iPhone and iPad

10 New iOS 10 Settings You Should Change

Dann Albright 18-09-2016

iOS 10 is here, and it’s packing a number of very cool new features. To activate some of those features — like sending read receipts in Messages or having Siri announce calls — you’ll need to tweak a few settings. A few other new options will change how your device behaves with iOS 10.


Let’s dive right in! Here are 10 settings you’ll want to check out as soon as you update.

1. Rest Finger to Open

If you’re used to just resting your thumb on the home button to unlock your phone with your fingerprint Should You Use a Fingerprint or a PIN to Lock Your Phone? Should you protect your phone with a fingerprint or a PIN? Which one is actually more secure? Read More , you’re going to get a surprise in iOS 10: that’s not how it works anymore.

Instead, you need to wake up your phone and hit the Home button again. It seems a bit weird, but it makes sense when you consider that the lockscreen can now display some very useful widgets.

Anyway, if you’d like to bring back the ability to unlock your iPhone or iPad just by resting your finger on the Home button again, you’ll need to go to Settings > Accessibility > Home Button > Rest Finger to Open.

iOS 10 Feature Rest Finger to Open


2. Read Receipts in Messages

Read receipts can be useful, but sending them to everyone can feel like an invasion of your privacy. Apple’s latest update lets you decide who can see if you’ve read their messages. By default, read receipts are turned off, but if you’d like to send them, you can enable them for specific contacts.

To enable read receipts in iOS 10, open the Messages app and open up a message. Tap the i icon in the top-right corner to pull up Message options for that contact. Hit the Send Read Receipts option to turn them on for that contact.

iOS 10 Feature Read Receipts

3. Low-Quality Image Mode

Sending images can use a lot of data, and if you tend to do it often, you could burn through your plan pretty quickly if you’re not on Wi-Fi. Fortunately, iOS 10 has your back with this one, and will allow you to send low-quality images by default to save some bandwidth.


To enable low-quality images, head to Settings > Messages > Low Quality Image Mode. This will bring down the quality of the images sent via the Messages app and keep you from getting nailed by data overages Why Do Data Caps Exist and How Can You Bypass Them? ISP and mobile data caps are frustrating, but why do they exist? Here's how to bypass your data cap and enjoy limitless internet. Read More .

iOS 10 Feature Low Quality Images

4. Magnifier

If you don’t have great eyesight — or you just have to work with small text or objects regularly — you may want to take advantage of the new Magnifier feature. With this feature enabled, all you need to do is triple-click the Home button and iOS will open up the camera with magnification turned on. It’s a cool feature, and surprisingly useful!

To turn it on, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Magnifier and flip the switch. Now you can open the magnifier from any screen with three quick clicks.


iOS 10 Feature Magnifier

5. Announce Calls

It’s usually easy to check your lockscreen to see who’s calling, but if you’re wearing headphones or driving, it’d be nice to know who’s on the line without having to look down. The latest version of the operating system makes it easy by having Siri announce incoming calls over the ringtone.

In Settings > Phone > Announce Calls, you can choose AlwaysHeadphones & CarHeadphones Only, or Never. If you choose Always, Siri will read out the name or number of the caller as long as your phone isn’t set to silent mode.

iOS 10 Feature Announce Calls


6. Preferred Mode of Transportation

If you don’t have a car, never take public transit, or only want to know how to get to your destinations by walking, you can tell Maps to only give you directions using your preferred mode of transportation.

Back in Settings > Maps, put check marks by your preferred mode of transportation to tell iOS which kinds of directions you’re interested in.

iOS 10 Feature Preferred Mode of Transportation

7. Avoid Tolls in Directions

In previous versions of Apple Maps, you could choose to avoid tolls on a case-by-case basis. But in iOS 10, you can make this the default (you can also choose to avoid highways if you’d rather stick to smaller roads).

