We all share the excitement that comes with a new phone. The unboxing, the fresh scent of new tech and all of the fun stuff that comes with a new iPhone. All too often, the excitement dies down. You’re left with an iPhone that looks no different from everyone else in your office or school; a technological companion that while functional, is no longer the Apple of your eye. If I had to guess, I’d say that I pick up my iPhone 180 times per day. Okay, I may not be average, but suffice to say that you are probably picking up and looking at your iPhone quite often throughout the day. Yet so often, we do very little to make it our own, other than jamming it with all of our stuff. There are easy things you can do right now to personalize your iPhone and regain that luster. Like polishing the wheels on an old Camaro, personalizing your iPhone can restore that gleam in your eye, as if it was day one all over again.

Personalize your iPhone

Customize your wallpaper

You’ve got two opportunities here, with the lock screen and home screen, so make them count. If you’re a parent (and I include those of you who own a cat or dog), they are amazing choices to customize your lock screen, a visual reminder of what’s dear to you! You can also opt for photos that are inspiring or choose a landscape photo of your favorite place. For me, that’s a beach in Aruba. What’s yours? You can find wonderful photo wallpaper at InterfaceLift. For illustrations, check out Poolga.

To change your wallpaper in iOS 7, navigate to Settings > Wallpaper and Brightness > Choose a new wallpaper. Apple Wallpaper selections reside at the top. Scroll down to use one of your photos. Once you select a photo, use your fingers to pinch and zoom to find the sweet spot. In the case of the lock screen, that’s where you can easily read the time and date.

Set iPhone wallpaper

What’s occupying your lock screen?

Add photos to your contacts

With recent updates to iOS, contact photos are highlighted throughout iOS. When someone calls you, iOS displays a full bleed color (or black and white) photo of your choosing. If you select a great photo, not only does this look awesome, but it helps with the visual recognition of who’s calling. If you choose a low resolution photo, it may have the opposite effect. For Mac users, MacPaw had previously offered Ensoul, an easy way to create the best looking contact photos. That app has since been cancelled, but you can grab a trial for free, though support has ended and a full-version can no longer be purchased.

photo contacts

There a few ways to add a photo to a contact. Open your Photos app, find the photo you’d like to use and select the option to Assign to Contact. That will bring up all contacts. Tap to select the contact. You can re-position the image to your linking. Remember, Apple uses this photo in more places than just the dialer. Make sure the face is within the circle. That appears in multiple places throughout iOS and will also appear in the new recent/favorite callers in iOS 8.

Tip: Resolution for wallpapers and contact images is 1136 x 640 on the iPhone 5,5s,5c.

Organize your apps

Do me a favor. Open your iPhone and look at the lineup of apps. If you were on a desert island and could only use apps that appeared on your home screen, what would you be missing? Changing the order or layout of your apps can be a breath of fresh air. We’ve outlined 5 ways to organize your iPhone home screen and what each says about you. Are you a control freak, stock, minimalist, swiper or hoarder. Pick a team and run with it. Each has its benefits, so pick what works best for you.


Go Naked Or Select Your Case Carefully

Whether you have a case or not is a personal choice. I personally love the look of an iPhone 5 that is gently worn. I find the scratches give it character that helps set it apart the crowd. That being said, I wrap my iPhone in an Otterbox, the choice of parents with toddlers. What does your case say about you? Do you like the feel of the materials and does it fit your style? Like it or not, your phone is probably one of the most important fashion accessories you own. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a quality case. Choose a color, material  and design that is unique to your personal style. Maybe you’re the type that having a mirror 24/7 is useful?

Kim Kardashian iPhone case


When you call on Siri, does she respond with your name? If Siri is going to take on the role of being your personal assistant, it’s time that you two become acquainted. Here’s how to get Siri to call you by name.

    1. Make sure you have a contact created for yourself.
    2. Navigate to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars and scroll to My Info
    3. Select your contact.

Siri nickname

If you’d like Siri to call you by a nickname, you can do that too. Press and hold the home button to bring up Siri. Say, “Siri, call me master and commander.” She will confirm your wishes. Tap on ‘Yes’ and from now on, she will use your nickname. A Siri trick that’s sure to be useful for a good laugh at parties.

These are some of easier ways to spruce up and personalize your iPhone experience. Have others that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!