The iPhone is an amazing smartphone that has hundreds of excellent features. But did you know that it has many hidden iPhone tricks and features too? Although your phone can do a lot of things, there are some you may not be aware of. The designers and engineers at Apple want to give their customers the most user-friendly products possible. But they are not always the best in letting them know what their smartphone can do.
Ten years ago, Steve Jobs showed the world the original iPhone during his address at the Macworld 2007. It was more than just a new product; the device also came with a radical new way to compute things. It rapidly accelerated the complex processes of mobile computing when it was first introduced. Today, it’s the market leader, but users are still interested in how to find hidden apps on the iPhone.
With the release of iOS 11 comes a new slew of hidden tricks so we have selected quite a few of the top iPhone tricks and tips that can help you achieve things easier and quicker. Some of these might make you wish you knew about it a long time ago, some are brand new and will appear with iOS 11.
1. Scan Documents With Notes (iOS 11)
You can now efficiently scan documents in the Notes app using your iPhone camera. The app analyzes the document and eliminates reflections and borders, so no more skewed or unreadable pictures of paper documents. It also makes it a breeze to share your scans.
2. Set Custom Vibration Patterns for Different Contacts
It is easy to know who’s calling you by simply listening to the ringtone you assigned to a contact without taking out your phone. But did you know that an iPhone can do it too, but in silence? This smartphone not only lets you assign custom ring and text tones. You can also give each contact you want a custom vibration pattern. It’s not as tough as trying to find hidden apps on iPhone.
You can do this by opening Contacts or Phone, choose a contact, tap the Edit button at the top-right. Scroll down to get to the ringtone field with the vibration field below it and tap that. Then, you will see an assortment of built-in vibration patterns to choose from.
Even further down is the ability to add your own custom pattern. Tap on Create New Vibration and then you can tap at the screen to create your own rhythm. Once done, tap Save to set this pattern. You can also assign custom vibration patterns for text messages if you wish. This is one of the best iPhone tricks you should know!
3. Make Custom Replies for Calls You Can’t Answer
There are times when the person calling you just isn’t the right time for a call. Sometimes you just want to explain to that someone the reason you’re not picking up. With iOS, you can immediately respond to a call you can’t take with a text.
This will depend on the version of iOS you are using. Either you swiped upward on the phone icon or tap the button with Message labeled above. As a default, there are three pre-written choices you can choose from. There is also a button that lets you enter the text you want.
These options can be customized under Settings, Phone and Respond with Text. It is not possible to have more than three choices however. If you want to make a new one, you need to replace one of the current options. Tap the one you want to replace and then create your new text response.
4. Reading QR Codes (iOS 11)
The new Camera app now lets you read QR codes without the need for a third-party app. It’s really dead simple as you only need to point the camera to the QR code and the associated action will appear on the screen.
5. Set Up the Do Not Disturb Mode
The Do Not Disturb feature is the perfect mode if you want to insulate yourself from distractions. This is handy if you’re trying to get some work done or catch some sleep. It can be activated through the Control Centre. From the Home screen, swipe upwards and then tap at the crescent moon icon on the top row.
You will then see a matching moon icon appear at the top bar of your smartphone screen. Take a moment to appreciate just how elegant the icon shows and wanes when it switches between on and off. All incoming calls and alerts will be silenced with the Do Not Disturb feature activated. This is one of those serious iPhone tricks that come in handy when you’re busy!
The method of activating it is simple, but there is a more complex way to do this. Head to Settings, Do Not Disturb, and then you will see a range of choices. Included here is the ability to set the hours you want it to activate each day.
6. Edit Your Screenshots (iOS 11)
Now it’s possible to edit the screenshots you’ve taken with your iPhone and iPad. Zoom in, add a signature, comment, it should make the user’s life easier.
7. Setup Do Not Disturb with Exceptions
Although the Do Not Disturb feature can come quite handy, there are times you still want to receive urgent messages. This is possible by setting up exceptions for that peace of mind you want with a limitation.
You can do this by switching Repeated Calls to ON. This will alert you in case the same person calls a second time within three minutes. That odd trivial call might break through, but most callers at midnight can get a hint if a person doesn’t pick up the first time. But contacts that have far more urgent news would most likely try calling again.
