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10 killer iPhone 6s tricks you need to know

Published Sep 29th, 2015 9:41AM EDT
iPhone 6s Tricks

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More than 13 million people took delivery of Apple’s new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus between September 25th and September 27th, making this year’s iPhone launch the company’s most successful iPhone release ever. The pace might have been a bit slower than it was during last year’s iPhone launch — Apple sold 10 million new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units with just one week of preorders in 2014, and the phone wasn’t even available yet in China — but there’s no question that demand is high for Apple’s latest iPhones. And rightfully so — the 6s and 6s Plus mark what is arguably the biggest upgrade Apple’s iPhone lineup has ever seen.

With all those iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Pluses finding their way into users’ hands, and with tens of millions more to follow in the coming weeks and months, it’s time to ensure new users know the best new features available on this year’s iPhones.

DON’T MISS: Samsung trolled the iPhone 6s launch in an effort to make Apple fans look stupid

The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus pack a wide range of new features that are going to take even the most dedicated Apple fans a bit of time to get used to. People will still be discovering great new features weeks and months from now… so where should you even start?

Right here, of course.

We have now spent several days with Apple’s new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and these are the 10 best tips and tricks we can offer:

Live Photos: Enable or disable Live Photos by tapping the button at the center of the top menu bar in the Camera app. The Live Photos feature is certainly a nifty one, but anyone with a 16GB iPhone 6s or 6s Plus should consider disabling it since the resulting files take up more space than standard photos.

Create your own motion wallpapers: The new iPhones include a few cool new motion wallpapers that animate when you press firmly on them on the lock screen. But did you know you can create your own motion wallpapers? Simply set any Live Photo as your lock screen wallpaper and you’re done.

Peek at websites: Isn’t it annoying when you tap a link in one app to open a page in Safari, and then it turns out that you don’t even want to read it? With 3D Touch, a tap and hold on a link in any supported app will let you “Peek” at the webpage in a floating window above the app. If you want to continue reading it, press firmly to “Pop” the page open. If you don’t, simply let go and you’re back at the screen you were on previously.

Quick communications: Press firmly on a contact’s picture anywhere in an Apple app and you’ll open up a Quick Actions menu that lets you quickly and easily call, message or email the contact. Try it in the Contacts app and the main conversation list view in the Messages app.

Find your way home or share your location: Quick Actions menus are one of the key elements of the 3D Touch experience, and the menu for Apple’s Maps app is particularly handy. Press firmly on the Maps app icon and you’ll see four options, with “Send My Location” and “Directions Home” among them.

Save your oleophobic coating from 3D Touch: Speaking of 3D Touch, there’s a downside to all this firm tapping and swiping: the oil-resistant coating on your iPhone’s display might wear off even faster than it does normally. Go easy on your oleophobic coating by navigating to Settings > General > Accessibility > 3D Touch, then scroll down to 3D Touch Sensitivity and set it to light. This means you won’t have to press as hard to trigger 3D Touch actions like Peek, Pop and Quick Actions.

The hidden trackpad: This is definitely one of the most important tips on this list. Press and hold firmly on the keyboard in any app to transform it into a trackpad, and then slide your finger around to control the cursor. Press even harder and you’ll begin highlighting words. Of note, this feature only works with Apple’s keyboard and not third-party keyboard apps.

Camera quick-launch: Apple stuffs more and more new features into its camera app each time it updates iOS. When you want to record a video and the Camera app opens to square photo mode, it can be annoying to swipe around and change modes. On the iPhone 6s, simply press firmly on the Camera app icon and a Quick Actions menu will let you open the app and immediately take a selfie, record a video, record a slo-mo video, or take a normal photo with the rear camera.

Switch apps with 3D Touch: On any screen, press firmly on the left edge of the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus display and swipe inward toward the center of the screen to open the app switcher. Continue swiping all the way to the right edge to immediately switch back and forth between the last open apps.

Explore: The best tip we can give new iPhone 6s owners is to explore 3D Touch often. Firm presses on most of Apple’s preinstalled app icons will bring up a Quick Actions menu, and many third-part apps support the feature as well, so be sure to try them as well. Developers will continue to enhance their 3D Touch support as time moves on, which means we’ll find new features constantly. Don’t be shy, try 3D Touch in as many places as you can.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.