17 iPhone Tricks You Didn’t Know You Could Do

– Drag multiple apps at once:

iPhone X Apps

Rearranging your iPhone’s home screen can be an annoying task, especially when there are too many apps to be moved around. You previously had to drag and drop each app to a new spot one at a time, but iOS 11 finally put an end to this.

To get started, tap on an icon till it starts jiggling. Make sure to keep the app under your finger while moving it around the screen to dock it to your finger. Next, tap on other apps with any of your 9 free fingers while still holding down on the first icon.

You’ll see them all drift over to your locked finger. A small blue circle in the corner will tell you how many apps you’ve strung together. They’ll stay in place as long as you hold your finger down. Feel free to swipe to another screen with a separate finger to shift them to their new home.

– Unlock your iPhone faster:

iPhone 6S Touch ID Tip

Touch ID usually works like a charm, but there are plenty of times it refuses to recognize your finger. Instead of admitting defeat and entering your passcode, try this next tip. Go over to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and use all 5 fingerprint slots for 1 finger.

This may seem like overkill at first, but it makes sense since your iPhone will have 5 times the information for just 1 finger. Try saving your fingerprint from various angles (upright, upside down, left, right) and you’ll immediately notice that Touch ID works with more consistency than before.

If you want to save multiple fingers, divide it up into at least 2 slots per finger. Pro tip – if you don’t want to press the Home button every time you unlock, dive into Settings > General > Accessibility > Home Button and activate Rest Finger to Open.

Of course, this trick does not work on the iPhone X because Apple has removed the fingerprint sensor feature from the device. So those who are using the flagship will only have the luxury of complaining about the inadequacies of Face ID for unlocking it.
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– The Home button lives on…virtually:

Apple finally up and removed the Home button from the iPhone X, leaving you without the comfort of having a round button to press whenever you wanted to go home. Thankfully, the company has a back-up plan in place for those who need it the most in the form of a virtual home button that stays permanently on your screen.

It’s actually been around for years under the name AssistiveTouch, so this tip isn’t just for iPhone X owners. It covers other models of the iPhone too. You’re probably wondering about a scenario in which a regular user would need a virtual Home button when a hard key is available. Well, what if the physical button is not working due to wear and tear, or some software glitch?

You might not have made the time to hop into an Apple Store and get it fixed. Or the cost of repairing it may feel prohibitive. Why not activate the virtual Home key in this case? Just hop on over to Settings > General > Accessibility and scroll down till you locate AssistiveTouch. Activate the tool and select Customize Top Level Menu. Tap on the minus button till just 1 icon remains.

iPhone X AssistiveTouch Home Button

Tap on that and choose Home from the list of options. You can then go back and assign Single-Tap to Home and Double-Tap to Multitasking. Long Press and 3D Touch can be decided based on your personal convenience, perhaps Screenshot or SOS to avoid holding down on multiple buttons. You could even clear out the dock at the bottom so it’s roughly in the same place as the good old physical home button.

Whether you like it or not, the future is button-free. Hard keys are being stripped away from smartphones whereever unnecessary. Not only are fewer buttons aesthetically more appealing, fewer ports and physical keys mean devices can be better protected from the elements such as water and dust. The iPhone X is one step closer to being water-resistant than any previous generation iPhone.

– Hide top-secret photos and notes:

We’ve all been there – you want to hide certain photos from friends and family when you hand over your iPhone or any phone for that matter, but are at a loss on how to go about it. Apple actually has a Hide option in place for this. You will see it if you select a picture and tap on the Share symbol. But in this case, iOS just shifts the private snaps to an album called Hidden which anyone can view.

It’s quite surprising that Apple, who is known for trimming down features to the bare minimal when it comes to the user interface as well as the hardware, would still retain such a pointless Hide option. But we digress. Here’s a cool tip a you can use to keep your secret photos, well, secret. It has nothing to with Albums and everything to do with the Notes app which comes preinstalled with the iOS software.

