iPhone Setting for Sounds and Brightness

Silence your phone but receive emergency calls

When the Do Not Disturb setting is enabled, all notifications and calls are silenced, but not alarms. The following instructions will show you how to receive emergency calls while in Do Not Disturb mode.

  • If you haven’t done so, set up your Favorites list of contacts. Instructions are here under “Speed Dialing.”
  • Touch Settings.
  • Touch Notifications.
  • Touch Do Not Disturb.
  • If Allow Calls From does not show Favorites, then touch it and check Favorites.
  • If you would also like to allow repeated calls from the same number within three minutes, touch Repeated Calls to ON.

Now, whenever you want to put your iPhone into Do Not Disturb mode:

  • Touch Settings.
  • Touch Do Not Disturb to ON.
  • Slide the ringer button on the left side of your phone to off, so that emergency calls will vibrate and not ring.

Click settings when texting

Whether you prefer the clicking or not, you can control this auditory feedback through the Settings on the iPhone.

  • Touch Settings.
  • Touch Sounds.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page where you can turn Keyboard Clicks ON or OFF.

Dial tone settings

There is no software setting to turn off the dialing tone when typing a phone number to call, but there is a work around.

  • Slide the ringer button on the left side of the iPhone to off.
  • This silences the dialing tones.

Change screen brightness

The default brightness setting on the iPhone is Auto-Brightness, which uses the built-in light sensor to automatically adjust the brightness. It’s a good setting because it helps extend your battery life, but when you are in a darker room and need to brighten your screen, you can temporarily do that through Settings.

  • Touch Settings.
  • Touch Brightness & Wallpaper.
  • Place your finger on the Auto-Brightness slider and slide to your preferred brightness.


How to Get the Most Out of Gmail Contacts

Whether you know it or not, by using Gmail Contacts as your address book, you can create a database of information that goes far beyond phone numbers and email addresses. Of course, you need to have a Gmail account first, and if you haven’t done that yet, click here to learn how to do that.

  • Go to Gmail.
  • In the top left, click on the little arrow to see the drop down menu.
  • Click on Contacts.

Pick a contact you know very well like a close friend or family member that is either already in Contacts or that you need to enter. If the contact was previously entered, click on the name to open to the information. If you need to enter as a new contact, click New Contact.

  • Enter the name as first name space last name. If you want to add a prefix, suffix or middle name, click on the three little dots beside the name field for more entry fields.
  • To enter a company name and title for your contact, click on Add at the bottom of the page and select Title and company. You can also add a nickname or phonetic name for your contact.
  • For each of the other contact information fields that you use, move your mouse over the label, such as Email or Address. Click on the arrow that appears to better specify the information, such as Work, Home or Custom to create your own label name.
  • To add a second, third or more email, phone number, etc., click on Add at the bottom and select the type of field you want to add.
  • To add names of a spouse, children, parents, etc. for a contact, click on Add and then Relationship. Hover the mouse on the label, click on the arrow and select a specific relationship.
  • For remembering contacts’ birthdays and anniversaries that will show up on Google Calendar, be sure to enter them through the Birthday field.

Google lets you organize your contacts into Groups, which makes it so much easier to email specific sets of people like clubs, family, friends, etc. Remember that each contact can be assigned to multiple groups.

There are two ways to create Groups and assign your contacts to them:

From the left sidebar

  • From the Contacts screen, move the mouse to the left sidebar and scroll down to click on New Group.
  • Enter the name of your Group and click OK.
  • Create as many Groups as you need.

To assign contacts to your Groups:

  • If you know how to drag and drop, you can drag and drop a contact from your list of contacts onto a Group name in the left sidebar.

I prefer this way:

  • Check the boxes beside the contacts you are grouping.
  • Click on the Groups tab at the top of your contacts list (it has three little circles as heads).
  • Check the boxes for the Groups you’re assigning.
  • Click Apply.

On the fly

When you think of a Group you’d like to create, if you’re on the listed contacts screen:

  • Check the boxes beside the contacts you will initially add to the new Group.
  • Click on the Groups tab at the top of the contacts list.
  • Click Create New.
  • Enter a new Group name.
  • Click OK.

If you are on one contact’s information page:

  • Click on the Groups tab at the top of the contact.
  • Click Create New.
  • Enter a new Group name.
  • Click OK.

