Chapter 1. Introduction

How do you make the point that the iPhone has changed the world? The easy answer is “use statistics”—1 billion sold, 2 million apps available on the iPhone App Store, 140 billion downloads.... Trouble is, those statistics get stale almost before you’ve finished typing them.

Maybe it’s better to talk about the aftermath. How since the iPhone came along, cell carriers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and so on) have opened up the calcified, conservative way they used to consider new cellphone designs. How every phone and its brother now have a touchscreen. How Google (Android) phones, Windows phones, and even BlackBerry phones all have their own app stores. How, in essence, everybody wants to be the iPhone.

Apple introduces a new iPhone model every fall. In September 2016, for example, it introduced the tenth iPhone models, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, with more features and faster guts.

More importantly, there’s a new, free version of the iPhone’s software, called iOS 10. (Why not “iPhone OS” anymore? Because the same operating system runs on the iPad and the iPod Touch. It’s not just for iPhones, and saying “the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch OS” takes too long.)

You can run iOS 10 on older iPhone models without having to buy a new phone. This book covers all the phones that can run iOS 10: the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, iPhone SE, and iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

About the iPhone

So what is the iPhone? Really, the better question is what isn’t the iPhone?

It’s a cellphone, obviously. But it’s also a full-blown iPod, complete with a dazzling screen for watching videos. And it’s a sensational pocket Internet viewer. It shows fully formatted email (with attachments, thank you) and displays entire web pages with fonts and design intact. It’s tricked out with a tilt sensor, a proximity sensor, a light sensor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, a gyroscope, a barometer, and that amazing multitouch screen.

image with no caption

For many people, the iPhone is primarily a camera and a camcorder—one that’s getting better with every year’s new model.

Furthermore, it’s a calendar, address book, calculator, alarm clock, stopwatch, stock tracker, traffic reporter, RSS reader, and weather forecaster. It even stands in for a flashlight and, with the screen off, a pocket mirror.


If you want a really good pocket mirror, you can also use the Camera app in self-portrait mode. It’s a brighter view (and you don’t have to actually take a selfie).

And don’t forget the App Store. Thanks to the 2 million add-on programs that await there, the iPhone is also a fast, wicked-fun pocket computer. All those free or cheap programs can turn it into a medical reference, a musical keyboard, a time tracker, a remote control, a sleep monitor, a tip calculator, an ebook reader, and more. Plus, the App Store is a portal to thousands of games, with smooth 3D graphics and tilt control.

All of this sends the iPhone’s utility and power through the roof. Calling it a phone is practically an insult. (Apple probably should have called it an “iPod,” but that name was taken.)

About This Book

You don’t get a printed manual when you buy an iPhone. Online, you can find an electronic PDF manual that covers the basics well, but it’s largely free of details, hacks, workarounds, tutorials, humor, and any acknowledgment of the iPhone’s flaws. You can’t easily mark your place, underline, or read it in the bathroom.

The purpose of this book, then, is to serve as the manual that should have accompanied the iPhone. (If you have an iPhone 4s or an earlier model, you really need one of this book’s earlier editions. If you have an iPhone 5 or later model, this book assumes that you’ve installed iOS 10.2; see Appendix A.)

Writing a book about the iPhone is a study in exasperation, because the darned thing is a moving target. Apple updates the iPhone’s software fairly often, piping in new features, bug fixes, speed-ups, and so on.

Therefore, you should think of this book the way you think of the first iPhone: as an excellent start. To keep in touch with updates we make to it as developments unfold, drop in to the book’s Errata/Changes page. (Go to, click this book’s name, and then click View/Submit Errata.)


This book covers the iOS 10.3.2 software. There will surely be a 10.3.3, a 10.3.4, and so on. Check this book’s page at to read about those updates when they occur.

About the Outline

iPhone: The Missing Manual is divided into five parts, each containing several chapters:

  • Part 1, The iPhone as Phone, covers everything related to phone calls: dialing, answering, voice control, voicemail, conference calling, text messaging, iMessages, MMS, and the Contacts (address book) program. It’s also where you can read about FaceTime, the iPhone’s video-calling feature; Siri, the “virtual assistant”; and the surprisingly rich array of features foyr people with disabilities—some of which are useful even for people without them.

