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26 Insanely Useful iPhone Tips

26 Insanely Useful iPhone Tips

There are so many features on the iPhone that I enjoy using such as 3D Touch, AirDrop, Night Shift, Widgets, and voicemail transcriptions. If you have been using an iPhone for a while, then you probably already know how to use most of the features. However, there are a number of features that are under-the-radar which could be useful. Here are 26 of the best iPhone tips that you may not know about:

1.) Block Data Usage On Specific Apps

Ability To Block Cellular Data

Whenever I use the YouTube app while on-the-go, I tend to run out of my data allotment pretty quickly. Fortunately, there is a way to block certain apps from using your data by going to Settings app > Cellular and disabling cellular data usage for specific apps under the Use Cellular Data For section. This can be especially useful if you are starting to run low on data for the month.

2.) Change Panorama Mode Directions

Panoramic from left to right

Did you know that you can switch directions while in Panoramic mode of the Camera app? Instead of taking photos from left-to-right, you can switch it to right-to-left by tapping on the photo box while in Panoramic mode.

3.) Change The “Respond With Text” Defaults

Respond With Text

The three options for the default text messages are: “Sorry I can’t talk right now,” “I’m on my way” and “Can I call you later?” But you can change these three default options by going to the Settings app > Phone > Respond With Text. Unfortunately, the maximum number of defaults are three.

4.) Clear App Memory

Phone Power Off Screen

After your phone is returned to the Home screen, the apps have been cleared out of memory. This should make your device feel faster.

5.) Close All Tabs Open In Safari

Close All Tabs screenshot

While browsing the Internet in Safari, sometimes you might not realize that you have opened up way too many tabs. Fortunately, there is a way to close all of the tabs in one go.

If you want to close multiple tabs in one go, then you simply need to push down on the tabs button at the bottom-right of the screen. Then you will see two options: “New Tab” and “Close X Tabs.”

6.) Create Shortcuts For Emoji

Text Replacement

To make emojis easier to find, you can create text shortcuts for them. Shortcuts to emoji or other phrases can be set up by going to the Settings app > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement and tapping on the + icon at the top-right. For example, I put the smiling face with sunglasses as the Phrase and put “Cool Smile” as the Shortcut. So every time I type “Cool Smile,” the smiling face with sunglasses appears.

7.) Delete The Last Number In Calculator App

Remove a digit in the Calculator app

Sometimes you may have made a mistake while typing a number in the Calculator app. Users usually press the “C” button to clear the whole number and then retype it. But if you want to simply delete the last digit of the number, then you just need to swipe right or swipe left on the black area at the top of the app where the number appears.

8.) Enable The “Speak Selection” Feature

Speak Selection Feature


One of my favorite hidden iPhone features is the ability to have Siri read highlighted text out loud. This feature is known as “Speak Selection.” You can enable this feature by going to the Settings app > General > Accessibility > Speech > toggle on Speak Selection.

After you enable “Speak Selection,” a new option will appear when you highlight text to have the content read out loud. This feature can be especially useful if you want to have an iBook read to you. This also works for text that you highlight on a website.

9.) Enhancing Photos

Photo editing on the iPhone

Did you know that you can make many adjustments to your photos from the Photos app? You can do this by opening the Photos app (or tapping on the photo thumbnail at the bottom-left of the Camera app), opening a photo and then tapping on the slider icon.

From there, the first option lets you crop, rotate and change the angle. The second option lets you add a creative filter to your photo. The third option lets you adjust the lighting, color and black & white settings. And the fourth option lets you open your photo in a third-party app or activate the “Markup” feature -- which allows you to make adjustments to photos with text, sketches and magnification.

10.) Find Keywords On A Website Using Safari

Find On This Page

Sometimes when you are viewing a website, you might be looking for a specific keyword similar to pressing Ctrl + F on a Windows machine or ⌘ + F on a Mac.

Fortunately, there is a way to find a keyword on Safari on iOS by typing in the word on the address bar and then scrolling down to where it says “On This Page (x number of matches).” And then when you tap on that result, you will notice the Find Keyword bar at the bottom of the website.

11.) Guided Access

Screenshot of Guided Access

Under the Settings app > General > Accessibility > Guided Access, there is a feature called Guided Access. This feature restricts users to a specific app. Guided Access also has Time Limits where people can no longer use your phone. This can come in handy if a kid wants to use your phone to play a game or watch videos and you do not want him or her to access anything else on your phone. Once the feature is activated, you can restrict actions like the ability to use the Sleep/Wake Button, Volume Buttons, the Motion button, Keyboards and Touch. And you can restrict certain areas on the display by drawing a pattern around the portion that you want to block.

You can also set up a shortcut to this feature by activating it under the Guided Access menu. The Accessibility shortcut default is triple-clicking the Home button while Guided Access is enabled.

12.) How To Charge Your Phone Very Quickly

Airplane Mode

In case you need to quickly power up your device, then you may want to consider putting it in Airplane Mode temporarily. While in Airplane Mode, your device could still be connected to Wi-Fi. But incoming cellular phone calls would not work and you will not be able to connect through cellular data.

13.) Lock The Camera Focus And Exposure

AE-AF Lock Feature

You may have noticed that when you open the Camera app, there is a yellow box that is used for focusing on a subject. That yellow box moves around as you move your camera, but did you know that it could be locked in place? Push down on the yellow box until you see text at the top of the camera that says “AE/AF LOCK.”

