I love my iPhone, and I find so many useful ways to use it throughout the day. For instance, when I’m about to go to a meeting and want to freshen up my lipstick, I often use my front-facing camera as a mirror! But I’ll be the first to admit that there’s a lot I don’t know about my phone too. And I recently got an idea of just how much I don’t know about the device I carry around all day!
I posted a story on my Instagram profile a couple of weeks ago to share a discovery I had made about the Email app. I learned that if you swipe left hard and fast, you can quickly archive your emails. To my surprise, I received a TON of responses to that Instagram story! My Instagram followers are obviously very tech-savvy people, because they had a lot of their own great iPhone tips to share! In fact, I learned so much from their responses that I decided to write a whole post on the subject. Here are 11 tips and tricks about iPhones that you may not have heard before!
11 iPhone Hacks You Didn’t Know About
1. Hands-Free Siri
There are many situations where you might want or need to use Siri when you don’t have your phone in your hand. You might be in the middle of cooking, or (heaven forbid) you might have fallen and need help! In these situations, it can be helpful to have Siri at the ready to help you with whatever you need. All you have to do is adjust a few settings!
Go to “Siri & Search” in the Settings menu, then turn on the toggle switch that says “Listen for ‘Hey Siri.’” Make sure you also have the toggle for “Allow Siri When Locked” turned on too! Once those settings are on, just say “Hey Siri” to talk to her anytime you need.
2. Emergency Preparedness
Check out the “Emergency SOS” section of the Settings menu. There’s an option that enables your phone to contact emergency services if you press the side button 5 times in rapid succession. This could be very useful if you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation! You can also use the Health app to set emergency contacts, which will be listed on your Medical ID. This helps emergency responders to know who to contact if you’re involved in an accident or if you need help.
3. Custom Control Center
Go to the Control Center section in the Settings menu to easily customize it to fit your specific needs and wants. (If you’re not sure what the Control Center is, it’s that handy menu that pops up when you swipe up form the bottom of your iPhone.) Here are a few of our favorite customizations:
- Add Screen Capture capabilities! The button looks like a target, and it allows you to record video of what’s happening on your screen, like a moving screenshot.
- Turn on Guided Access! When turned on, it requires a passcode to leave an app. This is great for parents who want to let their kids play a game or watch a show, but want to keep them out of their other apps.
- Turn on Magnifier! This handy tool acts as a magnifying glass, allowing you to “zoom” in on tiny print and other small writing using your camera.
4. Level Up
Did you know you can use your iPhone as a level when hanging a frame or a shelf? Just open up your compass app, then swipe left to access the level.
5. Shake It Off
Sometimes you’re typing out a text message, only to reread it and find that you’ve made half a dozen typos. No need to worry! Just give your phone a shake to undo what you’ve typed.
6. Night Shift
There’s a great setting on iPhones that puts a yellow tint to the screen after a certain hour in the evening. The yellow screen is less vivid than the standard blue-tinted screen, so it’s a bit easier on your eyes when it’s darker out. You can turn on the Night Shift feature by going to the Display & Brightness section of the Settings menu. It also gives you the option to customize when the Night Shift function turns on and off.
7. Home Button Anywhere
There’s a feature called AssistiveTouch that can act as a Home button on any iPhone. (This is great news for those of us with the iPhone X who miss the home button!) Just go to the General section of the Settings menu, then select Accessibility. Go to the AssistiveTouch section to turn it on and customize the options if you’d like.
8. Fast Charge
In a rush to charge your phone? Turn on Airplane Mode while it’s plugged in! You’ll get an extra 4% of battery life for every 30 minutes of charging. It’s not a huge boost, but it could be a lifesaver if you’re really in a bind!
9. Sleep Timer
Many of us like to listen to music or audiobooks while falling asleep, but you don’t necessarily want the audio playing all night. But you can use the Clock app to set a “sleep timer” of sorts! When you’re getting into bed, go to the Timer and set a timer for an hour or two. Set the “When Time Ends” option to “Stop Playing.” This tells the app that when the time is up, it should stop playing whatever audio you have going.
10. Snap A Photo
This is a super simple tip, but I often come across people who don’t know about it, so I wanted to include it here! When you’re using the Camera app, you can use the Volume Up button to snap a photo instead of the button on the screen. This is super helpful when you’re trying to get a big group selfie, and it makes it so you don’t accidentally block the camera with your hands.
11. Family Matters
You can tell Siri about your family to make it easier to place calls. For instance, tell her to “Call Mom.” Siri will ask who your mom is, and you can assign the proper contact. Siri will remember in the future, so you can call Mom without awkwardly referring to her by her first name. 🙂 This also works for other family members, so you can call anyone with ease!
Want Even More Smartphone Hacks?
- For even more clever hacks that will make your smartphone more useful and easier to use, check out the other posts in the “iPhone Hacks” series!
- Click here to explore the “iPhone Hacks” series archive.