Got a new iphone XS? Do th­ese 10 things first

Be­fore you even peel the plas­tic off your new iphone XS or XS Max, read this setup guide.

Macworld (USA) - - Contents - IL­LUS­TRA­TION BY SHAW NIELSEN

So that $1,000-plus sticker shock didn’t put you off from up­grad­ing to the poorly-named iphone XS or even-wors­e­named iphone XS Max ( go.mac­ byxs). I don’t blame you—i bought one, too. I know you want to dive right in the mo­ment you get the box in your hands, but take a beat and do a lit­tle prep first! We have a lit­tle setup ad­vice you’re go­ing to want to pay at­ten­tion to. Sure, it seems like an un­nec­es­sary drag, but this stuff is go­ing to re­ally save you a lot of time and frus­tra­tion later.


That’s right, you’re go­ing to want to back up your old iphone af­ter you have your new iphone XS in hand, so the backup is as up-to-date as it can pos­si­bly be. You can back up via icloud or itunes:

For an itunes backup: Con­nect your old iphone to your Mac, launch itunes, se­lect your iphone by click­ing the lit­tle phone icon in the tool­bar, and un­der Back­ups, choose This Com­puter.

Check­ing the En­crypt iphone Backup box is a good idea, so your ac­count pass­words and Health data gets backed up too—just choose a pass­word you won’t for­get. Then click the Back Up Now but­ton.

When the backup is done, con­nect your iphone XS, then tell itunes you want to re­store from the backup you just made. Or, skip to step 2 and use Quick Start. Later, you can switch back to icloud back­ups if you pre­fer, in Set­tings → icloud → Backup. But it never hurts to run a backup on your Mac ev­ery now and then.

For an icloud backup: No need to con­nect your iphone to your Mac. Just launch Set­tings and tap on your Ap­ple ID pro­file list­ing at the top, then go to icloud → icloud Backup and se­lect Back Up Now. When set­ting up your new iphone XS, you can re­store your iphone from this backup

once you’ve logged in to your new de­vice with your Ap­ple ID.

If you hap­pen to be com­ing from an An­droid phone (hey, wel­come to the gar­den!), there’s an An­droid Move To IOS app ( go.mac­ that can as­sist you with get­ting all of your Google ac­count data in Mail, Cal­en­dars, and Con­tacts; mov­ing your cam­era roll over; and even trans­fer­ring your Chrome book­marks to Sa­fari.


IOS 11 in­tro­duced a great new fea­ture called Quick Start. It’s prac­ti­cally magic. You just hold your new phone next to your old phone, and a lit­tle card pops up ask­ing if you want to trans­fer all your stuff to the new de­vice. You’ll then point your old phone’s cam­era at your new phone (which dis­plays a cloud of lit­tle dots) and en­ter your old phone’s 6-digit pass­code.

You’ll go through the rest of the setup process, like en­abling Face ID, and then your phone will be ready to go, set up just like your old iphone. It’ll even prompt you to up­date your old iphone’s backup if it hasn’t been backed up in awhile.

Set­ting up your phone this way trans­fers over most of your set­tings, the ar­range­ment of your home screen, and more. It’s a huge time-saver. But it re­quires IOS 11, so if you haven’t up­dated your old phone to IOS 11 (or IOS 12; go.mac­world. com/up11) for some rea­son, you might want to up­date right away. You don’t want to have to wait through a big up­date process once you have your iphone XS in hand.

Af­ter set­ting up your phone this way, you’ll want to give it a few min­utes to re-down­load all your apps. Ini­tially, your phone will show place­hold­ers for your apps, all ar­ranged and stuffed into fold­ers ex­actly as on your old iphone. But your

new phone has to ac­tu­ally re-down­load apps, be­cause ev­ery time you down­load an app from the App Store, your phone ac­tu­ally grabs a unique ver­sion specif­i­cally op­ti­mized for that iphone model. But your user data and set­tings get trans­ferred over, and that’s the im­por­tant part.

As fast and easy as this is, we still rec­om­mend back­ing up your phone as de­scribed in step 1. If any­thing goes re­ally wrong dur­ing your setup process, you’ll be glad you did!


