Go ahead, call your new iPhone XS ($999 at Sprint) the iPhone “excess” — no one’s judging. But get a brand-new iPhone and miss out on some of it’s best features? Now we’re side-eyeing.
If you got an iPhone XS or XS Max ($1,100 at Sprint), there’s a good chance this is your first home button-free iPhone. It’s also the first time you’ll get into features like Portrait Mode and that insane, face-tracking front-facing camera.
Here are the first things you should do with your new iPhone XS or XS Max.
1. Make your Memoji
That front-facing camera does a few things: it lets you , take selfies and use .
Memoji are like Animoji, except you’re no longer confined to being a pile of poop or a monkey. Now, you can design your own Animoji that looks like you and — with the help of the front-facing camera — moves like you, too.
2. Download the Shortcuts app
One of Apple’s most interesting new apps doesn’t actually come with your phone. You’ll have to download it.
Shortcuts is a new app that lets you use a single Siri command to do a series of things on your phone. For instance, a single “Good Morning, Siri” command could fire off a chain of events, from controlling your smart home to getting information about your day.
3. Control your Screen Time
New to iOS 12 and readily available on your iPhone XS, Screen Time lets you get a better grip on how much time your spend with your phone. The new tool lets you see where you spend most of your time and even provides ways to help you curb your addiction.
It’s a sobering and incredibly helpful way to enjoy your new iPhone, without going overboard.
4. Set up an “Alternate Appearance”
Instead of using your finger to unlock your iPhone XS, you’ll use your face. What we found with the iPhone X ($820 at Amazon Marketplace), however, was that the success rate wasn’t always high — especially when wearing glasses or a hat.
Apple fixed that with the “Alternate Appearance” setting. Just go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode > Alternate appearance.
You can also use this setting to add a second face, so that a spouse (or parent, or someone else close to you) can unlock your phone.
5. Learn how to live without a home button
This is probably the hardest part about switching from an iPhone with a home button. Without one on the iPhone XS and XS Max, you’ll rely on gestures — different types of swipes — to get around your phone. It’s how you’ll switch apps, close apps and do everything else you did with the button.
6. Set up Apple Pay
If you haven’t already, it’s time to start using Apple Pay. This feature — which is infinitely more secure than using a plastic credit or debit card — lets you pay for things in store, quickly and even (like Venmo).
7. Master Portrait Mode, like a pro
Once you start using Portrait Mode, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. The shooting mode lets you create those gorgeous, blurry-background photos that are normally achieved on dSLR cameras. To access Portrait Mode on the iPhone XS, launch the camera, then swipe across the screen until “Portrait” is highlighted yellow. Then follow this guide:
8. Learn to force a restart
There may be times when you’ll want to force-restart your iPhone. Without a home button, that process is a little different.
9. Sign up for the beta program (maybe)
If you’re willing to suffer through some bugs, joining Apple’s beta program will let you be the first to try new iPhone features. For instance, are available in iOS 12.1 Beta. To sign up, head to beta.apple.com on your iPhone XS, and log in with your iCloud account. Select the iOS tab, then follow the instructions.
For more iPhone tips, check out .
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