Christine Persaud-

Christine Persaud

About Christine Persaud

Christine is a freelance writer and editor with more than 20 years of experience in the tech and entertainment businesses. Holding a B.A. in Communications and Psychology, she's passionate about technology and has reviewed, written about, tested, and researched hundreds of products and services through her career. Currently serving as a contributor to XDA, covering everything from iPhones to MacBooks, Christine loves to unwind with a good TV show and a glass of red wine at home. 

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apple watch noise notifications feature

How to monitor safe hearing levels with Apple Watch

It's important to be aware of how loud an environment is and potential adverse effects on your hearing, and Apple Watch can help.


Ever been in a loud setting, like a concert, and wondered if it's safe for your hearing? You can gauge just how safe (or unsafe) listening levels are using your Apple Watch, one of the best smartwatches. Getting details about the ambient sound levels might prompt you to leave a situation or even pop on a pair of the best over-ear headphones to mask some of the loud noise. Or perhaps you want to use the information to determine if the setting is safe for a young child with much more sensitive hearing. Whatever the reason, it’s one of those nice-to-have Apple Watch features you can call up at any time. You can also set the Watch to send notifications when the decibel levels are recognized as being at a level that could adversely affect your hearing.

iphone gestures feature

Complete guide to gesture navigation on iPhone

While many gestures for iPhone are second nature to long-time users, those new to iPhone might need help familiarizing themselves with how it works.


To a long-time iPhone user, gesture navigation is second nature. But to someone new to the OS and devices, especially those switching over from Android, there’s a lot to learn. The latest iPhones, like the iPhone 14, still have physical buttons, including the right side button for toggling power and the left side buttons for adjusting volume. Both can be used for other functions as well, like triple tapping for Emergency SOS, pressing and holding, or even pressing the volume up and power buttons simultaneously to take a screenshot. But this guide provides everything you need to know about iPhone gestures on the best iPhones that require swipes, flicks, and other movements, from the seemingly most simple ones to more complex ones that even avid iPhone users might not realize they can use.

apple watch make calls feature

How to make or answer calls from Apple Watch

Even if you didn't opt for the Apple Watch with cellular connectivity, you can still make and receive calls from the smartwatch.


One of the beautiful things about the Apple Watch, one of the best smartwatches you can buy, is that it can function as a phone on your wrist, too. There are versions with cellular connectivity for which you can sign up for a separate plan, leaving your phone at home while still being able to make and accept calls (think while you’re at the gym, out for a morning run, or at the beach). But even if you don’t have the cellular-enabled model, you can still use the Apple Watch to make and answer calls, provided your iPhone is nearby. There are several ways to accomplish this.

apple watch messages feature

How to reply to text and iMessages from Apple Watch

If you have an incoming message and you're busy in a meeting or on the go, you can easily reply to it right from your Apple Watch.


A great feature of the Apple Watch is the ability to send quick or even longer replies and messages right from your wrist. You might want to let someone who is calling you know that you’re busy in a meeting but will call them back in 15 minutes. Maybe it’s to reply quickly to an important message while you’re on the go without having to dig for your iPhone in your backpack, purse, or briefcase. Even for the simple advantage of convenience, being able to reply from your wrist is a great feature for multitaskers. And with the option to use either a tiny on-screen keyboard or voice, it’s a seamless process.

set up esim iphone feature

How to set up or transfer an eSIM on iPhone

You can do away with the physical SIM cards with some iPhones and carriers, and enter the simpler world of eSIMs.


Setting up a new iPhone or transferring your data from an old model to a new one like the iPhone 14 is typically a simple process. But one part can often be frustrating: swapping SIM cards. Enter the eSIM, a digital SIM that removes the need for a minuscule card and the need to install it properly to streamline the setup process. An eSIM works with any iPhone XS, XS Max, iPhone XR, or later as long as the phone is being used with a wireless carrier or provider that supports it. Once ready, you can install eight or more eSIMs to a single phone if desired, even using two phone numbers at the same time.

apple cash apple pay feature

How to set up and use Apple Pay and Apple Pay Cash

With Apple Pay and Apple Cash, you can pay from an iPhone, Apple Watch, or other compatible device and leave your wallet at home.


