iPhone and iPad neophyte. I now own both. Need online tutorial.
November 7, 2019 10:24 PM   Subscribe

Stroke of luck, a friend re-signed up for new cable, new phone service, new iPhone. Sign-up bonus: brand new iPad. He sold it to me for $100. Another friend just got latest iPhone, sold me his iPhone 7 Plus for $150. So I've a brand new iPad, a sweet (if a bit dated) iPhone. I've used cheapo android phones and don't even know what all they can do -- Apple a whole nother game. Seeking instructional site, series of videos, where I can go from knowing nothing to utilizing these amazing pieces of gear. Any ideas?

I'd like to know anything/everything, from removing that annoying "Sent from my iPhone" on emails to clearing icons of apps I won't use into one folder off the main screen, how to turn the apps bar on the front page to a floating bar that I can make disappear, how to install VPN on both phone and tablet, how to install Firefox and Chromium and set Firefox as primary browser, how to change "Hey Siri" to "Hey Lester" or whatever I'd want, etc and etc. (I've refused to say "Hey google" just on principle, tapped the microphone icon instead, just because.)

While knowing that Apple makes the best tech items I've stayed away both due to prohibitive cost but also because of the whole "walled garden" routine, which instantly stank of AOL in its early years. But the man who sold me the iPhone has used Apple since Day 1, tells me it's really quite easy to kick holes in those garden walls and use the high quality hardware as I'd want, and leave as small a footprint as possible. On Linux and Windoze I always browse incognito and often wipe cookies and everything else -- though it's a bit of a hassle to log-in, I see it as worth the time. I always keep google products in one private instance of a browser, microsoft products in another instance,

So maybe I'm looking for two instructional sites -- one filling me in on these products, another telling me how to lock them down as best I can. One thing for sure -- before installing apps I want to know their permissions, I see no need for a meditation app to know my contacts or location 24/7/365.

But -- first things first. How do I use this sparkling hardware?

Any help greatly appreciated.
posted by dancestoblue to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Take a look at Apple's how-to videos at https://www.youtube.com/applesupport and see if they are useful for you.
posted by applesurf at 2:05 AM on November 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

I find the official Apple user guides/manuals helpful. They are accessible here: https://support.apple.com/manuals or you can do a search for User Guides in the Books app on your iPhone or iPad.
posted by girlmightlive at 5:26 AM on November 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

If there is an Apple store near you, they typically offer free how to classes for new users as well as some classes on specific topics.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 5:28 AM on November 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

knowing that Apple makes the best tech items

Folks whose business it is to fix tech items in general and Apple hardware in particular will frequently disagree with that assessment, for what it's worth. Apple gear contains at least as many outrageous hardware design flaws as anybody else's.

the man who sold me the iPhone has used Apple since Day 1, tells me it's really quite easy to kick holes in those garden walls and use the high quality hardware as I'd want

This claim is often made by people who sell iPhones, and that goes double for committed Apple fans. In my experience it hasn't been true.

Apple's reputation for ease of use is based squarely on activities that fall well within its walled garden. It's hard to get stuff done if Apple has decided that doing that stuff is not something they're prepared to support. Apple has a lot invested in its walled garden and generally pays no attention at all to making life non-miserable for those of us who don't like walls much.

My best advice to you here is to adopt early the habit of swearing hard at Apple in general and the device in front of you in particular. This sounds flippant but it really, really isn't. It's all about properly establishing the fundamental psychological power relationships between you and what really ought to be your device and its manufacturer, and it's the same advice I give to owners of devices from any manufacturer. If it won't do what you want, first swear viciously at it and then find out how to make it do what you want. If you leave out the swearing part, it's just too easy to cut short the research part early, and you will end up with a machine that takes liberties.

