The Complete Guide to Using Your iPhone X
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The iPhone X is not for everyone iPhone X Alternative? 9 Smartphones With Better Value iPhone X Alternative? 9 Smartphones With Better Value Looking for an iPhone X alternative? Everything you can get in the iPhone X or iPhone 8 -- Android does better or cheaper. So what's the best alternative? Read More . It’s a peek into the future of the iPhone, and smartphones in general. The iPhone X rewrites 10 years of iPhone history, and with it 10 years of muscle memory. There’s no Home button here, no Touch ID, no dedicated Sleep/Wake button for turning off the iPhone.

If you’re perfectly happy with how your iPhone works 6 Reasons to Upgrade to the iPhone 8 6 Reasons to Upgrade to the iPhone 8 Is the iPhone 8 really worth upgrading from your 7 or 6s? And what about the iPhone X? Read More , there’s no need to upgrade to the iPhone X yet. Technically speaking, Face ID is a marvel. Yes, you’ll need to get used to a whole new way of interacting with your phone. Yes, it will take a week to adjust to it. And some new gestures (like Control Center) might never sit well with you.

If you’ve bought the iPhone X, you might not yet know about all the features that have moved. In that case, bookmark this page and keep coming back to it. If you’re curious as to all the ways iPhone X has changed, read on to find out.

Setting Up Face ID

Once you get used to Face ID, and it starts working as advertised, Face ID will just disappear. It has a magical quality. But first, you’ll have to set it up. In the setup process, you’ll be asked to scan your face twice. Make a circle with your nose. Once this neck stretching exercise is done, you’ll be ready to go.

Face ID Set up

If you want to set it up again, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode and tap on Reset Face ID.

Tap to Wake

iPhone X Tap to Wake

You can press the Side button to wake up the iPhone and you can simply raise your iPhone to wake the screen up. Now there’s a new way. Just tap once on iPhone’s screen to wake the device up. Just remember that this feature exists. Because it significantly speeds up the unlocking process, especially when you’re holding your iPhone in one hand.

Look and Unlock

With Face ID, you just look at your phone to unlock it.

Most of the time, it’s simply magical and it just works. You bring up the iPhone X, you look at the screen and the padlock unlocks while you swipe up to go to the Home screen. But sometimes it doesn’t.

iPhone X Unlocking with Face ID

When that happens, try troubleshooting with the following tips:

Don’t wait for the padlock: I’ve noticed that just waiting for the padlock to animate is futile. It’s a game of chicken. You’re waiting for the padlock to animate. The padlock is waiting for you to swipe up. Just start swiping up from the bottom as soon as the screen lights up. Most of the time, Face ID will authenticate by the time you reach Home.

Eye contact: Face ID works best when you’re looking at it head-on.

Close yet far away: Hold the iPhone X between 10-20 inches from your face. If it’s too close, it won’t work. If you’re reading in bed at night, when the iPhone way close to your face, it might not work.

Sunglasses: If you wear sunglasses a lot, the kind that doesn’t let through IR, Face ID will have trouble. In that case, disable Detect Attention feature in Settings > General > Accessibility > Face ID & Attention.

Disable Face ID quickly: Grip your iPhone X from the top and press and hold all three buttons at once. You’ll feel a Taptic feedback and the shutdown screen will show up. Tap Cancel here and Face ID will be disabled until the next time you try to unlock Face ID.

Flick to Home

iPhone X Home Gesture

The Home button makes way for the Home indicator. No matter if you see the little white indicator at the bottom of the screen or not, rest assured, swiping up from the bottom takes you back home. It’s the same reliability you’re used to. Your escape hatch is still there. Instead of pressing a button, you’re just swiping up.

And even calling it “swiping up” is too grandiose of a term. It’s just a flick gesture. Flick flick flick. Quick and easy.

Switch Between Apps

iPhone X App Switcher

The App Switcher on the iPhone X is a tricky gesture to get right the first couple of times. Instead of flicking up from the Home indicator, you have to gently swipe up and hold a bit. You’ll get feedback from the Taptic Engine and the app switcher will animate.

Swipe up, hold, wait for Taptic feedback, release your finger. Now swipe between the apps, and tap on one to switch to it.

iPhone X Quick App Switching

If you’re not used to this gesture, there’s another way to quickly switch between apps the 3-4 most recent apps. Just swipe horizontally on the Home indicator.

