What do you want me to know about the iPhone 13?
June 3, 2022 4:13 PM   Subscribe

Mr. Blah and I are phone Luddites who held on to our iPhone 6's until they were almost useless (meaning, today) and just got iPhone 13's. Yes, we're gonna figure out how to use them (thankfully our college kid is home for summer break) but is there something special, lesser known or just plain surprising that you think an Old Phone user might need or want to know when suddenly encountering a New Phone? I'll accept all tips and tricks you might like to tell me.

We both got the Pro Maxes because we have ancient eyes that like things BIG, if that makes a difference.
posted by BlahLaLa to Technology (20 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: > We both got the Pro Maxes because we have ancient eyes that like things BIG

I assume you know this already, but... go into Settings > Display & Brightness > View, and select Zoomed. I have poor vision. That feature is why I bought a Pro Max. It was worth it.

Enjoy your new iPhone. It's a big upgrade!
posted by 2oh1 at 4:19 PM on June 3, 2022 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Maybe not applicable but the thing that continues to surprise my husband (6s to 11 Pro) is the lack of 3.5mm jack for headphones.
posted by sm1tten at 4:28 PM on June 3, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Neat FaceID tricks:
- Not sure how obvious this is made during setup, but you can teach your phone to recognize your face with a mask on. This will work for unlocking the phone and for authorizing Apple Pay. It is, however, much more sensitive to changes in glasses and hats if you're wearing a mask
- Using ApplePay with FaceID is a little easier if you authorize it before you tap. To do this, double-click the side button and choose your card, then tap the terminal

The new swipe-based lock screen:
- If you want to look at things on the lock screen that need the phone unlocked (like notifications) and your phone didn't immediately recognize your face, you can swipe the bar slightly up and then back down to trigger it to try FaceID again without actually leaving the lock screen
- You can swipe from right to left on the lock screen to jump quickly to the camera. This does not require you to unlock the phone, and you can even review the photos you've taken without unlocking. It won't let you share them or view any previously taken photos though, until you've actually unlocked

Try taking photos in the dark! The camera does an amazingly good job at this, and you can get some really neat shots.

If you have any sort of encounter with police/customs/etc, rapidly clicking the side button 6 or 7 times (which you can easily do while casually holding the phone) will make it so that it requires a passcode to unlock. It's harder for them to compel you to enter a password than to use biometric authentication. This isn't really new, but the way you trigger it is a little different than on home-button phones.

There's tons of great new stuff, but what's useful will vary depending on what you use your phone for.
posted by duien at 4:32 PM on June 3, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Having upgraded to a 13 (non-Pro, but still) from another that was quite a fair bit older (I think I was on a 7), the lack of home button threw me for a loop for a bit, so some things you might want to use that are now in different places:
  • Screenshot: side button + volume up
  • App switcher: swipe up from the bottom and stop in the middle
  • Double-click the side button to bring up ApplePay
  • Siri: hold the side button
  • Switch off: hold side button and volume up
  • Swipe down at the very bottom edge of the screen to trigger Reachability, if you have that enabled.
You can use tapping on the back of the phone as an extra button for some things. Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Back Tap. It recognises double taps and triple taps.

A lot of things you'll encounter in using (for instance, if you get a lot of notifications from messages in a short period of time your phone will now volunteer to temporarily mute the notifications).

"Do not disturb" is now "Focus", and while it works just like it used to if you don't set it up, it has a bunch of extra options you might find useful.
posted by sailoreagle at 4:40 PM on June 3, 2022 [4 favorites]

Best answer: My phone isn’t a 13 but it’s more recent than a 6, so these tips should work:

You can get to the camera while the phone is locked- just press and hold the camera icon on the Lock Screen. You can also use the volume buttons to trigger the camera for easier selfies.

On the Home Screen, if you swipe to the left you can see a cute daily slideshow of some of your photo memories.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 4:44 PM on June 3, 2022

The official iPhone User Guide is helpful. You can download it from the Books app.
posted by girlmightlive at 5:36 PM on June 3, 2022

Best answer: There's a whole tips app that provide animated guides for various features. It's icon is a lightbulb with a yellow background:
posted by zenon at 6:00 PM on June 3, 2022

With all the cameras (and I bought my iPhone 13 Pro because of the cameras), I managed to find a case with a slide-over lens protector. Though not as slippery as the XR I traded up from, the 13 Pro still has a glass back, I found it impossible to use the phone comfortably until I had a case on it.
posted by lhauser at 6:55 PM on June 3, 2022

Best answer: The little drag handle at the bottom, that you pull up to go to the Home Screen (or halfway to get to the app switcher) has another trick too: swipe left/right on it to switch directly to the previous/next app.