  • Part 2, Pix, Flix & Apps, is dedicated to the iPhone’s built-in software, with a special emphasis on its multimedia abilities: playing music, podcasts, movies, and TV shows; taking and displaying photos; capturing photos and videos; using the Maps app; reading ebooks; and so on. These chapters also cover some of the standard techniques that most apps share: installing, organizing, and quitting them; switching among them; and sharing material from within them using the Share sheet.

  • Part 3, The iPhone Online, is a detailed exploration of the iPhone’s third talent: its ability to get you onto the Internet, either over a Wi-Fi hotspot connection or via the cellular network. It’s all here: email, web browsing, and tethering (that is, letting your phone serve as a sort of Internet antenna for your laptop).

  • Part 4, Connections, describes the world beyond the iPhone itself—like the copy of iTunes on your Mac or PC that can fill up the iPhone with music, videos, and photos; and syncing the calendar, address book, and mail settings. These chapters also cover the iPhone’s control panel, the Settings program; Continuity (the wireless integration of iPhone and Mac); and how the iPhone syncs wirelessly with corporate networks using Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync—or with your own computers using Apple’s iCloud service.

  • Part 5, Appendixes, contains two reference chapters. Appendix A walks you through the setup process; Appendix B is a master compendium of troubleshooting, maintenance, and battery information.


Throughout this book, and throughout the Missing Manual series, you’ll find sentences like this one: Tap SettingsGeneralKeyboard. That’s shorthand for a much longer instruction that directs you to open three nested screens in sequence, like this: “Tap the Settings icon. On the next screen, tap General. On the screen after that, tap Keyboard.” (In this book, tappable things on the screen are printed in orange to make them stand out.)

Similarly, this kind of arrow shorthand helps to simplify the business of choosing commands in menus on your Mac or PC, like FilePrint.


Missing Manuals are witty, well-written guides to computer products that don’t come with printed manuals (which is just about all of them). Each book features a handcrafted index; cross-references to specific page numbers (not just “see Chapter 15”); and an ironclad promise never to put an apostrophe in the possessive pronoun its.

To get the most out of this book, visit Click the Missing CDs link, and then click this book’s title to reveal a neat, organized list of the shareware, freeware, and bonus articles mentioned in this book.

The website also offers corrections and updates to the book; to see them, click the book’s title, and then click View/Submit Errata. In fact, please submit corrections yourself! Each time we print more copies of this book, we’ll make any confirmed corrections you’ve suggested. We’ll also note such changes on the website, so you can mark important corrections into your own copy of the book, if you like. And we’ll keep the book current as Apple releases more iPhone updates.

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: What’s New

Apple’s usual routine is to introduce a new iPhone shape every other year (iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPhone 6)—and then release a follow-up, upgraded “s” model in alternate years (iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6s). The 2016–2017 models fit right in. They’re follow-up models that look exactly like the 6 and 6s but have a few enhancements:

  • No headphone jack. Most people wouldn’t call the removal of the headphone jack an enhancement; in fact, people shrieked and moaned. Now, to listen to audio privately, you have to use either (a) the adapter in the box (which accommodates existing headphones and plugs them into the Lightning charging jack), (b) the earbuds in the box (which also plug into the charging jack), or (c) wireless earbuds or headphones.

    So why did Apple get rid of the headphone jack? Because of size. The headphone jack may not seem very big—but on the inside of the phone, the corresponding receptacle occupies an unnerving amount of nonnegotiable space. Getting rid of it let Apple upgrade the speakers, battery, and camera, and helped make the iPhone 7 water- and dust-resistant.

  • Water resistance. Yes, that’s right: The iPhone is, at long last, water resistant. It can handle up to 30 minutes under a meter of water. Which means that rain and falls into the toilet can’t hurt it.

    Apple’s late to this ball game, but it’s a really good ball game.


    In addition to the standard metal colors (matte black, silver, gold, pink gold), there’s a new finish available called Jet Black. It’s glistening, shiny, deep piano black. It’s gorgeous and sleek and smooth and you want to rub it like it’s a worry stone. It’s also incredibly fingerprinty. (Apple warns that “its high shine may show fine micro-abrasions with use,” so it suggests that “you use one of the many cases available to protect your iPhone.”)