How to email to two addresses for one contact in a group

Some of your contacts may need to be emailed to both work and home email addresses. This is how you “tell” your Gmail Contacts Group that you want to do that:

  • Click on the contact with two email addresses.
  • At the top of that contact’s page will be listed the groups assigned to the contact.
  • Click on the arrow beside the selected Group name.
  • The email addresses for that contact will be shown.
  • Check the boxes beside the email addresses that you will send to when you email to that Group.

When you compose an email for a Group, simply begin typing the Group name in the To: field. Select the Group name from Gmail’s suggestions. All of the email addresses will automatically be entered in the To: field.

How to Use Photos (Albums) vs. Photo Stream on Your iPhone/iPad

May, 2016 – This has been my most popular “how to” article, but it is outdated. Therefore, I have written a 4-part series called How to Manage Your iPhone Photos. Please start with the new article and, enjoy!

The Photos app that comes on your iPhone/iPad has two main functions: Albums and Photo Stream. Albums contains photos that you have taken with your iPhone/iPad or saved to your iPhone/iPad from a text message, email or website. They are pictures that are physically stored in your device in an Apple-named album called Camera Roll.

Photo Stream shows photos that you are sharing among your other devices or that have been shared with you by someone else. Photo Stream is a feature of Apple’s internet-based storage called iCloud and is your personal, centralized “location” for sharing photos.

(There is a third function called Places that I still do not understand how to assign within iPhone/iPad. I’ll let you know as soon as I do!)

How to use Photos Albums

These instructions assume that you have taken some pictures with your iPhone/iPad and have not deleted them.

  • Touch the  icon.
  • Touch the  icon on the bottom left.
  • Touch Camera Roll, which is the “home” album for all your photos.
  • It will open to thumbnails of all your pictures.
  • Touch Edit in the top right.

To email, text, share, print, copy, assign or use a photo as wallpaper

  • Select the photos by touching each one to check it.
  • Touch Share on the bottom left.
  • Select your method.

To create or add photos to a previously created photo album

  • Touch each photo to be included in the album to check it.
  • Touch Add To on the bottom.
  • Select to either add to an existing album or create a new one. This will not move your original pictures from Camera Roll. Copies of your pictures go in albums you create.

To permanently delete photos from your iPhone/iPad

  • Touch each photo to be deleted to check it.
  • Touch Delete in the bottom right.

How to use Photo Stream

As Apple support says, “When you take photos on an iPhone/iPad/iTouch, or import photos from your digital camera to your computer, My Photo Stream can automatically upload your new photos to iCloud and push them to all of your other devices”. These instructions for the iPhone/iPad assume that you are using iOS 6 or later. If you need set up instructions for your Mac or a PC, click here.

To automatically add all photos taken on your iPhone/iPad to your Photo Stream:

  • Touch Settings.
  • Touch iCloud.
  • Touch Photo Stream.
  • Touch My Photo Stream ON.
  • Touch Shared Photo Streams ON to be able to privately share photos with others and from others.
  • Touch Settings in the top left.
  • Touch the Home key.

To only selectively share photos taken on your iPhone/iPad with others and add to your Photo Stream:

  • Touch Settings.
  • Touch iCloud.
  • Touch Photo Stream.
  • Touch My Photo Stream OFF.
  • Touch Shared Photo Streams ON to be able to privately share photos with others and from others.
  • Touch Settings in the top left.
  • Touch the Home key.
  • Touch the  icon.
  • Touch the  icon.
  • Touch Camera Roll, which is the “home” album for all your photos.
  • Touch Edit in the top right.
  • Touch each photo to check it.
  • Touch Share.
  • Touch Photo Stream.
  • Touch New Photo Stream.
  • Enter Contact names in the To: field.
  • Enter a new Name to name the shared Photo Stream.
  • Leave Public Website OFF.
  • Touch Next in top left.
  • Touch Post in top left.
  • This will create a new named Photo Stream in your iPhone/iPad and share it with others via email.

Some final thoughts on using Photo Albums and Photo Stream:

  • Do not worry that you are using extra space in your iPhone/iPad by saving your photos to Photo Stream. Camera Roll has your original photos. Photo Stream has copies of your original photos saved in iCloud.
  • Photo Stream will save your most recent 1000 photos in iCloud for 30 days. Long enough for you to download copies to your various devices.
  • You can set up your Mac or PC to automatically download and save your Photo Stream pictures permanently. This is the easiest way to save your iPhoto/iPad photos to your computer.
  • Remember – go to Camera Roll to see the photos that you’ve taken with your iPhone/iPad.