Got a new iPhone 15 on the way? Do these 7 things first – Macworld

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If you’ve just bought a brand-new iPhone 15, you’re probably still in the honeymoon phase: staring at the thing and wondering how you got so lucky. But it’s time to get serious. You’re holding one of the world’s most versatile and advanced handheld devices, and you need to make the most of it.
Of course, the first few jobs after taking a new iPhone out of the box are obvious: peel off the cellophane, turn it on, maybe charge it, connect to Wi-Fi and cellular, and restore from your latest backup. We cover how to set up a new iPhone separately. But in this article, we explore the first things you should do with your new phone after you’re up and running.
Your iPhone 15 will come with iOS 17 pre-installed, but it won’t be the latest version. Apple on Thursday released iOS 17.0.1 for iPhones 14 and earlier, and iOS 17.0.2 for the iPhone 15 lineup. It includes three critical security updates as well as bug fixes and performance improvements.
To update, open the Settings app and go to General > Software Update to see if there’s an available update and install it if there is. We also recommend turning on Automatic Updates from this screen so you’ll get future updates without having to check manually, but this is a matter of personal preference.
In case you didn’t catch any of the hoopla during (and for several months leading up to) the launch, Apple has dropped the proprietary Lightning charging and data connection standard from its latest generation of iPhones and replaced it with USB-C. That doesn’t mean Lightning is gone completely: aside from the 13- and 14-series iPhones which Apple still sells, the AirPods Max and Magic Keyboard charge using Lightning ports. But it’s definitely on the way out.
We’ve rounded up the best (and best-value) USB-C cables and power adapters you can buy for your new iPhone 15.
Now that your iPhone is up and running and fully charged, let’s take some photos! No matter which iPhone you bought, you’ll get a better camera with some new tricks to play with. There’s the new next-generation portrait mode and 2X zoom on the iPhone 15 (the first time on a non-Pro iPhone), and (also for the first time) 5X zoom on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
The quickest way to get to the camera is to swipe left on the Lock screen. You’ll find the zoom options at the bottom of the viewfinder or you can pinch in or out to test different zoom distances.
If you’re lucky enough to own an iPhone 15 Pro, you really ought to test out the capabilities of its supercharged 3-nanometer A17 Pro processor. (The A16 Bionic in the iPhone 15 is no slouch, mind you, but the A17 is next-level stuff.) Apple reckons the A17’s GPU is up to 20 percent faster than the previous generation, and claims its hardware-accelerated ray tracing will bring appreciably smoother graphics.
So you’ll want to test it out. Head over to the App Store app, tap the Games tab in the menu along the bottom of the screen, and get playing. Maybe NBA 2K Mobile, Genshin Impact, or Asphalt 9. Or you can pick out something from our list of the 100 best iPhone games.
There’s a new Action button, and it’s worth taking a moment to get the hang of the way it works. (We’re again speaking to the 15 Pro owners here, since the standard iPhone 15 doesn’t get this feature.)
The Action button sits on the lefthand edge of the 15 Pro above the volume keys, taking the place of the mute switch–and, by default, its job. But it’s customizable, and if you go to Settings > Action Button it can be set to other functions. You can have it open the Camera app or flashlight, switch on a specific Focus mode, run a favorite shortcut, or various other options.
When suggesting ideas of things to do with a new iPhone 14 we explained how to set up an Emergency Contact. (You do this in the Health app.) This remains an important step with the iPhone 15, but there’s a new safety feature you should also know about: Roadside Assistance via satellite.
If your vehicle breaks down and you haven’t got a cellular or Wi-Fi connection, you can use the Messages app to request help via satellite. (This may not work if there are obstructions above you, but it’s another option that may save the day.) This service, which is limited to the U.S. initially, is provided by AAA, and although non-members will be offered help, it’s likely to work out cheaper if you join the AAA beforehand. (Note that Roadside Assistance via satellite works on 14-series iPhones too, provided they’ve been upgraded to iOS 17.)
To test how the system works in emergencies, head over to Emergency SOS in Settings and scroll all the way down to Try Demo.
iPhones are pretty tough these days, but that doesn’t mean you want to chip the display or put a dent in the chassis. The safest option is to put your iPhone 15 in a case, and we’ve rounded up your best iPhone 15 case options.
David has loved the iPhone since covering the original 2007 launch; later his obsession expanded to include iPad and Apple Watch. He offers advice to owners (and prospective owners) of these devices.
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