I don’t know if your old phones had a version of Safari where the address bar and buttons were at the bottom, as it will be on your new phones; but if you don’t like it there you can go back to the old style with it at the top. Look in Settings > Safari.

If you use the Control Centre buttons for things like airplane mode, it now pulls down from the top right. Took me a long time to get used to that particular change.

Possible the best feature of these phones is the button to activate the torch directly from the Lock Screen!
posted by breakfast burrito at 2:37 AM on June 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

My wife just went from a flip phone to an iPhone SE. The hardest lesson has been that the folks at the Verizon store didn't know how to activate it properly. (It has an "built in" sim card. A note came in the box saying no sim card needed. They put in a physical sim card. Twice. The phone works OK, but it's clearly not activated the way Apple intended.)

The lesson is, if you're having trouble, you may be getting bad advice even from the folks who are supposed to know.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:29 AM on June 4, 2022

Use the Control Center (swipe down from the upper right-hand corner, and you can customize what shows up there), and check out Widgets to see if that's something you'd like (I'm especially partial to Smart Stack).
posted by box at 11:35 AM on June 4, 2022

Best answer: There is a magsafe charger which allows you to do magnetic wireless charging instead of plugging your phone in. It can be super handy and saves wear and tear on charging input.

Apple makes their own, but lots of third party manufacturers have jumped on board with accessories, including case manufacturers.
posted by jeremias at 6:11 PM on June 4, 2022

Best answer: The best thing for me switching from a 6s to a 12 was finding out about the increased accessibility options, one of which is a lifesaver for my arthritic hands. Assistive Touch puts this little button on your screen that you can just tap lightly to bring up all kinds of options for things like locking and unlocking the view, accessing certain commands, etc. I really like it a lot--it took me a few minutes to get used to having the button, but I'm okay with it now and have learned how to move it around when it interferes with something--you can just park it where you need it or move it later.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 10:23 PM on June 4, 2022

I'm more of an Android guy, but here's a few things about my dad's iPhone I've noticed.

* Use Siri a lot more than you think -- ask it all sorts of questions

* Keep important documents on your phone, if you want to (Apple will encrypt such info in Apple Wallet), good backup if you lost your physical copy, or even the entire phone.

* Take great photos at night
posted by kschang at 12:49 AM on June 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

Sometimes I get better photos using cinematic mode video and then taking a screen shot of the video.
posted by vitabellosi at 1:56 AM on June 5, 2022

Assistive Touch puts this little button on your screen that you can just tap lightly to bring up all kinds of options for things like locking and unlocking the view, accessing certain commands, etc.

I added "AppSwitcher" to Assistive Touch and when I tap it I can scroll through open apps to find one or tap outside of it to get back to the home screen. It's awesome.
posted by bendy at 3:54 AM on June 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

I also have screenshot and Shazam in Assistive Touch - you can do a lot with it.
posted by bendy at 4:01 AM on June 5, 2022

Best answer: The camera on the iPhone XS or newer running iOS 15 will show a "LiveText" icon at the bottom right when there is text in the photo – tap it and you can then select and copy the text!
posted by nicwolff at 9:20 PM on June 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm late to the party, but I want to share this tip because of how you describe yourself and your spouse.

You can add the "magnifier" app to your Control Center screen. (This is the little screen you get when you drag down-left from the upper-right corner -- the one that lets you get to the flashlight, etc.) Just go to Settings -> Control Center. Magnifier lets you use your iPhone as a magnifying glass. It's great for reading the small print on bottles, instructions, etc. You can even have it turn on a light for reading small print in a dark room.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 7:15 AM on July 15, 2022 [2 favorites]

You can also set an 'Accessibility Shortcut' (or more than one) that's activated by triple-clicking the side button. This can be a good way to quickly access e.g. Magnifier.
posted by box at 10:58 AM on July 15, 2022 [2 favorites]

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