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An incredible 5 million people bought the iPhone 5 over the weekend, which implies that, among other things, there are actually more iPhone 5 owners on the earth than there are people living in Ireland.

Yes, it has been a big sales week for Apple (and maybe a humbling one for the Irish) in large part as a result of appeal of the iPhone 5 to first-time iPhone buyers. If trade-in data and consumer surveys are accurate, a large bulk of recent iPhone buyers are converts, those who have switched over from Android, BlackBerry, Palm Pilot, or (gasp!) phonelessness in favor of Apple’s latest.

For those iPhone newcomers, the iPhone can seem — despite Apple’s ease-of-use claims — a blank slate, a canvas where one can’t know where to start. For those struggling artists, we’ve put together this quickie guide to setting up the iPhone, along with some handy tips and tricks that iPhone veterans might find useful, too. This is under no circumstances an exhaustive how-to — Apple actually has an intensive section on its website for that — but you will hopefully find a few neat tidbits that may show you how to get accustomed to your new iPhone.

With Ireland in the rear-view mirror, and Turkmenistan within sight, listed below are just a few of the primary things we might do with a brand new iPhone. Enjoy, and take a look at to not waste an excessive amount of of your time on Doodle Jumpy (I dare you).

Arrange YOUR EMAIL.

Email setup is easy on the iPhone for nearly every major service. Launch the “Settings” app, then flick right down to “Mail, Contacts, and Calendars.” From there, you can add several accounts; Apple automates the process for each different email provider, but basically you’re going to have to enter your username, password, and a label for that mailbox that only you may see (I’ve two email addresses — one personal, and one for work — that I have labelled as “Personal” and “Work.” Innovative, I do know.)

There are a number of other tweaks you might want to make in your email, too, while you’re in the “Mails, Contacts, and Calendars” section of the iPhone. “Fetch New Data” will determine how often your iPhone checks for brand spanking new emails: If “Push” is on, new emails will automatically load in your iPhone as soon as they arrive. While that is helpful for road warriors and email junkies (I’m looking at you, former BlackBerry owners), it may take a toll in your battery. If you don’t need up-to-the-minute email, you possibly can turn “Push” off and choose “Fetch,” which signifies that your iPhone will scan for new emails at regular intervals. In case you choose “Manually” on that menu, your new email will only load whenever you touch the Mail app. That is an excellent boon to battery life, but you need to be prepared to not be the first of your mates to listen to about the singles-only hot air balloon Groupon!

Speaking of which …

Set up YOUR TWITTER/FACEBOOK ACCOUNTS.

The iPhone’s iOS operating system now lets you register on to your Facebook and Twitter accounts from a central location. Which means you may share content from your phone to either social media service using the Share button you see on several core iPhone apps. You only have to log in to each service once to enable this function, and once you do, you’ll be able to share your photos, videos, and interesting websites with a couple of taps.

To log in to either, open the Settings app and scroll down until you see the Twitter and Facebook island after which enter your account information. Both Twitter and Facebook will update the contacts in your address book with phone number and email information from friends on those services. You can disable that feature (which can, in fairness, clog up your address book you probably have thousands of friends) by switching the Contacts slider in the Facebook pane to “Off.”

INSTALL FIND MY IPHONE.

“Find My iPhone” could be a godsend of an app for those who lose your phone, and it’s the first app you must download as soon as you get your iPhone. (Sorry, Doodle Jump.) With iCloud enabled (you should have created an iCloud account whenever you started your phone for the first time), Find My iPhone can track your phone to the cross street always, so that if you happen to lose it, or it’s stolen, or a magician makes it disappear and can’t summon it back, you’ll be able to just log on at icloud.com and locate it on a map for simple retrieval. The brand new York Times’ David Pogue recently used Find My iPhone to trace his apparently stolen phone to a neighborhood in Maryland. I recently used the app to trace my lost iPhone to the magazine rack next to my toilet. It is a life-saver, folks. (Read more about how to install Find My iPhone, and the way it works, here.)

DISABLE AD TRACKING.

Don’t need advertisers spying in your iPhone activity? A new feature on iOS 6 allows you to toggle off what Apple calls ad tracking. Go into Settings, then “About,” then “Advertising,” then switch the “Limit Ad Tracking” to the “On” position. Advertisers will no longer have the ability to serve targeted ads, nor will you be sending advertisers details about your movements and smartphone usage. Ad tracking is not as nefarious because it sounds, nevertheless it remains to be a function that many privacy-conscious users will need to disable.

SET A PASSCODE.

Speaking of privacy/security: You might need to “lock” your smartphone, just as you’d your computer, so that busybodies, office gossips, and your mother can’t go snooping through your photos and text messages whenever you place down your phone. Go to Settings, then General, then Passcode Lock to set one (just don’t forget it!).

CHANGE YOUR AUTO-LOCK TIMER.

While you are in the overall Settings section, you may also need to set your phone to auto-lock, which can turn off your smartphone’s screen after a given interval of inactivity. (This is especially useful, I’ve found, if you place your phone in your pocket and forget to show the screen off.) When your screen is powered on, it’s eating up your battery, so it’s wise to arrange an interval that will power down the screen after a certain length of time. After accidentally leaving my screen on all night and missing my alarm clock within the morning because my iPhone’s battery died, I set my auto-lock timer to 2 minutes.

That ought to provide you with a very good start. Now run along and play along with your new iPhone: You have neighbors to make jealous.

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