What You, as a Senior, Need to Use Your iPhone 4S

Before you buy your iPhone, you need a service plan with a cellular carrier and you need to be able to update the iPhone operating system and share media.

At a bare minimum, to make standard cellular phone calls you need to have a service plan with a cellular carrier such as AT&T, as well as a data plan that supports iPhone. The data plan allows you to exchange data over the Internet.

You also need to be able to update the iPhone operating system and share media such as music among Apple devices. Though these things can be done without a phone carrier service plan you have to plug your phone into your computer to update the iOS or use a local Wi-Fi network to go online and make calls using an Internet service such as Skype.

Given the cost and hi-tech nature of the iPhone, having to jury-rig these basic functions doesn’t make much sense; get an account and data plan.

You can open an iCloud account to store and share content online, or you can use a computer to download photos, music, or applications from non-Apple online sources such as stores or sharing sites like your local library and transfer them to your iPhone through a process called syncing.

You can also use a computer or iCloud to register your iPhone the first time you start it, although you can have the folks at the Apple Store, AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon handle registration for you if you have one nearby.

Apple has set up its iTunes software and the iCloud service to give you two ways to manage content for your iPhone — including movies, music, or photos you’ve downloaded — and specify how to sync your calendar and contact information.