iPhone and iPad

10 iOS 6 ‘How-to’ Tips You Need to Know For Your iPhone, iPad, Or iPod Touch

Bakari Chavanu 29-09-2012

ios how toWhen you install iOS 6 on your iPhone or other iOS device, you won’t see any changes to the user interface, but there are a few new apps and several new features under the hood that will make your device a lot more handy to use.


In addition to a new Maps app with turn-by-turn voice navigation, you also get Facebook integration throughout the iOS, the ability to share selected photos in your Photo Stream; preset voicemail replies, FaceTime over your cellular network, and several new handy features for the iOS camera, Mail, Safari, Find My Phone. In fact Apple claims over 200 new features are included in the new update. You can get an overview of them here, but let’s explore some of the best tips for quickly getting up and running with iOS 6.

iOS 6 is fully supported on the iPhone 4S, the third generation iPad, the 4th generation iPod Touch, and the soon to be released iPhone 5. It also supports the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2, but these two devices do not include Siri, FaceTime on 3G or 4G. The iPhone 3GS will support iOS 6, but it will not include several features and apps, including Siri, Photo Streaming sharing, FaceTime on 3G, Offline Reading list, and hearing aid support. You can download and install iOS 6 wirelessly on your device (Settings app > General > Software Update) or via a wired iTunes connection.

ios how to

VoiceMail Replies

After you get  iOS up and running, launch the Settings app and tap open the Phone settings, followed by “Reply with Message.” This handy little feature enables to you send preset messages when someone calls, but you can’t or don’t want to  answer.

ios tips


You can of course customize the preset messages; for example: “Sorry, working, will call you later.” When you receive a call, you will need to slide up the phone icon handle to reveal the “Reply with Message” and “Remind Me Later.”  You can choose your options from there.

ios tips

Photo Stream

Now in Photo Stream you can select photos and share them directly from your supported device. To do this, tap the Photo Stream icon in the bottom menu bar; tap “My Photo Stream” and then the Edit button at the top-right. Select the photos you want to share, and tap the Share button at the bottom.

ios tips


Tap the Photo Stream button to share your selected photos with other people. When you share with someone who is also running iOS 6 and iCloud, your photos will show up in their Photo Library or iPhoto app, after they approve the import. Those not running iOS 6 will receive a link to your selected photos posted online via your iCloud account. From there, they can download your photos.  You will need to enable Public Website sharing from within Photo Stream. The link to your photo pages can be shared anywhere.

VIPs in Mail

The Mail app in iOS 6 has inherited the VIP feature, first released in Mountain Lion. This feature enables you to select contacts as VIPs, each of whom will get a special smart folder where all their emails will be collected.

ios tips and tricks

To assign a contact VIP status, tap on his or her From address in an email, and then the next window tap “Add to VIP.” Your VIPs will show up under Mailboxes in your Mail app. However, the only drawback is that you will get all the messages sent by a selected contact, not just their new mail.


ios tips and tricks


Insert Photo or Video

Also in Mail, you can now import/insert photos or a video from within a Mail message, instead of having to export selected content from your Photos Library. To add a photo to an email, press down briefly with your index finger on an empty spot in your email, and then left your finger to bring up the pop-up menu bar. From there, tap on the right arrow and select “Insert Photo or Video.” The contents of your Photo library will pop up. You can add one photo or video at a time to your email. It’s probably best not add more than one video to a mail message.

Ios6 19


Do Not Disturb

Though the Notifications feature was a big deal when first released, many iOS users now often find it nuisance when they get too many notices at in appropriate times. In the new update, when you go into the Settings app and turn off notifications completely, or you tap the Notifications > Do Not Disturb, you can schedule a time for when you don’t want to receive calls and alerts.


Furthermore, you can make exceptions for selected contacts in your Contact book, and also allow for Repeated Calls to your phone. This is very useful if you often get calls and alerts while sleeping or in a meeting.

Managing Your Privacy

Also in the Settings app, Apple has placed all your privacy settings in one place, so you can know which apps are accessing data on your phone. Tap on Privacy to find out which app has requested access to say your photos, Twitter and Facebook accounts, your current location, Calendar, Reminders, or Contacts. This is where you can disable and enable access to particular apps. With iOS 6, Apple now requires developers to get permission to access your data.

Iphone privacy

Shoot Panoramas

For us shutterbugs, Apple has added a feature for taking panorama shots. Now you can shoot large group and scenic photos in one single shot of mainly non-moving subjects. To do so, launch the Camera app, tap on the Options button and select Panorama.


Frame your shot and hold the iPhone or iPod touch steady; tap the shutter button,  and pan continuously to capture the subject. When you reach the end of your panning, tap the exposure button again. Voila, you get a nice smooth panorama in one shot.