There are also exceptions that you can specify for certain contacts. Tap the ‘Allow Calls From’ to let this be overridden by calls from those selected persons. There is a Favorites list that you can add people to in the Contacts. Choose a contact, scroll down to the bottom of the list and then tap the Add to Favorites.
iOS 11 now includes new Do Not Disturb While Driving options available in the Settings app.
8. Add Symbols Quickly
You might have been using an Apple iPhone keyboard for a long time now. But did you know that it is actually easier for you to add symbols to your messages? Instead of tapping once on the 123, once on the symbol and once on the ABC button, this can be done now in just one move.
This can be done by tapping and holding the 123, slide your finger to choose the symbol you want, and then release. After the symbol has been added, the keyboard will go back to the letters area. That is one tap instead of doing it thrice. That is some serious time saving there!
And while we’re talking about symbols, you can also hold down your finger on the symbol for alternates that you can choose from. For example, the dollar key will offer you symbols for euro, pound, yen and so on. There are many symbols these iPhone tricks have to offer, who knows you might even end up and find hidden apps on iPhone later.
9. Get a Full Stop by Double-Tapping the Space Button
This is one of those iPhone tricks that might sound simple but can really save a lot of time. Surprisingly, many iPhone owners don’t even know about this technique yet. Rather than heading to the symbol menu to insert a full stop at the end of each sentence, you simply have to double-tap space. This will add the full stop at the end of your sentence that you have just typed. Aside from that, it gives you a space and then you’re set to start a new sentence with a capital.
Do note that you have to double-tap space reasonably quick to get the full stop. If a lengthy pause has been made, iOS would give you two spaces instead. Another cool new feature of iOS 11 is the right-hand or left-hand keyboard. To adapt to your needs, simply long-press the world symbol in the keyboard and choose your orientation.
10. Customize Your Auto-Correct
The QuickType keyboard system of iOS is smart at guessing what you are trying to write, but there are many situations where auto-correct just fails. Oftentimes you have experienced typing something and then the auto-correct gives you another thing.
But it gets better once you have started customizing this feature. By setting it so that it will know your personal favorite shortcuts and abbreviations, you will have a much-improved experience with this. It is possible to let the feature know that when you type “omw” it would automatically turn to “On my way” and “lol” to “Laughing out loud”.
You can set up these personalized shortcuts easily. Head over to Settings, General, and then scroll down and select Keyboard. Choose Text Replacement after. This is where you’d see what text replacements you have set up currently. You can add a new one by tapping the plus sign.
11. Undo by Shaking
This is might be the only one in our list of iPhone tricks that may seem a bit awkward, but can actually save some time. If you typed a really long sentenced and deleted it by accident, you can give your smartphone a shake to bring up the undo/redo box. Be sure to hold on to your phone tightly before you shake it.
Ever since Apple implemented this feature, an undo button has been added to the system keyboard. Yet this only appears when the smartphone is in landscape mode. If you can’t bother with typing this way, you should shake it for a simpler solution.
12. Tap to Bring Back to Top
Have you tried scrolling down a very long list in your Notes or gone through a ton of email? Instead of trying to scroll back little by little to the top, just tap at the very top of your screen to jump there. This is one of the best iPhone tricks that we would rank next to the double-space for full stop. It is widely known, but not many users are aware of this yet.
But this isn’t just with Mail and Notes, you can tap to top with almost any iPhone app you are using. There are also some smart apps that provide an undo function in case you accidentally tap and lose yourself in a long article. A good example of this is the Instapaper app which lets you Return to Position with the command of the same name. Learning how to find hidden apps on iPhone isn’t that hard.
You can always experiment and see which apps will provide you with the variations to give you this fantastic feature.
13. Effects In Messages (iOS 11)
The new Messages app now includes some new effects, named “Echo” and “Spotlight”. Echo fills your screen with the original message, while Spotlight, as you guessed it, shines the spotlight on your message. It definitely makes your conversations more dynamic.
14. Play Music Until Timer Runs Out
This is a neat trick for people that love to fall asleep listening to music that they enjoy. Most of the time, the problem here is that the music continues to play long even after we’ve already fallen asleep. This results in you waking up to an iPhone that has been drained of its battery in the process. But there is this ‘Stop Playing’ timer in your smartphone you can use to stop music after a set time has passed.
