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Guide to iPhone and iPad settings: how to use all the iOS Settings UPDATED

Cliff Joseph | Aug. 20, 2015
Like System Preferences on a Mac , Settings on your iPhone or iPad offers access to tools for adjusting screen brightness, setting up a password, configuring your WiFi, and more. But in addition you will also find options for handling phone calls and mobile broadband, as well as many additional security features that protect your personal files, photos and other information.

However, there are a few features found in the Accessibility settings that it's worth mentioning here as they can be useful for many people regardless of whether or not they have visual or other problems. For instance, the infamous 'parallax' effect on the Home screen that makes a lot of people feel sea-sick can be turned off by selecting the 'Reduce Motion' option within the Accessibility settings panel.

Accessibility options on the iPhone: Guided Access

Another useful feature found within the Accessibility settings is the Guided Access option. When you activate Guided Access you can lock down your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch so that it only runs one specific app. This can be useful for teachers who only want their students to have access to a particular app during a lesson. You can also block specific features within that app, which is useful for parents who might want to be extra sure that they've blocked in-app purchases, or perhaps online features that you might feel are unsuitable for young children.

You start by turning on Guided Access in the Accessibility settings, and then launching the app that you want to run. Quickly press the Home button three times, and you'll see the Accessibility menu, which allows you to activate either the on-screen Zoom function or Guided Access. Select Guided Access and you will be prompted to use your finger to draw around the buttons or other parts of the screen that you want to block. We'll launch iBooks and then block the features - greyed out at the bottom of the screen - that would allow someone to gain access to the iBookstore and start spending money.

Guided Access provides a number of other useful options too, such as the ability to limit the time a child can spend playing a game. And the only way to turn off Guided Access and leave iBooks so that you can use other apps is by entering your passcode.

Accessibility options on the iPhone: Brightness

So, moving on from General Settings at long last, the next option that we come across is the Display And Brightness option. This is fairly straightforward, as it provides a simple slider control for adjusting the brightness of your screen. However, the Auto-Brightness option can be a bit unpredictable, so there's a couple of things that are worth mentioning here.

As the name implies, Auto-Brightness uses the light sensor in your iPhone or iPad to check the ambient light levels around you, and then automatically attempts to adjust the screen brightness for you. The aim is to maintain visibility, whilst also lowering the brightness wherever possible in order to preserve battery power. It doesn't always work though, and some people simply prefer to turn off Auto-Brightness altogether. However, you can modify the way Auto-Brightness works by leaving it turned on and then using the slider control to increase or decrease the brightness. The Auto-Brightness setting will then note that you prefer the brightness to be higher or lower and will use your settings rather than its automatic default setting.


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