Yes, you should use Face ID ( go.mac­world. com/idfc) for max­i­mum se­cu­rity—it’s the quick­est way to un­lock your iphone XS, and will make it less painful to use a com­pli­cated pass­code, since you don’t have to type it in ev­ery time. Set­ting up Face ID is much faster than Touch ID, too—the setup screen will prompt you and ask you to slowly look around in a cir­cle a cou­ple times. It’s a lot quicker than tap­ping the home but­ton dozens of times to regis­ter a fin­ger­print.

Wor­ried about your pri­vacy with Face ID? Don’t be. No pho­tos of your face nor any other bio­met­ric data ever leave your phone—ap­ple doesn’t get any of that. And it isn’t ac­ces­si­ble by other apps, just as other apps weren’t able to ac­cess your fin­ger­prints with Touch ID. You can read all about it in our Face ID FAQ ( go.mac­world. com/idfq).

Since you need to have Face ID en­abled in or­der to use Ap­ple Pay, this would be a good time to jump into Ap­ple’s Wal­let app to set that up. If you’re new to Ap­ple Pay, just fol­low the in­struc­tions within Wal­let to add a credit card or two. If you al­ready had Ap­ple Pay on your old iphone, you’ll no­tice that your credit cards have dis­ap­peared on your new iphone. Why? For your se­cu­rity, of course. Your Wal­let his­tory will still be there, but you’ll have to re-en­ter any pay­ment cards you’d like to use with Ap­ple Pay. (For more on Ap­ple Pay, check out our com­plete guide at go.mac­


Great, now you should be on your home screen on your new iphone, at last. Hit up the App Store first—you’ll want the lat­est ver­sions of all of your apps in or­der to take ad­van­tage of all the new abil­i­ties Ap­ple has given de­vel­op­ers in IOS 12 ( go.mac­world. com/io12). If you used Quick Setup, most of your apps should be up to date al­ready, so this will be, er, quick.

Don’t for­get you can have your apps auto-up­date by flip­ping the Up­dates switch in Set­tings → itunes & App Stores. Or, you can man­u­ally up­date your apps and just check out the What’s New re­lease notes to see what changed.


If you use an Ap­ple Watch (maybe you just bought a brand-new Ap­ple Watch Se­ries 4 [ go.mac­] to go with your fu­ture-phone) you’ll need to pair it to your new iphone to keep the Ac­tiv­ity data flow­ing to your Health database, and keep your new phone’s no­ti­fi­ca­tions flow­ing to your watch. First you have to un­pair your watch from your old iphone, ei­ther in the Ap­ple Watch app on your old iphone (tap your watch, then the i icon, then Un­pair Ap­ple Watch, then en­ter your icloud pass­word when prompted), or on the watch it­self (Set­tings → Gen­eral → Re­set).

Next, launch the Ap­ple Watch app on your new iphone XS, which will walk you through the pair­ing process in­clud­ing set­ting a pass­code, un­lock­ing be­hav­ior, and Ap­ple Pay.

If your Ap­ple Watch isn’t al­ready run­ning watchos 5 ( go.mac­, you’ll want to up­date it. To up­grade, your Ap­ple Watch needs to be con­nected to its charger, in range of your iphone, and at least 50 per­cent charged. Then look for the Soft­ware Up­date op­tion in the Watch app. Up­dat­ing your Ap­ple Watch can be a slow process, so it’s a good idea to get started early.


As you may have no­ticed, your iphone XS has no Home but­ton. Where the Home but­ton used to be, you now have an ex­tra half-inch or so of glo­ri­ous OLED dis­play!

If you’re com­ing from an iphone X, it will of course be to­tally fa­mil­iar. But if you’re up­grad­ing from an older iphone, you’ve got some new ges­tures to learn.

Here are a few ba­sic com­mands you’ll need to re-learn now that your iphone is Home-but­ton free.

Re­turn Home: Just swipe up from the bot­tom of the screen. Easy!

