Top tips and essential games for your new iPhone
By Anthony Usher 24 December 2012
Game Name: iPhone 5 | Manufacturer: Apple | Format: iPhone
If you're reading this article, you've probably just unwrapped your very first iPhone or iPod touch.

If that's the case, you need to do two things: firstly, go and thank the person that bought it for you; secondly, carry on reading.

You see, Apple's gadgets are incredibly impressive, and they're capable of performing a wide variety of tasks. They're pretty useless if you don't know how to use them properly, though.

That's where we come in. We've created this article especially for you noobs.

Below, you'll find tips on downloading apps, creating an Xbox Live-esque Game Center account, taking screenshots, and more. We've even highlighted some games that you should definitely check out.

Getting started

The first thing you'll want to do once you've taken your new device out of its packaging is set it up and download some apps.

This couldn't be simpler. Once you've completed Apple's setup wizard, you're pretty much good to go. Yep, you can now head straight towards the blue App Store app.

From here, you can use the tabs at the bottom of your device's display to browse the App Store's latest noteworthy games and Apple's 'Top Charts'. You can also search for a specific app or game.

Tap the icon of a game you like the look of and you'll be taken to its download page, where you can view a description of it, as well as screenshots and user reviews.

Still interested in the game? If so, click on the button with the price tag (or 'Free', if the app costs nothing). Enter your pre-existing Apple ID (or create a new one) when prompted, and your purchase will begin to download. Hey, presto!

Updating your apps

From time to time, developers will release free updates for their apps and games. These updates generally feature new characters, fresh levels, and bug fixes.

You'll know when updates are available because a circular red counter will show up in the top-right corner of the App Store icon to alert you to their presence.

To install these updates, head into the App Store app and navigate to the 'Updates' tab at the bottom right of your screen. Then, just hit 'Update' on the game you want to, err, update.

Taking screenshots

There are now some truly gorgeous-looking games available for the iPhone and iPod touch. If you're anything like us, you'll want to share screenshots of these lovely titles with your buddies.

This, too, is simple. Simultaneously press your device's Home button (the one on the front) and power button (the one on the top) to take a snap of whatever is displayed on-screen.

You'll find these shots in the Photos app under Camera Roll.

Creating a Game Center account

In case you don't know, Apple's Game Center is an Xbox Live-esque social gaming platform that enables you to compete against your friends, post high scores to leaderboards, and unlock achievements as you play games.

Opening an account couldn't be easier. Simply launch Apple's pre-installed Game Center application and enter the same Apple ID and password that you use for purchasing content from the App Store.

Once you've done that, you'll be able to choose a unique username that your buddies can use to send you a Friend Request. You can also pick a profile pic from your device's library of photographs.

That's it. Achievements you unlock as you play Game Center-enabled games will automatically be added to your profile. So will your high scores.

More Game Center tips

In the Game Center app, open the 'Friends' tab and tap on the '+' symbol in the top left of your screen to send a Friend Request.

You can do this using a unique Game Center username or the email address your buddy has associated with his account.

If you earn a score or unlock an achievement you're particularly proud of while playing a game, you can directly challenge your friends to do better.

Head back into the Game Center app and tap on the 'Games' tab at the bottom of your display. Tap on one of the titles that appear on-screen and then tap on the score or trophy you're delighted with.

You'll be prompted to send a challenge to your friends.

Download some freebies

We love Apple's App Store for many reasons. The main one being that it's full of excellent free titles.

One of the reasons for THAT is that iOS game developers just love to host extravagant sales at the sniff of a special occasion.

There are numerous apps that you can download and websites that you can visit which feature great deals and freebies on a daily basis.

There's Steel Media's very own Free App Alliance app [download], for example. This handy application highlights a curated list of the latest and greatest free apps and games on offer.

Website AppShopper is also worth checking out for news of freebies, but you'll have to sift through every deal yourself. Even the bad ones.

Which games?

So, we've come to the most important part of our guide. Games.

Below, we've listed several titles across a range of genres that should be part of every iPhone owner's app collection. All of them have bagged prestigious Pocket Gamer Awards at review, so we highly recommend them.


Rayman Jungle Run
By Ubisoft - buy for iPhone and iPod touch

A colourful auto-run title packed with more than 40 obstacle-filled stages that are reminiscent of the treasure chest chase levels found in console hit Rayman Origins.

League of Evil 2
By Ravenous Games - buy for iPhone and iPod touch

Work your way through fast-paced bite-sized levels that are filled with spikes, pits, and other hazards just to punch an evil scientist square in the chops. Satisfying.


Real Racing 2
By Firemint - buy for iPhone and iPod touch

Take more than 30 officially licensed cars from the likes of Audi, Nissan, and McLaren for a spin around the tarmac, and compete against 15 other racers in online competitions.

Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
By Sega - buy for iPhone and iPod touch

A Mario Kart-esque racer starring some of Sega's most infamous characters, including Shenmue's Ryo Hazuki and Crazy Taxi's B.D. Joe.


By EA - buy for iPhone and iPod touch

You know the drill. Choose your favourite footy team from some of the world's most prestigious leagues (like the English Premiership and La Liga) and kick your way into footballing folklore. Sort of.

True Skate
By True Axis - buy for iPhone and iPod touch

Think you're a better skater than Tony Hawk? Prove it. Pull off tricks on ledges, grind rails, half-pipes, and various other popular skate park features. Just don't smash your teeth in.


Skylanders: Lost Islands
By Activision - download free for iPhone and iPod touch

Return the once-picturesque lands of Mabu to their former glory by constructing and customising a village for more than 35 unique Skylanders.

Pocket Planes
By NimbleBit - download free for iPhone and iPod touch

Create your very own airline empire from scratch and ferry customers across the globe. Gradually increase the size of your fleet of jets and rake in some serious cash.


By Supergiant Games - buy for iPhone and iPod touch

A colourful action-RPG in which your every move is described by a smooth-talking narrator. Work your way through a fantasy realm bashing monsters with an upgradable arsenal.

Squids Wild West
By The Game Bakers - buy for iPhone and iPod touch

Guide a party of battle-hardened squids through an underwater Wild West and wipe out waves of unscrupulous sea critters as you search feverishly for your fallen comrade.
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