Apple iPhone 5: Top 10 tips to get started

Reviews 24 Sep, 2012

A quick guide for business users who want to get up and running with the brand-new iOS device.

Verdict: 
These 10 steps will help get you started when using the Apple iPhone 5. Stay tuned for the full review.

We've had the chance to play with an Apple iPhone 5 over the weekend and our initial impressions are positive. Performance and design have been tweaked to make this the fastest and lightest iPhone to date.

The device ships with iOS 6 and, in a prelude to our full review, we take a look at the first things you should do after you've synced up your music/video/app purchases from your iTunes account.

1. Add VIPs to your inbox

After syncing your Exchange account, setting up a VIP list should be high on the agenda. This can be accessed from within the Mail app and allows you to select important people.

Any contacts can be given VIP status and messages will be prioritised so you never miss important communications from work colleagues, relatives and of course your boss (I promise I was just about to add you Maggie!).

You can customise the alert tone of VIPs, and how you’d like messages from them to appear e.g. Banner notifications.

2. Get Google Maps, Chrome and YouTube

Apple is slowing cutting Google out of its devices, so you'll no longer see Google Maps and YouTube pre-loaded on iOS 6 devices (Google Search is still default in Safari).

But even hardened iPhone users could use some Android in their lives. Although not quite a disaster, Apple Maps has been an embarrassment for the iPhone maker. Quite why the firm didn't label it as a “beta” is baffling, and the universal opinion is that the service is a half-baked version of Google Maps.

Putting the apps in a Google-named folder is optional

Thankfully, it's still easy to get access to Google Maps via the web app and pin an icon to the homescreen for quick access. Check out our guide to getting Google Maps back on your iOS 6 device.

The next thing to do is to download the Chrome app. We know Safari is the default browser on iOS devices, but - if you're a PC user - the chances are Google's browser is the one you use on a daily basis. After signing into your Google account, Chrome is able to sync your open tabs, bookmarks, passwords and data from your computer to your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad - a feature which has only just been added to Safari.

Finally, make a quick trip to the App Store and download YouTube, so you can watch the latest viral videos, like Nick Clegg's auto-tuned apology.

3. Reconfigure Siri to English (US) or English (Australia)

Ever since the introduction of Siri, UK users have been lumbered with a condescending male voice by default. We prefer switching to English Australia or US versions of Siri as they sound like a much friendlier female, and we always imagined Siri to be girl.

You'll also be pleased to know that Siri has been granted access to more knowledge. The voice assistant is now able to answer questions about sports, find nearby restaurants and cinema listings in the UK and even provide directions, where appropriate. It’s also possible to post directly to Facebook or Twitter and check on your favourite sports teams.

It's always good to hear Siri reading out a good result

4. Save internet articles to your Reading List and sync Tabs with iCloud

Although Wi-Fi is slowly being rolled out across the Tube in London, there are still plenty of places where data connection is not available for browsing, such as planes, and 3G connections on most overground trains are still intermittent. The ability to save whole articles offline to browse is a handy feature and one which is now embedded into the Safari web browser. Best of all, the device is able to automatically recognise if an article has multiple pages and will download them all without you having to select them.

Reading List is useful if you like to read content on the commute

If you’ve bought into the iOS and Mac platforms, and have multiple devices such as an iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air, it is now possible to sync all your internet tabs across devices. This is a handy feature, especially if you’re prone to having 18 internet tabs open at the same time.

5. Try "Do Not Disturb" mode

This feature allows you to mute all notifications so you don't get an embarrassing notification telling you it's your turn on the Words with Friends app during a meeting.

It's possible to schedule the feature, so if you're in meetings regularly between 3-5pm, you don't have to set it every time. Of course, you can also make exceptions, so the device will alert you if there are calls from important people.