17 Hidden iPhone Hacks You Never Knew About
From charging the battery faster to taking a hands-free photo, these are the secret iPhone hacks you wish you knew sooner.
Get a faster charge
Few things are worse than watching your phone charge at a glacial pace—especially when you’re in a time crunch. For a faster way to top up, turn on Airplane Mode. Doing so will temporarily pause your phone’s background noise (such as random notifications and GPS roaming), which tend to drain the battery as it charges. While the extra juice won’t be much, a little can go a long way. And for next time, make sure you know these secrets to a better smartphone battery life.
Save time on your searches
Need to pull up a website in a hurry? Here’s a short-cut: While typing the web address into Safari, you can save a few seconds by holding down the period icon on your phone’s keyboard, which will bring up a list of URL endings. Options range from the standard suffixes (.com, .co.uk) to the more uncommon ones (.edu, .ie). Speaking of keyboard hacks, there’s a hidden mouse on your iPhone’s keyboard, too.
Siri is no fool, but she’s not foolproof, either. If she says something wrong—such as a name or address—you can actually correct her. Respond with “That’s not how you pronounce…,” and Siri will ask for the correct pronunciation. Once you give it to her, she will repeat it back to you to make sure she’s got it right. Siri isn’t a one-trick pony, though. Here’s how to get her to crack a few jokes.
Find out what your phone knows about you
Get this: Your iPhone is following every single step you make. If you want proof, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Frequent Locations. You will see the places you’ve been, as well as how much time you spent there. Creepy, right? Thankfully, you can turn the feature off by tapping “Clear History,” and then swiping left on the Frequent Locations tab. But you’re not safe yet; find out the sneaky way Facebook is tracking where you are, too.
Set a timer for your music
Long gone are the days when you nodded off to your favorite snoozing tunes, only to wake up at 3 a.m. with the music still blaring. Believe it or not, your phone’s timer can turn off the music whenever you want. Go to Clock > Timer > When Timer Ends, tap the ‘Stop Playing’ option, and select the amount of time you want the music to play. Your phone will automatically turn off the tunes (on both Apple Music and Spotify) when the timer runs out. There’s also a simple way to make your music play louder on your phone.
Take a hands-free photo
You don’t need two empty hands to snap a photo on your phone. Just plug in a pair of compatible headphones and hit the volume button, and your iPhone will capture the moment. Learn more things you didn’t know your iPhone headphones could do.
Record a video and take a picture at the same time
Speaking of your phone’s camera, you can snap a photo while filming a video, too. All you have to do is press the shutter icon next to the video button. One warning, though: Because the photo is taken by the video camera’s sensors, it won’t turn out quite as high-quality as your other images. So if that is the kind of thing you care about, try these genius tricks to take a postcard-perfect picture on your smartphone.
Erase text with the shake of your hand
We’ve all been there. You just vented to your BFF in a paragraphs-long text message, but chickened out before pressing send. To quickly erase what you just typed, give your phone a good shake and tap “Undo Typing.” Want it back? You can always shake your phone again and select “Redo Typing” to make the text reappear. And if you do happen to press send on a risky text message, here’s how you can unsend it.
Backspace on the calculator app
Entering the wrong number on the calculator app can make the calmest people go berserk. But you don’t have to start over from scratch; just swipe left or right to delete what you just typed. Apple experts don’t want you to make these mistakes.
Shave seconds off your typing time
If you still shift back and forth between keyboards to type numbers and symbols, you’re wasting your time. All you need to do is hold your finger down on the “123” button, drag it over the number or symbol you want, and then let go. Voilà! No screen-switching necessary. You also need to try this little-known keyboard trick that will save you time.
Focus the camera (without touching the screen!)
Tapping your phone’s screen isn’t the only way to sharpen the camera lens. Instead, try holding your finger in the screen until the ‘AF Locked’ box appears at the top of the screen. Now the camera won’t lose its focus—no matter which way you twist and turn. Don’t leave this app open for too long, though; the camera is just one of the sneaky things that is killing your smartphone battery.
Take a photo when your storage is full
That dreaded “Storage Full” notification always pops up at the most inconvenient times—like when you want to snap a photo of your sister’s graduation or best friend’s wedding. Luckily, you can use the camera option in your Facebook or Twitter app, instead. By starting a new tweet or post, clicking the camera icon, and then snapping your photo, the resulting picture will be saved to your Camera Roll. Crisis averted! Even better, this easy iPhone trick will instantly get you more storage.
Make the screen smaller
If you’re a one-hand texter, you probably know the struggle of stretching your thumb across the phone’s wide screen. Try moving the keyboard closer to your left or right palm by holding on the Globe icon and selecting one of the keyboards that are positioned to either side. You can also tap (not press) on the home button twice to shift the entire top of the iPhone screen down. Both tricks will make the entire screen much more accessible for the average-sized hand.
Use the Compass app as a household tool
Think that Compass app is useless? Think again. Swiping left in the app will activate a very practical tool: a digital spirit level. Now, you can finally straighten out that pesky picture frame.
Press one button to make a call
Don’t waste time digging around your contacts for the last person you chatted with on the phone. Simply tap the green call button, and your phone will redial the last number you called.
Customize phone vibrations
We all have that one person who takes forever to reply to our text messages. If you want to know the minute they do, just find them in your “Contacts” list and hit “Edit. ” From there, go to “Vibration” and press the “Create New Vibration” button to select a custom vibration for that person. Now you can always know when your crush texts you back.
Get more storage space
Storage space is a hot commodity for the average iPhone user. To make the most of yours, hold down the “Power” button, wait until you see the option to slide and power off your phone, and then hold down the “Home” button. Doing so will clean out your phone’s RAM, which reduces the amount of space your apps might be taking up. Here are more clever tricks to free up storage on your smartphone.