Monday, October 5, 2015

Tips for iOS Device Enjoyment

Here is a list of the first things I do when I get a hold of somebody's iPhone or iPad when they are looking for advice on how to set up their iOS devices.  After completing the following you should have a better experience with your iOS device.

  1. Upgrade to a paid iCloud storage plan.

    The free 5GB storage option is nice when you get started, but after you have lots of photos on your phone OR have two devices this space runs out quickly and will give you the dreaded "Unable to back up your device because you don't have enough iCloud storage."  Apple recently revised their storage tier pricing so you can get 50GB of storage for $0.99 per month (less than $12 per year).  This space can be used to store all sorts of things, but most people will use it for the back up of their devices and for their photos.

    To upgrade your storage plan just do the following:
    - Go to the Settings app
    - Navigate to the iCloud settings
    - Tap "Storage" setting
    - Tap "Change Storage Plan"
    - Tap the storage plan of your choice and tap Buy
    - You will be prompted to enter your iTunes password and will then be billed monthly.
  2. Turn on iCloud Photo Library

    One of the biggest culprits of the "Not enough space available" message is Photos and typically you see this message when trying to take a photo.  The gut response is to go to the Photos app and start deleting photos to make space, which will most likely cause you to make hurried and rash decisions.  You may find that when you have more time you will take the photos off of your device and put them on a computer, which works for a time, but then you don't have access to them on your phone anymore.  The iCloud Photo Library will put a copy of all the photos on your device onto Apple's servers.  The photos will take up your iCloud storage space, but if you completed step 1 above then you will be able to store plenty of photos.  The added bonus is you can see all the photos on any iOS devices you are logged into and will also be able to view them at  Your "Not enough space available" issue will also be resolved, because as your device starts to run low on space, the device will start to clean up any of the full versions of the photos that are on the device that are also on Apple's servers.  You will always have small versions (thumbnails) of your photos on your devices, but no matter what the full version will always exist in the server, only to be downloaded to your device if you try to view it.

    How to enable iCloud Photo Library
    - Go to the Settings app
    - Navigate to the iCloud settings
    - Tap the Photos item
    - Flip the switch to turn on the "iCloud Photo Library"
    - Choose "Optimize iPhone Storage" if you have a small phone and lots of photos.
    - It will take a while for it to upload all your photos.  Go to and you can see how it is progressing
  3. Turn on iCloud backup

    One of the most common features that people typically have turned off is the iCloud backup.  I often talk about this by saying, "I could take my phone and throw it into a river right now, go to an Apple store, buy a new phone and within minutes be up and running with everything exactly the same."  Now of course that is a doomsday scenario, but this comes in handy when you get a new phone, because the first thing it asks you is whether or not you want to restore from an iCloud back up.

    How to enable iCloud Backup
    - Go to the Settings app
    - Navigate to the iCloud settings
    - Tap the Backup item
    - Turn on the back up
  4. Change the name of your device
    I would always get confused in the past when looking at a list of my devices somewhere either in the Find my iPhone app or with back ups regarding which actual device it was talking about.  I used to just say "Keegan's iPhone".  Starting with my iPhone 5, I actually went in and updated the name to "Keegan's iPhone 5" so if I updated to the iPhone 6S I would know exactly which phone it was talking about.

    How to update your device name
    - Go to the Settings app
    - Navigate to General > About
    - Tap the Name field and update your device name to the actual model number.

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