More Siri Commands

As expected, Siri now includes even more commands—from getting sports stats and finding local movie time listings, to actually telling it launch apps. You can even have Siri setup reservations at an elegant restaurant. Learn more about Siri commands here Getting Location Aware & Other Useful Tips On Getting The Most Out Of Siri [iPhone] Since updating to the iPhone 4S, Siri has become my new best friend. The ability to send commands to Siri has reduced a number of more pesky tasks that I used to perform by hand.... Read More .

Features siri

Safari Features

iOS Safari also received some enhancements. You can now save web pages in the Reading List for offline reading. So say your iPad doesn’t have cellular connection, you can save pages for later reading without needing an internet connection.

With the latest Safari, you can also access web pages open on your other devices. So say you’re reading an MUO review on your Mac, and you want to pick up the reading on your iPhone or iPad. Simply tap on the Cloud icon at the top of iOS Safari and it will display a list of opened tabs from your other devices.

Features safari

Turn-by-Turn Navigation

In iOS 6, Apple ditched Google Maps and replaced it with its own navigation system. Now you have free default turn-by-turn voice navigation system to give you directions from point A to point B.

Maps heroGetting directions is very similar to the old Map. When you’re ready for directions, simply tap the Start button. The design makeover of the Apple Map is a lot cleaner and visually appealing.

Find My Phone

Under iOS 6, Find My Phone now includes Lock Mode, which enables you to remotely locate and lock your phone or other Apple device and send a contact message that will be displayed on the locked screen of your device. You can send a contact message by signing into your iCloud.com account, and selecting the Find My Phone icon on the Home page.

ios tips and tricks

You can also use the Find My Phone app on other your iOS devices. Your lost device however must be be shut down in order for Find My Phone to work. You should definitely bookmark the iCloud site and know the steps to locate your device in case of an emergency. Find My Phone can also be used on Mac laptops and desktop computers.


One of the two new default default apps you will see in iOS 6 is Passbook, which is for storing supported travel boarding passes, movie tickets, store coupons, and loyalty cards. When you launch the app, it takes you to the App Store where you select and download the supporting apps to your iPhone. From there, cards and tickets will be added to your Passbook when you register for loyalty cards or purchase movie tickets, for example.

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iOS includes lots of other features including Facebook integration, improved Accessibility features, FaceTime access over cellular networks and location-based alerts in the updated Find My Friends app—just to name a few.

Let us know what iOS 6 features you find most useful, and which features you think could use some improvements.

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  1. Grady James
    February 19, 2013 at 2:08 am

    How do you reply to e-mails now? Before there was a button at the bottom, now there's nothing. Using Siri is a pain in the butt.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      February 19, 2013 at 4:35 am

      Grady, the reply button is the second from the right at the bottom of each opened email.

  2. Nan Day
    January 6, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    My sister has an iPhone 3GS and since upgrading to iOS6 she doesn't have the option of saving a video when I text it it her. I read somewhere that the shared photo stream doesn't work on 3GS but it works on her phone just fine.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      February 19, 2013 at 4:34 am

      Nan, the 3GS probably does not support many of the features in iOS 6.

  3. rita
    November 14, 2012 at 2:02 am

    I have iPhone 5, did iOS6 software, and now my lg bluetooth will not tell me who's calling. Any ideas

    • Bakari Chavanu
      February 19, 2013 at 4:31 am

      Ig Bluetooth? I'm not sure what that is. Sorry.

  4. Kennedy
    November 11, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Is there a way to download a video from facebook to my iPad?

    • Bakari Chavanu
      November 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm

      Kennedy, I'm not a Facebook user, but I did a quick Google search of your question, and this one app that shows up: VideoGet for Facebook LITE in the iTunes App Store.

  5. Ayal
    November 7, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Need help with recent iso6 download to Ipod 4th generation.
    All of my iTunes music is available on my regular computer - but how do I get it back onto my ipod...?

    • Bakari Chavanu
      November 8, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      Ayal, there several different apps for getting music off your iPod onto your computer. Do a Google search on this topic. I'm pretty sure you will find a solution.

  6. Bruce Kester
    November 6, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Is there a way to designate email as spam in iOS6 on the iPhone and iPad3? It's easy on my iMac with OSX.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      November 7, 2012 at 12:20 am

      Bruce, you can move a message to Junk in the iCloud mail, if you enable iCloud on your device.

  7. Ahmed
    October 9, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Oh God my itunes show following installing this "the selected ipsw file is corrupted"
    wat should i do..,,,,

    • Bakari Chavanu
      November 7, 2012 at 12:19 am

      Hey Ahmed, do a Google search on that issue and see if it comes up with some solutions.

