Apple iPhone 5: Top 10 tips to get started

We've had the chance to play with an Apple iPhone 5 over the weekend and our initial impressions are positive. Performance and design have been tweaked to make this the fastest and lightest iPhone to date.

The device ships with iOS 6 and, in a prelude to our full review, we take a look at the first things you should do after you've synced up your music/video/app purchases from your iTunes account.

1. Add VIPs to your inbox

Any contacts can be given VIP status and messages will be prioritised so you never miss important communications from work colleagues, relatives and of course your boss (I promise I was just about to add you Maggie!).

You can customise the alert tone of VIPs, and how you'd like messages from them to appear e.g. Banner notifications.

Apple iPhone 5 - VIP

2. Get Google Maps, Chrome and YouTube

But even hardened iPhone users could use some Android in their lives. Although not quite a disaster, Apple Maps has been an embarrassment for the iPhone maker. Quite why the firm didn't label it as a "beta" is baffling, and the universal opinion is that the service is a half-baked version of Google Maps.

Apple iPhone 5 - Google Apps

Thankfully, it's still easy to get access to Google Maps via the web app and pin an icon to the homescreen for quick access. Check out our guide to getting Google Maps back on your iOS 6 device.

The next thing to do is to download the Chrome app. We know Safari is the default browser on iOS devices, but - if you're a PC user - the chances are Google's browser is the one you use on a daily basis. After signing into your Google account, Chrome is able to sync your open tabs, bookmarks, passwords and data from your computer to your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad - a feature which has only just been added to Safari.

Finally, make a quick trip to the App Store and download YouTube, so you can watch the latest viral videos, like Nick Clegg's auto-tuned apology.

3. Reconfigure Siri to English (US) or English (Australia)

Siri to be girl

You'll also be pleased to know that Siri has been granted access to more knowledge. The voice assistant is now able to answer questions about sports, find nearby restaurants and cinema listings in the UK and even provide directions, where appropriate. It's also possible to post directly to Facebook or Twitter and check on your favourite sports teams.

Apple iPhone 5 - Siri

4. Save internet articles to your Reading List and sync Tabs with iCloud

Although Wi-Fi is slowly being rolled out across the Tube in London, there are still plenty of places where data connection is not available for browsing, such as planes, and 3G connections on most overground trains are still intermittent. The ability to save whole articles offline to browse is a handy feature and one which is now embedded into the Safari web browser. Best of all, the device is able to automatically recognise if an article has multiple pages and will download them all without you having to select them.

Apple iPhone 5 - Reading List

If you've bought into the iOS and Mac platforms, and have multiple devices such as an iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air, it is now possible to sync all your internet tabs across devices. This is a handy feature, especially if you're prone to having 18 internet tabs open at the same time.

5. Try "Do Not Disturb" mode

It's possible to schedule the feature, so if you're in meetings regularly between 3-5pm, you don't have to set it every time. Of course, you can also make exceptions, so the device will alert you if there are calls from important people.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.