You can set this timer up by going to the clock app and then tap ‘Timer’ at the bottom right. This can be accessed from the Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of the Home screen and tapping on the clock face at the bottom. Select how long you want your iPhone timer to last and then tap ‘When Timer Ends’. Scroll down and then select ‘Stop Playing’.
After that, select start on the timer and begin by playing music from the Music App. The music will fade to a stop once the timer you configured has ended. It is also possible to apply this iPhone trick to audiobooks and other media in your smartphone.
15. Accessibility Shortcuts
Here is another accessibility setting that can come in handy, the Accessibility Shortcut. This can be found by heading to Settings, General, Accessibility, and then scrolling down to the bottom. Select ‘Accessibility Shortcut’ and you will be presented with a menu of choices.
By ticking the selected features in the list, you will be able to activate them easily by triple-clicking the Home button. The colors can be inverted in your iPhone to give you better low-light visibility, zoom to tricky parts in your screen and a lot more.
If you have chosen more than one accessibility feature that should be accessed by triple-click, a dialogue box will come out and ask you which one you want to use.
16. Easier Web Page Searching
When you’re trying to find a certain word or phrase on the web, this can be done by typing the word or phrase at the top of the screen. Once you’ve tapped the top bar on the page, your screen will be replaced by your Favorites. But nothing to worry about since you’re still in the same page. It will return you to where you left off by tapping the top bar or run the in-page search.
You will be able to see a list of web search results including search results from the App Store, Wikipedia and many more. This can be seen at the bottom of this list with a section that is labeled “On This Page” to find certain matches.
You can tap this to see the results being highlighted on that specific web page which will come out as yellow. Go to the next instance of this search by tapping the arrows at the bottom of the screen.
17. Apply an Alphanumeric Passcode
Although the iOS nowadays prompts people to use only a six-digit passcode, there is a better way to keep your iPhone more secure. This can be done by applying an alphanumeric passcode. That means it is possible to use both numbers and letters in your password. This is similar to how we would usually log into a website, giving us an unlimited number of possible passwords.
This is quite easy to do. You can start by heading to the Settings, Touch ID, Passcode and then Change Passcode once you’ve been prompted to enter the passcode. Select ‘Passcode Options’ to get more advanced settings. Things like being able to opt for a shorter four-digit passcode can be done here. You can also choose a custom alphanumeric code if you want.
Setting your password to have an alphanumeric code will make it harder for people to guess it. This gives your iOS device more security and will ensure only you know what your password is.
18. Set Your Apple iPhone to Low Power Mode
If you’re heading out on a long journey and you won’t be able to charge your smartphone anytime soon, you might want it to save as much power as it can. You can do this by switching to Low Power Mode by tapping Settings, Battery, and then the Low Power Mode option.
Choosing the Low Power Mode lets you reduce battery consumption by switching off several of the iPhone features that are quite intensive. Mail will fetch much less, Hey Siri will be turned off, background app refresh is off, and some visual effects will be reduced. Aside from that, the screen will go dark if you’re inactive even for a short time.
This is quite the nifty feature you’d want to include in the iPhone tricks list you know of. It makes a big difference for people that are used to traveling with their Apple smartphone and don’t have a battery bank with them. You can easily save your battery for something more important by switching to Low Power Mode.
19. Configure Control Center To Your Needs (iOS 11)
The brand new Control Center will be completely configurable, so you’ll be able to add or remove settings and options to better suit your needs. Some shortcuts will remain unchangeable such as Play/Pause, Volume, Brightness, Screen Lock. But you could double the size of the Control Panel by adding a lot of shortcuts.
20. Let Your iPhone Read Texts Out Loud
If you need to have your smartphone read texts out loud to you, this can be done by enabling Speak Selection. Do this by navigating to Settings, General, Accessibility, and then choose the option ‘Speak Selection’.
By doing a long press on a speech bubble in your Messages, you will have the option to select ‘Speak’. This would let your iPhone read your message to you out loud and is particularly important when you can’t do hands-on. People who are driving a lot and want to listen to a text message in hands-free mode would love this trick!