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I don’t know about you, but for me a new iOS or iOS update makes me feel like a kid in a candy store: I want to try every single thing! I’m still finding awesome stuff in iOS 10, even after previously writing about the 10 Things iOS 10 Still Needs and 8 Hidden iOS 10 Features You Didn’t Know About. In any event, here’s my list of the 10 settings in iOS 10 you should check out right now. I’m confident there’s something here for everyone.
Part of the accessibility menu, it’s technically for people who don’t have the best eyesight, but maybe you stare at an iPhone screen all day long and could just use a little help now and then. Either way, the magnifier in iOS 10 is cool. First you need to activate it by going to Settings –> General –> Accessibility –> Magnifier. To access the magnifier, click the home button 3 times from whatever screen you are on. Between the magnifier and the flashlight, you’ll never again struggle to read a menu in a dark restaurant.
2. Rest Finger to Open
How many of you are still trying to slide to unlock your iPhone in iOS 10? All of you, huh? Yeah, same here. And while I understand the need to switch things up to allow for the widgets to work as nature intended, it’s really hard to get used to something you’ve been doing for almost 10 years. Luckily, there’s a compromise living in that super useful accessibility menu called Rest Finger to Open. This lets you unlock and open your phone with Touch ID instead of pressing the home button. To activate, go to Settings –> Accessibility –> Home Button –> Rest Finger to Open. FYI: I left it turned off after testing it out and eventually turned it back on. I think you’ll grow to like this setting.
3. Low-Quality Image Mode
In the iOS 10 version of Messages, the focus is on photos and gifs and stickers and other things that can quickly eat up your data allotment if you aren’t careful. Apple once again saves the day with Low-Quality Image Mode, where thinking smaller could save you big time later. To go low, go to Settings –> Messages –> Low Quality Image Mode. You’ll barely notice the different in image quality, but your phone bill might. And of course if you’re always on Wi-Fi then this won’t matter much. But it’s nice to know it’s there just in case.
4. Preferred Mode of Transportation
This is one to look at right away. Thank goodness for this setting in the Maps section. As someone who doesn’t own a car and relies on public transit in the big city, I was always tired of being told that my destination was 40 minutes away with heavy traffic when it is actually 30 with a subway card. To change to something more your speed, go to Settings –> Maps and select from among driving, walking and transit. Right below that are additional settings for both driving and transit. And remember that it’s ok to change these whenever you want so if a walking vacation is in your future Apple has you covered.
5. Show Parked Location
Dude, where’s my car? In this case the dude is Apple, then dude knows the answer. When you toggle on Show Parked Location, Apple Maps will remember where you parked your car courtesy of a mark on your map. Note that you must have your iPhone connected to your car’s Bluetooth or CarPlay stereo, but considering how many cars are compatible with CarPlay these days I don’t think that’s going to be much of an issue.
6. Maps Extensions
Like Siri (see No. 10 below) Maps now plays nice with third-party apps. Under Settings –> Maps you’ll find an Extensions section depending on the apps you have on your device. This allows you to access features without leaving Maps, a great example being the ability to make a restaurant reservation via OpenTable directly inside Maps. Do note, though, and Apple does mention this on the settings page, that activating this feature “may share pickup locations, destinations and restaurant views with the app’s developers.” So if privacy is something that concerns you, this might not be a perfect feature even if it’s super convenient.
7. Announce Calls
For some people this is a necessity. For others, it can be incredibly useful. Announce Calls is exactly what it sounds like. Turn this feature on to have Siri announce who is calling. I’m so glad this exists because while I know I can glance down at my phone or at my Apple Watch, sometimes that’s not safe to do, say while driving. You even get to choose when. Go to Settings –> Phone –> Announce Calls and select from Always, Headphones & Car, Headphones Only, or Never.
8. Threading in Mail
Mail in iOS 10 is better than ever with new threading options that keep all of your messages in one place so they’re easy to find. When you toggle on Organize by Thread, you see the entire history of a conversation even if some of the messages were moved to different folders or mailboxes. I like that I can see the messages I sent here too, all in the same window. You can choose to turn on Most Recent Message on Top to make the order even easier to follow — super useful for very long conversations. Also note that you find these settings under Settings –> Mail, which used to be called Mail, Contacts and Calendar. I used to remark often that the menu was becoming huge and it looks like Apple listened. Or read my mind.
9. Check for Apple Pay
Now that Apple Pay is available via the web, there’s a way to make checking out and paying using Apple Pay easier than ever. Activating Check for Apple Pay (on by default) lets websites in Safari to see if you have Apple Pay set up so it can be offered as an option. Something tells me this is going to be very useful when it comes time for holiday shopping.
10. Siri App Support
Look at our little Siri. All grown up! Now that third-party developers have access to Siri, you can use her to operate certain apps. WhatsApp, LinkedIn and Uber are just a few examples. Using the feature isn’t any different than using Siri normally, but you have to make sure the access is granted to work with these non-Apple apps. You’ll find what you need in Settings –> Siri –> App Support. Also note that a dedicated Siri section in settings is new in iOS 10. To further learn about Siri, here we compiled 25 New and Unique Siri Commands in iOS 10.