Beat the fear in the move to iPhone

2013-10-27 10:00

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There are no more ardent believers than the BlackBerry faithful, loyal to their qwerty-keyboard phones. For those of the old school, switching to an iPhone is a fear-filled affair – partly because of ‘bill shock’ and partly because they have to give up having buttons to press. Forget your fear. A few pointers will make the transition smoother and pain-free – and hopefully bill-shock-free too. Toby Shapshak walks you through it

Data bundles

1From paying R59 a month for unlimited data, BlackBerry users are sometimes befuddled by the strange need to buy a data bundle. These generally come as add-ons to a package, although most of the new deals offer sizable data components too.

For the first two months, you should buy yourself one-off extra bundles of at least a gigabyte.

Research has shown that smartphones use 35 times as much data as so-called feature phones. The answer to this is fairly simple: from driving a VW Beetle, suddenly you are behind the wheel of a Lamborghini.


2 These days you can jump on to a Wi-Fi network just about anywhere – for free.

Many companies now offer them to employees who check their email on their smartphones, while coffee shops and friends will gladly give you their password.

It’s a whole new measure of friendship, I’ve noticed, how people share their Wi-Fi at home with different levels of intimate friends.

If you’re on the list, you’ve made it.

Work smarter with an app

3 The third thing you can do to avoid bill shock is download a clever app called Onavo Extend.

This works much like BlackBerry’s servers by compressing the data you use on your phone.

Powering up

4 Setting up your new iPhone is an easy process, which the phone itself will direct you through. If you don’t have an Apple ID yet, you can create one with any email address or you can get an “” address to use Apple’s cloud-based services.

I’ve only had grief with these, so skip using it for your calendar and contacts unless you aren’t syncing your phone to a computer. Apple only offers 5GB of free storage and you’ll have to buy more capacity. So don’t use iCloud for anything more than email.

If you already have an iTunes account linked to an email address, it’s still worth getting an “” account.

Backing up

5 Always choose to back up the information on your new iPhone to your computer. Choose the “encrypt this backup” – it saves all your app and network passwords. If you ever lose your phone, or it gets stolen, you can quickly and easily repopulate a new device from the last time you backed up. The same goes for upgrading your handset. It’s very handy.

A very important thing to do is to always have a passcode on any device that gets your email or SMS messages. Under settings, in the passcode section, choose the option to wipe the phone if the passcode is entered wrong 10 times.

Battery life

6 Smartphones with bright touch screens tend to chew through their batteries, so turn on the battery percentage (in Settings > General > Usage, Turn on Battery Percentage). Get a car charger and an extra charging cable for your desk.

Battery life sucks (as it does on any smartphone with a big screen). So just learn to work around it.

»?Shapshak is editor and publisher of Stuff magazine (

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