Cases and stickers are always great, but they are not the only way to customise an iPhone. The software on your device is full of customisation options, from a better-looking home screen and cooler lock screen wallpapers to app icon changes and a system-wide dark mode. There is literally over 100 ways to make iOS on your iPhone genuinely unique, some of which are hiding in plain sight.
According to Gadgets Hacks, many of the system tweaks and personalisation features listed below are new to iOS 12, so if you are using an iPhone 5S or newer, you will be able to take advantage of most of our tips. If you are rocking something a bit older, don’t worry — there are plenty of compatible options here for you to try as well.
What is the first thing you see when you wake up your iPhone? Your wallpaper, of course. Wallpapers are more than a simple decoration for your iPhone — they allow you to express your style and offer a refreshing view each time you pick up your device. Here is a quick list of all the fun ways you can customise your iPhone’s background to make your iOS device feel like your own.
Hide the notch on newer face ID models
Although initially controversial when first revealed, the notch on modern iPhones seems pretty standard, especially now that almost all flagship smartphones carry an iteration of the design. That said, many Android devices allow you to hide the notch by adding a black strip across the top of the display, something that iOS does not let you do.
While Apple is a stickler for their Face ID cut out, there are ways around this issue. You may not be able to turn off the notch in apps, but you can use your wallpaper to disguise it cleverly. With the right image, your iPhone X can become “notch-less.”
However, this mainly applies to OLED models, since black pixels are not lit up when they are on the screen. It may help a little on the iPhone XR, which has an LCD, but black pixels are lit up and stick out, so the notch is a little more noticeable.
Use apps to find cool, new wallpapers
Apple’s stock wallpapers are usually varied enough to offer users plenty of options to suit their styles. Of course, sometimes you need to branch out from stock iOS wallpapers to find a background that fits your aesthetic.
While you can always use the photos taken on your iPhone or scour the Internet for some high-res solutions, one of the best ways to quickly find new wallpapers is to download an app to find them for you.
3Disable the parallax effect
Apple wants your wallpaper to contain a “parallax” effect. That’s what enables the wallpaper in the background to move differently than other objects on-screen, creating an illusion of depth. If you don’t want this effect on your iPhone, however, there’s an easy way to fix it.
When setting up your wallpaper, make sure to choose “Still” rather than “Perspective,” as is the default for all but Live Photos. Otherwise, you’ll keep the motion as seen below.
Bring back old favourites
While Apple adds new wallpapers with every iOS release, it inexplicably removes old ones as well. With a little googling, you can find every wallpaper Apple ever shipped on iOS, including those exclusive to specific iPhone and iPad models.
One of the most notable — and devastating — removals was the suite of live fish wallpapers. These options were initially included with the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus to show off 3D Touch. However, Apple removed the wallpapers just two years later with the introduction of iOS 11. However, with a little elbow grease, you can turn the animations into Live Photos and use them as live wallpapers on 3D Touch devices only.
The lock screen is the barrier between the world and everything inside your iPhone. You probably spend more time on the lock screen than you think, browsing interesting notifications, as well as fending off unnecessary ones. If you need some help keeping your lock screen orderly, we have got you covered.
Choose which apps can display Siri suggested shortcuts
Siri Suggestions try to guess the actions you would want or need to take on your iPhone. These can be helpful, especially on the lock screen, but it is not perfect. For one reason or another, you might want to control which apps you see Siri offer suggestions for on the lock screen.
Customising Suggestions is simple. Head over to “Siri and Search” in the Settings app. Disable the toggle next to “Suggestions on Lock Screen” to turn off Siri Suggestions on the lock screen for all apps. To choose which apps to show Suggestions for on the lock screen, leave this enabled. Tap each app from the list below, then either enable or disable the toggle next to “Allow on Lock Screen.”
See weather right when you wake up
Apple has never been one to embrace widgets in the same way as Android, opting instead to place them all in a list in the “Today View.” However, the company dipped their toes into “on-screen” widgets with iOS 12, offering you a look at their local weather right when you wake up.
Unfortunately, once you unlock your iPhone, tap the widget, or let your iPhone go back to sleep, the widget goes away for the rest of the day. We hope to see more widget integration like this in future versions of iOS. Right now, however, this is a pretty neat feature.
Disable USB Accessories Lock
With iOS 11.4.1, Apple introduced a new security feature for iPhones, a lock for USB accessories. One hour after you lock your iPhone, the feature kicks in, blocking all USB accessories from connecting to your device. To use the accessory, you must enter your passcode, thus thwarting any intruders who don’t know the code.
Of course, this might get a bit annoying if you frequently use USB accessories. If you find yourself continually unlocking your iPhone to get your stuff done or want to avoid that mess altogether, you can disable this security feature for good.