iPhone 12 mini coming with no idea how to get it setup out of the box

iOS & iPadOS

So I'm getting a 12 mini tomorrow, and it dawned on me, I have no idea how to operate the new phones without a home button. Like how does one turn voice over on straight out of the box and so forth.
Might someone point me in the right direction to an article or guide on how the phones work with voiceover without the home button and with face recognition?
I'm familiar with the iOS system, but my basic understanding is haptics are used to replace the home button, but coming from an iPhone 7I have no clue how that works.
Any help greatly appreciated.
Take care.



Submitted by Jakob Rosin on Friday, November 13, 2020


So, on the right side of the phone, when it's facing you with the screen, is a single button. That acts as a power button. So first, hold it down for around 5 to 7 seconds.

Wait a while for the phone to boot, and then press the same button on the side 3 times.
That should enable VoiceOver.

For going home, swipe up from the screen, until you hear the first POP noise. Lift your finger.
For aapp switcher, do the same, except keep going up, until you hear the second popp, then lift.

For control center, swipe down. First popp is control center, second is notifications.

Those actions will be also explained during the setup.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Friday, November 13, 2020

So, to turn it on you hold the side button for five seconds. To turn on VoiceOver you triple click that same button and off you go. This is also the Siri button. Basically they've integrated the home button into the side lock/unlock button. To turn your phone off you hold that side button with one of the volume controls which is obviously different from the home button based devices. Good luck and enjoy.

Submitted by Mister Kayne on Friday, November 13, 2020

I have the iPhone SE 2020. Pressing the power sleep wake button three times triggers SOS to my emergency contacts

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Friday, November 13, 2020

It's the accessibility shortcut on FaceTime devices. I thought it was five presses to activate SOS though, to be honest, I've never used it. There is an option to call emergency services when shutting the phone down with a side button and volume button hold.

Submitted by Blind Adrenaline on Friday, November 13, 2020

Ok, that is exactly what I needed to know, thanks a ton you guys.
One last thing, I have had the Verizon folks switch over phones in the past, but I'll be doing this one myself. I assume I have to switch sim cards? And follow instructions from there?
Again, thanks so much.

Submitted by Clare Page on Friday, November 13, 2020

Hi! As the SE 2020 has a Home button, even though it's haptic rather than mechanical, this is the button to press to toggle VoiceOver on and off, or to start VO when you first get the phone. So the instructions above, concerning the side button and the new gestures for Home and the App Switcher and so on, do not apply to the SE 2020, which I also have.

Submitted by Jenna Pepper on Friday, November 13, 2020

In reply to by Blind Adrenaline

You should be able to bring your existing phone near the new one during set up in order to sign in. Then it's a matter of restoring from an icloud backup, or setting up as new, and swapping the SIM cards over. Not sure where exactly the SIM slot is on those, but you should feel a small hole on either side of the midframe and a really thin seam around it. If you don't feel confident in popping the tray out yourself, I'd suggest sighted help. It can be a bit of a pain if you've never done it before.

Submitted by Blind Adrenaline on Friday, November 13, 2020

In reply to by Jenna Pepper

Thanks Pepper!
So I assume it will prompt me at the point I should swap out the sim card? Or do I just do that after the phone has been set up?
Also, is the sim tray thing something I will need a paper clip or whatever in order to release it?
I had an Android phone a long time ago, and one could use a fingernail to push it in slightly, then it would spring out a touch so it could be grabbed.
Is it the same thing here, or similar perhaps?

You can swap it out pretty much at any point. If memory serves me correctly, there's a screen in setup which prompts you to insert it, but it's more of a suggestion. You can switch it over before you turn the device on, or you can wait until the end of time. iOS no longer requires a SIM card for activation.

My iphone 11 came with a SIM removal tool in the paperwork sleeve. I imagine the 12 does as well. You can always use a thin needle or a paperclip in a pinch, but be careful about it. Steel needles can scratch aluminium. I always use the provided tool when possible. I'm not sure if your carrier supports it, but the iPhone does have an eSIM. They would provide you with a QR code to copy your SIM data to an internal chip and not bother with the tray.

Submitted by Blind Adrenaline on Friday, November 13, 2020

In reply to by Jenna Pepper

Ok, I have pre paid with Verizon, which is a great deal at $33 a month, but tends to be a little off the beaten track when it comes to the usual setup and all.
I will check with them and see if it can be switched internally without mucking about with the actual sim card if I can.
Thanks so much, you've been a big help.
Take care,

Submitted by Pyro2790 on Saturday, November 14, 2020

I would recommend taking the sim card out of your old phone before you power up the new device for the first time. Take it out by using a paper clip and applying a bit of pressure until the tray starts to slide out. Carefully take the sim card place it into the tray on your new phone and then slide it into place. I'ts a fairly simple process. just have to apply the right pressure at a certain angle to get the sim tray to pop out enough to where it can be grabbed.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Saturday, November 14, 2020

After you have started up your new device and activated Voiceover, the setup process is pretty straight forward. Folow the prompts on the new device. Quite early in the set up you will be asked if you want to restore from your old device. This is n over-the-air process now. No more iTunes needed. Saying yes will then start the transfer of all settings, apps, and preferences. Of course you need to have both devices reasonably close in proximity.

When opening the SIM card tray, I recommend doing it over a large surface. This way, if you drop the tiny card, it won't bounce away from you. The card removal tool will be an oval shaped thing with a small point on one end. It will be attached to a cardboard sleeve in the packaging. Once you have used this, I recommend storing it inside of something else like an old SD card case or something like that. It is thin and flat and easily lost.

If you are a Bard Mobile, Kindle, or Audible reader, you will need to download your books again. Only frustrating part about the set up process. Hopefully BARD, in particular, will become a cloud-based app so we won't lose our books anymore. Kindle and Audible are cloud based but you still need to redownload those, as well.

Once the process is complete, you will still see your apps in some version of a waiting stage. This is because your device is still working in the background. It is downloading apps and finishing up housekeeping. You can use the device, once it tells you update is complete, but don't be surprised to see apps waiting to be fully processed.

Hope these tips assist you in the set up process. It's not as bad as you might be thinking, especially since you already know the iOS system anyway.

Enjoy your new toy.

Submitted by Carlos Taylor on Saturday, November 14, 2020

I received my iPhone 12 Pro Max last night and just wanted to mention something I experienced. After powering the phone on and waiting a couple of minutes, I triple pressed the side button to start VoiceOver. I felt a vibration from the phone, but didn't hear anything. I pressed volume up a couple of times and was able to hear VoiceOver. For some reason, it seemed as if the volume was turned down completely on my phone. I just thought I'd mention this in case someone else experiences the same and thinks that VoiceOver isn't working.

The OP is getting the iPhone 12 mini which uses Face ID and not Touch ID.