When you want to keep a picture on your iPhone hidden from prying eyes, just tap on Share and pick Add to Notes. From there, simply head over to your new note, select Share, and choose Lock Note. Enter a password and hint to seal the deal. If you want to be extra cautious, make sure you save the note locally by via Settings > Notes > “On My iPhone” Account, instead saving to your iCloud account by default.

iPhone X Lock Notes Image

But wait, there’s one more step for you to complete before you can sit back and relax. Don’t forget to delete the image in question (or should we say ‘questionable image’?) from the Photos app and scrub it out of the Recently Deleted album as well. If you change your mind and want the shot to go back to Photos, simply select Share and choose Save. Sadly, videos can’t be hidden in Notes.

We’d like to see more innovation in on-device privacy in the future versions of iOS. Our generation has gotten used to storing their most initimate information on their smartphones, whether it be financial data or passwords or images or something similar. It would be nice if Albums were private by default on the iPhone, and users could disable this option when necessary.

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– Raise the roof without spending a penny:

The iPhone has a pretty solid track record when it comes to audio, but there are times when it’s just not loud enough. Before you rig up an expensive external speaker, try venturing into Settings > Music > EQ and choose Late Night. Trust us, it’ll make your songs blast out at much higher volumes than before.

iPhone X EQ Speaker

If you’re wondering what Late Night does, it simply makes the quieter parts of a song louder and the louder parts quieter. This hack is by no means a permanent solution, but it’s an easy fix when you just want your iPhone to sing at the top of its lungs.

– Record what’s happening on your screen with sound:

For years, the only way to record an iPhone’s screen was to download an app or via QuickTime on a MacBook. Those dark days are now over thanks to Apple finally introducing a native screen recorder in iOS 11. The tool can be found in Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls. Scroll down till you find Screen Recording and tap on the green plus sign.

iPhone X Screen Recording

Now that it’s in place, simply swipe up from the bottom of your screen (or down if you have an iPhone X) to open up the Control Center and tap on the circular Screen Recording button to get going. There’s another step involved if you want to record a voiceover. 3D Touch the same icon and a new window will open up where you’ll have to switch the Microphone Audio to on.

You can end the recording by tapping on the red bar at the top or bringing forth the Control Center and tapping on the Screen Recording symbol. All videos get sent straight to Photos. It would be a good idea to trim the video at this point and get rid of the excess bits at the beginning and end. Also, activate Do Not Disturb or Airplane Mode if you don’t want notifications messing with your clip.

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– Send Live Photos to your Android friends:

Say you just shot a great Live Photo and want to share it with a pal. However, that friend is an Android user who’ll only get a still of what you have captured. Apple didn’t really have a resolution for this dilemma up until iOS 11.

Or maybe Apple felt that it wasn’t their problem until recently. Or maybe it was a conspiracy to sell more iPhones. At any rate, sharing Live Photos with non-iPhone users is not an issue any more if you have updated to iOS 11 or higher versions of the operating system.

Now you can swipe up on any Live Photo in the Photos app and see that there are brand new Loop, Bounce, and Long Exposure options. Choose any of them and then direct your finger towards the Share button. The Live Photo will automatically get sent as a GIF through whichever platform you choose.

iPhone X Android Live Photos

FYI, you can directly send Live Photos as GIFs in WhatsApp. Lightly hold down on the Live Photo of your choice in the app’s Photo & Video Library window and you’ll get the options to Select as Photo or Select as GIF. Also, keep in mind that the Live Photos feature is only available on the iPhone 6S and above.

GIFs are a lot of fun to look at. It’s no wonder people are so fascinated by Live Photos. In iOS 11 and later versions of the OS, each Live Photo’s key image displayed in the photo library can be changed. Just open one to edit, move the slider to change the frame, select Make Key Photo and then Done.

– Light up your iPhone for notifications:

The shift from Android to iOS can be tough since there are hundreds of small changes you have to make to adjust to the iPhone way of life. One of the key things you have to sacrifice is the convenience of notification lights and the ability to personalize them for calls, messages, email alerts and so on.

Apple has never been one for allowing too much customization. It’s one point even diehard iPhone users will grudgingly concede to. While there’s no way to get those colorful Android-like alerts onto an iPhone, there is an easy workaround if you want the next best thing Apple will deign to let you have.

