Cheat Sheet

iPhone For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From IPhone For Dummies, 11th Edition

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

Your iPhone can be so much more than a communication tool to talk into. Aside from making calls and creating your contacts, you need to get familiar with the many options available on the iPhone touchscreen. You’ll also want to be able to handle troubleshooting when your Apple device acts strangely or stops working. When you need a bit of levity, check out our 10 ways to have fun with Siri. And finally, discover iPhone X specific tips on these topics: gestures, animoji, and recovery mode.

Mastering the iPhone’s Multitouch Screen

The Apple iPhone has no physical keyboard or keypad buttons, so you have to use a virtual version of buttons and controls that appear on-screen for the tasks at hand. The following figure shows standard options; the list tells you how to maneuver through iPhone’s touchscreen icons, buttons, and connections.


  • Flick a finger to scroll through music, pictures, emails, contacts, and more.

  • Tap against the screen to open applications, play songs, choose photos, and so on.

  • Pinch and unpinch to enlarge web pages and pictures, or make them smaller. The actions involve placing your thumb and index finger against the screen. Then, keeping the thumb in place, drag your index finger to pinch or unpinch accordingly.

  • Swipe the screen from top to bottom to open Notification Center; swipe from bottom to top to close it.

  • Swipe the screen from bottom to top to open Control Center; swipe from top to bottom to close it.

  • Press gently to peek; press harder to open using 3D Touch (iPhone 6s and later).

  • Trust the virtual keyboard. The touchscreen provides visual suggestions and corrects mistakes on the fly.

  • Correct errors by holding your fingers against the screen to bring up a magnifying glass that lets you position the pointer in the precise spot you want to edit.

Making a Call on Your iPhone

You have several options for making a phone call from your iPhone. First tap the Phone icon on the Home screen, and then tap on one of these icons:

  • Contacts: Scroll through the list of contacts until you find the person you want to call. Tap the person’s name and then tap the appropriate phone number (such as home or mobile).

  • Favorites: The iPhone equivalent of speed dialing, or the list of people (and the specific numbers) you call most often. Tap the listing and iPhone dials.

  • Recents: Tapping the Recents icon displays the iPhone call log. Recents houses logs of all the recent calls made or received, as well as calls that you missed. Tap anywhere on a name to return a call.

  • Keypad: Manually dial on a virtual touchtone keypad.

  • Voice Control/Siri: Press and hold the Home button or the center button on the wired headset, and then say “call” or “dial” followed by either the name of someone in your contacts or a phone number. Or if you have Hey Siri enabled (Settings→General→Allow “Hey Siri”), you can skip pressing and holding and just say the magic words (which are, of course, “Hey Siri).”

  • Voicemail: Through visual voicemail, you can listen to voicemail messages in any order you want. To play back a voicemail, tap the name or number in question. Then tap the tiny play/pause icon that shows up to the left of the name or number. Returning a call is as simple as tapping the green Call Back button.

  • FaceTime: To initiate a FaceTime video chat, dial the person’s regular iPhone number as usual. When the voice call connects, either of you can tap the FaceTime button that appears on the screen to start a Face Time video chat. Both parties must be using an iPhone 4 or later, a fourth-generation iPod touch, an iPad 2, or a Mac running OS X 10.6.6 or later; otherwise, the FaceTime button does not appear.

    Note that if you have an iPhone 6s or later, you can press on a contact and choose a quick action, which may include Call, Message, FaceTime, and Mail, depending on the information you have for that contact.

Managing Your iPhone Contacts

You access your address book by tapping the Phone icon on the Home screen of your iPhone. Some of the things you can do with contacts in the Phone application include the following:

  • Create a new contact: Tap Contacts at the bottom of the screen, and then tap the + icon in the upper right. Or if yours is an iPhone 6s model, you can press the Contacts icon and choose Create New Contact from the Quick Actions list that appears.

    Enter the contact information, and then tap Done.