Apple Pay is a convenient way to pay for items at contactless terminals without having to fish in your wallet for your credit card or even bring it with you. Meanwhile, Apple Cash is a simple method to use for sending and receiving money from either the Messages or Wallet app. It’s worth getting one or the other (or both) set up on one of the best iPhones or another Apple device like an iPad or Apple Watch. It can be a lifesaver if you forget your wallet at home or the office and gives you the opportunity to leave your wallet at home altogether when you go to the gym, a concert, or other events. Thanks to the secure and encrypted nature of the feature, including two-factor authentication, using Apple Pay is no different than using a physical card. Some might even argue that it’s safer.

apple watch activity rings change feature

How to change your activity ring goals on Apple Watch

As you progress on your fitness journey, you might want to increase your activity ring goals or, conversely, make them more attainable.


If you have an Apple Watch, chances are you're sharing your progress with contacts, including friends, family members, or colleagues. You might also engage in a little friendly Apple Watch one-on-one competition from time to time, comparing your activity ring results with others. Something to consider when starting an Apple Watch competition, however, is that everyone has different personal goals set in the app regarding calorie burn, exercise minutes, and stand hours, which can skew results. What’s more, as you work to get stronger and more fit, you might find that you are ready to change your own goals. You can change your activity ring goals at any time on Apple Watch.

fitbit competitions lead

Fitbit is getting rid of the best reasons to use a Fitbit, which is a big mistake

Fitbit has confirmed that it will be getting rid of many of its community-focused features, and fans aren't happy.


I am a long-time Fitbit user. I think they're some of the best fitness trackers you can buy. But recent changes are making me, and many other users, question the future of the fitness tracker brand and what makes it stand out. Namely, this involves the removal of Challenges and open groups, which are services targeted at community engagement, on March 27, 2023.

How to use Clean Energy Charging on iOS 16.1

How to use Clean Energy Charging on iOS 16.1

You can do your part and help reduce your personal carbon footprint by enabling Clean Energy Charging on an iPhone with OS 16.1.


Many people are concerned about the environment and using clean energy sources, like solar and wind, at least whenever possible. If you’re interested in Clean Energy Charging, you can actually set many of the best iPhones so that it will only recharge when it’s plugged into a power source with an electrical grid that uses clean energy sources. It’s a small step towards lowering your personal carbon footprint, but an important one. Like optimized battery charging, Clean Energy Charging works in the background, so you can do your part to help the environment.

messages facetime id feature

How to change your sender or caller ID on iMessage and FaceTime

If you want to use a phone number of email address that's different than your primary ones, Apple makes it easy to do so.


All the best iPhones can be connected to multiple email addresses or phone numbers. That means you can make video calls or send messages using your primary ID, but also you can use a secondary email address or phone number to keep your information private. Thankfully, it’s easy to set this all up whether you’re using FaceTime or iMessages, and from both mobile devices, including the new iPhone 14, iPad, or a MacBook computer. Here's how to do that.

collaborate ios ipados feature 2

How to collaborate on iOS or iPadOS 16

Using Messages, you can easily collaborate on projects in a number of apps using iOS and iPadOS 16, one of the great new features.


Collaborating on projects is typical for both businesses and personal tasks, like parties, grocery lists, and more. You can do so easily with iOS on the best iPhones and iPadOS 16, inviting others to join in and collaborate on a project, sharing ideas and to-do lists without starting a lengthy group message chain. Edits are made directly in the file, so everyone can see them in real-time. It’s a proper way to collaborate seamlessly, and it’s much easier to do than you might think.

iphone accessibility feature

All of the cool hidden features in the Apple iPhone Accessibility menu

The iPhone has a feature-rich Accessibility menu with options to help users with vision, physical and motor, and hearing challenges.


