Evade These 10 Common iPhone Mistakes

iPhone Mistakes: iPhone device shown on a Mac laptop

We have shared heaps of iPhone tips so far, but today, our spotlight is on those little slip-ups we have all been guilty of. It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned iPhone user or a newcomer to the Apple ecosystem – you might be inadvertently hindering your device’s performance. Finally, find out the 10 common iPhone mistakes you should avoid.

1. Common Battery Mistakes

Let’s face it; we all crave an iPhone battery that goes the distance. Yet, in our pursuit of longevity, we often stumble into common practices that do more harm than good.

Avoid Non-MFI Certified Charging Accessories: It’s tempting to opt for a cheaper charging cable at the local store but beware. Non-MFI (Made for iPhone) certified cables and bricks might seem like a steal, but they could be stealing your battery’s health. These uncertified products might not meet Apple’s safety and performance standards, potentially leading to a shorter battery lifespan or, in extreme cases, safety risks.

Keep Cool, iPhone: Your iPhone isn’t a fan of extreme temperatures, especially the scorching heat. Leaving it in a baking car or by the beach might trigger a temperature warning – a clear sign of distress. High temperatures can slash your battery’s chemical lifespan, so it’s a good rule of thumb to keep your iPhone in the comfort zone.

2. Force-Quitting Apps: Break the Habit, Boost Your iPhone

The natural instinct for many is to force-quit the app, believing it will magically boost their iPhone’s speed. Spoiler alert: it won’t. Actually, it might be doing more harm than good.

When you force-quit an app, you are triggering your iPhone to reload it entirely when opened again. This process consumes more power and resources than simply letting the app hang out in the background. iPhones use a sophisticated memory management system. Exiting an app freezes it in the background, conserving CPU resources.

According to Apple’s support page, inactive apps are in a suspended state, peacefully coexisting without draining your battery.

Exceptions exist, of course. If an app misbehaves, the occasional force quit might be warranted. However, routinely swiping away all your apps? That’s a habit begging for retirement.

3. Not Checking: Location & Privacy Settings

Your iPhone is impressively smart, but along with that brilliance comes the duty of ensuring you’re not revealing more than you intend. The responsibility for this lies squarely on your shoulders. To navigate this, our attention turns to Location Services and Privacy.

A man looking at iPhone Location & Privacy Settings on his iPhone
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Location Services Essentials

Location services are the magic behind your phone’s ability to know where you are and tailor its functions accordingly. It’s the reason you can get directions home or receive reminders based on your location. However, every time an app requests your location, it’s not just about convenience; it also affects your privacy and, believe it or not, your battery life.

Managing this is a habit worth forming:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Privacy.
  3. Choose Location Services.
  4. Here, you’ll find a list of all your apps and their location access.

Take control by deciding which apps can access your location and when. For those infrequently used or less trusted apps, set their access to “Never” or “Ask Next Time.” You can always tweak it later if needed.

App Tracking Transparency

Beyond location, some apps want to track your activity across apps and websites – a significant privacy concern. Luckily, Apple provides the tools to handle this.

  1. In Settings, tap on Privacy.
  2. Select Tracking.
  3. Here, you’ll find a list of apps that have requested to track your activity.

Toggle off tracking for any apps you’re uncomfortable with. For a comprehensive approach, turn off “Allow Apps to Request to Track” to prevent any app from even asking.

4. Not Using Guided Access

If you’ve ever handed your iPhone to a child, you know the anxiety that can accompany their curious taps, leading to accidental mishaps. This is where Guided Access comes in!

Guided Access locks your iPhone into a single app, preventing any unintended adventures into settings or deleted apps. Why use it? Well, it’s your ticket to letting a child play a game or watch a video without fretting about the aftermath.

To enable it:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Accessibility.
  3. Under “General,” find Guided Access and toggle the switch.

Activating Guided Access:

  1. Open the desired app.
  2. Quickly triple-click the side or home button.
  3. Tap Start.

Your iPhone is now in Guided Access mode, offering a stress-free experience when sharing it with a child. Exiting is easy – triple-click the button again, and enter your passcode.

5. Keeping Safari Tabs Open

Your iPhone’s RAM is a precious resource, and every open tab in Safari nibbles away at it. Even though modern iPhones pack immense power, there’s still a limit.

If you’re the proud owner of dozens (or more?!) of open tabs, it could put a strain on your device’s performance. You can swipe to close Safari tabs one by one, but here’s a nifty shortcut to sweep them all away in one fell swoop:

  • Head to Safari, and long-press the tabs icon at the bottom right.
  • In the menu that pops up, choose ‘Close’ however many tabs you currently have open.
  • Confirm the action on the next prompt, and voila – a clean slate with all tabs gone in one swift move.

6. iPhone Camera Mistakes

Your iPhone’s camera is a powerhouse, but there are common slip-ups that can impact your photography experience. Let’s zoom in on a few camera mistakes you might be making.

iPhone Camera Mistakes
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Choosing the Right Format:

  • Head over to Settings, then Camera, and select Formats.
  • Here, you can check if your iPhone supports Pro-RAW photo capture and ProRes video capture.