  • See contact info from the Favorites, Recents, or Voicemail screen: Tap the little i-in-a-circle next to the message. The contact’s information appears. Tap the contact’s phone number or email address to contact the person by phone or email, respectively.

  • Add a caller to your contacts: Tap Recents or Voicemail, and then tap the little i-in-a-circle next to the person’s number. Tap Create New Contact, enter the contact information, and then tap Done.

    Those with iPhone 6s or later models can press on a phone number or name and choose to Call, Message, Add to Existing Contact, or Create New Contact.

  • Add a contact after dialing a number with the keypad: Enter the number on the numeric keypad, and then tap the +-in-a-circle on the left of the number. Then either tap Create New Contact and enter the contact information, or tap Add to Existing Contact and select a contact. After you’re finished, tap Done.

  • Don’t forget the extremely useful but semihidden Send Message, Share Contact, and Add to Favorites buttons. This trio of useful buttons appears on each contact’s Info screen at the very bottom; if you don’t see them, just scroll down a bit and you will.

Getting Help When Your iPhone Acts Up

Most of the time, your iPhone behaves itself. But every so often it causes you problems. Here’s a quick review of things you can try if your iPhone misbehaves.

Start with the first tip — later suggestions are more drastic.

  1. Restart your iPhone.

    Press and hold down the sleep/wake button, and then slide the red slider to turn it off. Wait a few seconds. Press the sleep/wake button to turn the iPhone back on.

  2. Force any frozen applications to quit.

    For any iPhone model except the X, swipe the app upward from the app switcher.

    If you have an iPhone X, press and hold down on the app in the app switcher, and then swipe upward.

  3. Reset and restart your iPhone.

    For any iPhone model except the X, press and hold down the side button and the Home button. When you see the Apple logo, release both buttons.

    If you have an iPhone X, press and release the volume up button, press and release the volume down button, and then press and hold down the side button until the Apple logo appears.

  4. Reset the iPhone settings.

    Tap the Settings icon on your Home screen, and then tap General, Reset, and Reset All Settings. Resetting iPhone settings won’t erase your data, but you’ll probably have to change some settings afterwards.

  5. Restore your iPhone.

    Connect your iPhone to your computer as though you were about to sync. Then select the iPhone in the iTunes source list, and click the Restore button on the Summary tab.

    This last suggestion erases all your data and media and resets all your settings.

    Because your data and media (except photos you’ve taken as well as contacts, calendar events, and playlists you’ve created or modified since your last sync) still exist on your computer, you shouldn’t lose anything. Your next sync will take longer, and you will have to reset any settings you’ve changed since you purchased your iPhone. But your media and data files shouldn’t be affected.

    One last thing: If you’re using iCloud, photos you’ve taken as well as calendar events and new contacts you’ve added since your last sync should be in the cloud and should reappear after you restore. The only items in danger, at least in theory, are playlists you’ve created on your iPhone since your last sync. That said, it wouldn’t hurt to let iTunes back up the contents of your iPhone before you click the Restore button.

10 Ways to Have Fun with Siri

Everyone loves Siri, the (usually) intelligent assistant inside our iPhones. Most of the time you spend with her involves getting an answer, but she can do more than answer questions. Siri can also amuse and entertain you and your friends. So without further ado, here are ten ways you can have some fun with Siri.

  • Talk dirty to me.
  • What are you wearing?
  • What does “Siri” mean?
  • Is God real?
  • What is your best pickup line?
  • What is zero divided by zero?
  • When will the world end?
  • How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
  • Why are fire trucks red?
  • Will you marry me, Siri?

Be sure to try each phrase more than once—Siri has more than one amusing response to most of them.

Finally, since you’ve been such a good reader, here’s a bonus for anyone who wants to change Siri’s gender or nationality or both. As you know, Siri is female by nature (and by default). But you can change her (or his) gender and accent anytime you like. Just tap Settings→Siri→Siri Voice and amaze your friends by turning your Siri into an American, British, or Australian man or woman. (Or at least the voice of an American, British, or Australian man or woman.)

