Candy Crushin’ while standing in line to order food, Instagramming a photo of your lunch tacos, and scrolling through the latest TikTok videos as you eat ALL of the guacamole — sound familiar? Like most iPhone users, you probably spend a lot of time doing mindless things like playing games and browsing social media. Did you realize that you hold more computing power in the palm of your hand than there was on the Apollo 11 rocket to the moon? What if you could harness that power for good to improve your life?
We sell a lot of iPhones at TheStore.com, and we’ve learned a thing or two about how to streamline settings, apps, and tools to help you get the most out of your day (and even sleep better at night).
Here we present 10 simple tips to optimizing your iPhone for productivity, health, and fitness.
Turn off notifications (at least most of them)
First things first, you need to eliminate as many distractions as possible. Pretty much every app you use wants to send you a barrage of notifications, but an iPhone constantly pinging throughout the day is just a distraction. To turn this off, go to the Apple Settings app, and then to the Notifications section. Then click on all of the apps that you don’t need to receive notifications from and turn them off. We also recommend that you turn off the “Raise to Wake” feature, which shows notifications on your lock screen when you lift your phone. To do so, go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Raise to Wake.
There are a few exceptions where you’ll want to keep notifications turned on, such as food delivery apps, your calendar reminders, and phone call alerts. But for the other 95%, let them fade into the background so that you can focus on the here-and-now.
Remove home-screen app clutter
Today, iPhone users have more control over their home screen than ever. For instance, the new App Library available on iOS 14 is like a drawer to store all your apps so you can remove them from your home screen without deleting them. It even has a search bar.
Using the App Library, you’ll want to set up multiple screens with folders for your apps. To create a new blank screen, tap an app icon on your home screen, then hold and drag it to the edge of the screen. A small tab will appear, where you can drag the item onto a new screen. To create a folder, drag an app onto another app. Keep doing this until your home screen is app-free. Then, set up additional screens and folders or use the App Library to house your apps.
Organize apps and folders alphabetically
Android users take this for granted because their apps are alphabetized automatically. However, many iPhone users find their app order is often random and, after some time, a complete mess. You should think of the name of the app you want and find it right away. To do this, go to Settings > General, then scroll way down to Reset. Choose “Reset Home Screen Layout” to get your apps listed from A to Z.
Switch to Google
We recommend switching from Apple’s Mail product to the Google app versions to make features like Google Maps, Google Calendar, and Gmail faster and easier to navigate. iPhones just started allowing you to delete the Apple Mail app, so take advantage of the new perk! Simply go to Settings > Mail > Account, then tap Add Account and select Gmail.
Use The Control Center
Your phone’s Control Center gives you direct access to important settings by swiping down from the top of the display. Quickly change a song, turn on airplane mode, connect to Wi-Fi, use your iPhone’s flashlight — you can customize anything you want to access. Go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls. To remove an option, tap the red minus button, or add an option by selecting the green addition button. Drag features up or down using the three-line icon on the right side of the screen.
Turn on “Do Not Disturb”
We recommend that everyone take advantage of this feature, especially during bedtime hours. DND silences all alerts on your iPhone, which means you won’t hear a peep or ping from work emails or Facebook status updates. For emergency purposes, “Allow Calls from Favorites” is a sub-feature, and you can also enable your iPhone to ring when you get repeat calls from the same number.
Schedule Night Shift
Speaking of getting a better night’s sleep, you can save your eyes and catch more Z’s by turning on Night Shift a few hours before you go to bed. Night Shift “shifts” your iPhone’s color display from the blue to red spectrum, or from cool to warm. The medical consensus is to avoid screen time and blue light at least two hours before bedtime, so this feature is an absolute must if you need to use your phone at night. To turn on Night Shift, go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift. Schedule Night Shift and move the warmth slider to the right (More Warm).
Import health data and set up Medical ID
Apple implemented a system a while back that lets you import data from a healthcare provider into the Health app. As a result, you can easily access relevant information such as immunizations, allergies, medications, blood pressure, hospital visits, and more, which can help you on the quest to better health.
On top of that, the Medical ID feature makes critical medical information, such as your food allergies and medications, available to strangers when your phone is locked. Go to the Health app > Medical ID > Edit to add an emergency medical contact at a minimum, along with any additional information you’d like, from your blood type to if you’re an organ donor.
Get in shape with Fitness Plus
The Fitness app leveled up recently with Fitness Plus, a service built into every iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. It is designed exclusively for Apple Watch users to track workouts, and it also releases guided workout videos for all skill levels every week. Even if you don’t have an Apple Watch, you can sync the Apple Health app with the most popular health-tracking apps and access your info in one convenient place, from counting calories on MyFitnessPal to tracking steps with your Fitbit. Your iPhone can even look for “walking asymmetries” using its built-in gyroscope.
The iPhone is a handheld supercomputer, and you can use it for a lot more than games and social media updates — you just need to optimize your iPhone the right way! With these 10 tips and tricks, you can harness the power of your iPhone for good, and utilize some of these features to help you live a more productive and healthier life. If you don’t have an iPhone of your own and want to try out these cool features, head to The Store for the best selection of iPhone deals, all available with The Store’s Certified ReStored guarantee.