In an ideal world, there will be someone who is trusted, knowledgeable, and helpful to make setting up your device easier. Entering information correctly is important during the process, and this can be nerve-wracking for inexperienced users. Be assured that it is quite possible to complete the entire setup process while totally blind. There is an increasingly likely possibility that you will have to set up your iPhone from scratch by yourself. Provided that you remain calm and exercise patience, it is absolutely possible to set up your iPhone right out of the box all by yourself without the need for eyesight. While writing this section, I did this with my iPad to make certain I would walk you through the process correctly.
Make yourself comfortable. It is very helpful if you can be within range of a Wi-Fi network you are allowed to make use of. Presuming you have cellular data capability, a cellular network is another option, but Wi-Fi is strongly recommended in case you need to install operating system updates or any such thing. Sit somewhere close enough to a power outlet so that you can use your iPhone while it is charging. Before we begin, plug the iPhone into the power brick. For some devices, you will find the power brick has its prongs folded into itself. The prongs need to pivot into their open position, which you can accomplish easily with a finger. Next, attach the cable to the power brick. You’ll find a small port on the power brick opposite to where the extended prongs are. Plug the larger end of the cable that came with your device into this port. Next, plug the other end into the small port on your iPhone. It’s a small slot, typically located on the bottom edge at the very centre of its length. You’re now ready to plug the power brick into your electrical outlet as you would any other appliance.
You may have initial trouble distinguishing the two ends of more modern charging cables. Thanks to their increased charging speed, you’re likely to have a Lightning to USB C cable rather than the older USB A style. The USB C end of these newer cables is nearly as small as the Lightning end. However, it’s still possible to tell the difference by touch. Also, it’s impossible to put the wrong end into your device or the charging brick. The USB C end is noticeably thicker and you can feel a small gap between the long edges of the tip by running your finger over it. This plugs into the small slot in the charging brick. Meanwhile, the Lightning end, which goes into the port on your iPhone, has a smooth feel when you run your finger over the tip.
Once you’ve plugged it in, be patient, as it should now be turning on and booting up. Assuming you’re in a quiet place, you’ll hear a short “bing” sound. If your iPhone supports haptic feedback, you’ll also feel a small pulse of vibration at the same time you hear the sound. This means the device is on and knows that it’s charging. You may need to wait a short while longer, perhaps half a minute, before the device is ready. It may start saying “hello” in different languages. Either way, after this wait, it should be ready for you to begin the setup process.
Now that you’re physically ready, let’s prepare you mentally. You should be ready to spend at least half an hour, possibly as much as an hour, but certainly no more than that. Don’t do this when you’re in any kind of a hurry. Also, it’s important that you don’t panic if you make a mistake. You can always use the Back button at the top left of the screen to go back to the prior step. Additionally, there is a Delete key on the onscreen keyboard. Feel around the bottom right of the screen until you find it. Keep your finger on it, and then tap anywhere on the screen with another finger to remove a character you didn’t intend to enter. There are around fifteen steps, but some of them are just to read and then continue past screens containing essential information. You are allowed to skip steps, including those related to security measures. However, barring special circumstances, I strongly recommend that people go through all steps. You will then end up in the most secure and best possible starting position. There may be additional steps specific to the features and capabilities of your particular device that I haven’t covered. These will be explained by your device during the process. Are you ready? Then let’s get started.
- Turn on VoiceOver. To achieve this, find the Action button located on its own along the edge opposite or above the two volume buttons. Quickly click this small sliver-like button three times. You should then hear something spoken, most likely the Back button or the currently active language.
- You should now be at the point where you need to select the language, country, and region you wish to operate in. It will likely default to the most common language wherever you are. In my case, this is thankfully English, as I know only halting French. To select an option, tap it twice quickly, or hold a finger on the option while tapping once elsewhere on the screen with another finger. Do this for any further options as we proceed. Once the language is set, flick right, and you should either come to a place to select your country, or else find a Continue button that will take you to where that is. Once you’ve told your device where you are, proceed to the next step.
- The next order of business is to join a Wi-Fi network. Flick right through the list of detectable networks and tap twice quickly on the one you want. You will then be asked for the password to join that network, presuming one is needed. Type this in.
- You should then come to an information screen all about Apple’s stance on privacy. It explains what Apple uses your information for and allows you to access further information about this if you desire. Read this by flicking right to proceed through sections. When finished, find the Continue button.
- Next, you will be asked to set up whatever biometric security option your device has. In the case of my iPad, this was Touch ID. Meanwhile, on my iPhone XR, it was Face ID. Go through the process and keep in mind that you can always do it again later once you’re finished setting up your device. If you feel nervous, you can always skip this step. Flick right, and you’ll find an option to do this.
- You will now be asked to create a passcode to keep your device secure. This is typically a six-digit number. However, you can find options to change the requirements for this passcode by flicking right. You will need to enter in your chosen number twice, which makes certain that it is what you intend. Pick a number that you will remember, since you’ll need it to unlock your device, among other things. Think of it like the key to your house.
- Next, it’s time to create your Apple ID. Simply fill in the form, providing all the information requested here. If you prefer, you need not use an email address specially created for you by Apple. You can use an email address you already have. Any information from Apple will be sent there. I use my Gmail address. When you select a password, pick one that you will remember, rather than one that’s impossible to guess. You need to be able to remember this and enter it whenever you’re asked. Keep it written down in a handy location if you need to.
- Now that you’ve created your Apple ID, it’s time to select some preferred settings. These involve such things as using Siri. Don’t forget that you can always change your mind about any decision you make. After setup is complete, go into Settings, and you’ll be able to make different choices if you wish.
- It will now be time to set up Apple Pay. If you wish, you can skip this step. However, setting up Apple Pay by adding a credit or bank card will then allow you to obtain apps from the app store, among many other things.
- At this point, you’ll be asked whether to allow sharing of audio recording to improve Siri. This lets Apple employees hear your commands and teach Siri how to respond better.
- The next step explains about screen time. You need not worry about this for the time being, so find the Continue button and proceed.
- You will now be asked if you want to share information with app developers and Apple. This is not personal information, but is information gathered about how an app is used to improve its functionality.
- You must now choose whether you want a light or dark appearance. Choosing “dark” may extend battery life, but will make no difference to a totally blind user beyond that.
- At this point, you will go through a series of screens that each explain gestures required on devices without Home buttons. These gestures are vital, and you should pay close attention to the information here. Proceed through these screens until you reach the final step.
- You may be asked to install a more recent version of the operating system than the one your device was shipped with. If this is the case, you should take the time to do this. Your initial experience of your device will be as current and secure as possible.
- You have now reached a screen that welcomes you to your device. Double tap the Get Started button. You will be taken to the home screen. Congratulations! You have completed the setup process.