All that said: of all the proprietary personal device operating systems, Apple's is easily the least privacy-invasive. So you're potentially off to a good start in that respect.
posted by flabdablet at 6:37 AM on November 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

"Sent from my iPhone", by the way, is just the obnoxious default setting for your email sig in the Mail app. You can change it to whatever you want or clear it entirely. Just poke about in Mail's settings, you'll find it.
posted by flabdablet at 6:54 AM on November 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

To make a desktop folder, long-press a desktop icon and once the wibbly wobbling starts, drag and drop it onto another one. A new folder will appear that contains both. You can then drag additional icons and drop them in alongside the first two. Folders can be dragged from screen to screen just like individual app icons can, and they disappear automatically when you drag the second-last icon out of them.

Just don't go mad with them; I've never found a way to give iOS anything like the alphabetical all-apps grid that comes standard with most Android launchers, and finding the launch icon for an app when you can't remember which folder it's in is a pain in the arse.
posted by flabdablet at 6:57 AM on November 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: From the accumulated bookmarks of a looooooong-time Apple/iPhone user:
Tips from Macworld: on the tin
OSXDaily: iPhone, iPad, Tips & Tricks: same
MacStories Deep nerdery on Apple, very very deep nerdery on iPads especially; very useful if you want to maximize productivity with the devices.

General info on Apple products, with good tips interspersed
Six Colors Mostly former Macworld writers/editors.
MacInTouch Ric Ford's 34-years-and-counting community site on things Apple. Hard to search but jammed with tips, troubleshooting info, more. I've learned so much from this site, especially about issues/problems with upgrading the OS too soon; never use Automatic Update, for example.
Daring Fireball John Gruber's years-old all-things-Apple site; deservedly popular for some news, informed opinion and critiques. He's nuts about the James Bond movies, for some reason.
MyAppleMenu A good old-fashioned linkblog with eclectic Mac/iOS/Apple links, and a supplemental set of literary links at the bottom every day.
posted by conscious matter at 8:06 AM on November 8, 2019 [6 favorites]

Using an iDevice is really about the software, not the hardware. You should be able to find the manual for whatever version of iOS is on your device for free via Apple Books.

Before I plow through the manual, though, I usually search online for how-tos, and I find a lot of them at the iMore site, but I'm not sure how to direct you to a particular area of the site for Apple-specific how-tos.

I moved away from Android to iPhone for two reasons: first was for more sane music management across PC, phone and iPad (which I'd had for two years before I bought an iPhone; second was I wanted Apple's walled-garden, as I was spending too much time and energy mucking about with alternate ROMs and such on my Android phone. Apple's iOS hardware works, the software is fine (not perfect, but fine), music management works like a charm (thanks in part to iTunes Match) and as long as my devices are supported I get iOS updates.
posted by lhauser at 5:56 PM on November 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

Sadly, you cant change Siri's name. But you can use button commands (long hold on ipad) to wake it up.
posted by ananci at 6:32 PM on November 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Gary Rosenzweig hosts MacMost, a YouTube channel with tutorials and tips for Apple users. Rosenzweig has decades of experience with Apple products and instruction. Each video (with transcript) focuses on a single task, and is aimed at beginning users with no condescension. Among the hundreds of tutorials, you can learn about organizing icons, choosing what gets backed up on iCloud, and assigning a specific ringtone to a caller.

The MacMost discussion forum specializes in tutorials, tips and techniques of the “how-to” variety, as opposed to “fix-it” questions. I've found the discussion forum to be blessedly free of Apple-Windows arguments, super-technical detail, and scorn for basic questions.

Two specific tips:

Using Settings is frustrating because there are more than a thousand choices. Tap, hold, and scroll down on the list to expose a Search field at the top of the screen.

iCab Mobile is the most capable (therefore challenging to configure) browser on iOS--it lets you control Javascript on a site basis, for example.
posted by Jesse the K at 8:21 AM on November 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you one and all for great answers. As always, ask a question here, get solid, informative answers.

I've got tons to chase down now. Thank you.

posted by dancestoblue at 4:09 PM on November 9, 2019

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