  • Better battery. The iPhone 7 battery is 14 percent larger than the previous model’s—two hours more life per charge, says Apple—and you notice it. (The improvement in the larger Plus model is more modest: one extra hour per charge.)

  • Better, stabilized camera. Apple makes a big deal of the iPhone 7’s new camera. It’s got more megapixels (12, up from 8), and the front camera has been goosed to 7 megapixels. Megapixels don’t really mean very much, though; they have no effect on picture quality.

    Apple also raves about the camera’s f/1.8 aperture (lets in a lot of light).

    The stabilized lens helps a lot—an internal assembly that acts as a shock absorber to counteract the typical tiny hand jiggles that often introduce blur into low-light photos.

    All of this makes a huge difference in low-light videos. The color is clearer, and the graininess much less pronounced. Low-light stills are enhanced to a lesser degree.

    The flash on the back is now made up of four LEDs instead of two, resulting in flashes (and flashlights) that are 50 percent brighter than before.

  • Two lenses. On the iPhone 7 Plus, the camera enhancement is much bigger: Apple has installed two lenses, one wide-angle, one telephoto. With a tap on the screen, you can zoom in 2x. This is true optical zoom (rather than the simulated digital zoom on most phones, which impairs the photo quality). You can also dial up any amount of optical zoom between 1x and 2x.

    You can zoom before taking a still photo, or even while you’re shooting video.


    Once you’re at 2x zoom, the camera automatically switches to its regular digital zoom. That means the 7 Plus iPhone now offers up to 6x total zoom for video and 10x for photos. That’s twice what the previous models could manage.

    The dual lenses also make possible a great feature Apple calls Portrait mode. It gives you the gorgeously soft-focused background that’s common in professional photography.

  • Better screen. Apple makes much of the iPhone 7’s new screen with its “expanded color gamut,” meaning that it can display more colors than previous screens, and its “25 percent brighter” display.

  • Stereo speakers. The iPhone now has stereo speakers! They’re at the top and bottom of the phone, so you don’t get the stereo effect unless the phone is sitting sideways. Even then, there’s very little left/right channel separation.

    But never mind that: The iPhone 7’s audio system overall is definitely better than before. It may not be twice as loud, as Apple claims, but you’d definitely say that the 7 sounds fuller and stronger than previous models.

  • Faster processor. This year’s iPhone processor has four cores (brains), two of which are dedicated to lower-importance tasks (and consume less power—one of the reasons the phone gets better battery life).

  • More storage. The pathetically small 16-gigabyte iPhone has finally gone to the great junk drawer in the sky. Now the three iPhone storage capacities are 32, 128, and 256 gigabytes (for $650, $750, and $850; installment and rental plans are available). For the larger 7 Plus model, the prices are $770, $870, and $970.

  • Immobile Home button. The Home button, central to so many iPhone features—waking the phone, switching apps, commanding Siri, and so on—is no longer a moving, mechanical part. Now, when you press it, you feel a click, but it’s actually a fakeout, a sharp internal vibration.

    The advantages of this setup: You can adjust how clicky the button is. There’s no gap for water to get in. And this Home button is pressure-sensitive—it knows when you’re pressing harder—which could someday permit some cool new features nobody’s even thought of yet.

What’s New in iOS 10

The design for iOS 10 doesn’t look much different from iOS 9 before it (or iOS 8, or iOS 7); the improvements are focused on features and flexibility.


If the fonts are too thin for your taste, you can fatten them up just enough by going to SettingsDisplay & Brightness and turning on Bold Text. While you’re there, you can make text larger in most apps, too; tap the Text Size control.

You’d have to write an entire book to document everything that’s new or changed in iOS 10; it’s a huge upgrade. But here’s a quick rundown.

Big-Ticket Items

First, there’s been a colossal revamp of Messages, Apple’s text-messaging app. Now you can dress up your messages with a wide range of hilarious new visual treats, animations, and effects, inspired by the ones in, for example, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger.

Second, Apple has rethought that moment when you pick up the phone—a hundred times a day. The iPhone now requires fewer steps to unlock itself, check the latest alerts, or fire up the camera.

A new option in Settings called “Raise to Wake” (available in the 6S, 7, and SE families) makes the screen turn on when you just pick up the phone.

