I often marvel at the impact smartphones have had on our lives. It wasn’t long ago when they didn’t even exist, yet suddenly, just like that, we can’t imagine how we ever lived without them. My iPhone serves so many purposes: It’s where I get my news and weather. It’s how I stay in touch. It’s my GPS and it gives me a sense of security. I use my iPhone to take photos and videos and record special moments I don’t ever want to forget. I watch movies and play games on it. I shop on my phone and use it to pay for my groceries. I store all my notes and to-do lists on it. It holds all my meetings and appointments and I store all my travel plans on it. And these days, I often do my work on my iPhone instead of on my laptop. When my son is asleep in my arms and I don’t want to disturb him, I research and write entire articles on my phone. Oh, and it makes phone calls, too!
So yeah … my iPhone is a trusted companion that I really don’t think I could live without. I recently upgraded to the iPhone X, and was eager to test out all the new features. Because of its new design, there are a few things you’ll have to learn how to use. Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect:
The iPhone X is smaller and more compact than the iPhone 7 Plus, which I had before, but the screen size is actually larger. That’s because there’s no home button and the entire front face of the phone is a touchscreen. Because the home button has been removed, there’s a bit of a learning curve to using the iPhone X but you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
No home button means that this phone does not use fingerprint ID but this functionality is replaced with the super cool Face ID. Using biometric data, the phone is able to recognize your face and open immediately for you. For the most part, I love this feature but it can be a bit of an inconvenience if, say, your phone is on a table and you just want to reach over and turn it on to read a text. With fingerprint ID, you could just reach over and do it. Now, you have to pick up the phone and put it in front of your face, which doesn’t sound like a big deal but there have been a number of instances, like when my hands are full or I’m feeding my son, when it was inconvenient. I love Face ID but wish I had the option for fingerprint ID as well.
As with every iPhone upgrade, the iPhone X has an improved camera. The True Depth sensing technology means that you can use portrait mode on the front-facing camera for the first time, which is seriously cool. Using AI technology, it’s able to determine which parts of the photo should be in clear focus and which should be blurred, lending your pictures a professional feeling.
And the feature that’s the most fun? Animojis! These are animated emojis that use the True Depth technology to scan your facial expressions and then mirror them in your chosen emoji. I suppose it goes without saying that I’m having way too much fun with this and sending messages like this (below) to my one-year-old son, who doesn’t quite know what to make of it!
Because the iPhone X doesn’t have a home button, certain functions now behave differently. A friend recently posted on Facebook that while he loved the phone, he couldn’t figure out to do some basic tasks that previously required that home button. So here’s a quick guide to all the iPhone X shortcuts:
Unlocking iPhone X with Face ID
To quickly unlock your iPhone X, simple raise to wake, glance at your display and simultaneously swipe up to go home
Press and hold the side button to ask Siri a question
Double-click the side button to pre-arm Apple Pay, then glance at the screen to authenticate with Face ID, and hold your phone to the terminal
To send Animoji, start from Messages > Select iMessage apps > Select the Animoji icon > Choose your favorite emoji and tap record > Tap send when you’re ready to share. Animoji can be shared via iMessage between any iOS and Mac devices. Animoji can also be sent to other mobile devices via MMS. You can also send Animoji as a sticker and save the Animoji you’ve previously sent to your camera roll from within Messages as a .MOV file
Tap anywhere on the Super Retina display to wake your iPhone X
Lock Screen Shortcuts
You can now access Flashlight & Camera even quicker straight from the lock screen on iPhone X using 3D Touch
Swipe up from the bottom edge at anytime to return home
Lock Screen Notifications
Access Lock Screen Notifications by swiping down from the top-center of the display
Swipe down from the top-right edge to open Control Center
Switching Between Apps
Switching between apps is as easy as swiping up from the bottom edge and pausing to show the App Switcher (to close out an app simply press the app and tap the red minus sign). For even quicker access to apps, swipe from left to right on the bottom of the display to access your previous apps.
To take a screenshot on the all-screen iPhone X, simultaneously press and quickly release the side button and the Volume Up button.
To force restart your iPhone X, press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Then press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Finally, press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo
Press and hold the side button and either volume down and side button, then swipe to turn off iPhone
SOS on iPhone X
You can trigger SOS on iPhone X by pressing and holding the side button and either volume button for 6 seconds to quickly call emergency services. Optionally, you can also initiate SOS by rapidly clicking the side button five times. The 5-click option can be enabled under Settings -> Emergency SOS -> Also Works with 5 Clicks.