Here are five tips for getting the most out of your iPhone

Updates to Apple’s mobile operating system have added new features that make it easier to open apps, chat with friends, and interact with your device.


Apple released an update to its operating system, iOS 14.5, which provides users with more control over their personal data. However, if you wish to have greater control over the iPhone itself, there are other options available to you. Interested in putting your favorite apps at your fingertips, tagging friends in Messages, or setting your favorite browser to open links? You can accomplish all of these tasks and more.


A few quick tips to enhance your iPhone experience are provided below. In the next Tech Tip column, we will present a few helpful hints for the Android faithful.


1. The Control Center can be customized
Control Center is a handy panel of frequently used settings that can be accessed by swiping on the Home screen. It was first introduced in 2013 and became more useful when Apple began letting users add their own buttons a few years later. You can easily customize your Control Center to add the features and functions you use most by clicking on the Settings icon on the home screen, scrolling down to Control Center, and tapping it.


Select the app icons and settings that you want to live in your Control Center from the list on the next screen. Tools like the Flashlight are typically included by default, but you can remove those that you rarely use and add icons for apps that interest you, such as the Magnifier, the QR Code scanner or even Shazam music recognition. Before closing the Settings app, drag the icons up and down the list to rearrange their order.


2. A Back Tap Action should be assigned
Wouldn’t it be nice to have an additional means of controlling your device beside screen swipes and voice commands? When you use the Back Tap feature on an iPhone 8 running iOS 14 or higher, your iPhone will perform a specific action whenever it receives a quick tap on the back.


Set it up by opening the Settings, selecting Accessibility and then Touch, and scrolling down to Back Tap. If you select Back Tap, go to Double or Triple Tap and select an action from the next screen, such as opening the Spotlight search app, the Control Center, or running a Shortcut you’ve set up through Apple’s Shortcuts app. If your iPhone is in a case, Double Tap will work as well as Triple Tap – and Back Tap should also work.



3. Choose Your Mail and Browser Apps
Want Apple’s Mail app to open instead of the Gmail app when you select an email address from your Contact list? Or do you get frustrated by the iPhone opening Safari instead of your favored DuckDuckGo browser whenever you tap a link on the device? You can set the apps you want to be your default applications if your iPhone is running iOS 14 or higher.

You can do this by telling Siri to “open the settings for Gmail” or whatever you intend to use. The settings icon is also available on the home screen. Simply tap on it and then scroll to the app’s name. Go to the next screen and select your preferred program. On the next screen, tap on Default Browser App or Default Mail App.

4. Use messages to direct your response
Messages lets you respond to specific posts, and you can get someone’s attention in a group chat, just like some social media platforms? These two options are available to you.

When you tap your finger on any message in an individual or group chat where everyone is using Messages, a menu will appear. Select Reply, write your response, then tap Send. When you want to tag someone so he or she gets a notification, either put an @ symbol in front of their name or type it in and select their name when it appears.


5. You can get the Siri you want

Since Apple introduced Siri a decade ago, Alexa and Google Assistant have been gaining knowledge and efficiency. Apple enhanced Siri’s abilities with iOS 14 by adding more skills. Additionally, iOS 14.5 offers a more diverse range of voices.


On the home screen, select Settings, then Siri & Search. Now you are able to choose when and how Siri sounds. To make sure you always see the last word, make sure “Show Always Siri Captions” and “Show Always Speech” are turned on after you select Siri Responses from the list of options.