14.) Make The LED Flash Blink For Alerts

LED Flash for Alerts

In case you want more of an alert upon receiving phone calls or text messages other than sounds and vibrations, there is a way to get the LED flash to blink as well. You can set this up by going to Settings > General > Accessibility. Under the “Hearing” section, there is an option that says LED Flash for Alerts. When you open this menu, there are two toggles: one to turn on the feature and one to use LED Flash for Alerts when the ringer switch is set to silent.

15.) Open The Bubble Level Tool

Bubble Level Tool

Many of you already know that there is a level tool built into the Compass app. You can find the level tool by swiping to the right when you open the Compass app.

Once the Compass app is in level mode you can tilt it up and down while holding your device in landscape mode. This can come in handy if you are hanging up a frame on the wall.

But did you know that there is also a bubble level tool? If you are holding your device in portrait mode and move it up and down while the Compass app is in level mode, you will see a bubble level to determine if your object is perfectly horizontal.

16.) Quickly Access Spotlight Search From Within An App

Spotlight Search in an app

Most people usually activate Spotlight Search on their iPhone by sliding down on the Home screen or opening the Notification Screen and tapping on the search box. Interestingly, you can quickly access the Spotlight Search by slightly sliding down from the top of the screen while an app is open and then releasing when the search box launches.

17.) Quickly Add A Period To The End Of Your Sentence

Quickly add a period to the end of a sentence by double-tapping the spacebar

One of the most simple ways to add a period at the end of sentence is by double tapping on the spacebar. This can be much faster than tapping on the “123” button and then tapping on the period button.

18.) Quickly See Recently Closed Tabs In Safari

New tab button

Just in case you accidentally closed tabs that you did not want to, there is a way to quickly find them again on Safari for iOS. You can quickly see your recently closed tabs by tapping on the tabs icon at the bottom right and then holding down the + sign.

19.) Reachability Feature

Reachability screenshot

One of the subtle features that Apple released within the last couple of years is called Reachability. Reachability makes it easier to reach content that is at the top of the screen using a Home button shortcut. This feature is especially useful for those of us that have the larger Plus-sized iPhones.

You can activate Reachability by going to the Settings app > General > Accessibility > toggle Reachability on. After this feature is activated, you can make the content at the top of the screen lower to the bottom-half. After Reachability is turned on, you will need to double-TAP (without pushing all the way down) on the Home button instead of double-clicking.

Notification Center In Reachability Mode

When your iPhone is in Reachability mode, the Notification Center also works. So you can slide down from the top screen even when the icons are pushed to the bottom-half of the screen to see the Notification Center.

20.) Read Time Stamps In iMessage

iMessage time stamp

When you are reading text messages in iMessage, you will notice that the time each message was sent is missing. You can see when a message was sent by dragging the message screen to the left.

21.) Save Content As A PDF (3D Touch Required)

Let’s say you are visiting a website in Safari and you want to save it as a PDF, there is a way to do it directly from the iPhone. You can do this by tapping on the “Share” button from the bottom navigation menu and then tapping on “Print.”

When the Printer Options mode launches, you will need to push down on the document using 3D Touch. This turns the document into a PDF and then you can tap on Share again to send it using an app like AirDrop, Gmail, Facebook Messenger, iMessage, iBooks, Slack, Dropbox, Evernote and Google Drive.

22.) Stop Music Using The Timer

Stop Music using a timer

Have you ever wondered whether it was possible to have music play for a certain amount of time? This could come in handy if you are playing musical chairs or if you want to listen to music while you are waiting for your cake to finish baking.

You can set this up by opening the Timer feature from the Control Center (stylized clock face icon). The Timer feature is located within the same app as the World Clock, Alarm, Bedtime and Stopwatch. If you want to have your music, video or audiobook turn off after a certain amount of time, then you would need to tap on “When Timer Ends” and select “Stop Playing” within the Timer app. After you set the amount of time and start the timer, the music, video or audiobook will stop upon the end of the countdown.

23.) Take Photos As You Are Recording A Video


Take photos while recording video

Did you know that you can take photos as you are recording a video without switching camera modes? You can try this out by going to the video mode of the camera app and recording a video. As you are recording the video, you will notice a white button on the corner. Every time you press that button, a photo will be taken as you record the video.

24.) Turn Off Message Previews

Text Message Previews in Settings

If you tend to leave your phone unsupervised on a regular basis and want to keep your text messages private, then you may want to turn off message previews. This prevents anyone that is looking at your phone to see what someone texted you unless they unlock your device. You can adjust this feature by going to the Settings app > Notifications > Messages > Set “Show Previews” to Off under “Messages Options.”

25.) Turn Off The Flashlight Quickly

iPhone Flashlight

If your phone flashlight is on, then you can easily turn it off again by activating the Camera app. For example: let's say that your flashlight is on and your phone display is off. You can quickly switch off the flashlight by tapping on the Power button of your phone and swiping from right to left -- which is the shortcut for activating the Camera.

26.) Use An Alphanumeric Passcode

Alphanumeric Password Option

When you set up the Touch ID & Passcode feature on your iPhone, Apple usually asks you to set up a six-digit passcode by default. But there is a way to make your device even more secure by using the numbers and the alphabet for your passcode. You can set up an alphanumeric passcode by going to the Settings app > Touch ID & Passcode > Change Passcode > Passcode Options link > Custom Alphanumeric Code.

Article quoted from https://www.forbes.com/sites/amitchowdhry/2017/03/24/iphone-tips/?sh=16ee73a3316e


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