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Guide to iPhone and iPad settings: how to use all the iOS Settings UPDATED

Cliff Joseph | Aug. 20, 2015
Like System Preferences on a Mac , Settings on your iPhone or iPad offers access to tools for adjusting screen brightness, setting up a password, configuring your WiFi, and more. But in addition you will also find options for handling phone calls and mobile broadband, as well as many additional security features that protect your personal files, photos and other information.

Shortcuts And Dictation in Settings on iPhone and iPad

The next option in Keyboard settings is Shortcuts, which gives you a quick way to type out common words or phrases. There's one shortcut already built into iOS 8 to help you get started - it lets you type 'omw' and then expands that into 'on my way'. You can add other shortcuts of your own for things like email or web addresses, so we'll add 'mw' as a shortcut that will allow us to automatically type out whenever we need to.

The keyboard settings in iOS 8 also include a new option that allows you to activate speech-to-text dictation on your keyboard (which used to be part of Siri). Turning this on displays a microphone icon on the keyboard so that you can talk instead of typing. Just remember that dictation requires an Internet connection while you're using it, and that it only works with the standard iOS 8 keyboard so we can't use it with the third-party keyboards we installed just now.

There are a few other options in the Keyboard settings as well, but these are mostly straightforward On/Off controls for things like the automatic spelling-checker and the Caps Lock button.

WiFi Sync options in Settings on iPhone and iPad

When iTunes was first launched more than a decade ago, the idea was that you would buy music and video using iTunes on your Mac and then download your purchases onto ye olde iPod using a USB cable connection. Nowadays, though, many of us do everything on our iPhones and iPads, including buying apps, music and videos, and we often forget to back-up our purchases onto our Macs.

But, just below the Keyboard settings you'll see an option called iTunes Wifi Sync. Somewhat ironically, you still have to use a USB cable to connect your iOS device to your Mac and then select the Wifi Sync option within iTunes on your Mac in order to activate it on your iOS device. However, you only have to do that the first time, and after that you can sync all your purchases back to your Mac via wifi. However, Wifi Sync only works if your iPhone or iPad is being charged at the time, is on the same wifi network as your Mac, and you have iTunes open on your Mac.

Privacy Settings on iPhone and iPad

It might sound like a confusing bit of techno-jargon, but VPN - virtual private network - is an important networking tool that can be useful for both big business organizations and ordinary home users. Business users will often set up a VPN for their staff as it helps to keep email and other information more secure when you're away from the office and you have to use wifi hotspots or other public networks.


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