Just bought your first iPhone? Awesome! Welcome to the world of iOS – the mobile operating system that runs all these iPhones, iPads and iPod Touchs. Apple toots it as the world’s best iOS (I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not true all the time) but for a first-time iPhone user, it’s one of the best iOSes out there.

There’s absolutely no learning curve here. All you have to do is explore and the iPhone+iOS is designed to let you do this wonderfully.

The iPhone’s interface comes with a lot of fine touches to the inner workings. This makes it easy to access information, control stuff and get things done on the iPhone in ways you’d not imagine. And mind you, all of these are designed to make life simpler. True to its words, the iPhone is one of the best ways to experience a smartphone.

First Time iPhone User Tips Part 1

Ready to jump right in? Here we go.

Here’s a list of the ten most-handy tips for first-time iPhone users.

Swipe a Notification To Open App Directly
You see those notifications (someone sent you a message, iMessage, Whatsapp message, Facebook notif etc.) coming up on the Lockscreen right? When you get a notification, you might usually slide the unlock screen to view the notification. But you can actually slide the icon on the notification to open the app directly.

Comes in handy especially when there are multiple notifications from different apps and you want to open just one of them. Next time you’ve got a notification or many, try this.

Double-press Home Button for Multi-tasking
One the iPhone (iOS), unlike the Android platform, you have behind-the-screens multi-tasking. While on Android, you can always see the list of apps running in the background from the menu, on iPhone, you’ve got to double-press the Home Button to see which apps are running.

When you double-press the home button, the screen lifts a little and icons are show. These apps are running.(You can close them by tapping and holding on the icons and then pressing the ‘-‘ on the icons).

To the Top of a Conversation (without Swiping to Scroll)
This is a cool thing actually. If you want to scroll to the top of any app (Safari, Messages, Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook etc.), all you do is tap on the status bar when the app is open. Tap on the date on the status bar when the app is open and the app’s page will scroll right to the top instantly.

Beats having to swipe continuously, right?

Control Music from LockscreenHow to Control Music from Lockscreen on iPhone

So how do you jump between songs from the lockscreen? Simple.

Double-press the home button when on the lockscreen. The clock disappears and out pops the play/pause, next/forward buttons. That slider beneath is the volume.

Control Music/PodcastsHow to Control Music Podcasts on iPhone

Suppose you are listening to music or podcasts but you are really on some other application, reading Facebook statuses or Twitter updates or viewing pictures on Instagram. You can control the volume with the buttons but how do you control the playback itself? What if you want to quickly jump to the next song?

Again, double-press the home button and you’re on the multi-task switcher. Now, swipe the switcher area to the right and you’re now on the page where you have these music controls.

Swipe Weather in Notification Center
The weather widget in the Notification Center is cool but supposing you want to check the weather for the next few days? You’d normally tap on it to open the Weather app where the forecast is shown but it can be much simpler.

Just swipe-left on the widget and voila! The forecast is shown too!

To Create a Folder
For first-time iPhone users who’ve downloaded a lot of apps, organization can be a little tricky. The key idea is to organize your apps into folders so you can find them much more easily. But how do create folders?

Simply, tap and hold on the icons till they wiggle and then drag the icon over another icon of the same category. Suppose you are dragging an Angry Birds icon, you’d drag that over the Temple Run 2 icon and that’ll change the way the icon looks now. Leave the icon there and it creates a folder which you can name as ‘Games’ or whatever.

Auto-Download of Apps, Music and BooksHow to Enable Disable Auto Downloads in iTunes

If you’ve got more than one iOS device, and you want them synced, you might need to make sure that all the apps and games get downloaded automatically. Let’s say you’ve got an iPod Touch and an iPhone. What you download on the iPod Touch should also be available on the iPhone. You can either use iTunes sync, which is a long process, or just opt to have auto-downloads enabled.

To do this:

  • Go to Settings
  • Tap on iTunes & App Stores
  • Under Automatic Downloads, enable all the switches.

That’s it. Anything downloaded on your iPod Touch will also get synced, downloaded and installed on the iPhone.

Lock Portrait OrientationHow to Lock Unlock Portrait Orientation on iPhone

iPhone’s display switching between portrait and landscape modes can be quite annoying when you’re lying down and watching videos or chatting. You can fix this by locking iPhone’s orientation mode in portrait.

To do this, all you do is double-press the Home Button and swipe to the right. There’s a button on the left which you tap and bam! Portrait orientation gets locked now.

Change Modes on Calculator
But just in case you don’t have the orientation locked, you have to see this neat trick. When you have the calculator app open, you have only a few basic functions. What, say, if you wanted to do some sine/cosine stuff? Just tilt your iPhone and that brings up more functions on the calculator.

Read some more tips for first-time iPhone users in part two here.