Settings > Maps > Driving & Navigation > Avoid and flip the switch on either the Tolls or Highways option to avoid them when getting directions from the Maps app. This is another great reason to use Apple Maps Use Your iPhone to Find Nearby Food, Transport & Services In iOS 9, Apple made some big improvements to its Maps app — but how do these stack up against the big names in the map and discovery scene? Read More . Google Maps might be most people’s go-to choice, but Apple’s equivalent can be a solid alternative.

iOS 10 Feature Avoid Tolls in Directions

8. Siri App Support

Apple has opened Siri up to third-party developers, allowing her to send WhatsApp messages, call Uber rides, and do a number of other cool things. But to do that, you’ll need to make sure Siri has access to those apps.

Jump over to Settings > Siri > App Support and make sure Siri has access to all the information the apps are going to need (just remember that this information is sent to Apple, so if you’re not comfortable with sending that off, hit the Learn more link on the Settings page to learn about what they’ll do with your information).

iOS 10 Feature Siri App Support

9. Game Center

No longer an app, Game Center is now accessed through Settings What Is Game Center? A Guide to Game Center on Mac and iPhone Here's how to master Game Center on your iPhone or Mac, including how to add friends on Game Center and more. Read More . It was never hugely useful, but there’s one setting you might be interested in: Nearby Players. While this setting is activated, game players nearby can invite you to multiplayer sessions via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

To turn this off, just go to Settings > Game Center > Game Invites. Turn it off if you’d rather not broadcast your Game Center games to nearby players.

iOS 10 Feature Game Center Nearby

Besides, instead of playing games through Game Center, you’d be better off playing iMessage games with your friends 9 Best iMessage Games and How to Play Them With Your Friends Finding the best iMessage games is an easy as reading this article. In this roundup we cover a deep range of top multiplayer titles. Read More .

10. Mail Threading

If you use Apple’s Mail app instead of one of the other options for email on iOS, you can now use threaded views and tweak how they’re displayed.

Activating Organize by Thread will ensure that all of the messages in a thread will be displayed even if some messages have been moved to other mailboxes, and Most Recent Message on Top will result in a little less scrolling to get caught up.

These settings can be found in Settings > Mail, which is now split out from the previous “Mail, Contacts, and Calendar” setting group used in earlier versions of iOS.

iOS 10 Feature Mail Threading

What Are Your Favorite iOS 10 Features?

These settings will help you take advantage of some of the coolest features in iOS 10, but there are plenty more that make this one of the most exciting iOS releases to date. We want to hear from you about what you like and don’t like in iOS 10.

What new features have you found useful? What have you found to be annoying? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Related topics: Apple Maps, iMessage, iPad, iPhone, Siri, Touch ID.

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  1. Tony C
    January 16, 2017 at 3:42 am

    Hard to believe that in IOS 10, Apple still has not allowed the user the ability to designate another default app for email. Mac OS makes it easy to reassign another mail app. This especially is a problem when opening a mailto: link. It gets very frustrating to have to copy the link then paste it into my preferred mail app, especially after it opening the link in Apple Mail.

    • Dann Albright
      January 18, 2017 at 11:29 pm

      That's strange; I guess I must not use mailto: links very often in iOS, because I've never noticed that! That does seem like a pretty major oversight.

  2. Chuck
    January 15, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    The one thing I do not like about the new operating system is changing all my contacts order I cannot find some phone numbers because it moved them all over the place , four instance all the doctors used to be under Dr now either under I don't even know all yet but why they had to change the contacts I just blows my mind I had to get my iPhone 4s out to find a phone number to call

    • Dann Albright
      January 18, 2017 at 11:30 pm

      That's strange; were your contacts backed up before you switched to the new phone? If they were, you might try restoring the old contacts; that could fix the problem.

  3. Stacy
    October 25, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Any idea how to change the News back? It now separates everything into categories "celebrities" "food" "politics" - it was chronological before, which was so much better.

