Optimize your new iPhone experience with these expert setup tips

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iPhone Xs
Get your new iPhone set up the right way.
Photo: Apple

For many people, iPhone 12 will be radically different from previous iPhone models. Despite this, the iPhone setup process hasn’t changed much. However, while you might find yourself on familiar ground, there are still plenty of little things you really ought to do before you fire up your new phone for the first time (or pretty soon thereafter).

Let’s take a look at all the things you can do to get your iPhone set up exactly how you want it.

How to set up your new iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro the right way

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The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 price is now the same for all the top US telecoms.
Rip that iPhone 12 out of the box right now!
Photo: Apple

In recent years, the iPhone setup process has changed as dramatically as the iPhones themselves. Apple just keeps making it easier to do. So easy, in fact, that there are just a few things you need to do to move from your old iPhone to a new one. And setting up a new iPhone 12 from scratch isn’t much harder — gone are the days of manually copying passwords just to get to the Home screen.

There are still a few tricks, though, that will help things run smoothly. Let’s see how to set up your new iPhone the right way. Whether you have a new iPhone 12 or an iPhone 12 Pro, the process is identical.

What to do when your iOS backup is newer than your iPhone’s OS

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What to do when your iOS backup is newer than your iPhone's OS
Running an iOS beta can cause problems when you get a new device.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Everyone in Apple’s beta program is running a pre-release version of the next iOS version. Which is great, until you get a new iPhone or iPad. Then you can’t restore the new device from the backup made on your previous one because the old device is running a newer OS.

If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic — there are a couple of possible solutions. We’ll walk you through both.

Get preapproved for iPhone Upgrade Program before iPhone 12 sales start

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iPhone 12 Pro
Speed through the preorder process tomorrow morning.
Photo: Apple

If you plan to preorder iPhone 12 Pro tomorrow, October 16, through the iPhone Upgrade Program, then do yourself a massive favor and get preapproved today. It will make the whole process quicker and easier.

You have until 9 p.m. PDT today to submit your loan application to Apple. We’ll show you how.

How to watch the Oct. 13 iPhone 12 event almost anywhere

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How to watch the Oct. 13 iPhone 12 event almost anywhere
Apple's iPhone 12 event promises to be packed full of goodies.
Photo: Apple

We’re less than 24 hours away from the biggest Apple event of the year. In addition to the much-anticipated iPhone 12 lineup, it could bring the first Mac with Apple Silicon, new AirPods, and more.

When the keynote kicks off on Tuesday, October 13, you’ll be able to watch it live online from almost anywhere. We’ll tell you how.

How to draw with shape recognition in iPadOS 14

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How to draw with shape recognition in iPadOS 14
Shape recognition in iPadOS 14 makes your Apple Pencil even more useful.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Most people’s drawing skills peaked in first grade. Which means the diagrams we include in handwritten notes often look like they were drawn by a moderately skilled raccoon. Fortunately, iPadOS 14 offers shape recognition, turning our scrawls into the neat geometric shapes we envisioned.

Using this feature in Apple Notes or Email is easy. But there’s a trick to it. Here’s how to use shape recognition with an iPad and any stylus.

How to see the huge AR easter egg hidden in Apple’s Oct. 13 event invite

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The invite to the Apple October event 2020 offers an augmented-reality easter egg.
The invite to the Apple October event includes a bit of augmented reality.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Hidden in Tuesday’s invite to the October Apple event is a hint that the company is about to make a big push into augmented reality.

The graphic for the event invite is the Apple logo surrounded by bubbles. iPhone and iPad users can transfer that design to the real 3D world, and put it in motion.

How to leave the macOS Big Sur beta program before public release

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How to leave the macOS Big Sur beta
Don't be stuck with buggy beta releases.
Image: Cult of Mac

With the public release of macOS Big Sur right around the corner, it’s a good time to think about leaving the beta program — especially if you’ve been running the new release on your primary machine.

Dropping out ensures you get stable releases and quick fixes as soon as they’re available, and prevents potentially buggy future betas from being installed on your device. We’ll walk you through the process.

Fix battery drain, missing GPS data after updating to iOS 14, watchOS 7

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Fix GPS data loss iOS 14
It's not easy, but it's essential.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple has acknowledged problems with iOS 14 and watchOS 7 that can cause some users to lose GPS data and experience excessive battery drain on Apple Watch and iPhone — among other things.

There is a way to fix these issues and prevent future data loss, and it means resetting your devices. We’ll walk you through it.