It’s hidden in the Settings menu and is specifically aimed at the hearing impaired. The feature might also come in useful when you’re in noisy environments. Just head to Settings > General > Accessibility and then swipe your way down to the Hearing section. You’ll notice an LED Flash for Alerts option.

Once it’s activated, your iPhone’s LED light (we mean the flash unit of the rear camera) will blink when you get a text, a call, or any other type of notification. It’s an easy way to make sure you notice an alert when the sound and vibration don’t do the trick.

iPhone X Notifications LED Flash

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– Take a closer look with the Magnifier:

Who needs a magnifying glass when you have your trusty iPhone to unleash your inner Sherlock Holmes? While you might assume using the Camera app’s zoom is the same thing, the built-in Magnifier in iOS actually zooms in even closer to the subject you’re looking at.

Activating the tool is just a matter of diving into Settings > General > Accessibility > Magnifier and sliding the toggle for Magnifier and Auto-Brightness to On. Triple-clicking the Home button (or Side button on the iPhone X) triggers the magnifying window.

Alternatively, you can add it to the Control Center by navigating to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls. The Magnifier feature comes in useful not just for those with vision problems. It can also be handy for reading small text without straining your eyes.

iPhone X Magnifier

Once you’re in magnification mode, you’ll notice a couple of symbols around. The lightning bolt is a shortcut to the torch, the padlock locks in the focus, the large button at the center freezes whatever you see, and the editing controls let you adjust brightness, contrast, and filters.

If you want to take pictures of the object you’re peering at through the magnifier, you’ll have to press and hold on the frozen photo till ‘Save Image’ and ‘Share’ pop up as options.

– No backspace in the calculator, no problem:

Here we’ve come to one of the best kept secrets of the iPhone, and probably one the most anti-intuitive features in iOS. The calculator app in the iPhone can be pretty frustrating to most people because of one major button Apple seems to have forgotten to add – backspace.

So whenever users type in the wrong number, they start all over again by hitting the C for Cancel on the top left side of the keypad. This causes the whole number to get erased. If you’re one of them, you’ve been doing it wrong all these years. Who’d have thought!

Simply touch the number you’ve typed and swipe towards the left or right side of the screen. This action erases one numeral at a time while the Cancel button rubbed away the entire number you keyed in. Say you type in 4242 plus 5464 instead of 4242 plus 5364 for example.

iPhone Calculator Trick

You may keep swiping till you reach 5 and then type the rest of the number correctly. You can swipe all the way to 0 and then type in the new number you want to add (or subtract or whatever else) to 4242. In other words, pressing and swiping = backspace.

Here’s another tip – you can switch from the regular calculator interface to the scientific calculator by turning your iPhone to the side and putting it in the landscape orientation. This will work as long as you haven’t locked your screen in portrait mode.

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– Lock autofocus and exposure:

Apple has always put the best camera lenses on its iPhone devices. Photos and videos turn out beautifully and the on-device editing options are also pretty neat. There are a few tricks you could use to improve the photography experience on the iPhone though.

When you’re using the Camera app, a long-press on the screen locks the autofocus and exposure at what it is during that moment. This is particularly useful for those who don’t like their professional-grade videos being plagued by focus and exposure pops.

To access this cool iPhone feature, you need to first decide upon the point where you want the iPhone camera to focus. You must then long-press on that point, and the focus, as well as the exposure, will get locked instantly.

Lock Autofocus

To undo this iPhone feature, or to set another point for focus and exposure, you can tap anywhere on the screen again. As you can see in the picture accompanying this tip, an icon saying AE/AF Lock will be on the screen for as long as you have decided to keep the lock on.

– Shake to delete:

Here’s one of the best iPhone tips that will help make text messaging a little less painful. Did you know, there’s a much simpler (and cooler) way of getting rid of that text message you just typed than pressing backspace? It involves simply waving the smartphone, just like a magic wand.

All you need to do is shake your phone in your hand. This action will bring up a box that asks you whether you wish to undo your typing. When you confirm, the whole message gets deleted. If you change your mind after erasing it, don’t worry! Shake your iPhone once again to redo your typing.

