As my last iPad guide hit the stands, the response was electric – my inbox lit up with requests for a similar guide on the iPhone, detailing beginner-friendly concepts, useful tips and tricks, must-have apps, and even the hottest accessories on the market. And now, my dear readers, I am thrilled to share with you the essentials that I personally use and swear by, to help you get the most out of your trusty iPhone.
This is no ordinary rundown of apps and accessories, mind you – these are the creme de la creme of what’s available out there, carefully curated to work seamlessly on modern-day iPhones, as well as previous-generation devices.
So, without further ado, let us plunge headfirst into the world of core integrations, and explore the boundless possibilities that await!
Table of Contents
- 1) iCloud & Files App
- 2) Scanning Documents
- 3) Moving Files
- 4) Smart Cutouts
- 5) AirDrop & Universal Clipboard
- 6) Messages
- 7) Moth Snapstand Power Set
- 8) Duplicate Photos
- 9) Home Screen
- 10) Apps
- 11) Accessories
- The Conclusion
1) iCloud & Files App
Amidst the vast sea of cloud storage options, I have pledged my allegiance to the mighty iCloud Drive. This wondrous tool is not just a simple storage solution, but a tightly integrated hub for all my Apple devices. With my Desktop and Documents folder securely stowed away in iCloud, I can access them at any time from my trusty iPhone. And let’s not forget about the unsung hero of the Files app, often overlooked but full of untapped potential.
While some may shy away from its default status, I am here to tell you that it is a missed opportunity to do so. When I venture into the Files app, I find myself constantly drawn to the Browse tab. The reason is that the “view” may be a bit chaotic for my taste, and I rarely require access to my shared folders.
But with my two cloud connections – iCloud and Google Drive – always at the ready, I know I can find what I need. My Google Drive is reserved for work-related files and my eclectic collection of wallpapers and widgets, but for all other purposes, iCloud reigns supreme. And let me tell you, my dear friend, do not sleep on the power of Favorites.
I have curated my own personal collection of go-to folders, and it has been a game-changer in my quest for ultimate organization. So, take it from me – embrace the magic of iCloud and the Files app, and let them guide you to a more enlightened digital existence.
iCloud & Files App – My personal favorites feature is nothing short of a whimsical wonderland of quick and efficient shortcuts to my most frequently accessed folders. It’s like a magical portal to my Mac finder’s favorites, where I can easily access my “CREATIVE” folder with a mere tap or two. And if I ever want to return to my file’s default structure, I simply tap back on the Recent tab, and voila! I’m back to where I started, just like a snap of my fingers. I always have my list view sorted by date, ensuring that my most recent items are always at the forefront of my digital kingdom.
2) Scanning Documents
With a penchant for being organized and efficient, I make it a habit to scan every single document that comes my way. The Files app is my go-to tool for this task, as it seamlessly stores my receipts in a designated accounting folder, which I have the privilege of sharing with my trusted accounting associates.
Without a doubt, the built-in scanner of the Files app is an indispensable feature for me. On top of that, the options for annotations in the Files app make it a breeze to add comments and notes to my scanned documents. And let’s not forget the cherry on top – the ability to effortlessly insert my prescanned signatures, making me a signatory extraordinaire!
3) Moving Files
Have you ever found yourself in a frenzy, frantically searching for the perfect solution to navigate around files on your smartphone with ease? Fear not, my dear tech-savvy friends, for I have not one, but two whimsical ways to help you move files with grace and poise.
The first method involves grabbing a file and tapping on additional files with a flick of your finger, creating a pile of your prized possessions to move around.
The second, and most favored tip from my iPad guide, involves the clever use of two fingers to multi-select items, making it a breeze to grab and move them to your heart’s content. And if you’re in a hurry to sort your items into a new folder, simply select them with two fingers, tap on the illustrious More menu (you know, the one with the circle of little dots), and voila!
You can create a new folder with X amount of items in a flash. And if you’re lovin’ what you see, why not subscribe to my video for more savvy tips and tricks?
4) Smart Cutouts
Delightful photo tips await you, my dear reader, as we delve into the magical world of iOS 16 Smart Cutouts. Behold, with just a tap and a hold, you can seamlessly drag and drop your favorite subject onto a charming collage. The possibilities are endless, from creating personalized greeting cards to capturing fun memories with friends and family.
For my artistic endeavors, I often turn to the delightful Pocket version of the Procreate app – absolutely free of charge, mind you – where I can easily insert a desired background and let my creative juices flow. And, for the perfect finishing touches, I edit my masterpiece with the dazzling Lightroom. But wait, there’s more!