And here’s one more bonus: Siri will gladly call you whatever you like. So ask Siri to “call me Ishmael,” or “call me your majesty,” and impress your friends with your new nickname by asking Siri “who am I?”

Learning iPhone X Gestures

Following is a brief summary of the iPhone X’s new “intuitive” (according to Apple) gestures, along with their old-school (pre-iPhone X) equivalents.

  • Go Home: Swipe up from the bottom to return to the Home screen or to return to the first page of Home screens from other pages.

    Old-school equivalent: Tap the Home button.

  • Switch apps: Swipe up and pause without lifting your finger to invoke the app switcher. Or swipe right along the bottom to switch to the last app you used, as shown in the figure.

    Old-school equivalent: Double-tap the Home button.

    To close a running app in the app switcher, press down on the card representing the app until the circled dash appears and swipe up.


  • Open Control Center: Swipe down from the top-right corner to open Control Center. Press firmly on any control or group of controls to see additional options.

    Old-school equivalent: Swipe up from the bottom.

    To add or remove items from Control Center, tap Settings→Control Center→Customize Controls.

  • See Notifications: Swipe down from the top-left corner to see notifications.

    Old-school equivalent: Swipe down from the top.

  • Invoke Siri: Hold down the side button and speak; when you’re finished talking, release the button.

    Old-school equivalent: Hold down the Home button and speak.

  • Use Apple Pay: Double-click the side button and then glance at the screen to authenticate with Face ID or enter your passcode.

    Old-school equivalent: Authenticate with Touch ID or enter your passcode.

  • Take a screen shot: Quickly press and release both the side button and the volume up button at the same time.

    Old-school equivalent: Quickly press and release both the side (or sleep/wake) button and the Home button at the same time.

  • Turn off the phone: Press and hold down the side button and either volume button until sliders appear on the screen. Drag the top slider to turn off the iPhone. Or go to Settings→General→Shut Down.

    Old-school equivalent: Press and hold down the side button until sliders appear on the screen. Drag the top slider to turn off the iPhone.

  • Do a force restart: Press and release the volume up button, press and release the volume down button, and then press and hold down the side button until the Apple logo appears.

    Old-school equivalent: Press and release the appropriate combination of buttons for your specific model.

Introducing Animoji

iPhone X owners get something special and exclusive — animated emoji known as animoji. These clever animated avatars let you record your voice and facial expressions onto animated characters and send them to your friends. To create an animoji:

  1. Tap the animoji icon.
  2. Swipe the animoji icons on the left up or down to choose an animoji.

    The soft-serve ice cream animoji is shown in the following figure.


  3. Tap the red record button and record your message (10 seconds or less).

After recording an animoji:

  • To see and hear your message, tap the circular arrow.
  • To send your message, tap the blue up arrow.
  • To delete your message without sending it, tap the red trash icon.

Renewing Your iPhone X with Recovery Mode

If you’ve gone through all the suggestions in the book or you couldn’t attempt some or all of them because your iPhone X is so messed up, try the iPhone X rendition of recovery mode:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer with the included Lightning-to-USB cable.
  2. Launch iTunes if it didn’t launch automatically when you connected your iPhone.
  3. Press and quickly release the volume up button, and then press and quickly release the volume down button.
  4. Press and hold down the side button until the Recovery screen appears.

    If you see a battery icon with a thin red band and an icon displaying a wall plug, an arrow, and a lightning bolt, you need to let your iPhone charge for at least 10 to 15 minutes. When the battery picture goes away or turns green instead of red, go back to Step 3 and try again.

  5. Choose to restore or update your iPhone:

    Restoring wipes out all existing data on your device and installs the latest iOS version.

    Updating upgrades the software to the latest version while preserving all the content and settings on your device.

  6. Use iTunes to restore the device from a backup.