Over the years, Apple has worked hard to add new accessibility features to its great iPhones. These features are designed to assist those who might otherwise have trouble using the smartphone for various reasons. They can come in handy whether you have vision limitations, hearing loss, or other impairments to your physical and motor capabilities. With these features activated, using your smartphone can become much more manageable.

control other devices with iphone feature

How to control other devices with iPhone

One relatively unknown feature of the iPhon is that you can actually use it to control other compatible devices, effectively turning it into a remote.


One of many Accessibility features offered in the best iPhones for those with physical and motor limitations extends beyond the smartphone itself. The feature allows you to control other devices using the iPhone.

apple watch hide notifications feature

How to hide sensitive notifications on Apple Watch

Apple Watch's always-on display is a convenient feature, but sometimes, you don't want your notifications easily read by prying eyes.


The always-on display of the Apple Watch, including the Apple Watch Ultra, is a great feature: you can lift it to your face to light up the screen and see your stats. But when a message or update is incoming, the screen also illuminates to display it. This might be well and good for most updates, but sometimes, you don’t want others nearby to be able to peek over and read your private messages, sensitive calendar appointments, or other details. There is a way to classify and hide certain notifications, so they don’t appear in full, or even at all, on Apple Watch.

apple watch competitions feature

How to set up competitions on Apple Watch

Competitions are a great way to motivate one another to work harder to close those rings in Apple Watch, and they are simple to set up.


Alongside being able to add friends and share your activity on Apple Watch, including the latest and highest-end Apple Watch Ultra, you can also get into the competitive spirit by setting up friendly competitions. This can only be done one-to-one, so you can challenge a different friend each week or stick with the same workout partner. Or maybe you want to battle against each person on your friend list, stacking up points along the way. When you are in an Apple Competition, you’ll see who can burn the most calories and achieve the most points over a seven-day period.

set up imessage facetime feature wm

How to set up iMessage/FaceTime

iMessage and FaceTime work on iPhones, iPads, and even MacBook computers, allowing you to chat by voice, text, or even video.


If you’ve just upgraded to a new iPhone, like the iPhone 14, you’ll be able to download (or transfer) all your favorite apps to the device, set up e-mail accounts, and more if you owned one before (or you can start anew). You’ll also probably want to set up iMessage and FaceTime so that you can communicate with friends, family, work colleagues, and others through instant messages, voice calls, and video. Setting up both is simple and takes just a few steps. Here, I'll provide the details using an iPhone, but once set up, you can also open both apps on an iPad or MacBook computer with the same Apple ID and use them there as well.

iphone spoken content feature

How to use Spoken Content on iPhone

Spoken Content on iPhone can assist you when you're having trouble reading messages, webpages, or other content across the phone.


While iPhone has a great VoiceOver feature that provides audio descriptions of what’s on the phone’s screen for those with sight limitations, you might not require everything that comes with that feature. What’s more, activating VoiceOver limits what gestures you can use to control the phone. If you only need voiceover assistance from time to time, like in the mornings before you put on your glasses or for certain apps, you might be looking for something a little less involved.

Apple Watch on arm with apps

How to add apps to Apple Watch

Adding apps to your Apple Watch is simple, especially since you can use both the Apple Watch App Store and your iPhone to do it.


One of the benefits of having a great Apple Watch is its seamless communication with your iPhone. This means that once you set it up, any apps from your phone that are compatible with Apple Watch instantly appear on the device. This ranges from weather apps, banking, smart home control, and more. This also includes standard Apple apps, like Podcasts and Music, as well as Apple Watch-specific apps that come loaded (or that you can load onto it from the Health app), like ECG and blood oxygen, heart rate, and workouts. But you can also add more apps to the Watch that you might not have on your phone right from the Apple Watch App Store itself.

apple watch add friends feature

How to add and share activity with friends on Apple Watch

Apple Watch is even better with friends, and you can add others who own one to your list to share activity, stats, and more.


Having an Apple Watch, one of the best smartwatches, is a great way to focus on your health and fitness and keep on top of notifications like calls, messages, and other apps. But you’ll find the Watch most motivating when you can share your activity with friends to see how you stack up against each other.

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