If you’re using an older iPhone or even a newer one with lots of apps, or one that is improperly set up, you may experience lag here and there that could make your content creation that much harder.

A fast, responsive, device will generally mean that device’s camera performs at its best.

There are several things you can and SHOULD do regularly to keep your iPhone purring like a sports car.

In no particular order:

1. Turn your phone off at least once a day

Leaving the phone on for days without turning it off keeps all sorts of background processes running that task your operating system and mess with your storage. A simple restart will do the job.

2. Close apps you aren’t using

If you have 20 apps running in the background all at once, it’s bound to tax your phone and not in a good way. Since my focus “pun intended” is helping you get the most out of your iPhone camera, my suggestion is to shut down EVERYTHING that isn’t critical to making pictures or recording video.

3. Clear your iPhone cache (this works on an iPad, too)

Go to Settings on your iPhone. Scroll down to Safari and select it. Click on Clear History and Website Data on your device.

A pop-up will appear. Select Clear History and Data.

You’re done. (Warning: You may have to enter passwords again on some sites, etc., but you will get better performance.)

4. Delete unused apps

I actually have an iPhone 13 Pro that I use strictly as a camera. It doesn’t have a cellular account attached to it. The only apps on that phone are related to photography or video or services such as weather and maps, that I might rely on while on a photo expedition. This frees up storage space for more pictures and keeps things running more smoothly.

5. Keep your operating system up to date

This may seem like basic, common sense, but not everyone follows this advice. The most current version of the iOS will have bug fixes, and better performance so always stay on top of this to make sure you’re getting the best experience.

6. Turn off Low Power Mode

In this mode, the iPhone will slow down some tasks on your phone. That is the opposite of what we want when we’re treating our iPhones as “real” cameras so disable Low Power Mode. Go to Settings > Battery and turn the Low Power Mode off.

7. Turn off Automatic Downloads and Background App Refresh

This not only improves performance, but it extends battery life which is something we all want. Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and turn it off. Then go back to Settings > App Store. Turn off Apps and App Updates under Automatic Downloads.

8. Delete messages with music, pictures, video and apps (after you’ve backed them up)

They take up huge amounts of memory which slows down the phone.

9. Turn on Reduce Motion

Go to Settings > Accessibility > Select Motion > Turn on Reduce Motion. While those transitions can be pretty when you enable motion, they take up time, and battery life and slow things down. While you’re there, turn off Auto-Play Message Effects, Auto-Play Video Previews and Limit Frame Rate. These are all performance killers.

10. Reduce reliance on Location Services

This drains power more than impacts speed, but it’s still a good idea to restrict Location Services that absolutely need that feature. For those apps, make sure you set the “While Using the App” function. This means you’ll only tax your system when that app is open. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services to make these changes.

I realize that most of these changes are minimal but if you get 10% better performance or better battery life, isn’t worth the effort? These are best practices. You can make pictures without paying any attention to this list. But for those who want to get the most out of their investment in a phone camera, they make sense.

P.S. While this article is iPhone specific (because I use an iPhone) the same concepts apply to Android devices. See where they do and then try to implement them to improve your Android device as well.