  8. vanessa
    October 9, 2012 at 11:42 am

    RE IPHONE 5 and SIRI and TALKLER. Even with iOS6, and the new iPhone 5, Siri still won’t do email.We need true email inbox management that’s eyes-free. There’s a NEW smartphone app called Talkler — billed as “email for your ears.” Talkler is a free smartphone app for heads-up, hands-off, reads-aloud-to-you,voice-controlled email. So we can reclaim those wasted minutes behind the wheel, and get to the office with an empty inbox. Worth checking out:Facebook.com/Talkler and http://www.Talkler.com

    • Bakari Chavanu
      November 7, 2012 at 12:17 am

      Thanks, Vanessa, I'll deathly check it out.

  9. Upashana
    October 8, 2012 at 5:31 am

    I updated ny Iphone 4 to ios 6..and Jailbroke too...But I can't folder lock my applications..!
    Is it that lockdown pro is not available for ios yet???or i don hab idea...?>??

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 8, 2012 at 5:46 pm

      Sorry, Upashana, I'm not knowledgable about jailbroken devices. I recommend checking forum sites for solutions.

  10. lou
    October 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    after upgrading to ios6 on my iPhone 3GS i have lost 3g and voicemail

    please help

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      Wooo, Lou, I've heard some other complaints about putting iOS 6 on the 3GS. I'm not sure if it's a good idea. Have you checked the Apple support forum website? There may be some troubleshooting solutions on there.

  11. Nabil A Swileh
    October 5, 2012 at 3:43 am

    Great post.
    Thanks man.

    I hope you can add the compatibility of each feature with the iOS devices.
    Like, panorama available only for iPhone 4S/5 and the new iPad, the same thing with maps flyover and Turn-by-Turn Navigation, etc.

  12. William Henry
    October 2, 2012 at 8:23 am

    After much hype and ballyhooing about iOS6 over 3 months ago, I was looking forward to experience SIRI and the other features, well I have an iPad 2 and was I disappointed that iOS6 didn't deliver as first promised. In fact none of the upgrades were relevant to my iPad 2 usage.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      Siri doesn't run on the iPad, does it? I still have the iPad 1, so I'm not sure.

      • Phuong Doan
        October 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm

        Siri runs on iPad 3. not sure about iPad 2

        • Bakari Chavanu
          October 8, 2012 at 5:40 pm

          Oh, okay, cool. My wife has the iPad 3, but I bet she doesn't even know that Siri is on there.

  13. Phuong Doan
    October 2, 2012 at 3:01 am

    is voicemail replies available in iMessage mode?

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm

      Hmmm, I'm not sure about that Phuong. I need to look into it.

      • Phuong Doan
        October 3, 2012 at 6:02 pm

        i checked it on my friend's iPhone yesterday. it seemed to be defaulted as regular messages:(

  14. Candra Setiawan
    October 1, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    my iPod touch 4G get better battery life with this iOS

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm

      Cool, Candra. Great to hear that, especially since some users are complaining that the new iOS is draining battery life on the 4S. I'm not experiencing that problem, though.

  15. Edwin Williams
    October 1, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    I like the new pull-down loading for the Mail app!

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm

      Oh, yeah, good one, Edwin. Thanks.

  16. Phuong Doan
    October 1, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    is passbook available on ipad?

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm

      Not at this time, Phuong. Apple probably thinks that the iPad is not as mobile as the iPhone.

  17. Bill Griffin
    October 1, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I don't see how to do the panorama shot on my IPad2.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      Bill, I believe that feature is not available for the iPad 2.

  18. Jim
    September 29, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Just downloaded iOS6 and noticed I have a list of Groups under Phone I can check or un-check a Group, but the Phone Groups I had before are gone. Is there a way to recover my old Groups?

    • Bakari Chavanu
      September 30, 2012 at 7:07 pm

      Hmmm, Jim, what Groups are you referring to? I'm looking on my iPhone and I don't see any in Mail. Are you talking about Mailboxes?

      • Shirley Hershey
        October 3, 2012 at 2:33 pm

        Groups reside in your Contacts which are inside your Phone application. To get to your Contacts, press on the Phone icon and then the Contacts button at the bottom of the screen. Then, to find or create Groups, click on the Groups button at the top of the Contacts screen.

        • Neil Christians
          October 18, 2012 at 4:59 pm

          There is a group icon where you say Shirley but I do NOT see any way to add a group. Anyone know how to create groups in contacts for the iphone 5 ios6? help!

        • Julio G
          November 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm

          You have to go to your icloud account (icloud.com). log in aand click into contacts. You can add as many groups as you want. Just drag the contacts you want to add from your current contacts list.