With the latest iPhone, you can harness the power of the glorious 48-megapixel Raw format for even more freedom and clarity when working with your beloved cutouts. Embrace the whimsical wonders of Smart Cutouts and let your creativity soar!
5) AirDrop & Universal Clipboard
Within the enchanting world of the Apple ecosystem, beyond the mystical iCloud we previously spoke of, there exist two magnificent tools I simply cannot exist without – AirDrop and Universal Clipboard.
These enchanting spells allow me to effortlessly convey photos, videos, and files between my beloved Mac and iPhone with ease. Behold the sorcery of AirDrop, which even permits timely transit of larger video files, providing me with the power to shoot running gunshots to prove my point in the twinkling of an eye.
It’s absolutely essential to my work. The sorcery of Universal Clipboard is equally powerful, granting me the ability to copy text on my Mac and seamlessly paste it onto my iPhone. Gliding effortlessly between these two devices, I can polish even the most spellbinding Instagram posts, write them with care on my Mac, spell-check them, and seamlessly add the perfect hashtags, and with the flick of a wand, Command C, they appear before me on my iPhone.
Truly, these two spells have become indispensable in my daily adventures within the Apple kingdom.
Ah, messages! What a delightful way to communicate with the world, but let’s face it, we all make mistakes. Thankfully, the genius minds behind our devices have provided us with a little window of opportunity to undo our blunders within the first two minutes. And the cherry on top? The ability to edit our messages in the first 15 minutes.
I mean, can we just take a moment to appreciate this feature? It’s a lifesaver, especially when I’m in the car and dictating my thoughts to Siri, only to realize at the next traffic light that my words have been jumbled up.
7) Moth Snapstand Power Set
Now, before we dive into the exciting world of home screens and widget arrangements, let me share with you my latest obsession – the Moth Snapstand power set. This little beauty packs a punch, combining a powerful external battery with a three-in-one phone stand and wallet.
The sleek design, covered in luxurious vegan leather, fits perfectly in the palm of your hand, and the 3400 mah capacity can charge your iPhone at lightning speed. But don’t stop there, my friend.
This versatile accessory can also charge your AirPods or any other compatible device. It’s a match made in heaven, a battery that looks as good as it performs. But wait, there’s more! Tucked under the battery, you’ll find the magnetic three-in-one phone stand and wallet, a practical addition that will change the way you use your phone.
Not only can you store your cards, but you can also prop your phone up in any direction, even floating. Imagine enjoying a meal while watching your favorite show, or working at your desk without having to hold your phone. The possibilities are endless. And if that’s not enough, the Snapstand power set also comes with a breakaway magnetic tip cable that snaps into place effortlessly, allowing you to use the combo on its own or while plugged in.
So don’t settle for ordinary accessories, upgrade to the extraordinary with the Moth Snapstand power set.
8) Duplicate Photos
In the realm of iPhone organization, one can easily get lost in a sea of repetitive visuals. Fear not, dear reader, for I implore you to embark on the journey toward a more streamlined digital existence by venturing into the depths of the duplicate photo album.
With a mere swipe and the power of the built-in feature, you can vanquish those pesky clones and emerge victorious in your quest for a clutter-free device. Trust me, friend, this is not just a mere tip – it’s a life-changing hack.
9) Home Screen
When it comes to my home screen, I run a tight ship. I’m all about keeping it sleek and streamlined, and I’ve been known to wax poetic on the virtues of a single home screen. But don’t be fooled, my friends – just because I’m a minimalist doesn’t mean I skimp on functionality. Oh no, I’m all about using widgets and stacks to achieve peak efficiency and one-handed use.
So what does my home screen look like, you ask? Well, I’ve got all my frequently used apps corralled toward the bottom for easy access, while the top is dominated by my Widget Widget. This baby is a stack of all stacks, holding my beloved calendar app Widget and sporting a crystal clear background courtesy of Clear Spaces. And let me tell you, when the day is done and I want to unwind, there’s nothing like swiping away all distractions with a flourish.
But here’s the kicker: my Widget Widget isn’t just any old widget. Oh no, my friends. I’ve crafted a brand-spanking-new widget that I like to call Mars. It’s sleek, it’s chic, and it’s downright whimsical. So come on in, take a gander, and prepare to be wowed by the home screen magic that is Mars.
When it comes to the magical world of apps, Flipboard reigns supreme as my trusted source for all things current events. With its quick glance widget, I can effortlessly stay on top of the latest news without even unlocking my phone.
And let’s not forget about my new soulmate, Tick tick – my to-do list sidekick that keeps me organized and sane. But when the sun goes down and the darkness creeps in, Noir swoops in to save the day with its covert ability to transform any website into a soothing dark mode oasis for my precious peepers.
