Published on January 26th, 2017 | by gareth


Tips & Tricks for the iPhone SE

By Jessica Oaks

It turns out that bigger isn’t always better. It’s true that Apple introduced its 4-inch iPhone SE to the world at its 2016 keynote to mixed reviews, with one Forbes writer calling the handset “a big risk.” But Apple executive Greg Joswiak has gone on the record saying that the SE was released partly in response to consumers pleading with the brand to keep their smaller phones in production.


The resultant handset is essentially an iPhone 6S in the smaller yet bulkier body of a 5S. In terms of performance, they’re remarkably similar and some reviewers have suggested that the slight differences actually highlight the faddish nature of features like 3D Touch. That means if you’ve always coveted the iPhone but didn’t want to deal with the practical issues phablets bring to the table or the over-the-top pricetag, the SE might just be the device for you.


Should you decide to pick one up, here are some tips for optimizing your experience with the SE.


Make Siri Hands-Free

You can launch SE’s Siri without touching your phone by going to Settings > General > Siri and toggling Allow ‘Hey Siri’ on. The last step is saying “Hey Siri” three times so the phone knows your voice. From then on, all you need to do to get answers to your most pressing questions is say “Hey Siri.”


Turn On Live Photos

The iPhone SE boasts an excellent 12-megapixel camera in a small package, so why not give Live Photos a try? This feature associated with the 6S lets you bring photos to life with a tap because each pic you snap actually captures a short video. It’s a lot of fun, but be warned that Live Photos take up more space than traditional snapshots so use it sparingly if you have the 16GB model.


Lengthen Battery Life

Go to Settings > Battery, and you’ll find the Low Power Mode option. Toggle it on to extend your battery life when you’re getting low or even around the clock.


Rest Easier with Night Shift

There’s plenty of evidence that blue light from device screens can make falling asleep more difficult, so sleep better by going to Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift to reduce the amount of blue light given off by your handset’s display in the evenings.

Use Retina Flash

This special flash feature makes photos you take with the front-facing camera look better, especially when the lights are turned down low. The display becomes a smarter light source for your selfies when you have the flash toggled on but the results are anything but washed out. The True Tone feature analyzes the ambient light of your surroundings and tries to match the flash to that light for more natural looking colors


Make Your SE More Secure

The iPhone SE comes with Touch ID, which lets you unlock the device more quickly and more easily by simply pressing your finger on the home button.


Enable Wi-Fi Calling

Never miss another call! Your iPhone SE can be set to automatically detect when you have no cell signal and place calls over wi-fi instead. While not every carrier supports this feature, if you use T-Mobile or another carrier that does go to Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling and toggle Wi-Fi Calling on This Phone to on.

Pay with Your Phone

This smaller iPhone iteration is still equipped with NFC (Near Field Communication) capabilities, which means it can be used for contactless payment via Apple Pay.


While there’s no consensus on how phone size impacts comfort, there’s a lot to like about full-size smartphone functionality in a more manageable pocket-friendly package like the SE. Ergonomics? Is only one piece of the puzzle. Give the SE a chance and you may just find that you never want to go back to a phablet again.







About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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