That’s an incredibly convenient way for Apple iPhone users to erase the text they’ve keyed in without having to hit the backspace option over and over again. This iPhone feature functions with the help of its integrated motion sensors. They work by detecting when the device is being shaken.

iPhone Undo Typing

This triggers the software to give the command to erase the typed text. Isn’t that a really cool feature? It will benefit fast typers a lot since it’s always a pain to keep the backspace key pressed until the entire text is erased. By shaking to undo, the process becomes a lot easier and also a bit fun.

This iPhone trick has a downside though. It can work involuntarily when the device gets shaken accidentally. So if you’re not keen on using it, we’d suggest you switch it off by going into Settings > General > Accessibility and turning off the Shake to Undo option.

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– Charge faster with Airplane mode on:

Airplane Mode

Most Android flagship devices these days boast about fast charging capabilities which allow them to gain longs hours’ worth of power within just minutes. While the iPhone doesn’t have such a fast charge feature, you can definitely make the iPhone charge faster than it usually does, using its Airplane mode.

Although this iPhone feature is meant to be used when you’re inside an airplane, the Airplane Mode facility is used more for other reasons. One of them happens to be faster charging of the Apple iPhone. When you put the device in this mode, everything from the network to the Wi-Fi to the GPS gets deactivated.

This preserves the charge that these functions would normally eat up. You won’t see a massive difference in charging time using this method, but it’s ideal for when you’re in dire need of a quick juice-up. Hopefully, we can expect this feature from the latest iPhone model.

The option of using the iPhone’s Airplane mode is not hard to find at all. Once you open the Settings menu, you can find it sitting right at the top with a toggle switch beside it. It’s also moreover present in the Control Center panel which you can pull up from the bottom.

The Airplane mode is a great tool for conserving battery as well. You can turn it on when you know you aren’t going to get any important calls or messages, in order to save precious iPhone battery life.

– Keyboard shortcuts:

One of the handiest and best iPhone features is the keyboards shortcut function which allows you to set a small phrase or combination of letters which you can type in order to avoid typing a large one all the time. This is especically useful when you find yourself sending some texts routinely.

For instance, if you find yourself often texting ‘Feed the dog’ to your other half or family member or roomate, you can set up your keyboard shortcut for that phrase as ‘ftd.’ So keying in ‘ftd’ would automatically put the whole text ‘Feed the dog’ into your message and you won’t have to type out the entire thing.

This helpful iPhone feature will save you a lot of time in the long run. Just imagine creating and getting used to employing several of such shortcuts. Your texting speed will never be the same again. If you happen to have access to your friend’s iPhone handset, it’s a fun way to prank them by creating shortcuts for funny words.

Keyboard Shortcut iPhone

You can access this iPhone feature via Settings > General > Keyboard > Shortcuts. While one of them will ask you to insert the exact phrase you wish to save, the other one requires you to put in the shortcut for it. Once you hit save, you can access this shortcut inside any app that uses the default keyboard.

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– A word as a passcode:

The fingerprint scanner feature comes in all the latest iPhone models. But a lot of people avoid using the fingerprint scanners on their iPhones in favor of numbered passcodes. Some for privacy concerns and others for personal reasons. Typing in a passkey is time-consuming and inconvenient.

And Face ID does not work when you’re looking at your phone from an angle. But if you wish to avoid even thinking of a numner to lock your device, why not go for a word as your passcode? For this, you will need to enter Settings > General > Passcode Lock and turn on the Simple Passcode option.

Passcode

You can then set whatever it is that you wish to be your new iPhone password. This helpful iPhone tip will not only make your device more secure, but it will also allow you to get more creative with your passcode. Besides, you can have it as long as you want it, unlike the numerical passcode which can only be 6 digits.

The longer it is, the harder it is for someone to observe your thumbs and recognize what it is. With iPhone security threats looming all around us in strong disguise, it has become more important than ever to have a passcode that’s not easily recognizable. This iPhone feature is hence a great addition to the iPhone mix by Apple and you don’t need a third party iPhone app to do it.

It is particularly useful for those who own old iPhone models that did not come with any fingerprint scanners on them, it’s good that Apple has included the fingerprint scanner feature in all the latest iPhone models. But for old iPhone handset users, the passcode is the only native security feature that can be taken advantage of.