And who could ever forget Widget, my trusty companion for creating and customizing widgets to my heart’s content. And when I need to declutter my home screen, Clear Spaces comes to the rescue by neatly tucking away any unwanted icons with a wave of my magical wand. Ah, the joys of app-dom!
Now, let’s dive into the world of specialized iPhone accessories, darling!
When it comes to iPhone cases, I am nothing short of a connoisseur, meticulously sifting through endless options to find the perfect match for my outfit du jour. It’s not just about the aesthetics either, as I demand a functional addition to my already impressive device. Enter the Snap Stand Power Set by Moft, which I tantalizingly mentioned earlier.
A true game-changer in the phone case world, this piece is a prime complement to the Snap Set, sporting a variety of color and finish options. But wait, there’s more! It boasts the ability to be easily attached to a Lanyard, perfect for those adventurous souls who journey far and wide.
But don’t think for a moment that my case collection stops there, as I am constantly on the prowl for the latest and greatest offerings. The Pitaka Sunset Moment is a limited edition beauty that I simply can’t get enough of. With a color scheme that screams exclusivity, it is practically identical to the Mac Easy case three.
But what sets it apart is its featherlight construction and magnetic grip that could hold even the most stubborn fridge magnet to shame. Combine it with the Mac Easy grip and you’ve got a winning combination of practicality and fidget-worthy fun, all while barely registering on the iPhone’s weight scale.
11.2) AirPods & Marshall
It’s an undisputed fact that no iPhone worth its weight is complete without a pair of AirPods. I personally opt for the Generation 3 variant, as the Pro models have a pesky habit of slipping out of my ears like a greased piglet.
But fret not my dear friends, for I have you covered with a comprehensive guide to all things AirPods, linked below. Think of it as your ticket to audio heaven, where music, podcasts, and books reign supreme and commuting never felt so liberating.
However, if your wallet are feeling a little tight, I highly recommend Marshall Minor III as a groovy alternative. Sporting a striking black and gold finish that screams high-end, the Marshalls offer comparable sound quality and a more budget-friendly price tag. Sure, they might not boast the same level of integration as AirPods, but who needs that when you can rock out in style?
The pièce de résistance to any beloved iPhone is undeniably the AirTag – an innovative gadget that is the ultimate sidekick to your trusty device.
As a seasoned user myself, I relish the holiday season as it presents the perfect opportunity to equip my valued family members with these pint-sized wonders. Not only do they serve as a convenient tool for tracking personal items, but they also grant a sense of serenity that is simply unmatched.
11.4) Gray Joy Con Controller Adapter
As a Nintendo Switch enthusiast, I was convinced that nothing could surpass the joy (pun intended) of using the Switch’s controller. But lo and behold, fate had other plans for me when I stumbled upon the Gray Joy Con Controller Adapter. This magnificent gadget works wonders in turning your iPhone into a Nintendo Switch doppelganger, no less!
With its ability to seamlessly connect your Joy Cons to any Apple device, you can now relish in the Apple Arcade’s impressive game catalog without having to lug around your beloved Switch. The Gray Joy Con Controller Adapter – a stroke of genius that will leave you wondering why you didn’t discover it sooner!
11.5) Belkin Charging Stand
The universe of charging stands is absolutely teeming with options, but one that adds a touch of luxury to my humble abode is none other than Belkin’s boost charge. Pro. While it’s true that other options might be friendlier to your wallet, the Belkin is a true stalwart in terms of durability.
However, one minor quibble I have is that I would have been over the moon if it supported max-speed charging for the Apple Watch Ultra. Nevertheless, this stand is an elegant and reliable companion for your charging needs.
11.6) DJI OM Gimbal
If you find yourself immersed in the world of video production, you simply must acquaint yourself with the DJI OM Four combo. This folding compact gimbal, adorned with a plethora of features, is now available at an unbeatable price.
As an early adopter, I still vividly recall the sizeable investment I made in the initial model. This gimbal’s versatility is second to none – it expertly caters to your outdoor shooting needs, be it horizontal or vertical orientations.
However, its talents extend beyond the great outdoors, doubling up as a tripod with a remarkable degree of finesse, thanks to the awe-inspiring tracking capabilities offered by DJI. Don’t hesitate to take this gem of a gadget on your next creative escapade – it’s sure to elevate your video production game to the next level.
I am hopeful that this listicle has had you fully tickled. And if your appetite for adventure has yet to be sated, may I be so bold as to suggest reading my other guides and listicles? For as the wise say, there is always more magic to uncover!
Written by Johnathan Abram