Jump be­tween apps: Swipe left or right along the bot­tom edge of the phone to jump back and forth be­tween apps. You can sort of “flick” from the bot­tom cor­ners, mov­ing your fin­ger up and over, to “bounce” be­tween the apps, or just slide di­rectly side-to­side along the bot­tom edge.

App switcher: Swipe up from the bot­tom edge and pause for a sec­ond with your fin­ger still on the dis­play. App cards will quickly pop up, and you can lift your fin­ger off and swipe around through them.

Close an app: If you need to kill an app from the app switcher, sim­ply swipe up on it. On IOS 11, the iphone X had an an­noy­ing press-and-hold ges­ture to do this, but Ap­ple sim­pli­fied it to a ba­sic swipe-up move in IOS 12.

Take a screen­shot: Sim­ply press the side but­ton and the vol­ume up but­ton at the same time.

There are lots of other new com­mands and ges­tures to learn. But you’re in luck be­cause we have a guide for that ( go.mac­!


If you’re up­grad­ing from a Plus-model

iphone, you al­ready know about Por­trait Mode in the cam­era app. But only the iphone 8 Plus and X had Por­trait Light­ing, which of course con­tin­ues to be avail­able on the iphone XS. Just launch the Cam­era app and se­lect Por­trait from the cam­era modes at the bot­tom of the screen, and then swipe through the dif­fer­ent light­ing op­tions.

The iphone X in­tro­duced Por­trait Mode on the front-fac­ing cam­era, so un­less you’re up­grad­ing from that, it will be a new fea­ture for you on the iphone XS.


There’s a rea­son your new iphone XS has that shiny glass back, and that’s not be­cause it’s a throw­back to the iphone 4. No, that glass back is for wire­less charg­ing sup­port. To use this fea­ture, you’ll need a com­pat­i­ble wire­less charg­ing pad that uti­lizes the Qi stan­dard (we’ve tested a bunch, and here are some of our fa­vorites at go.mac­ If you have one of those lay­ing around, all you have to do is set your iphone onto the pad and watch it start to power up. Say good­bye to the jum­ble of Light­ning ca­bles on your bed­side ta­ble!

Of course, you can charge your iphone XS via Light­ning if you want to. In fact, this is still the fastest way to charge your phone, pro­vided you use the right adapter and ca­ble.

The XS sup­ports fast charg­ing us­ing the USB-C Power De­liv­ery (USB-PD) stan­dard. You can use Ap­ple’s own 29W USB-C power adapter, or the USB-C power adapter for a modern Macbook Pro. But third-party USB-C power adapters ( go. mac­ should work as well, as long as they sup­port the USB-PD stan­dard. We tested all the of­fi­cial Ap­ple power adapters along with some third­party choices, and found that the 12W ipad adapter is the sweet spot be­tween price and per­for­mance.


I know it’s silly, but the best way to brag

about your new iphone is to send some­one an imes­sage that shows the Poo Emoji per­fectly lip-synced and fol­low­ing your fa­cial ex­pres­sions as you sing “Bo­hemian Rhap­sody.” They will be so jeal­ous.

Animoji are found in Mes­sages, as an imes­sage app at the bot­tom of the screen.


Animoji are cool, but IOS 12 takes them to the next level with Memoji. If you’re up­grad­ing from an iphone X, you may have al­ready up­graded to IOS 12 and cre­ated a Memoji. If the iphone XS is your first iphone with a Truedepth front cam­era sys­tem, it’s your first op­por­tu­nity to build your car­toon avatar.

Start by open­ing the Mes­sages app, and then stat­ing a new mes­sage or open­ing an ex­ist­ing thread. Tap the Animoji icon along the bot­tom, and then the plus sign (+) at the be­gin­ning of the Animoji list.

We have a step-by-step Memoji guide ( go.mac­ to walk you through the process. ■

Quick Start makes set­ting up a new iphone fast and easy.

Set­ting up Face ID is a lot faster than Touch ID.

Ap­ple Watch Se­ries 4.

Por­trait Light­ing will take your iphone X por­trait shots to the next level. Hello Kitty agrees.

If the iphone XS is your first Truedepth cam­era-en­abled iphone, it’s time to make your Memoji!

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