Force Quit Apps

iPhone X Force Quitting App

From time to time, apps will misbehave. Especially apps like Facebook The Complete Facebook Privacy Guide The Complete Facebook Privacy Guide Privacy on Facebook is a complex beast. Many important settings are hidden out of sight. Here's a complete look at every Facebook privacy setting you need to know about. Read More . When it happens, force quitting is the only option. In the iPhone X, this process is slightly more tedious.

  1. Swipe up from the Home indicator and pause for a bit to enter App Switcher.
  2. Tap and hold on an app till you see the little red icon at the top-left. You’re now in force quitting mode.
  3. Swipe up on the app you want to quit (tapping on the red icon also does the same). You can quit multiple apps when you’re in this mode.
  4. Tap on the empty space below the apps to exit this mode.
  5. Now swipe up from the bottom of the screen to go back to Home.

Apple Pay

iPhone X Apple Pay GIF

If you’re used to paying using Touch ID 3 Easy Ways to Make Touch ID More Accurate on iOS 3 Easy Ways to Make Touch ID More Accurate on iOS Touch ID can be a bit finnicky out of the box, but with a few tips and tricks, you can really improve its accuracy without much effort. Here's what you should do. Read More , getting used to the new Face ID system will take time. Just remember to start by double tapping the Side button.

  1. Double tap on the Side button and Apple Pay interface will show up. Your default card will be selected.
  2. Look at your iPhone X to authenticate with Face ID.
  3. Hold the top part of the iPhone X near the reader.
  4. Wait for a second or two and you’ll see the confirmation on the screen that the transaction has been authenticated.

The Button Combinations

It’s not just the gestures that are new. The three remaining buttons on the top of the iPhone have new responsibilities now.

Shut It Down

iPhone X Shut Down

You need to tap and hold both the Side button and either of the Volume buttons to get to the Slide to power off screen.

Take a Screenshot

Tap the Side button and Volume up at the same time and release. You’ll hear that familiar clang sound. You’ll see the screenshot preview at the bottom.

Talk to Siri

Tap and hold the Side button to bring up Siri Google Assistant vs. Siri: Which iPhone Voice Assistant Is Best? Google Assistant vs. Siri: Which iPhone Voice Assistant Is Best? How does Google Assistant work on the iPhone, what exactly can it do, and is it worth your time? Read More . You can also setup Hey Siri functionality.

Soft Reboot

Click the Volume Up button, then Volume Down and then hold the Side button till you see the Apple logo. You’ve successfully done a soft reboot. It should take care of weird UI issues or small bugs that you might be facing.

Control Center

iPhone X Control Center Gesture

Control Center now lives in an uncomfortable place. You need to swipe from the top-right edge of the screen. It’s the right-ear area, next to the notch, which is dedicated to Control Center How to Use iOS 11's Customizable Control Center on iPhone and iPad How to Use iOS 11's Customizable Control Center on iPhone and iPad Wondering how to disable AirDrop, enable Night Shift, or change AirPlay output for the song you’re listening to? We'll show you how. Read More . Also, Control Center is now the only way to see status icons like the battery percentage, Do not Disturb, Bluetooth and more.

Have Fun With Animoji

How to Use iPhone X 3

Animojis are just outright fun. Figure out your Animoji character, and get started sending videos to your friends. Maybe you’re a Unicorn, maybe you’re a Monkey (let us know in the comments).

  1. From the Messages app and open an iMessage conversation.
  2. From the new iMessage app ticker 12 Cool Things You Can Do With iMessage Apps for iOS 12 Cool Things You Can Do With iMessage Apps for iOS You can do a lot more than simply send text, voice, picture, and video messages with iMessage. Read More from the bottom, tap on the Animoji icon (if you can’t see the ticker, tap on the App Store icon).
  3. Right off the bat, you’ll see Animoji mimicking your facial expressions. Tap on the Record button to record a 10-second clip.
  4. If you want to send an expression as a sticker, tap and hold on the Animoji and drag it up to the conversation.