    • Dann Albright
      October 26, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      I haven't seen any indication that this is possible, but I'll report back if I find anything!

  4. Mark
    October 24, 2016 at 3:47 am


    • Dann Albright
      October 26, 2016 at 9:32 pm

      Are you saying that you shouldn't change any settings? Why?

  5. Laurie
    October 22, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    What happened to the list of apps in settings? I no longer have the list of apps that used to be at the bottom of settings. The Apple apps are still listed, but the apps I have added no longer show up in settings. Is this something new or is there a problem with my iOS 10 update? Thanks.

    • Dann Albright
      October 26, 2016 at 9:26 pm

      That's strange; I still see a list of apps when I scroll down to the bottom of Settings. It took a moment for them all to show up, though. If you have tons of apps, maybe it takes a second to load? Are you still not seeing them?

  6. Meredith
    October 9, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    I like most of the changes, except for two:
    1. the Clock - no longer does it show the clock dial with seconds
    2. Music - when you choose songs - it orders them alphabetically by artist not song title - I find this exceptionally frustrating!

    • Dann Albright
      October 19, 2016 at 10:55 pm

      Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of the updates to the Music app, either. I haven't been bothered by there not being a second hand on the Clock icon, but I can see why it would be irritating if you used it on a regular basis!

  7. rk
    October 5, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    This is a GREAT compilation of the iOS 10 features! I need something concise like this, thank you so much!!

    • Dann Albright
      October 19, 2016 at 10:54 pm

      Glad you found it useful! It was a really good way for me to learn about iOS 10, too. :-)

  8. rk
    October 5, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    The magnifier feature, I turned it ON. But when I click on Home button thrice, all I get is a pop up asking me to turn on the keychain! I don't want to store pwds or anything else using keychaing. What am I doing wrong?

    • Dann Albright
      October 19, 2016 at 10:54 pm

      That's strange; I haven't heard of that. Are you still having that issue? Have you turned the Magnifier feature off and back on again?

      • rk
        October 20, 2016 at 6:58 pm

        Sure enough, it works fine today although intermittently, I got a screen with overlapped home apps....it should work hopefully. Thanks for this tip, it's a handy feature to have!

        • Dann Albright
          October 26, 2016 at 9:15 pm

          You're welcome! I hope a lot of people will find that one useful. I think it's a pretty cool thing to have included in the OS.

  9. Sam
    September 30, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Thank you SO much for posting the information regarding email threads above. It has been driving me NUTS. Whenever an email came in, it would take me forever to scroll to the bottom/top to find the most recent email. I'm so happy I can turn this off. I may be old school but this works much better for me. Thank you for compiling these tips. Very, very helpful. I still wish these updates would come with a manual. Shows what generation I'm from!

    • Dann Albright
      October 19, 2016 at 10:52 pm

      I'm glad you found them useful! Sometimes you can find a list of updates for new iOS features like this, but it's usually easier to come here to get them all in one place. :-)

  10. Lolly T
    September 28, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    I don't like email at all. I can no longer delete all in sent items. I have to mark them one at a time to delete. What a pain when I now have so many in my sent items. I want to be able to delete all in sent and in bulk email the same as I can in trash.

    • Dann Albright
      October 19, 2016 at 10:52 pm

      I'm not a fan of Apple's Mail apps; I use Google's Inbox app instead. It's especially good if you're a Gmail user. Which email provider are you using?

      • Lolly T
        October 20, 2016 at 8:38 am

        Thanks for your reply. I use Sky.

      • Lolly T
        October 20, 2016 at 8:47 am

        What is the app called? I might try that!

  11. Michael
    September 28, 2016 at 1:35 am

    I don't seem to be able to edit contacts easily. Crazy. What is the new method as no option listed.

    • Dann Albright
      October 19, 2016 at 10:51 pm

      When I select a contact in the Contacts app, there's an Edit option in the top-right corner. Do you not see that on your phone?