These professional formats, while enhancing your photo and video capabilities, come at a storage cost.

Comparing a HEIC format photo to a RAW photo on the iPhone 14 Pro, the difference is clear. If you’re into professional photo editing, embrace RAW. However, if it’s unfamiliar territory, stick to HEIC to save storage without compromising much on quality.

Pro Tip: Did you know you can effortlessly convert Apple’s HEIC format to other image formats online using an image converter? Explore the possibilities and tailor your photo experience.

ProRes Awareness:

Similarly, ProRes video capture in 4K HDR can eat up a whopping 6 GB of space for just a minute of footage. Be mindful of this storage-intensive feature and use it wisely.

Underutilized Camera Settings:

Two camera settings often go unnoticed but can significantly elevate your photography game.

Firstly, the Grid for composition – located in Settings, under Camera, ensures that Grid is enabled under Composition. It’s a simple tool that enhances your photo composition.

Secondly, explore Preserve Settings, just above the Composition section. Toggle on the settings you prefer, and your phone will remember your camera preferences each time you open it. A handy feature for maintaining consistency in your photography experience.

7. Not Updating Your Software

A frequently overlooked iPhone faux pas is neglecting to update to the latest software version. While the annual major updates from Apple steal the spotlight, the regular, less flashy updates pack crucial bug fixes, performance boosts, and sometimes even new features. Don’t underestimate their importance.

Here’s how to stay on top of it:

  • Go to Settings, then General, and tap on Software Update.
  • Ensure that Automatic Updates are enabled.
  • At the very least, activate Security Responses and System Files.

Apple now releases security updates separately, and even if you have reasons to avoid the latest operating system, opting for the most secure version available is non-negotiable.

Note: Be cautious when updating older iPhones. The latest iOS versions are tailored for newer devices, and older models may grapple with the demands, leading to slower performance, app issues, and quicker battery drain.

8. Not Using Find My

Overlooking the Find My iPhone feature is a missed opportunity in leveraging built-in security on your Apple device. This feature is your safety net in case your iPhone takes an unexpected hiatus. Integrated into the Apple ecosystem, Find My iPhone utilizes built-in GPS to pinpoint your device’s exact location on a map, providing real-time tracking.

Once activated in your device settings:

Access your device’s location through the “Find My” app on another Apple device or via iCloud.com on any browser. If your iPhone goes AWOL, activate “Lost Mode” to lock the device, display a custom message, and facilitate contact with anyone who finds it. For added security, remotely erase all data on the device to protect personal information. Utilize the sound feature to make your device audible, aiding in locating it if it’s nearby.

To enable Find My:

  1. Navigate to Settings.
  2. Tap on your Apple ID.
  3. Choose Find My.
  4. Tap into Find My iPhone and ensure it’s toggled on.

For enhanced security, consider enabling other features on this page, especially if your phone is stolen and immediately powered off.

9. Not Using Dictation

Ever find typing out long messages or notes on your iPhone a bit tedious? Whether you’re on the move or simply want to avoid keyboard fumbling, Dictation is your unsung hero! It’s quick, easy, and available wherever you can use your keyboard.

A woman is using iPhone Dictation feature on her iPhone.
Image by Canva

Just tap the little microphone icon in the lower right of the screen, and let Dictation do the writing for you.

With Apple’s continuous advancements in voice recognition, the accuracy of Dictation is truly impressive, picking up nuances, accents, and even multiple languages. In iOS 17, Dictation has reached new heights. Still skeptical? Give it a shot for the next few days whenever you need to type something!

10. Not Navigating App Subscriptions Wisely

We’ve all been there – signing up for an app trial with the best intentions to cancel before the charge hits. Life, however, often has other plans.

Since app subscriptions link to your Apple ID rather than the app itself, cancellation happens not within the app but in the Settings of your iPhone. It’s streamlined for simplicity, but locating it can be tricky.

Here’s the straightforward approach:

  1. Open Settings and tap on your Apple ID at the top.
  2. Select Subscriptions.
  3. Find the subscription you want to bid farewell to and tap on it.
  4. Hit Cancel Subscription or Cancel Trial at the bottom.

It’s a simple process, often overlooked or misunderstood. Remember, most subscriptions auto-renew by default, so even for trial services, check their renewal status to dodge unexpected charges.

In Conclusion

And there you have it – the 10 most common iPhone mistakes.

So, what’s next for you and your iPhone? Perhaps it’s time to explore new features, fine-tune your settings, or share these newfound nuggets of knowledge with fellow iPhone enthusiasts.

As you embark on this journey, armed with insights to sidestep common blunders, may your iPhone experience be seamless, efficient, and downright enjoyable.

More iPhone Tips and Tricks!

Want to discover more tips to enhance your iPhone experience? Check out our other insightful articles:

  1. The Ridiculously Easy Guide to Your iPhone’s Photos App – Master the art of managing your photos on your iPhone effortlessly.
  2. How to Take a Long Screenshot on iPhone – Learn the step-by-step process of capturing longer screenshots with your iPhone.
  3. Fixing Top 10 iPhone Problems – Troubleshoot common iPhone issues and optimize its performance for a seamless experience.