Nips and Tucks

  • Mutlipage Control Center. For years now, you’ve been able to swipe upward from the bottom of the screen—anytime, in any app—to see the Control Center. It’s a single quick-access panel containing the most important switches, like airplane mode, Wi-Fi on/off, Bluetooth on/off, and the flashlight.

    In iOS 10, the audio-playback controls sit on a second Control Center screen, to the right of the first. (In the unlikely event that you have any HomeKit home-automation gadgets at your house, a third Control Center panel appears, so that you can control them.)

    Also, you can hard-press or long-press the buttons at the bottom of the Control Center to get shortcut menus of useful settings. For example, the flashlight button now offers Low, Medium, or High brightness!

  • Siri is more open. Until now, only Apple decided what Siri, the voice-controlled assistant, could understand. Now, though, the creators of certain apps can teach Siri new vocabulary, too. Already, you can say, “Send Nicki a message with WeChat,” “Pay Dad 20 dollars with Square Cash,” and “Book a ride with Lyft.”

  • Emergency Bypass. This switch, new on each person’s Contacts card, means “Let ringtones and vibrations play when this person calls, even when Do Not Disturb is turned on.” A million parents will now get better sleep at night.

  • Recent searches. When you tap Search in Notes, Mail, or Spotlight Suggestions, you see a list of suggested searches or previous searches you’ve conducted, to save you a little time.

  • Remember my parked car. Maps automatically drops a pin at the spot when your phone disconnects from your car’s Bluetooth system (or CarPlay system, if you have that). Later, it can guide you back.

  • More 3D Touch features. If you have a phone whose screen responds to pressure (iPhone 6s and 7 families), you’ll find more shortcut menus available in more places. For example, you can reply to a text-message notification, accept a Calendar invitation, or see where your Uber is on a map, all by hard-pressing. If you hard-press a Home-screen folder, there’s now a Rename command. And if you hard-press in the Notification Center (the list that appears when you swipe down from the top of the screen) you get a Clear All Notifications command.

  • Delete the bloatware. For the first time, you can hide Apple’s starter apps on your Home screens (Watch, Home, Stocks, and so on), so you’re not saddled with the icons you never use.

  • Donate your organs. The Health app now offers you a chance to sign up for the Donate Life America registry, so that you can do some good even after your death.

  • Multilingual typing. You can now type in two languages within the same text box without switching keyboard layouts. iOS figures out what language you’ve switched to and automatically changes the language for autocorrect entries and QuickType predictions.

  • Internet calls treated as phone calls. Apps like Skype, Facebook Messenger, Slack, and WhatsApp let you place voice calls, phone to phone, over the Internet (instead of using the cellular network). For the first time, those calls are now treated by the iPhone exactly like regular phone calls. They appear in your Recents and Favorites list, they pop up the photo of the caller, and your Contacts list now has a place to save your friends’ Internet calling handles.

  • Voicemail transcription. The Voicemail list now includes approximate transcriptions of the messages people have left for you! They’re very rough and filled with mistakes, but it’s usually enough to get the gist of a message’s topic and importance.

  • Bedtime-consistency management. iOS 10’s Clock app offers a new Bedtime tab. You answer a few questions about your sleep habits, and the app will attempt to keep your sleep regular—prompting you when it’s time to get ready for bed, waking you at a consistent time, and keeping a graph of your sleep consistency.

  • Delete rarely played songs. If you turn on Optimize Music Storage in Settings, then, as your phone begins to run out of storage space, iOS 10 automatically identifies music you haven’t listened to recently. It removes those songs from your phone to save space. (Of course, you can always re-download them at no charge.)

  • Expanded lookup. When you highlight a word and then tap Look Up, you now get a lot more than the dictionary definition. You get matching Wikipedia entries, movie names, book titles, websites, news headlines, maps, and so on. In essence, the Look Up button becomes an instantaneous reference feature that saves you a trip to Safari’s search bar.

  • Music continues in Camera mode. Opening the Camera app to take a still photo no longer pauses whatever music is playing. Fashion photographers who play rock music during photo shoots are celebrating.