      • Fred Reg
        October 26, 2016 at 4:58 pm

        The problem is when I search a contact (swipe down and enter name), I can not edit it. In the Contacts app, it is possible.

        Also, it seems to be impossible to invoke FaceTime Audio when searching for an contact (swipe down & enter name). How is that done?

        • Dann Albright
          October 26, 2016 at 9:40 pm

          Okay, now I see what you mean. I don't see any way to edit a contact from a Siri search, either. And I don't see an option to start a FaceTime audio call, but you could turn your camera off from the call; not exactly the same, but it's probably as close as you can get from that search result.

  12. Sandra
    September 24, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    I don't have iOS 10 yet, but have been hoping for the ability to mark/flag a text message as "unread" if I am unable to respond in the moment and want to remember to get back to it. Is that possible in 10? In the meantime, any suggestions for me?

    • Ray
      September 26, 2016 at 8:56 pm

      That's as old iOS 8 or earlier. Swipe a message to the right.

    • Sandra
      September 28, 2016 at 7:27 pm

      Someone replied that marking a text message as "unread"was simply a matter of swiping right. That option doesn't appear for me.... I've always been able to do it in mail, but not messages. Is there a setting I've overlooked?

      • Dann Albright
        October 19, 2016 at 10:50 pm

        I looked on my phone to see if I could do that with texts, and it doesn't look like it's possible. If I find a solution, though, I'll be sure to let you know!

  13. James
    September 24, 2016 at 12:42 am

    I hate how threading message is handled now. Is there a way to go back to the old way of seeing all of the messages in a thread or conversation?

    • Annette
      September 25, 2016 at 4:26 am

      Yes go into settings, mail and threading and turn all 3 features off.

    • Ray
      September 26, 2016 at 8:57 pm

      See number 10 above.

    • Cygnus
      September 27, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      I have to say I hated it too, but I found that if you just turn off "Complete Threads" it works very nicely. If you have complete threads enabled, it condenses the text so small you might as well not even look at it - it's that useless.

  14. Elizabeth
    September 22, 2016 at 9:15 pm


  15. Bonnie Canelakes
    September 21, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    I got the 7 and it and iOS10 are like driving a
    Maserati after years in a Hundai. Smooooth. The new Bedtime feature in the Clock wasn't mentioned; its kinda cool too. And the photos...whoa!! Such a difference! This is the best Apple has done in awhile.

    • Dann Albright
      October 19, 2016 at 10:31 pm

      Yeah, the Bedtime feature is pretty cool. Not sure how life-changing it is, but I like the idea of it! What do you like more about photos? Is it the camera on the 7 or a change in iOS that you like/

  16. Ambrose
    September 21, 2016 at 12:36 am

    Siri was nice, but no longer seems to work on my IPad Mini 2. Siri is having "trouble with the connection". Even Apple support couldn't help. Hopefully a fix will be available soon...

    • n3m0
      September 21, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      did you try with a clean, DFU installation?

    • Ambrose
      September 21, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      Thanks. I'll give it a try.

    • Dann Albright
      October 19, 2016 at 10:31 pm

      Have you managed to get this issue fixed yet? It's possible that an update might solve your problem.

      • Ambrose Brusco
        October 20, 2016 at 12:32 am

        Fixed. The VPN app I was using was not compatible with the update. Once I deleted the app, Siri worked fine. Thanks for your help.

        • Dann Albright
          October 21, 2016 at 9:35 pm

          Ah yes, a VPN definitely has the potential to mess with Siri. Glad you got it figured out!

  17. Roger Caldwell
    September 18, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    For me, the little things seem to matter most. I downloaded an app from the AppStore today and instead of being prompted for my password, I was prompted to use TouchID. It's about freaking time!

    • Dann Albright
      October 19, 2016 at 10:30 pm

      Yeah, that's pretty fantastic. :-)