If you want to record longer than 10 seconds, use iOS 11’s screen recording feature How to Record Your iPhone Screen in iOS 11 How to Record Your iPhone Screen in iOS 11 While it was already easy enough to record your iPhone screen before, iOS 11 makes it easier than ever. Read More . You can export an Animoji clip as a video but only after it’s sent. Tap and hold on an Animoji clip and select Save. Now that it’s in your Camera Roll, you can send it to anyone you want.

Take an Awesome Portrait Mode Selfie

How to Use iPhone X 1

Thanks to the TrueDepth camera technology, your selfies can now have the same Portrait Mode effect iOS 10.1 Adds Portrait Mode to the iPhone 7 Plus iOS 10.1 Adds Portrait Mode to the iPhone 7 Plus Everybody should download iOS 10.1 at their earliest convenience. However, only iPhone 7 Plus owners will get the magic sauce set to make Android owners (and regular ol' iPhone 7 owners) jealous. Read More . And yes, the depth effect selfies look really cool.

  1. Open the Camera app, switch to the front-facing camera.
  2. Tap on the Portrait button.
  3. Now follow the instructions on the screen (to move the phone closer or farther from your face.
  4. Tap on your face area to focus on it.
  5. You’ll see the effect live. When you like what you see, hit the shutter button. Apple’s background blurring software isn’t great with glasses and hair yet. So you’ll need to change your position a bit for really good portrait mode selfies.

Use Portrait Lighting Effects

iPhone X Portrait Lighting Effects

Portrait Lighting is a new feature in iPhone X Apple Announces iPhone X & iPhone 8: Everything You Need to Know Apple Announces iPhone X & iPhone 8: Everything You Need to Know What's so special about the iPhone X? Can you really justify the $999 price tag, or is the refined iPhone 8 a better buy? Read More that brings professional level lighting effects to the iPhone camera. And no, these are not the same as a Photoshop filter A Quick Guide to Photoshop Filters and What They Do A Quick Guide to Photoshop Filters and What They Do Photoshop comes with a few dozen filters of its own and these are more than enough for amateurs and hobbyists. Here's a quick guide to what they do. Read More . First of all, you can see them live, as you’re taking the photo. Second of all, they’re customized for portrait photography and the software is trained using some of the best portrait photographers out there.

  1. Portrait Lighting works for both the front facing and the rear-facing cameras.
  2. After switching to the Portrait mode, you’ll see a new slider above the mode selection.
  3. Swipe horizontally to switch between the five lighting modes.
  4. These are still in beta but you should try Studio effect and Stage effect. They’re really good.

Set Up Reachability

iPhone X Reachability

Reachability still exists on the iPhone X. It’s just not turned on by default. And for a feature called Reachability, its gesture is ironically not that reachable.

  1. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility and turn on Reachability.
  2. Now, flick down on the Home indicator bar. This indicator doesn’t have much vertical space so you’ll have to be careful where you swipe (or else you’ll invoke Spotlight search).
  3. Put your finger on the top part of the Home indicator and swipe down.
  4. Once Reachability is invoked. You can swipe from the empty part to access Notification Center and Control Center (left two-thirds and right one-third respectively).

The Out: Use AssistiveTouch

How to Use iPhone X 4

AssistiveTouch’s floating icon has been redesigned for the iPhone X. It’s now a perfect circle. And that’s hint enough that Apple has designed this feature to be used as a virtual replacement for the Home button.

If you find the new gestures way too frustrating, you can set up AssistiveTouch so that tapping the floating icon will take you to Home, double-tapping will bring up Multitasking, 3D Touching calls up Siri and a long-press brings down the Control Center.

AssistiveTouch iPhone X

Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch and turn the feature on. Then go to the Single-tap, Double-tap, 3D Touch and Longpress sections and set up the shortcuts you want. Turn down the Idle Opacity to 10-20 percent and the AssistiveTouch icon on the screen won’t annoy you quite as much.

What’s Your iPhone Experience Like?

iPhone X is the first major change in the iPhone design and interaction since we saw the first iPhone. And just like any first-generation product, the iPhone X is filled with inconsistencies and bugs. Overall though, the iPhone X is still a great phone.

What has your experience been like with the new iPhone X? Is Face ID working as advertised? What do you think of the new gesture-based interface? Are you used to all the new ways to interact with the iPhone X? Share with us in the comments below.

Image Credit: MKBHD/YouTube

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