picture as soon as possible.  But, you lock screen is on and you have to go through so many steps to get to the camera, the moment is lost.  Not anymore.  You must have the Operating System  (OS) 7 on your phone. Look at the bottom right corner of your lock screen.  See the camera icon there?  Yep, you probably never noticed it.  Right?  Now, swipe up from the right-bottom corner of the lock screen and presto!  you are ready to snap away!

10. Do you Tweet on Twitter?  This was really interesting.  If you follow someone on twitter, all you have to do is ask Siri and she will let you know what they are saying.  For example, I follow a fellow educational technology friend so I just ask Siri, “What is Diana Dell saying on Twitter?”  She then finds me Diana’s latest tweets.  Amazing.

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