I’ve got ten easy tweaks that I’ve done to make my iPhone work for me and my mom life. Today I’m going to list the first five.

1. I got rid of the “Sent from my iPhone” message that shows up by default at the end of every email sent out from the iPhone. Did you know that was there?? You can customize what goes at the end of your emails in Settings. Tap the settings button, then “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”. Scroll down until you see “Signature”. Tap that and type in whatever you want to say. My signature is simply my first name but maybe I’ll shake that up one of these days.

2. I customized the apps that show up in the bar at the bottom of the screen. The ones that will be there when you purchase your phone are Phone, Mail, Safari and iPod. You can’t delete any of these factory installed apps but you can move them around. To do this hold down on the app icon in the bar that you’d like to move. Wait for it to start wiggling and then drag it to it’s new spot. Now you’ve got a free space at the bottom of your screen. Tap and hold on the app you want to move and drag it down to the bottom space. Because this bar shows up on every iPhone screen I like to keep the bottom space reserved for apps I use constantly. As of today they are Phone, Mail, Edibles and iPod. Although I’m not using Edibles as often as I should, it’s mostly there to induce guilt.

3. I arrange the rest of my apps according to what they’re used for and how often they’re needed. The apps I use most frequently are on my home screen. The next few screens are for apps that I use less frequently. Then I’ve got the ones for my kids grouped together. I’ve found that if I do this my kids are less likely to rearrange the apps themselves. Before iTunes 9 came along rearranging apps was a big, fat pain. Now that you can do it within iTunes it’s much easier. This link will take you to my previous explanation of how to make that work for you. *Update 9/20 – I’ve now got an entire screen set aside for folders that hold my kids’ apps. I love being able to hide them away a bit.*

4. Since my kids are on my iPhone fairly regularly I’ve set up some restrictions as to what shows up. I’ve gotten rid of You Tube and disabled the installing of apps from the phone. I’ve also set up ratings for the music and podcasts that are allowed to be played. I don’t have restrictions on the ratings for TV Shows and Movies but that’s only because the videos on my phone are mostly for my kids anyway. If I did have a movie that I didn’t want them to see I’d set up the ratings and simply disable it when I wanted to watch. You can also set ratings for the apps allowed on your phone. When I originally did this I set it to not allow apps for 17+. I’m embarrassed to admit that I then spent over an hour trying to reinstall the Facebook app because it had disappeared. I’d download it and install it but it was nowhere to be found! It finally dawned on me that the app wasn’t showing up because it was rated 17+. So learn from me! Some apps have that rating because they have the potential to display material rated 17+ and they’ll be blocked whether they ever show that content or not. Because of this I don’t have restrictions set up for my apps. I wrote a post explaining more about Restrictions when the new OS 3.0 originally came out.

5. If your kids are on your iPhone at all then you know how quickly they can drain a battery! To conserve battery life you can turn off blue tooth, push notifications, and Wi-Fi, lower the brightness of your screen and lower the time until your Auto-Lock kicks in. I plug my phone in every night and generally about halfway through the day too. It is my only phone so I’ve got to keep it charged. Read more of my thoughts on this here.

Come back tomorrow for part two of my list!

3 Responses

  1. Jessica

    Just wanted you to know that I enjoy all your simple phone management ideas. I especially love your app reviews and think you and your kids are spot on with your suggestions! My kids love everything your kids do! Looking forward to next week and hearing about the ones you’ve purchased! Keep up the awesome blog!

  2. Ava

    Your tips are very helpful and have taught me SO much. Thank you so much iphone mom!
    Have you ever had to wipe your phone and reinstall everything from itunes? Apple store guy recommended I try this to help my battery. I am petrified to try it! Any info?

    • TheiPhoneMom
      The iPhone Mom

      Yikes! I’ve never tried it but I suppose it couldn’t hurt. Before I did it I’d let my battery run all the way out and then charge it up from scratch again. I’ve found that sometimes that helps mine. Also, make sure you don’t have a ton of apps running in the background. Did they show you how to do that? I’ve got a post on here that explains it. Double tap the home button You’ll see app icons at the bottom of your screen. These are running in the background. Hold them down until you get the “x” in the corner to shut them down. I’ve found when I have a bunch open my battery drains quickly. It happens when my kids have been handling my phone. 🙂
      If you have to do a wipe then I’d definitely backup and save your library before you do it though. The good news is with the new purchased feature in the iTunes store you can easily restore apps and iBooks that you’ve purchased.


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