  • More informative Wi-Fi listings. Now, in SettingsWi-Fi, you’ll find out if the Wi-Fi network has no Internet connection (“No Internet Connection” appears in orange letters). And if you’re connecting to an open network (no password), you get a “Security Recommendation” link. Tap it, and a message announces: “Open networks provide no security and expose all network traffic.” In other words, take caution, because your Internet traffic is sniffable by the bad guys.

  • New magnifier. The Accessibility settings offer a new magnifying screen that lets you control the zoom, color tint, and flashlight all at once—great when you’re having trouble reading fine print in a dark restaurant or tiny black-on-gray print anywhere. You can set up your phone so that triple-clicking the Home button starts this mode.

  • Color-blindness filter. Also in Accessibility: A feature called Display Accommodations, which adjusts the phone’s screen to help color-blind people. It tells the iPhone’s screen to substitute different, easier-to-see colors for the red and green tones that typically trip up color-blinders. If you’re color blind, this feature may blow your mind.

App Upgrades

  • Apple Music. Apple Music—the app, the $10-a-month service—was a hot mess. The newly redesigned app is far easier to navigate.

  • Photos. The redesigned Photos can auto-generate lovely, musical videos, using your photos and videos as its raw material (from a recent time period, or a recent place you visited, or featuring a certain person). It comes with a selection of 80 soundtracks and plenty of customization controls.

    The Photos search box lets you find images according to what they show. You can search your photos for “dog,” or “beach,” or whatever.

    Perhaps more usefully, the editing mode now includes a markup feature: You can draw or type onto your photos, or add a circular magnified area.

    Finally, if you’re a fan of Live Photos—Apple’s name for the weird 3-second-video+photo feature available on the iPhone 6s and 7 families—you’ll be happy to hear that iOS 10 brings image stabilization to them. You can also apply the usual Photos editing tools (tweak color, brightness, contrast, and so on) to the video.

  • Maps. Apple’s Maps app still doesn’t know as much about the world as Google Maps, but Apple has put a lot of effort into slicking up the app itself. It looks great, and it now offers to reroute you if traffic will mar your planned commute. And now, app makers can add Maps Extensions—new features for Maps, like the ability to book a restaurant reservation with OpenTable or to call an Uber ride.

  • News. The new app offers breaking-news alerts, subscriptions to certain publications, and a lovely new design.

  • New Home app. This app lets you control your thermostat, electric drapes, lights, and other home-automation gadgets—assuming that they’re compatible with Apple’s HomeKit standard. (You probably don’t own any.)

  • Notes. You and another person can edit a page in Notes simultaneously. Great when you and your spouse are planning a party and brainstorming about guests and the dinner menu, for example.

  • Safari. Website creators can now offer an Apple Pay button, meaning that you can pay for stuff without having to painstakingly type in your name, address, and credit card information 400 times a year. So cool: You can authenticate with your phone’s fingerprint reader!

    Now Safari can fill in a secondary address for you in a web form (like your work address), or even someone else’s address (grabbed from Contacts).

  • Calendar. If you start to type a Calendar event that the app recognizes as something you’ve entered before, it proposes autocompleting it. Calendar also sometimes pre-fills in times and places as you create an appointment, based on information it spotted in an email or message.

  • Health. You can now share your activity and calorie burn with your friends. It’s fitness through humiliation.

  • Mail. The Mail app occasionally offers an Unsubscribe button when it suspects that a message has come from a mailing list. Also in Mail, conversation view (where exchange messages are grouped) now places messages chronologically—no more scrolling to the bottom to see what everyone is talking about. You’ll see. It’s good.

What It All Means

Let’s be honest: Apple is finding it harder to say “no” to new features these days. iOS has become a very dense operating system, with more features than you could master in years.

Then again, the public may not care about simplicity the way it once did. When smartphones were new, extreme simplicity was critical to helping them accept the concept.

Today’s 10-year-olds weren’t even alive before there were iPhones. And people who got their first smartphones as teenagers grew up along with iOS and Android—and evolved along with them—so the sheer complexity doesn’t bother them much. It’s usually only their parents who complain.

But never mind. iOS 10 is better, smarter, faster, clearer, and more refined than what came before. It takes hundreds of steps forward, and only a couple of tiny steps back.

That’s a lot of tweaks, polishing, and finesse—and a lot to learn. Fortunately, 650 pages of instructions now await you.

Get iPhone: The Missing Manual, 10th Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.