New to the wonderful world of iPhones? Welcome! Our good friends over at AppAdvice actually created an app just for you. To really get up to speed quickly, head to the App Store and check out AppStart for the iPhone by AppAdvice. At $0.99 it really is a lot of bang for your buck. The app will walk you down the beautiful lane of iPhone ownership - from iPhone 101 to explaining iCloud to suggesting apps for book lovers, parents and artist, AppStart really has you covered. Below is a bit of their iPhone 101 to help get you started. Read on to learn about folders for your apps, assigning sounds, keeping your iPhone and information safe and taking screenshots.

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Your iPhone is by no means a difficult device to use.

It's so popular, after all, due in a large part to its beautiful, straightforward simplicity. Still, that doesn't mean there isn't a learning curve; and you should definitely take the time to understand the basics of the robust operating system you're holding in your hands. It's called iOS.

Developed by Apple and available only on the company's mobile devices, this unique platform is an exercise in the true harmony of form and function. iOS is intuitive to use, quick to perform, and extremely secure. Beyond the basics, however, there are a few tricks and shortcuts to master should you wish to be a bona fide "power user".

Prepare to run the gauntlet!


Once you get into the swing of this whole "app" things, you're sure to clutter up your iPhone's home screen in short order. To clean things up, it's possible to group up to 12 apps together in one folder.

To create a folder, simply enter "wiggle mode" by touching the holding an app icon until everything starts jiggling around. Then, just drag one app icon on top of another. A folder will be created with both apps inside, and a name for the folder will be auto-generated according to the categories of the apps you've grouped. Still in wiggle mode, you can customize this title by tapping the text field shown inside the created folder. You can change the order of the apps in that folder, too!

If you want to add more apps to a pre-existing folder, head over to the relevant screen on your iPhone and enter wiggle mode again. This time, drag a chosen app icon over the appropriate folder, and lift up your finger to drop it in. An remember, it works both ways: you remove apps from folders by entering wiggle mode and dragging them back out.
Folders themselves can be moved around just like apps, but they can only be removed completely once there are no apps left inside the folder itself.

So, clear up your iPhone and clean up your act. Digital feng shui, baby!

The Multitasking Bar

Once you've downloaded and organized all your favorite apps, you'll probably start figuring ways to plug your new iPhone into your personal daily workflow, and – whether you're at school, in the office, on the road, or (finally) back home – there's little doubt you'll soon be giving your glossy Apple handset the mother of all app-switching workouts!

If you're interested in saving some time (and saving your thumbs), you'll need to familiarize yourself with the iOS multitasking bar. This feature, called up by a simple double-tap of your handset's home key (you know, that singular, circular button right down there on the front of your iPhone), allows you to quickly jump between apps while simultaneously granting quick-access control of several basic system functions.

Go ahead and try it out – we'll wait for you. Just press the home button twice in rapid succession. See how this test just slides up and reveals the bar at the bottom of the screen? This is where you're able to tap back and forth between your most recently-accessed apps. To send the bar back down, just tap anywhere up here. Good? Great!

Assigning Tones & Vibration

It's a fact: iPhones are cool. Actually, they're way more than cool – they're totally rad!
And, since you're holding one right now, chances are you're totally rad, too. But just like great freedom, "radness" comes with responsibility, too. Mainly, you've got to try to keep things fresh. After all, you can't go around sporting the same crummy, Lo-Fi ringtones as everyone else, right?

Of course not.

To change the tones for general alerts, texts, tweets, alarms, emails and phone calls, head over to the "Settings" app and tap on the "Sounds" section. Here, you can customize everything to your audible preference. Still, if that's not particular enough for your specific tastes, you can even assign different tones to specific contacts. Just launch the "Contacts" app and choose an addressee. Then, touch the "Edit" button on the top-right of the side of the screen, and scroll down to the "ringtone" and "text tone" sections.

Sometimes, though, you'll want to adjust your iPhone's vibration behavior for those rare occasions when the silence (read "proper social etiquette") is truly golden.

In fact, your new iPhone has brought with it a clever new ability, letting you make your own custom vibration patterns. Switched on within the "Accessibility" section of the "Settings" app (Settings > General> Accessibility), these vibrations can then be generated and assigned to individual contacts in the "Sounds" section already described.

As a send-off for this sound-off, keep in mind that Apple has finally included the option to directly purchase new ringtones. Just tap "Buy More Tones" when selecting a ringtone in the "Settings" app, and you'll be taken to the Ringtones section of the iTunes store.

(And yes, it's possible to make your own ringtones, and there are some great apps that help you do that. It's not easy, but one such app, Ringtone Studio – Professional Ringtone Maker, has you covered.)


Speaking of alerts and alarms, keeping your iPhone safe and sound is absolutely critical; and though the iPhone is the single most common smartphone on the market, it's also the most sought-after. Naturally, your new toy might inspire an unfortunate bit of envy out there in the real world, and it's unquestionably a valuable target for potential crooks. And, even if creepy, sneaky criminals aren't constantly swarming your iPhone like moths to a... bright iPhone screen, you'll probably want to lock out your life's more harmless snoops, like curious kids, embattled exes, and idiot roommates, too.

That said, we can't say this enough: You need to keep your iPhone protected!

A nice case or screen-guard can help with the inevitable drops and spills, but to keep all of your device-stored information secure, you'll need to be able to stop data thieves in their tracks.

Fortunately, Apple has you covered.

A pair of included features helps out when push comes to shove comes to lost iPhone comes to general freakout.

The first measure is to enable a simple, four-digit (or more complex, alphanumeric) passcode lock that, once enabled, prevents unauthorized users from accessing your iPhone. In order to enable this feature, head over to the "General section of the "Settings" app and tap "Passcode Lock." Then, just pick a sequence or phrase that you'll remember and – presto! Access denied, snoops!

However, if your iPhone is misplaced or stolen, you'll have more than just compromised personal data to worry about – you'll need to get your handset back! Luckily, Apple offers a feature called "Find My iPhone," and it comes free as part of the iCloud service. Once you sign up for iCloud (which we cover at length elsewhere in AppStart), you can enable "Find My iPhone" in the "iCloud" section of the "Settings" app. Once activated, the service uses your lost iPhone's GPS radio to pin-point its position and directional activity on a full area map. Via this remote-access system, it's also possible to lock your iPhone or erase its contents altogether. To help sniff out your handset once you've narrowed down its location, you can even use "Find My iPhone" to initiate an audio-visual, message-based alert on the device.

If a crook ever turns your iPhone on, it's as good as yours, and he's (or she's, ladies, or she's) as good as caught.


But there's a way to catch more than just crooks on your iPhone – you can literally capture everything you see on the screen, any time you want! It could be a section of a website, an AIM conversation, a still from a movie, or even your high score in a game. Simply press the Lock button and the Home button together at the same time, and your screen's current state will be saved to your iPhone's camera Roll. You'll even get a simulated camera flash and realistic click to let you know your shot's a success.

Feeling more confident with your new iPhone? We bet you are! If you still have questions, fear not - we have answers! Please drop our personal Mobile Gurus, D-Rob and Sol, a line by clicking on the "Submit a Question" button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Also, check out our Lifestyle page and get some great ideas for apps to add to your swanky new iPhone!