– Avoid accidental iPhone Apps purchase:

Just getting the best iPhone contract on the device isn’t enough. Your kids or even you could inadvertently spend money on in-app purchases from your credit card while playing freemium iPhone games on it. Apple has recognized this and has added an iPhone feature which lets you completely turn these off.

You can do that by accessing Settings > General > Restrictions and switching on Enable Restrictions with a passcode. In here, you’ll find the option to turn off in-app purchases. This iOS feature has been around since iOS 4.3 which was released back in 2011 and is not a kink in the latest iPhone versions.

In-app Purchases

It is relevant now more than ever since various incidents of people unknowingly spending heaps of money on in-app purchases have started popping up. There are iPhone apps and games that are extremely sneaky at grabbing your money as well. Apple does have security mechanisms to confirm your payments before you make them.

But these can easily be overlooked by someone ignorant, especially kids. Last year, a kid from Belgium reportedly bought iPhone apps worth a whopping $46000 via in-app items from a free-to-play game. The parents only found out when they received a massive credit card bill. It’s situations like these that this particular iOS feature helps avoid.

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– A timer for your music:

Who doesn’t like going to bed while listening to their favorite songs downloaded from iTunes? But the problem is, the music keeps playing even after you’ve dozed off, resulting in iPhone battery drain and even worse, breaking off your sleep when a loud song comes on.

You know how difficult it is to get back to sleep once interrupted. Even if you do manage to snore through the music, continuous exposure to noise through a pair of earphones has its own health hazards. There’s that uncomfortable feeling a few of us get in our ears when we inadvertently leave the audio on and drift off to sleep.

It’s a sort of uncomfortable, pounding aftershock in the eardrums. To avoid that, there’s the Timer option in the iPhone. You can find it in your native Clock app, right on the bottom grid. You can set the amount of time you wish to keep playing the music and tap on the When Timer Ends tab to select Stop Playing.

Timer

This is an incredibly helpful iPhone feature that makes the Timer option a great utility. We’d love to see more manufacturers putting such a trait on their devices in the near future.

 

– Click pictures without touching the iPhone screen:

Some phones come with dedicated shutter buttons, but not the iPhone. This is perhaps why Apple has granted the same function to the iPhone’s volume buttons. Using the volume key to click instead of the on-screen shutter button is more convenient, and also contributes towards steadier shots.

That being said, if your phone is connected to wired Apple EarPods, their in-line button can act as a shutter trigger as well. iPhone photography enthusiasts will definitely dig this awesome feature. As for selfie enthusiasts, they too will find it incredibly useful since it works with the front camera as well.

These days a number of Android phones too are adopting this facility. But they do have that one trait that’s missing from the iPhone still, which is double tapping the home button to launch the camera. We hope Apple adds this feature to a future iOS update. This allows for a bit more flexibility while snapping pictures and videos.

Volume Button

Besides, when you’re using the on-screen shutter button while holding the phone with one hand, your hands are most likely to wobble, resulting in shakes. This gets tricky especially in low-light conditions. Do note that this iPhone feature works for the front camera as well.

But what we’d really like to see is Apple implementing an option to click a photo hands-free on the iPhone by using a customizable trigger word such as Cheese. A lot of Android phones already offer this facility.

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– Make your keyboard smaller:

For quite a few generations of iPhone models, Apple stuck to its well known policy of making phones that could be used comfortably with just one hand. This trend continued until the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. Meanwhile, the smartphone market was drowning in Android phablets.

iPhones are continuing to get bigger, but our hands aren’t. Luckily, Apple has a quick solution for people who struggle to type with one hand. Just hold down the globe icon and you’ll see 3 keyboard symbols pop up. The leftmost one shifts the keyboard to the left and the rightmost one to the right.

iPhone Keyboard Hack

To go back to the full-sized keyboard, just tap on the big arrow or press the globe again and pick the central option. One-Handed Keyboard can also be activated by going to Settings > General > Keyboards > One-Handed Keyboard and then picking Left or Right.

Conclusion:

So those were the 17 most helpful iPhone tricks you may want to try out right away. We will keep gathering more information on iPhones including iOS tips, iPhone hacks, secret iPhone features in the latest iPhone models so keep checking this page for more cool stuff.