If you're rocking an iPhone, you've probably noticed most models have looked pretty much the same from year to year. If you're someone who likes to stand out, you may be wondering about ways to make the typically uniform smartphone look more like your own.
Let's face it, that colorful case you dressed it up with isn't exactly groundbreaking. If you're looking for more ways to express your individualism by way of the little electronic device you carry around everywhere with you, fear not – there are plenty of ways to do just that. The good news is they're all very simple to do.
Check out these 10 awesome ways you can customize your iPhone to your liking. Not only will they help your iPhone look better but it will function better, too.
1. Spice up your Home and Lock screens
You're probably not married to the default Home or Lock screens on your iPhone when you first start using it. Yes, you can definitely change them.
Change the appearance of your screen by going to the Settings menu, then tapping Wallpaper. Tap Choose a New Wallpaper and decide if you want to use a Dynamic, Still, or Live image.
Then, select the location you want to get the new wallpaper from. You can get one from Apple's gallery, your cameral roll, or download one from a website.
Finally, if you don't like the image's default settings you can change them. For example, if it's a photo from your camera roll you can slide it around and pinch to zoom in and out to frame it the way you want it.
Now, tap Set Lock Screen if you only want to change the wallpaper of the Lock screen. Select Set Home Screen to change just the Home screen. Or, select Set Both to change both the Lock screen and the Home screen wallpaper.
2. Set up an alternate appearance for Face ID
If you have an iPhone that supports Face ID, then you probably enjoy the convenience of unlocking your device just by looking at it. What’s not as much as fun are those times when Face ID doesn’t recognize you because you’re wearing your giant sunglasses or your face-hugging winter hat. With iOS 12, you can set your iPhone to recognize an alternate appearance.
Head to Settings >> Face ID & Passcode >> Set Up an Alternate Appearance and follow the instructions to teach your iPhone to recognize your different look. Just make sure you’re wearing your giant sunglasses, fluffy hat, or other appearance-changing accessories during the setup process.
3. Customize your notifications
As you already know, your iPhone will be sure to notify you when you get a new text, call, email, or another form of communication. But did you know you could change how these come through?
Choose your own notification style by going to Settings, then Notifications, then select the app you want to change notifications for. Select from different Alerts, Banner Style, Sounds, and more.
Now, if you want to make receiving an email sound like a horn honking, or receiving a text message sound like a dog barking, you can. It's really up to you.
4. Grab a cool new ringtone
Everyone tends to leave the default iPhone ringtone when they could be changing it to just about anything they could ever want. Why stay the same as everyone else? It makes no sense, right? Especially when it's this easy to change.
All you have to do to change your ringtone is head into Settings, then choose Sounds. From there, choose Ringtone. Select the one that best fits your personality.
If you feel like the default options just aren't cutting it, you can always head over to the iTunes Store to buy more ringtones later, whether you snag an Ariana Grande song or a Super Mario Bros. jingle.
5. Make screentime easier on your eyes
Hissing at the bright light emanating from your iPhone? Hate light apps? You don't have to worry about that anymore.
You can use a feature similar to Dark Mode instead, which should make your phone quite a bit easier on the eyes. Simply go to Settings, then General, then Accessibility. Once there, select Display Accommodations, and then Invert Colors.
From here you have two options, Smart Invert or Classic Invert. Smart Invert Colors reverses the colors of the display, except for images, media and some apps that use dark color styles. Classic Invert Colors reverses the colors of the display.
Voila! You've got a special way to give your eyes a rest. (Note: Rumors have it that true Dark Mode will finally be available for iPhones when iOS 13 is released later this year.)
6. Use the hidden touchpad
There’s a secret touchpad hiding out in your keyboard. Depending on your phone or tablet, there are a couple of ways to access it. On many newer iPhones, you just need to press down on any key and you will see the keyboard become blank. Now, you can move your finger around and the cursor will move with you.
On some iPhones and iPads, you will need to hold down on the space bar to access this mode. It’s a great way to move around in a document, or just simply place your cursor somewhere specific in an email, text or note.
7. Give Siri a fresh accent
Here’s a fun way to change up your interactions with your Apple gadgets. We’re all familiar with the Siri assistant’s main voice, that of an American woman. You probably already knew you could change the gender, but you can also choose from a selection of different accents. The options are American, Australian, British, Irish and South African.
Go to Settings >> Siri & Search >> Siri Voice to check out the different sounds and choose a new accent.
8. Light up the night
Not interested in plain old notifications when it comes to texting? You can forgo sounds and badges entirely and opt for a flashing light that'll go off instead (or even combine them all if you prefer).
Open Settings >> General >> Accessibility >> Hearing. From there, select the LED Flash for Alerts slider to on/green. Next time you get a notification, you'll get a flashing light greeting you.
9. Set photos for incoming calls
True, you can change the names of callers when they ring your phone, but did you know you could also change the image of the caller, too? You can set a full-screen photo of the person you're getting a call from.
Just tap the Phone icon, then Contacts, and choose the person you want to assign a photo to. Tap Edit, then Add Photo. Now, the next time they call you, you'll be greeted with their face.
10. Set personalized ringtones
Just like you can set certain photos for different callers, you can also opt to set custom ringtones. You can set up something funky for your best friend, or a romantic love song for your significant other.
Tap the Phone icon >> Contacts. Then tap the person whose ringtone you're looking to change. Tap Edit and then Ringtone and select the ringtone you want to hear for that person.
You can do this for everyone in your contacts list so you know exactly who is calling just by the ringtone. Have fun hearing your phone erupt in a customized song!
5 tweaks only the Apple pros know
There's no end to what you can do to customize your iPhone. By delving into some little-known features and settings in iOS, you can make your iPhone more personal to your needs.